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Woman's Club captures spirit of season Richard Pena | Sat, Nov 05 2011 12:00 PM

Last Sunday's comics were, without exception, all about Halloween.

The funny papers were liberally festooned with visions of goblins, ghosts, and carved pumpkins. And that's the way it should be. Newspaper writers, whether they are of the cartoon genre or simply of the hack variety, should cash in on these readymade subject matters, and we generally do.

One of my favorites in the papers last Sunday was the Drabbles. The three kids shout in unison, as they confront their parents, "The tree is all decorated." The parents heave a sigh of relief when they find that "the tree" is a tree in the yard that is decorated with apparitions of the Halloween season. The father says that he thought they were referring to a Christmas tree. The mother says, "No, that's next week."

We mention this because the "Season" is nearly upon us. Some years back we mused as to what really constituted the beginning of the Christmas Season in our communities.

Was it the decorations that are sure to spring up in the department stores before too long? Was it the street lights and other decorations given us by the city workers? Or was it simply the change in our attitude?

I have the perfect event to usher in the season, Christmas, that is. I nominate the Sweetwater Woman's Club Home Tour and Craft Show. We will be joining a throng that numbers in the thousands, visiting three community homes and the Clubhouse tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 5, starting at 10 a.m.

The ladies of the club have invested untold hours not only decorating the houses that will be on display, but making the decorations in the homes, all that are for sale, the decorations, that is.

This event, we are told, is the 44th time that it has been staged. It is the principal fund-raiser for the club, funds that are used solely in the institution's many philanthropic endeavors. The help that the woman's club does for others in the community is legend. This is aid that has gone on for many years. As was reported in this space earlier this year the club recently celebrated its 100th year of existence. For longer than a century an organization that began as a simple sewing club has emerged as one of the leading philanthropic units in the community.

Although the club assists many others in many ways - scholarships, financial aid, holiday packages and the like - and I think the single principal contribution that they make to the community is the upkeep and the presence of the clubhouse.

Since 1934 the classic Cliff May designed edifice has sat on a small knoll on Sweetwater Road at the eastern end of the valley. It is true that its principal function is to house club activities. It is, however, open for public use. It thus has been the location for many a wedding reception, many a birthday party, many a barbecue and dinner and, yes, even a few remembrances of life events that have involved most of the valley's population.

The clubhouse, in addition to the three houses on tour, will be open on Saturday. The clubhouse only will also be open on Sunday. The general public is invited to visit the clubhouse and view the wide array of home decorations, gifts, artwork and plants from the Garden Shop. One of the signature items, and one that I generally buy are the cheese balls. They must be tasted to be appreciated. The three houses on the tour are all located in the South Bay. The purchase of a ticket will give instructions on their exact location. They are all within a short distance of one another.

For tickets and more information one is asked to call (619) 482-4505. Or call the clubhouse at (619) 479-7888.

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