Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, February 12, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 3

Mountain Views-News Saturday, February 12, 2022 


By Meghan Malooly 


This week I am so excited 
to introduce you to Michael 
Bilbrey and Jason Agaton! If 
you don't know this couple 
by their names, I'm sure you 
know their home. If you've 
ever driven down Mountain 
Trail during Halloween or 
Christmas you've probably 
seen the adorable house that 
is completely decked out head 
to toe in decorations. If you 
haven't, you should definitely 
add it to your holiday checklist! 
They rent out the second 
floor of a beautiful home and 
have probably the coolest 
landlord ever. He allows them 
to use the front yard space to 
create their magical displays! 
Not only do they take care in 
decorating their home but, in 
recent years, they have started 
hosting outdoor movies on a projector in their yard. “During the pandemic when we were 
really staying home more we decided to transform our front space to be more user friendly 
and put chairs/tables, lights and in that process get a projector and screen. Jason and his 
brother built the frame for the screen. We initially watched movies ourselves or close friends 
while socially distanced. Then we used it at Halloween and Christmas as part of our displays.” 
-Michael Bilbrey 

When I started writing these articles I immediately thought of them ( and I didnt even know 
who they were yet). In my mind they were this transcendent family that turned their home 
into the most amazing holiday themed utopia that made me smile every time I drove by! (in-
case you don't know or remember, I am beyond obsessed with Christmas! It’s taken all of my 
self control to not set up a tent and live in their yard amongst the decorations.) As we all know 
the last couple years have been a bit crazy. The isolation has been tough on us all. Which is 
why I thought that it was just so incredible that Jason and Michael started offering a covid safe 
option for our community to be together. I am a huge movie person, to an embarrassing level, 
and I truly believe that movies can bring people together. Whenever I meet someone that likes 
a similar movie it's like they just made me a best friend bracelet (partly because I’m known 
for liking movies most people don’t). When I first approached Michael I was very excited to 
interview them both and maybe get a tour of their beautiful decorations but I unfortunately 
contracted COVID and had to forgo the in person interview and conduct a virtual one. I 
think it's commendable that during such a hard time they thought about all of us. Whats 
even more impressive is through my interview with them for this article I learned that Jason 
has recently had some health issues, including needing dialysis for 9 hours each night. I was 
already impressed with their generosity but to find out that they are going through something 
that serious but they’re still thinking of others, just has me in awe. 

Michael has always had an interest in the community and helping others and not only is he 
apart of the Sierra Madre Rose Float Association and applying to fill one of the empty spots on 
the Community Services Commision he was also past state president of the California School 
Employees Association, Past Board Member of The California Public Employees Retirement 
System (CalPERS) and a Past vice president of California Labor Federation. He has worked 
for Citrus College for over 35 years and was the recipient of multiple awards for remaining on 
campus throughout COVID while most did not.

 If you missed the chance to meet these wonderful gentlemen at their fun movie nights, 
don't worry! As it gets warmer, they will start playing movies again and will announce them 
on facebook. So please be on the lookout! They do ask that you RSVP, to keep things COVID 
safe, but also so they know how many people to expect, they like to provide water bottles 
and individualized popcorn for the guests (and sometimes glow sticks for the kids!) With 
Omicron they may limit the amount of people, and dates, so be sure to jump fast if you're 
interested! I hope to see some of you there, mask clad and movie ready! 

On a personal note I would just like to say that Michael and Jason are such fantastic individu-
als! When my mom and I were in need and could not find a Covid test they not only dropped 
one off but provided chocolate and well wishes! That’s what community is about, that’s what 
this column is about, and I know it’s cheesy but that’s what Sierra Madre is about. We’re proud, 
we’re loyal, and we’re neighbors. Just lean into the cheese people, lean into the cheese. 


by Deanne Davis 

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t 
hurt.” Charles M. Schulz 

“Oh, if it be to choose and call thee mine, love, thou art every day 
my Valentine.” Thomas Hood 

“Love! Your Magic Spell Is Everywhere!” 

That song, “Love Your Magic Spell Is Everywhere,” was written by 
Edmund Goulding and Elsie Janis and first recorded and released 
by Gloria Swanson in 1929…Yes, the “I’m ready for my closeup, Mr. 
DeMille,” Gloria Swanson! Who knew! 

Today’s picture shows my granddaughter, Emily Brown, who is 11 
years old, and the new love of her life, a tiny mouse named Sammy. 
Sammy lives in his colorful plastic environment on the night table 
next to Emily’s bed. She brought him home last Saturday and is so 
happy, delighted, ecstatic and over the moon to finally have the pet 
mouse she has been longing for. She has researched everything there is to know about mouse pets 
and is taking very good care of him. Emily is also discovering the somewhat questionable joy of 
having a nocturnal creature living next to your bed. Sammy is a party animal. As soon as she turns 
off the light, he comes alive and spends much of the night shoving his bedding material out of the 
habitat, running laps in his wheel and, if he only had a blender, he’d be making margaritas! I’m not 
sure how long Emily is going to keep him next to her bed, but right now, love abounds. 

Valentine’s Day is Tuesday! I know all my dear thoughtful and considerate readers are totally prepared 
with a card and maybe a flower or two. Yes, ladies, you can give your favorite guy flowers and 
he’ll be pleasantly astonished. In days of yore, dinner reservations someplace intimate and dark 
where you could look into each other’s eyes and talk about wonderful memories of your past, like 
the first kiss you shared were a definite possibility. And now that the world is opening up a little 
more, dinner out can happen. Or you can have something delightful delivered. Put your dinner on 
the good plates and prepare to enjoy a little time together. Do not talk about the children, bills or 
anything to do with what’s wrong with the house. Enjoy that dinner with a glass of something adult 
and then go ahead and share a dessert. Think of chocolate… think of chocolate and champagne. Or 
sharing a slice of cheesecake. Do not think of calories. 

“I married for love…but the obvious side effect of having someone around to help you find your 
glasses and car keys cannot be ignored.” 

‘You’re my perfect match. You’re just like bacon, beer and chocolate.
You make everything better.” 

There are many ways of expressing tender sentiment. Here’s a question for you: When was the last 
time you read Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s famous love poem? Probably not since you were in high 
school. Well, here it is and it’s pretty nice:

How Do I Love Thee? 

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and heightMy soul can reach, when feeling out of sightFor the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's most quiet need,
By sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to useIn my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose 
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death. 
Sonnet XLIII from Sonnets from the Portuguese, 1845 (published 1850) 

I never actually said anything like that to my Valentine, the adorable, ever-patient, John, who is now 
residing in heaven where every day is Valentine’s Day, and love abounds all over the place. No, I 
never quoted Elizabeth Barrett Browning to him, but I wrote about love and I’m sure there are a few 
of you out there who haven’t really prepared for Valentine’s Day yet so you’ve still got time to write 
a note or a letter to the person who is your own personal Valentine. Not to say I’m anywhere near 
Elizabeth, but I wrote about love like this… “The Best of Marriage” (excerpt) 

“You are ever in my mind, even now that you are gone.
You are still, and always will be, the other half of my heart.
You are, very simply, the one person selected by God to be my lover, my friend, my husband.
I knew you for more than half my life. The best half.
We shared all there is in life: 
Joy, sorrow, laughter, tears, death, birth, pleasure, misery, poverty, not quite so poverty, 
And always, always we had each other to hold on to.” 

My Valentine has been in heaven for almost five years now, but I am so very glad I wrote that piece 
so many years ago and he read it and knew my heart. 

Tomorrow or any time at all this coming week, tell your special Valentine how much he or she 
means to you. Kisses and holding hands are good, too…maybe even better than chocolate. Even if 
you totally scoff at Valentine’s Day, there’s never a wrong time to say I love you. And you can never 
say it enough! 

“Love is a partnership of two unique people who bring out the very best in each other, and who 
know that even though they are wonderful as individuals, they are even better with each other.” 

Happy Valentine’s Day, dear friends and neighbors! 

My book page: Deanne Davis 
Easter is on its way and “The Crown”
My story about what happened to that crown of thornsIs now a real book in addition to a Kindle! Also available on 
If you want to check it out, here’s the link where you can see a short video: 

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