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On the Town: Chevy Chase Country Club hosts Devine event

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Paula Devine was the undisputed star of the evening at her post-swearing-in celebration. With 200 of her closest friends, Glendale City Council's newest member opened her party, “Thank you for making your vote Devine.”

The Chevy Chase Country Club was the woodsy setting for the festivities on July 8.

For the first time in several years, there will be two women on the council. Devine will join Laura Friedman on the dais. Friedman and her family of three were present to mingle among Devine's guests. Husband, Guillaume Lemoine, toted their 1-year-old daughter, Rachel Lemoine, who celebrated a party of her own — her birthday.

Front and center was another political VIP, state Sen. Carol Liu (D-La Cañada Flintridge). Devine said both Friedman and Liu had encouraged her to run for office. Ever the cheerleader for women, Liu took the occasion to salute women running for political office.

“We're multitaskers,” Liu said. “You have a real community-minded person behind you. Get her reelected. OK, Art.” Paula's husband, Art, nodded his assent.

In fact, according to Paula Devine, she had his strong support from the get-go.

“We can do this,” said her ever-stalwart husband.

But the majority of the guests were well-wishers and volunteers who helped put Devine in office. Devine recognized all of them. Among those was chief cook and bottle washer organizer extraordinaire Elaine Wilkerson. Among her many tasks was organizing the meet-and-greet parties that raised funds for the campaign. Another key player on the Devine bandwagon was Larry Miller, who managed the phone bank, reaching out to potential voters. Arlene Vidor was another behind-the-scenes volunteer.

More Glendale supporters on hand included community volunteers Susan Hunt, Marilyn Gunnell, Margaret Kaufman, Judy Taylor, Debbie and Bruce Hinckley as well as Elizabeth Manasserian and her two strapping sons, Christopher and Danny.

As the party wound to an end, Paula Devine was still getting all her thank-yous in. To those who asked her how she was doing after her hard-fought, winning campaign, three words from Paula said it all, “I'm still standing.”

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“Write Long and Prosper” was the fitting title for a Glendale writing group that featured a panel of Trekkies. Up for discussion was the original “Star Trek” TV series and the three-volume set of books, “These Are the Voyages,” documenting the show that aired for three seasons beginning in 1966.

The general membership meeting of the Alameda Writers Group was standing-room-only last Saturday, as some 70 writers, wannabes and pros met at the Glendale Central Library. They were primed to hear all the behind-the-scenes, never-before-revealed info on Capt. Kirk and his loyal Vulcan officer, Mr. Spock, played by (for those not in the know) William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy.

“Access Hollywood” film critic Scott Mantz moderated the panel of experts including the books' author Marc Cushman, past president of the writers group. The panel also had a sprinkling of stardust with the inclusion of Walter Koenig, who played Chekov on the series and wrote the foreword to Cushman's second volume of “These Are the Voyages,” covering the second season.

Other panelists were Mark A. Altman, writer-producer of the cult classic film “Free Enterprise;” Mary Black and husband, John D.F. Black, who wrote the words “Space…the final frontier” and was a producer and writer on the original “Star Trek.”

Cushman's volumes include hundreds of memos between the show's creator Gene Roddenberry and his staff, production schedules, budgets, fan letters, behind-the-scenes images and the TV ratings.

“These books are primers that tell you how to write for TV,” Koenig said.

A fascinating bit of inside info — the NBC brass was wary of Nimoy's pointed ears. They were afraid the show wouldn't play well in the South because Nimoy's ears could be interpreted as ears of the devil.

Needless to say, large audiences all over the country tuned in and even wrote in. Among all the show's characters, Nimoy received the largest amount of fan mail.

Cushman's third volume, covering season three of the original “Star Trek” series, will come out Nov. 1. Loyal readers will, once again, “boldly go where no man has ever gone before.”

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RUTH SOWBY RANDS may be reached at ruthasowby@gmail.com.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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