Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, February 5, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 3

Mountain Views-News Saturday, February 5, 2022 




December 29th, 1969 March 29th, 2021 

September 5, 1937-February 14, 2021 

 Born in Pasadena, California to Victor and Ann 

 Galia Ann Ell was born of Russian ancestry in 

Ell, Craig Ell lived his childhood years in Hastings 

Kobe, Japan on Sept 5, 1937 to Olga and Anatoli 

Ranch and in Sierra Madre. Craig was one of the 

Bendersky. She lived her early childhood years in 

founding year students at The Gooden School in 

Tientsin, China with her family until the Japanese 

1976 alongside his brother 'Robbie' and his moth-

invasion. Her mother was a ballerina in the Rus

er Ann who worked as the very first secretary at 

sian ballet in Shanghai. Her father, who was the 

the school. Craig appeared with other students in 

distributor for Warner Bros. films for all of Asia, 

photographs featured in the August 1977 edition 

was wrongfully executed when she was around 9 

of Sunset Magazine making gourd puppets with 

years old. She and her mother fled to America 

legendary puppeteer Virginia Curtis who owned 

with the help of her second father, Irving Layton, 

a marionette theatre and workshop on Baldwin 

and they settled in Hollywood. Ann was a gradu-


ate of Hollywood High. For her first job in 1958, 

 As a youngster Craig and his brother also loved to 

she worked as a secretary at the William Esty Ad 

volunteer and decorate the Sierra Madre Floats. He 

Agency, where she eventually wrote and produced 

enjoyed overnights on the parade route and visit

“TV Technique” commercials for Winston ciga

ing the Wrigley mansion for the Queen and Court 

rettes with Bob Cummings and for the show, “Mr. 

teas and shaking hands with Grand Marshalls like 

Adams & Eve” starring Ida Lupino. Ann herself 

Jimmy Stewart and Danny Kaye thanks to his late 

acted in various Russian programs and plays in 

father Victor Ell, a beloved Chairman of both he 

Hollywood. Talent scouts and producers including 

Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association and 

Joe Pasternak, courted her to become a movie star. 

the Pasadena Planning Commission. 

She declined in order to start her family and to raise 

Craig also enjoyed acting and singing and ap

her children. 

peared in Thrifty's Christmas commercials in the 

 Ann married her first husband, Les Lowe and to-

70's as well as in local productions headed by Bev

gether they had a son, Tony. She later married Vic

erly Bishop at the Jester's Theatre in Pasadena where 

tor Ell and moved to Alhambra, California, where 

he stole the show in his role as "Jake" in, Annie Get 

they had their first born, Robert. One year later 

Your Gun. In addition to acting, he also studied Ka

they moved to Hasting’s Ranch at Greenhill Road 

rate and played in little league and AYSO soccer. 

in Pasadena, where they had their second son, 

 He attended High Point Academy and Pasadena 

Craig. She was very active in the Pasadena Women’s 

High School. Craig worked briefly at Gumps store 

Club and in the Hastings Hens. Victor and Ann Ell 

on Lake Ave in Pasadena. Years later he partnered 

were often mentioned in the Pasadena Star News 

with Rod Stewart's son Sean to create Stewart Re-

for hosting parties for the Exchange Club and other 

cordings where he attempted to manage various 


new and emerging bands and comedic acts. 

 Ann was the first administrative secretary and 

 In later years, Craig unfortunately, struggled with 

teacher of Russian language during the founding 

his health, addiction and homelessness. Some of his 

years of the Gooden School in Sierra Madre in 

fondest memories were of Summer vacations with 

1975. Her Russian translation of "Silent Night" was 

Grandma Olga to Hawaii, living in Malibu, imper-

performed and sung by the students at the very first 

sonating Louis Armstrong singing, "What A Won-

Gooden School Lessons & Carols. She also worked 

derful World," being with his Siamese cat "Malibu" 

as a typesetter and secretary for the Sierra Madre 

and his Himalayan cat "Smokey" and endless swim-

News in Kersting Court. Ann also worked for the 

ming, playing and laughter with all the other neigh-

Pasadena Community Housing Services and Glen

borhood kids of Greenhill Road. 

dale Head Start programs, where she mastered her 
computer skills, designing programs and music 

Craig Ell passed away from Covid-19 and other 


causes just over one month after his mother. 

 After her divorce from Victor Ell, Ann and her 
two youngest sons moved to Montecito Avenue in 

He is survived by his brothers Robert Ell and Tony 

the beautiful town of Sierra Madre. Ann enjoyed 


all the good memories of living in Sierra Madre including 
July 4th parades, Gooden School Teas on 

You may contact Robert Ell at 

Tuesdays, hiking trips, painting ceramics in town 
with her kids and playing bingo with friends. She 
was an avid tennis player throughout her life, a 
black belt in Karate and an award winning poet and 

Friends and Family will be gathering at 

writer. Ann moved to Seal Beach, Leisure World in 

11am on February 14th, 2022 to place the 

2004 where she resided until her passing. 

ashes of Galia Ann Ell and Craig Steven Ell 
at the Pioneer Cemetary of Sierra Madre. 

Ann is survived by her two sons, Tony Lowe and 
Robert Ell and her cousins Deanna Boulton and 
family, Boris Mishel and family, Tyrone Estrada 
and family and Eric Ell and family. She is also survived 
by her sweet kitty, Kelly. 

Galia Ann Ell passed away due to Covid-19 related 
causes on Feb. 14th, Valentine’s Day. 



 Everyone has a someday, and most of us have 
many. One of the somedays that I have had, and 
knew would come, is when I would write this and 
ask the editor of the paper to print it. This someday 
has been forty-one years In the making, it is 
the day that I would close my office, and that has 
finally come.

 Why do I feel the need to announce this? Well, 
I made a promise to myself many years ago that 
when the time came, I would take note of it, to say 
goodbye to the town.

 In these forty years, for instance, this newspaper 
has gone through a number of owners, Carrot-
Top (no, not that one), Jan Reed, Michael, and our 
present guardian, Susan Henderson. The house 
that we rented for 26 years was worth about one 
hundred thousand dollars in 1980 and sold for 
close to a million when we moved in 2005. There 
was a shoe store, two grocery stores, a health food 

store, a men’s clothing shop, a produce store, a pet shop, there were Richfield, Shell, Standard 
and Union 76 gas stations, and more importantly, you could throw candy, and hose down 
anybody within standing distance at the 4th of July parade.

 Held within this three-square-mile-no stoplight-town, are the essential energies of the 
present inhabitants mingled with the countless others who have lived here before. Many of 
those live just down the street at our town cemetery. All of us cradled against the mother 
mountain, who looks down on us and protects us. How many times have we said after crossing 
into town while coming up Baldwin and passing Orange Grove, or heading east on Sierra 
Madre Boulevard past Michillinda, “Ah, that’s better … I’m home now?”

 Do I long for days gone by? Not really. Then why take time to write this? Is it just an exercise 
in nostalgia?

 I asked my anthropologist daughter, Eryn, what the practical basis of nostalgia might be, 
and she described longing as a means of insuring survival. That is, if there is an emotional 
component to any equation, skin in the game, there is inclusion, a strength in numbers and a 
prerogative to protect one’s space. It made perfect sense, we belong to each other in this town 
and the town belongs to us. 

As we wind down the office hours and the patients come by for perhaps the last time, I am 
profoundly saddened. Do I really want to stop now? Things have never been better … why 
am I doing this? Honestly, I have no answer, except to say that someday has arrived. See you 
down the road.

 John M. Talevich, D.C. 


by Deanne Davis 

Deep thought to kick off February: 

free of charge. At the ripe age of eighteen, I set 
“The more you think about something, the 

myself up as a freelance illustrator and took in 
more power you give it. You can’t change 

any kind of art work that came along, includ-
THEM, but you can change you, which could 

ing animation, mural painting, gag cartooning, 
be enough to create just the result you were 

men’s fashions, paste-up and newspaper adverhoping 

tising illustration. It included meeting short 
deadlines, late hours, considerable humiliation 
“If January is the month of change, February 

and ego bashing, along with poverty, but I was 
is the month of lasting change. January is for 

able to keep from sinking, though barely. 
dreamers. February is for doers.” Marc Parent 
As World War II loomed on the horizon, I got a 
“In February there is everything to hope for 

fair paying job in an aircraft factory and never 
and nothing to regret.” 

looked back. I was a sailor, aircraft mechanic, 
and after the war, thanks to the GI Bill, went to 
“February is the month of love.” 

college and, in time, became an aerospace en-
Yes, friends and neighbors, Valentine’s Day is 

gineer, later an intelligence agent and traveled 
just a couple of weeks away! 

throughout the world. Now here comes the 

good part… 
There are so many things I could write about 
here this week but I decided I would write 

When it was no longer necessary to grub out a 
about my dad. His birthday was last Sunday. 

precarious living by drawing, it was suddenly a 
He would have been 101, I think. The picture 

lot of fun, and I never stopped for the next fifty 
today is his take on lemons. Many artists would 

years, sometimes profitably, sometimes not. I 
have created a work such as this, perfect lem

was lucky enough to illustrate books, paint porons 
with perfect leaves; but my dad added that 

traits, work in all the graphic media, enter com-
special quirky touch: a small dragon. This is an 

petitions and paint hundreds of pictures just 
exquisite oil painting that hangs in my house, 

for fun, some of which won prizes, while others 
along with many other pieces of his work. He 

found their way into countries across the seas. 
was an incredibly gifted, prolific artist who was 

So, when someone asks me how to become an 
featured in many art shows, won many compe

artist, I have to say, “I don’t have the slightest 
titions, and my sister, Heidi, and I treasure his 

idea or foggiest notion!” 
work. I expect he is still creating in heaven. I 
came across an essay he wrote many years ago, 

My parents married too young, had no idea 
which is so “him” that I want to share it with 

how to be married, soon had me, and divorced. 

I saw little of him during my youth but reconnected 
with him when I was in my 40’s, thanks 
“How to Become an Artist” By Kim Weed 

to the Salvation Army – but that’s another story 
– and we were close friends until he passed 
When I was about three years old I took to 

away. As he lived in Valley Center, in the hills 
drawing some of the creatures around me such 

above Escondido, we carried on a lively coras 
spiders, grasshoppers, ants and flies. My 

respondence by mail. Yes, letters! With stamps 
mother, although no art lover, was interested 

and everything! I have all his letters to me in a 
in abnormal curiosities, so saved my premature 

folder which I will look into someday, but not 
efforts for a while but tossed them out when 

just now. His art surrounds me with beauty and 
I was about seven as no longer being of inter-

wit and I feel blessed. 
est. But my compulsion to draw never left and 
for the rest of my life I drew pictures. I don’t 

In 2000, when he was in his 80’s, my dad set 
remember especially liking to draw, it was just 

off on a cruise around the world on a container 
that whenever I came into contact with paper 

ship, continuing a life filled with high advenand 
pencil I would instinctively start. There 

ture. But that, too, is another story. Happy 
was barely perceptible improvement, but as 

birthday, Dad! 
time passed, I became the one in the classroom 
delegated to do the lettering, make the post-

Have you ordered “The Midnight Library” 
ers, etc. I caused me no end of annoyance and 

by Matt Haig, Sierra Madre’s One Book, One 
self-disgust that I really wasn’t very good at it, 

City selection for February? I’m about halfway 
so tried to find out why by studying paperback 

through it and, I gotta tell you, it’s enthralling! 
books on cartooning, which actually did pro-

The Book of Regrets and choosing the lives the 
vide some of the answers. The one gift I had 

heroine, Nora, could have chosen. It’s an excel-
was being able to draw pictures that made oth

lent book! 
ers laugh, and for this reason some dimwitted 
individuals began keeping them, which was a 

Speaking of the Library… the used book sale is 
terrific lift to my ego. 

this weekend. Go! You’ll be glad you did. 

When I told my parents I wished to be an artist 

“At the end of the day, all you need is hope and 
or cartoonist, and they got through laughing, in 

some seriousness they asked me if I wanted to 

Hope that it will get better, and strength to hold 
starve to death. I thought about it and decided 

on until it does.” 
that I would one day open up my own “fixit” 
shop for repairing broken things, which was, 

“Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.” 
apparently, my sole talent. When I was sixteen I 
took a chance and entered a statewide competi

My book page: Deanne Davis 
tion for a scholarship at the Chouinard Art In-

I’ve been re-reading my book, 
stitute in Los Angeles by submitting a portfolio 

“Sunrises and Sunflowers Speak Hope” 
of my work. I thought it was a genuine miracle 

It encouraged me, made me smile and re-
when I got the letter telling me I had won. 

minded me that Hope is all around!
It’s a pretty good book, even if I did write it! 
I packed a bag, drew out my life savings of $52, 

You can find it on and they’ll 
and headed for Los Angeles. For two years, on 

even send it to someone for you! 
the edge of starvation, I attended Chouinard 

for 2022 is to ‘reduce the length of meetings, 
which have run 2 to 3 hours or more’. Can 
you imagine running for city council and realizing 
you may have to spend 4 or more hours 
a month at two council meetings?...Oh, the 
horror. So, one of the first actions under 
new Mayor Goss is the announcement that emailed 
public comments would be posted on 
the city website and no longer read during the 
meeting ‘to save time’. Congratulations to the 
Council for keeping their first meeting of the 
year to 35 minutes, and the second meeting 38 
minutes. Goal accomplished. As residents, 


we would have hoped to hear that the Coun

Sadly, one of the lasting impacts of the pan

cil’s goals might include the implementation of 

demic is the realization that City Council mem

the Housing Element; How the city will track 

bers prefer to have monthly meetings with as 

further state housing legislations that threat-

little public input as possible. During the pan-

ens our single family communities; How the 

demic when meetings were held remotely, and 

city will join with other municipalities to fight 

resident concerns were on their own health and 

SB 10; discussing a vote of ‘no confidence’ in 

safety, members of the public were understand-

County DA Gascon; increasing citizen partici

ably not engaged in city issues. At the first in 

pation in government affairs; scheduling a Town 

person meeting in July, 2021, the Mayor’s wel-

Hall meeting so there can be an open two-way 

coming comment to the few dozen residents in 

discussion of the largest housing development 

attendance was ‘I don’t know why you’re here’. 

in Sierra Madre history and many others that 

Quite interesting, because there were two agen

don’t rise to the importance of keeping meetings 

da items of great importance to city residents: 


the Housing Element and the 42 unit housing 

 We had hoped that in 2022 the council would 

development below the Retreat Center. 

be boldly proactive on issues, instead of reactive; 

Unfortunately, that tone turned out to be in-

welcome citizens to meetings, not discourage 

dicative of the Council’s attitude toward resi

their attendance; and set some real goals that we 

dents who came to share their comments or ask 

can all be proud of. 

questions on agenda items. The focus was on 

 Instead, after waiting for two years to have a

the timer and residents were rudely cut off mid 

chance to have an open Q&A period about the 

sentence when the clock hit 00.00. To speed 

Meadows project (building 42 large homes) 

things along, several emails sent in by residents 

with a chance for follow-up questions, what we 

were not read into the record, to the dismay of 

are getting is a joint meeting of the City Coun

those in attendance. 

cil with the Planning Commission run by New 

 We are fortunate to live in a city with some 

Urban West. We don’t even know the date, time, 

very smart, well-educated residents with diverse 

or venue, and it will once again be a one-sided 

backgrounds and experiences. And we are also 

conversation, with the residents again limited to 

fortunate that they are willing to share that ex

3 minutes, and not allowed to ask any follow-up 

pertise with us at Council meetings. Having 


their voices silenced is a disservice to all of us. 

 As this article goes to print, we wonder what 

Having written comments submitted by those 

happened to the 24 pages of comments Preserve 

unable to attend that are not read into the re-

Sierra Madre sent to the City to be included in 

cord for all to hear does not send the message 

the Draft Environmental Impact Report. They 

that their input is welcomed and appreciated. 

are missing and not included in the Final EIR. 

Nor does it foster the City’s oft repeated goal of 

We spent two months out of our busy lives to 


research laws, speak to experts and compile our 

 Residents have commented over the past 6 

comments, charts and photos. Director Gon

months about the inadequacy of the comment 

zalez acknowledged receipt, but can't come up 

period and the frustration asking questions and 

with an answer to date. Is this the infamous 24 

bringing up issues with no response or action 

minutes of tape in the Nixon era? 

from the Council. 
In light of all that has gone on since March 

Stay tuned for our next article! 

2020, it is ironic that one of the Council’s goals 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 
Email: Website: