Old Towne Orange Plaza Review | Issue 104 | Jul-Aug 2021

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“Are You Ready to Unmask Your Smile?”

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News for the Neighborhood

July / August 2021

“ C o l o r f u l C o m p e t i t i o n I I ” b y D e b r a H u s e / O i l / 16” x 20”

I N S I D E A RT : S t o r y o n p a g e 2 4

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Your Neighborhood Realtors BEN WILLITS / CALBRE #01858819



Visit us at our Old Towne Orange Location at 229 North Glassell St. for Professional Representation. Call us today: 714-315-8120

Buy / Sell / Lease Specializing in Orange & Surrounding Communities #1 B ROKERAGE IN O RANGE

Results based on production from office located in zip code displayed. Data provided by California Regional Multiple Listing Service and its member Associations of REALTORS, who are not responsible for its accuracy. Analysis dates are 12/01/19 though 11/30/2020. Does not reflect all activity in the Marketplace. Analysis results © 2020 Real Data Strategies, Inc., under license to Lalapoint, LLC and named MLS member firms. All rights reserved. License #00745605

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Since 2001

Old Towne Orange PLAZAREVIEW

From the Publisher One of my favorite things to do in the early summertime when the weather is mild, is open my office window overlooking the Plaza. As I work, it puts a smile on my face to hear the laughter of passersby and smell the tempting aromas of delicious food wafting from the Plaza’s many fine restaurants. This year I find it especially refreshing to feel the enthusiasm in the air as diners enjoy eating alfresco at the Plaza Paseo. There’s a renewed energy to Old Towne, evident as you walk the streets and visit the shops and restaurants. In the following pages, we share that excitement, such as on pgs. 9-11 with enthusiastic new business owners Randy Nguyen of Tabu Shabu, doctors Michelle Cho and Edward Tran of Hello Optometry and Mike Looney with Anchor Bar. As the world reopens, Orange is no exception. You can look forward to many events this summer in Old Towne, including the Musco Center’s Free, COVID-safe outdoor Pacific Symphony Orchestra Concert (p. 20). The Hilbert Museum of California Art has reopened and will feature the California Art Club’s 110th Annual Gold Medal Exhibition (p. 24). During the pandemic, the City of Orange responded by opening the Plaza Paseo so diners could safely eat outdoors in Old Towne. As of press time, whether the city will continue the Plaza Paseo is undecided. To share your thoughts on the topic, email CCPublic Comment@cityoforange.org, or call the City Council at 714-744-2234. You may also be wondering about the Orange International Street Fair. The committee is currently striving to make it a reality this summer, so stay tuned on our Facebook page! No matter where we meet this summer, I know it will be enjoyable. It’s always fun in Old Towne.

What’s Happening

. . .

JULY 2021 Sat / Jul 3 / 4 - 9 pm City of Orange 3rd of July Celebration Live music, kid activities & food trucks, with the evening’s grand finale featuring the Orange Community Master Chorale and a patriotic fireworks salute to America. Grijalva Park 368 North Prospect St. 714-744-7278 / www.cityoforange.org Sun / Jul 4 / 10 am Orange Park Acres 4th of July Parade Celebrating 50 years of the OPA Plan. OPA Strong, United Then, Now & Forever. 650 East Santiago Canyon Rd OrangeParkAcres.org Fri / Jul 9 / 11 am - 5 pm The White Rabbit “Christmas in July” Kick-Off Delight your Heart & Show Your Smile with Refreshments & Cheer. Wear Something Festive & Receive a Door Prize. We feature Shabby Chic, Hand Crafted Decor, Jewelry & Vintage Treasures, through July 31. 146 North Glassell St / 949-922-0009 @TheWhiteRabbitOC

Sat / Jul 10 / 11 am - 5 pm Hilbert Museum of California Art California Art Club Gold Medal Exhibition Featuring more than 160 representational paintings and sculptures, inspired by the pioneering artists who founded the organization in 1909. Article on page 24. Also Opening: “The Disney Superstars” & “Fashion in American Illustration” 167 North Atchison St 714-516-5880 / hilbertmuseum.org Mon / Jul 12 / 7 - 8 pm Naranjita Flamenco The Fun Flamenco Choral Compás Sessions with singer, guitarist Santiago Maya. A super fun singing class. $180 for six weeks. 301 East Katella Ave 714-400-2939 / naranjitaflamenco.com Sat / Jul 17 / 10 am Bowers Museum Mandala Rock Painting: Healing through the Arts with Sonserae Leese. Advanced reservations required. 2002 North Main St, SA 714-567-3600 / bowers.org

Sincerely, Mike Escobedo 134 South Glassell St. / Orange, CA 92866 714 - 771 - 6919 Mike@OrangeReview.com

“ News For The Neighborhood ” Old Towne Orange Plaza Review © 2021 Mike Escobedo Design. All rights reserved. The material herein contained cannot be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of Mike Escobedo Design.

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Around the Plaza Sun / Jul 18 / 7 pm St. John’s Lutheran Church Cathedral Bells Concert St. John’s premiere Handbell Choir, presents an inspiring concert of handbell music. Alex Guebert - Director 185 South Center St / 714-288-4400 www.stjohnsorange.org

Sat / Aug 14 / 10 am - 4 pm Orange Public Library & History Center FREE Comic Book Day Comic books, prize drawings, green screen photo fun, dress as comic/manga character & earn extra prize drawing entries. 407 East Chapman Ave 714-288-2410 / CityOfOrange.org/library

Sat / Jul 24 / 5:30 pm Chemers Gallery The heART of OC An all media juried exhibition with more than 60 OC artists & 80+ works of art celebrating the diverse creativity of our community. Through Aug 7. 17300 17th St, Tustin / 714-731-5432 ChemersGallery.com

Sun / Aug 22 / 5:30 - 9:30 pm Musco Center for the Arts “Symphony in the Cities” Enjoy the Pacific Symphony, conducted by Carl St. Clair, under the stars for free! View article on page 20. Aitken Arts Plaza 415 North Glassell / 714-997-6812 www.muscocenter.org

AUGUST 2021 Tue / Aug 3 / 5:30 - 8 pm Orange Police National Night Out A fun & interactive night with a Police K-9 demo, Child DNA service, McGruff, refreshments, face painting & more. Grijalva Park: 368 North Prospect / 714-744-7327 CityOfOrange.org/736/National-Night-Out

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Sat / Aug 28 / 6 pm CHOC Foundation Gala CHOC Gala A reimagined gala, that’s outdoors and on a new date. Please join us for an evening dedicated to creating awareness and raising vital funds for our patients and families. City National Grove of Anaheim 2200 East Katella Ave / gala@choc.org

go to: OrangeReview.com

ONGOING Every Sat / 9 am - 1 pm Orange Home Grown Farmers Market A great way to begin your day with quality produce & fresh, healthy foods. 303 West Palm / OrangeHomeGrown.org 1st Sat / Jul 3 & Aug 7 / 9 am - 1 pm Cambra / Reids / Blacktop Good Times Block Party Cool Cars, Shop Tours, Fun Games, Special Sales, BBQ & more. 726 West Angus Ave / 714-769-1932 CambraSpeedShop.com 2nd Sat / Jul 10 & Aug 14 / 10 am - 4 pm Full Circle Makers Market Local artisans & small business crafts offered in this unique Plaza Paseo, once-a-month outdoor marketplace. 140 South Glassell / 909-929-1390 FullCircleOrange.com Every Tue / 7 pm 1886 Brewing Company King Trivia Live Pub Quiz This weekly trivia challenge is all about having a good time, you simply have to show up. 114 North Glassell St 714-922-8130 / www.KingTrivia.com

2nd Tue / Jul 13 & Aug 10 City of Orange City Council Meetings Find out what’s happening in our city and be involved with the future of Orange. CityOfOrange.org / 714-744-2234 Wed / 7 - 8:30 pm City of Orange Concerts in the Park Relax & enjoy the free entertainment under the summer starry sky! Jul 14 The Trip, Top 40’s Rock Jul 21 Knyght Ryder, 80’s Hits Jul 28 Hard Day’s Night, Beatles Tribute Aug 4 Superlark, Classic Rock Aug 11 Soto, Latin, Funk, R&B Hart Park Bandshell: 701 South Glassell 714-744-7274 / www.cityoforange.org Thu / 2 pm - 4 pm Orange Public Library Foundation Summer Family Film Fest Jul 8 Raya & the Last Dragon (PG) Jul 15 Sonic the Hedgehog (PG) Jul 22 Soul (PG) Jul 29 Croods New Age (PG) 407 East Chapman Ave 714-288-2420 / oplfoundation.org CONTINUED ON PAGE 29

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Celebrating Growth


After a tumultuous year, the City of Orange is looking forward to welcoming residents to a safe summer filled with reopening experiences. It’s also a great opportunity to celebrate growth. The new businesses featured here, Anchor Bar, Hello Optometry and Tabu Shabu, give us a chance to catch up and celebrate being together.


Just in time to curb your summer cravings, Anchor Bar, Home of the Original Buffalo Chicken Wing since 1964, expanded its world-famous franchise to Orange. The new location on Katella Avenue near the Honda Center is the latest addition to the franchise family. With 13 other locations across the United States and Canada serving more than five million pounds of chicken wings annually, Anchor Bar is an East Coast sensation that’s making its western debut right here in Orange. Owner Mike Looney, a veteran who previously worked in the medical industry, opened the new location with his wife, Dawn. After a career in the medical field, Looney wanted to enter the restaurant industry and knew a franchise was his ticket in. For years, he attended conventions in Southern California to learn the ins and outs of franchises and how to succeed in the business. Looney researched a few companies before meeting with the headquarters of Anchor Bar, and ultimately decided that the atmosphere, reputation and distinctive menu were perfect to introduce to the city of Orange. Although he was born and raised in New Jersey, he’s been a Fullerton resident for more than two decades and feels passionate about entering the culinary scene in the area. “I had a good gut feeling about opening Anchor Bar,” he says. “I felt like it would be a good fit here in Orange.” Anchor Bar’s family friendly menu is filled with American classics like burgers, pizzas and wraps, but the restaurant’s real


Anchor Bar

by Yuki Klotz-Burwell

Franchise Owner Mike Looney and General Manager Tiffany Bejar present a few specialties from Anchor Bar’s expansive menu. Before opening up in Orange, Looney attended years of franchise conventions in Los Angeles to learn the ins and outs of the industry.

claim to fame is the wings. In 1964, the owner of the Anchor Bar location in Buffalo, New York invented the original buffalo wings, a dish now instantly recognizable at restaurants across the country. “We’re famous for our wings, and we can make them however you like them,” says Looney.

With 11 types of wing sauce options and six dry rub offerings, Anchor Bar follows up on its promise. The eatery also serves a meatless wing option, created from a plant-based protein that can be customized with any and all seasoning choices.

After opening in the beginning of January, Looney has practiced and perfected his customer-focused approach to the business. He can often be found greeting guests directly in the restaurant or asking them for honest feedback, hoping to create an entertaining atmosphere that welcomes all diners. “I want people to come and feel relaxed, like they’re at home,” he says. “We’re here to serve you and give you a great experience.” He’s also making sure residents in the local neighborhoods feel comfortable with the new restaurant. “I’m looking forward to having a good relationship with the community,” he says. “I’m in their area, and I want them to like what we’re doing.” Even if wings aren’t your thing, you’re sure to find a dish on Anchor Bar’s comprehensive menu that suits your taste buds. But if you’re all about the wings, you’re certainly in luck. “We’re excited to be bringing our James Beard Gold Medal Award Winning wings to Orange,” says Mark Dempsey, CEO of the Anchor Bar Franchise & Development Company. “Our company’s long history is built on family, and that’s why it’s important that every Anchor Bar is run locally by community business owners like Mike and Dawn Looney in the City of Orange.

Anchor Bar 1547 West Katella Ave #102 / 714-944-8034 / www.AnchorBar.com

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If you’ve been envisioning buying a new pair of glasses, head over to Hello Optometry and get a good look at the comprehensive eye services the practice offers. Located on Glassell St. next to Portola Coffee Roasters, Hello Optometry specializes in providing customers with one-of-a-kind, high-quality eyewear and eye care. While cofounders Michelle Cho and Edward Tran both have backgrounds in the healthcare industry, they’re looking forward to treating the practice as a small business. “People can come by to chat any time,” says Cho. “We don’t want it to feel like a traditional doctor’s office. We want to create a relaxed atmosphere.” At Hello Optometry, Cho and Tran give patients a personalized experience by helping with everything from medical eye exams to individualized eyewear. The pair took the time to source high-quality glasses that felt simple and trendy. “We get our eyewear from independent companies so we can offer something you can’t find anywhere else,” says Tran. “Our glasses are about serving you as an individual.”


Hello Optometry

Doctors Michelle Cho and Edward Tran pose in their new optometry shop. When they’re not working, they both enjoy getting to know other small businesses around town. Cho recently started volunteering with Orange Home Grown, and Tran has a mission to try plenty of restaurants in the area.

Their shared drive for individualism is what pushed Cho and Tran to work together. After attending the Southern California College of Optometry in Fullerton, they realized that client relationships were their main draw for entering the industry. When the pandemic hit and they were furloughed, they decided to use the opportunity to launch their business.

“When we were in school and learned about the lifestyle that optometrists had, we really liked the relationships they had with their patients,” says Tran. “We felt like we had to open up our own small business.” In addition to hosting a wide collection of sunglasses and prescription glasses, Hello Optometry provides a full range of eye services,

including comprehensive exams, lens evaluations and LASIK and dry eye consultations. They also offer a lesser-known process called orthokeratology, which reshapes the front of the eye through nightly contact lenses. Ortho-K usually helps growing children stabilize their vision, but also works well for athletes or people who want to avoid daytime contacts. “The ortho-K process acts as a retainer for your eyesight, allowing you to have good vision without wearing any eyewear in the daytime,” says Tran. “We want to get the word out so people can take an extra step to improve the quality of life for both children and adults.” As students in Fullerton, Cho and Tran were very familiar with Old Towne’s friendly reputation within the county before they opened in Orange. “The atmosphere in the Plaza is so special, especially compared to any other shopping area,” says Cho. “It really feels like a small-town neighborhood, which has been new for both of us.” As Hello Optometry picks up more patients, the team hopes to establish themselves as the top eyecare destination in Orange. Now, they’re aiming to distinguish their practice as a bright spot in the Plaza. “That’s why our name is Hello Optometry,” says Tran. “We’re very welcoming.”

Hello Optometry 141 North Glassell St / 657-650-2020 / www.Hello-Optometry.com

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Tabu Shabu This summer, Orange was treated to an entirely new cuisine to add to its culinary repertoire: Tabu Shabu, a Japanese hotpotstyle restaurant, recently opened in the Plaza on South Glassell. The eatery focuses on serving shabu-shabu, where customers cook meat piece by piece in a pot of broth and vegetables. Tabu Shabu Orange Owner and Manager Randy Nguyen is delighted to introduce Old Towne residents to a different style of dining. “I love teaching and showing others how to eat shabu,” he says. “It’s interactive and you get to cook and dress your food to your liking.” Tabu Shabu has six other locations across California, including in Huntington Beach and Costa Mesa. The Old Towne location will mark the first shabu restaurant in the city of Orange, which Nguyen says was part of the allure when deciding on the latest location. “Shabu is an up-and-coming dining experience, and we wanted to bring something new to the neighborhood,” he says. “It’s the perfect opportunity and we’re excited to do that.” The most popular broth bases are the miso and tonkotsu, and diners can choose from a variety of proteins like scallops, ribeye and lamb to cook in the boiling broth. Each bowl also comes with rice and a vegetable platter to complement the cooked proteins.

Tabu Shabu Orange Owner and Manager Randy Nguyen shows off the newest shabu location. He’s looking forward to introducing Orange to this unique Japanesse cuisine and dining experience.

Nguyen says that although the idea of cooking your own meat in real time may seem daunting, it’s a source of art and an innovative way to enjoy a meal. “We’re creating an experience more than just dining,” he says. “For those who have never heard of shabu, we want to teach them how it works and to try something new.”

CEO and Founder Jeff Chon also sees shabu as an art form and encourages customers to have fun and play with their food. “You don’t need to follow the ‘rules’ of shabu,” he says. “Remember you can create your own style the way you like it.”

Chon, a restaurateur who operates three other businesses, grew up eating shabu and found that the cuisine was missing from Orange County’s mainstream dining scene. After launching Tabu Shabu in Costa Mesa, he recognized shabu’s increased popularity and the need to expand. “The opportunity to bring our concept here is exciting,” he says. “We’re looking forward to being a part of this community for many years.” After getting settled in Old Towne, Chon and Nguyen hope to open other locations outside California. For now, though, they’re eager to share their curated blend of savory meals and an evening of fun with the Orange community. “Cooking wholesome nutrition together with friends and family is something that became the foundation of my passion for restaurants,” says Chon.

Tabu Shabu 111 South Glassell St / 714-363-3131 / www.TabusShabu.com

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Backyard Makeovers Work on major home improvement projects was one of the trends that emerged amid the coronavirus pandemic. In this issue, we catch up with one family, the Waltons, who happened to complete an extensive beach-themed backyard project two years ago, allowing them to enjoy it as the world was shut down, and two others, the Shafers and Sladeks, who completed their efforts during the past year.


The backyard project was not the couple’s only focus amid the pandemic; there’s also their business, Shafer Plumbing Contractors, founded in 1989— the same year they were married and moved to Orange. Most of the company’s clients are commercial or industrial entities. At times last year when business slowed, the Shafers paid their plumbers to build the patio, and in the end they did nearly all the work except pouring concrete

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What started out as a simple patio cover at the home of Ruthe and Steve Shafer transformed into a backyard retreat, complete with an outdoor kitchen where the couple enjoys entertaining family and friends.

and installing the electrical wiring. Thrilled with their project, the couple has enjoyed entertaining friends and family, although it remains a work in progress. Still to come are cabinets and a barbecue kiosk. “We sit out there around the firepit with a glass of wine and

talk,” Ruthe says. “This is what we wanted—it’s our boat. But we’re not sailors, we’re landlubbers.” Adds Steve: “After I did the first concepts, Ruthe thought they were way too big. Then, one day when we were about 95 percent done, she was staging the furniture, and she said it could have been a little bigger.”



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Two years ago, Steve and Ruthe Shafer started talking about adding a patio cover to their backyard—a simple one measuring 10 x 10 feet (100 square feet). But what they built ended up being anything but simple. The couple constructed a detached patio structure with a roof that’s 30 x 32 feet, covering 600 square feet of living space that includes a kitchen, bar that seats four, dining area, space for lounging (outfitted with four modern contemporary wicker patio chairs) and bathroom. Four exposed roof trusses add character to the build, and it’s enclosed across the back by a stained wood wall with openings across the top to allow in more sunlight. Other elements include corrugated steel that wraps around the bar, added to an old shed nearby to match, plus a tankless water heater that produces hot water for not just the outdoor kitchen but the entire house. As guests enter the backyard, turn the corner at the back of the house and get their first glimpse, most offer a one-word reaction: “Wow!” “We did the design and the decorating ourselves,” Ruthe says. “It’s a throwback to a cabin or lodge in Big Bear, with the knotty pine and the railroad trusses,” Steve adds.


Steve and Ruthe Shafer


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When Erin and Tod Sladek moved into their 1923 Craftsman two decades ago, it was perfect for their situation at the time. And the large, 7,500-square-foot corner lot the two-bedroom home occupied offered the space for changes as their family’s needs evolved. After their daughter, Megan, married Grant Quental, the couple moved into a 1956 Vagabond trailer that they purchased, refurbished and had situated on the property. With the arrival of their son, who’s approaching his fourth birthday, the Quentals were starting to outgrow the trailer. At first, the house’s living room became a play area and a space for the grandparents to babysit. Then, the single-car garage was converted into a more formal playroom. And in 2019, talk became more serious about constructing a second home on the property—which is exactly what they did. “My mom had always dreamed of building an addition,” Megan says. From the outside, the new blends in perfectly with the old. “We wanted the interior to be more like an Eichler. It’s two


Erin and Tod Sladek



When Erin and Tod Sladek’s extended family grew, the couple (on the steps) decided to make use of extra space on their 7,500-square-foot corner lot. The auxiliary dwelling to the right houses their daughter, Megan, her husband, Grant, and their children Edison and Stella. An avid gardener, Erin has heirloom tomatoes growing from the tin planter next to the patio.

bedrooms, one bathroom, a large kitchen and a family room,” Erin says. “The rooms all open with glass doors into a central patio, kind of like an Eichler would, but the exterior looks like a Craftsman.” For the Sladeks and the Quentals, the timing of the project could not have been better. After the permit was approved in January 2020, Erin ordered the lumber, windows and other materials, and work started June 15, about two weeks after Megan gave birth to a girl. “I thought we would get hung

up because of COVID, but we didn’t. I think because I had already ordered everything and all the trades wanted to work,” Erin says. Timing was fortuitous in another way: The state Legislature had passed Senate Bill 13–popularly referred to as the “granny flats” law. The law ended up saving the Sladeks about $15,000 in fees. Total project cost was $150,000. “With the 9-foot ceilings and open floor plan, it lives really large,” says Megan. “Everything has its right place because she

designed it with a family in mind. Our evenings are pretty seamless —from dinner to bath time to books to bed. Our daily routine as a family is smooth. It’s been a huge change for us.” “It’s a working house for a young family of four,” adds Erin, a former bookkeeper for several local companies who’s now an artist, gardener and grandma. “I’m known for growing a lot of tomatoes, and that took up part of my tomato area,” she says with a laugh. “We still have quite a bit of yard, and there’s a small garden that I hope to expand.”

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A perfect summer day for the Walton family includes a trip to the beach—especially Corona del Mar. It’s where Lars Walton and his wife, Tracie, met when they were single. It’s where he proposed to her at one of the lifeguard towers. And it’s where they regularly go with their kids. “They’ll jump from the lifeguard tower to the sand in the evenings. It’s a fun thing for them to do,” says Walton, who wanted to bring that experience home. So, he built a nearly exact replica of a Newport Beach lifeguard tower in his backyard. “They’re iconic Orange County structures,” he says. “They’re made out of wood, not fiberglass, and each one represents the city in a way.” Two years ago, Walton started taking measurements, catching the attention of the lifeguards. After laying out his plans (“They thought it was pretty crazy to build one in the backyard,” he says), Walton eventually was able to get a set of blueprints. Once the materials were secured, Walton spent weekends over two months working with his father-in-law, Brent Browning, to build it. The main differences between his tower and what’s at the beach is the support structure is two feet shorter to keep the


Lars and Tracie Walton

Tracie and Lars Walton with their children, Oliver and Maggie, enjoy many evenings in their tropical beach-themed yard. The fun includes roasting tasty s’mores over the firepit.

kids from launching into the neighbor’s backyard and to curb the cost. Corona del Mar pays $20,000 or more for construction and delivery, while Walton shelled out about one-tenth of that amount. “It was really nice to have when the pandemic hit—a nice escape from being stuck in the house,” says Walton, who added to the backyard-at-the-beach look with a firepit purchased from the same supplier that the city uses and an outdoor shower that includes an old surfboard. Other design elements include

a striped marlin caught during a family trip to Cabo San Lucas, and a mahi mahi reeled in during a different trip. “They’re bright and go with the theme,” Walton says. Landscaping includes seven citrus trees, two banana trees, calla lilies and palms. “I lent him a couple tools to build the tower, so I’d go over periodically to check on the progress,” says Travis Penn, one of Walton’s friends and neighbors. “My reaction was that’s pretty sweet. He definitely went big. It’s just missing a swimming pool.” No pool is in the works, but for

a finishing touch to the lifeguard station, a “W” for their last name was affixed to the side—like the one on the iconic lifeguard tower at the popular surfing spot, The Wedge. As fate would have it, in June 2019, about a month after Walton finished his tower, vandals torched the one at the beach. Even though it was replaced, Walton can still make this claim: “I like to joke that we have the oldest Wedge lifeguard tower in Orange County, but it doesn’t happen to be at The Wedge in Newport Beach.”


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Written by Karen Anderson Photos by Sonserae Leese: www.Sonserae.com

Meant to be, in Old


A synchronistic series of events led this San Diego couple to embark on an entirely new life in Old Towne, where they recently transformed a 100-yearold fixer-upper on East Van Bibber Street into an absolute charm house. It all started when Stephane Voitzwinkler, a sales rep for Milwaukee Tool Company, was promoted to regional manager in February 2020 and needed to relocate immediately. He and his partner, Isabella Martin, had only three weeks to find a place

in Orange County. The rest, as they say, is history—history on the outskirts of Old Towne’s Historic District, that is. “We’d never even been to Old Towne before, but we found this house on Van Bibber,” says Isabella, a former sales rep in the medical device industry. “It was actually a little worse for wear and quite unkempt at the time. We moved in right before COVID hit, and then I got laid off because of the pandemic.” The good news is they had plenty of time while in lockdown


to turn the property into a showplace. Working daily inside and out, they brought the old house back to life with paint, projects, plants and perseverance. “It became really fun to have a project to be passionate about together,” says Isabella. “We love the fact that this house is more than 100 years old and has character.” The first big undertaking was in the yard, which was all dirt in the front and a lot of sand and debris in the back. They started planting vines for greenery and

hydrangeas for color, along with drought-resistant succulents, lantana and roses. They added a patch of lawn for their dog, relying on DIY resourcefulness to get it done. “That was fun, and we did it for the dog because he needed a place to roll around on the lawn,” said Stephane. “I once planted lawn for a neighbor when I was 10 years old, so I relied on the ‘expertise’ of my 10-year-old ‘me’ to get it done.” As the old saying goes, when one door closes another one


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Rescue-dog Rupert sits at his favorite spot in the French-inspired guest bedroom that doubles as office space.

The pink door in the living room helps brighten the space, says Isabella, who specializes in interior design and recently opened her own design-services business in town. “The vibrant colors really make this space come alive.”

When updating the property, the couple had fun sprucing up the outside of the home with a lovely blue-and-white theme. In the dining room, Isabella, Stephane and their dog Rufus gather for breakfast at the vintage Tulip table-and-chair set that belonged to Isabella’s grandparents. The vintage couch is reupholstered in Sunbrella outdoor fabric for easy cleanup.

Orange opens. For Isabella, the loss of her previous job opened up the opportunity to pursue her true passion for interior design, a talent she acquired from her mother, a professional interior designer. The Van Bibber property became a blank canvas for the couple, both inside and out. When the neighbors began to admire the transformation, she decided to open her own interior design service in October 2020 called Ella’s Finds & Design. “We have a neighbor, Karl Bonham, who owns Old Towne

Plumbing and has connected me with clients,” she says. “I’ve mostly been working with residents in Orange who want to keep the historical aspects of their home. I work on space planning, maintaining the details while modernizing things. The older homes generally have small closets and hallways. I like being able to make a space bright and open.” Isabella describes the exterior of their Van Bibber property as a little bit of shabby chic and a bit country living, showcasing repurposed furniture and colorful

accents. The interior is a mix of mid-century in the dining room and kitchen, while the living room features an upscale “beachy” look. The couple likes to “upcycle” discarded pieces they’ve come across in Old Towne, such as the amazing iron gate they found laying on the sidewalk with a “free” sign on it in front of Rutabegorz. It now serves as a trellis for vines. “A lot of people in town were liquidating their furniture and giving away their vintage stuff

during the pandemic, and we were able to capitalize on that,” she says. “We love being able to find old pieces in Orange. We spruced up the front porch into a cozy nook with a blue-cushioned rattan sofa. I work out there on my computer, and it’s so nice to always see people walking by. Our street is quiet and tucked away, yet neighborly. We feel like we are in the perfect spot.” The historic two-bedroom home retains the original windows, doors and crown molding. Several builtins are also original to the home. CONTINUED ON PAGE 18


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Megan designed the spacious upstairs closet featuring shelves and practical cabinets that make it easy to find things.

Meant to be Handsome vinyl flooring was added 10 years ago. The dining room features a large picture window with views of the neighborhood. The kitchen is light and airy. Both Stephane and Isabella were born and raised in San


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The side yard features Shabby Chic accessories and abundant hydrangeas.

Isabella shares the couch with Rufus amid the blue-and-white themed decor. “Stephane’s favorite part about this room is our Frame TV that looks like a picture frame,” she says. CONT. FROM PAGE 17

Diego. They grew up 20 minutes apart and had friends in common but never knew each other. They met at a taco shop one day in Point Loma four years ago and have been together ever since. An accomplished cook, Stephane

says his favorite room in the house is the kitchen. His father, who was raised in France, is a chef at a French restaurant in San Diego. Stephane learned how to cook from his grandmother during annual summer vacations in

Alsace, France. “The kitchen is where I spend most of my free time,” he says. “I was raised around French cooking, chefs and restaurants. I have a passion for it.” As newcomers to Old Towne,

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The covered backyard area offers a shaded tropical hideaway with a Jacuzzi tub, cocktail bar and TV. “This is basically our family room,” says Isabella.

the couple appreciates their friendship with longtime Orange resident Greg Bonning, who has a family connection to the house, has introduced them to neighbors and has been their “old home consultant” throughout the home improvement process. Meanwhile,

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their poodle-mix, Rufus, needed a pal, so they rescued another poodle-mix, Rupert, from the pound in Orange and now they are inseparable. Daily walks to the Plaza or Hart Park are filled with adventure. “We love exploring Old

Isabella and Stephane transformed the previously dark front porch into a vibrant sitting area perfect for enjoying a glass of wine in the evenings. They found the rattan sofa in an alley, and repainted and reupholstered it with Toile Blue fabric.

Towne and visiting the retailers, especially Country Roads Antiques where we’ve purchased a lot of items for the house,” says Isabella. “We’ve gotten to know our neighbors and recently attended a big block party here.

It’s a close-knit neighborhood. When people come over and see the before and after, they are amazed. Everything in our lives has fallen into place here in Old Towne—almost like it was meant to be.”

July / August




by Melissa Pinion

Musco Center Returns Pacific Symphony Orchestra J OHNNYE



Giving Your Garden to Others:

Creating a Nature Friendly Habitat The past year has seen us all spending more time at home, and as a result, spending more and more time ON our homes as well. Gardening, like knitting and baking, is experiencing a bit of a “boom” at the moment, something we of course are very excited to see. As more and more people fall in love with gardening, it’s a great time to look at ways our gardens can give back to the larger ecosystem. Creating access to fresh water for wildlife of all sizes is a wonderful way to support your local ecosystem, especially in a year of drought. Water features are the easiest way to do this. You can build a fountain pretty easily. A super basic one can be made from a large tub, a clay pot, some rocks, a pump and a short piece of vinyl tubing. If you are worried about wasting water, put your fountain in a flower bed. That way any water that splashes out will at least be put to good use. Birdbaths are another easy, classic way to bring water to your yard. Just be sure to refresh the water regularly. And again, to conserve water, place birdbaths in locations where runoff and splashes will do double duty of watering plants. Bird feeders and nesting boxes are another way to support wildlife, but they do require a bit of planning and consideration of your location. According to Audubon California, you might not have much luck with bird houses if you live close to the beach, because, they write, “there likely aren't many cavity nesting birds residing in these seaside areas that are also largely suburban.” A bit further inland, though, you might find your birdhouse providing a home to wrens, finches and Mourning Doves. Bird feeders are fun, and the ones you can easily find in nurseries and hardware stores are easy enough to use, but there is an argument for focusing more on native plants as a means to support birds, bees and other wildlife. For one, bird feeders can at times spread disease amongst bird populations if not cleaned properly. Additionally, if it’s possible to “go native” with your plants, you’ll be making a great long-term investment into your garden. Native landscaping does wonders for your local ecosystem and is particularly useful in years like this when drought conditions have become severe. One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to planting native and drought tolerant is that it must be “all or nothing.” We have that attitude towards a lot of things in life, it seems, gardening included! Start small. Work in some salvias, California poppies, yarrow and maybe a ceanothus into your garden, and see how it goes. Native and drought tolerant planting does NOT mean “dry and boring.” For example, though not necessarily native, Rosemary is pretty drought tolerant and bees LOVE it. Plus, you can use rosemary for cooking and general “it smells so good” purposes. Need some inspiration? One of our favorite Instagram accounts right now is @thedailyjames, a page devoted to a wildlife habitat created in Los Angeles. The page, named after a raven that became a regular visitor to the yard, documents the comings and goings of birds, squirrels, rabbits and all sorts of insects. It’s fascinating and full of great ideas for creating a wildlife friendly yard. So, if you are going to be outside digging in the dirt anyway, or have added “gardening” to your list of new hobbies, why not take things a step further and look into ways that you can use your new passion to give back to local wildlife as well?


by Brande Jackson

Like the anticipation that washes over an audience as an orchestra begins to tune, Richard Bryant has felt a growing excitement in Old Towne Orange. During Bryant’s near-daily walks to the Orange Plaza, he has witnessed that shift in the days leading up to the state’s reopening on June 15. “The community is buzzing,” he says. “It’s coming back fast. You can feel it.” Bryant, Executive Director for the Musco Center for the Arts, has been working with his staff to bring back something the community has been missing—in-person performing arts events. The Musco Center will kick off this return with a free Pacific Symphony Orchestra concert at

Chapman University’s Aitken Arts Plaza on August 22. The outdoor performance is part of the orchestra’s “Symphony in the Cities” series. Additional outdoor events will be unveiled for fall and spring 2022, Bryant says. Indoor events will resume in October. The Musco Center adapted to the pandemic by providing a robust selection of virtual performing arts and other programming for the community during the last year. They addressed cultural equity issues through performances and discussions with artists such as Kishi Bashi, Black Violin, Amythyst Kiah and American Patchwork Quartet, among others. The virtual shows—34 in all— generated more than 60,000 views.

Brande Jackson is the owner of Johnnye Merle’s Gardens, located in Country Roads Antiques in Old Towne Orange at 204 West Chapman Ave. www.purtyplants.com. She can be reached at brande@johnnyemerles.com. She is also a teacher, and offers classes on art, creativity and gardening. www.brandejackson.com. 20

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with a FREE Concert for the entire Family! “I was proud to see the Musco Center team work together to support each other and reconfigure their work around virtual performances,” says Bryant. “The way they were able to remain engaged with our audiences is the proudest moment for me.” Kaoru Ishibashi, who performs as Kishi Bashi, is set to return for concert residency at the Musco Center October 19-24. He says he is looking forward to being back on stage before a live audience. “I’m excited. I miss my fans so much!” he says. “I can’t wait to perform again. I know how much my music means to many listeners.”

“COVID-19 put the world of live entertainment on hold for more than a year, but the artistic community will recover.” Richard Bryant

Ishibashi says he will likely be performing with Mike Savino, also known as Tall Tall Trees, as well as a large string section comprised of professional musicians and advanced students from Chapman. “I performed with a string quartet last time, and I really enjoyed connecting with the university and its community here,” Ishibashi says. COVID-19 put the world of live entertainment on hold for more

than a year, but the artistic community will recover, Bryant says. That will play a large role in restoring a sense of normalcy to Orange. “As a highly visible Orange County landmark and exemplar of Chapman’s creative spirit, Musco Center and the return of our student and professional artists and our audiences is central to any concept of normalcy—old or new,” Bryant says. Bill Richardson, a regular to Musco Center events, says the community will definitely rejoice with the return of events that they can attend at the center. “The free outdoor music events at Musco, including ‘Heartbeat of Mexico,’ draw people from the neighborhood, fostering positive relationships with our neighbors.” People who have not attended one of the Musco Center’s events might consider the Symphony in the Cities concert a great opportunity to revisit Orange’s culture. “Thanks to the concert being no cost, it can serve as an introduction to the broad range of activities that take place at Musco,” Richardson says. Bryant agrees. “It’s art. It’s inspiring, and it’s beautiful because it celebrates life and being alive and it has the power to reveal, change and heal.” To learn more about the Musco Center and purchase tickets, visit www.muscocenter.org.

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Building Character

Park Kennedy by Julie Bawden-Davis

Behind every great leader you will find wise counsel. If you’re fortunate to have guidance from a parent, even better. Such is the case with Park Kennedy, Chair of Chapman University’s Board of Trustees and Chairman and former CEO of the Fortune 500 company, First American Financial Corporation. After graduating with a law degree in 1973 and working as a lawyer for a few years, Park joined the family business in 1977. For a time, he worked under his late father, Donald Kennedy, then in 2003 took the helm of the company that his great grandfather started in the late 1800s. “My father was my mentor,” says Kennedy, also a member of the Board of Advisors for Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law. “He was a visionary, who saw great opportunity and responded by building First American into something from very little. He was decisive, but fair, and treated people the way he would want to be treated.” Paying it Forward Talk to those who have sought Kennedy’s counsel and experienced his own brand of leadership, and it becomes clear that he took to heart his father’s influence. In recent years, First American ranked in the “Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For” five years straight. In 2003, Kennedy was recognized as one of America’s top chief executives on Forbes Magazine’s prestigious list of “Best-Performing Bosses.” Ranked at number five, Kennedy was one of only 10 executives from the nation’s 500 largest companies to receive an A+ efficiency grade for pay versus performance. CONTINUED ON PAGE 22

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Park Kennedy


Dennis Gilmore is CEO of First American and has known Kennedy since Gilmore joined the company in 1994. “Park is an incredibly smart, ethical man and an outstanding leader,” he says. “He is a genuinely nice human being, and he treats everyone with respect. By treating employees well and allowing them to do their work without unnecessary micromanaging, he has fostered an environment where employees excel and are loyal. It’s not uncommon for us to celebrate 20-, 30- and even 40-year anniversaries.” According to Kennedy, “the hallmark of the company has always been to pick good people and leave them alone. We trust good managers,” he says. “Of course, we verify their numbers and ensure they are operating within regulations, but within those parameters, we allow them to figure out how to make a good profit in their community. Because of this and similar management strategies, our employees tend to stay. As a result, we generally promote from within.” Sharing Wisdom with Chapman It is experienced counsel learned from running a thriving business that Kennedy offers to Chapman’s Board of Trustees as its Chair, and to the University’s Fowler School of Law, where he also serves as a member of the Board of Advisors. “My dad was instrumental at the beginning of Chapman’s Law School,” says Kennedy. (Donald P. Kennedy Hall, where the law school presides, was named for his father.) “I’ve always felt that the law school and Chapman’s other graduate schools make the university better by providing a well-rounded education. The law school has had an impressive trajectory. I particularly like how the school trains students to be practicing attorneys. The current Dean Matt Parlow and his predecessor, Tom Campbell, have worked hard to make the school one that graduates attorneys ready to practice.” Kennedy also takes his role as Chair of Chapman’s Board of Trustees very seriously. “The Board of Trustees oversees the president, ensuring that processes are in place for a wellfunctioning university,” he says. “Through various oversight committees, we ensure that the numbers we provide to bondholders and trustees are accurate. Our focus is to make sure that Chapman University continues to grow and remains solvent. The current president is terrific, as was his predecessor. That makes my job as Chair easy and enjoyable.” President Daniele Struppa comments on Kennedy and his performance as Chair of the Board. “Park is a wonderful and very involved Chair, and I’m blessed to have such a great partner in this important position,” he says. “Park understands the unique nature of an academic institution and the unique role of the president. He is always inquiring how he can help me and the institution. He is a true gentleman, and that is something that is becoming rarer to see. He is also committed, thoughtful, highly intelligent, business savvy, generous and experienced with board matters. Chapman is very lucky to have him.” Orange County Beginnings Kennedy was born in 1948 at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange. At the time, his family lived in Santa Ana, where they resided for the first decade of his life. “Back then, Santa Ana was a small, sleepy town filled with open space and orange groves,” says Kennedy. “We lived near Santa Ana College, and I would ride my bike around the area. About a mile from where I’m now sitting at my desk at First American, my dad would take me duck hunting. Back then, it was a natural paradise. You could ride horses in the orange groves and fish in the local lakes.” The family moved to Tustin when Kennedy was 10 years old. When it was time for high school, he attended Foothill High, graduating in 1966. He went on to USC (University of Southern California), where he graduated in 1969 with a Bachelor of Arts in social science and communication with a concentration in economics. From there, he went on to earn a law degree from

by Yuki Klotz-Burwell

Preserving the Integrity For the past 35 years, those who find solace in protecting Old Towne’s history have worked tirelessly to uphold the area’s foundation through the Old Towne Preservation Association (OTPA). The community’s one-of-a-kind restorations and renovations have forever put Orange on the map as a notable place in our country, and the OTPA and its members are at the center of it all. Although the OTPA is now an essential partner of the City of Orange, the organization began as a way to stop the city from tearing down a historic house to expand the library’s parking lot. When residents banded together to keep the monument standing, the OTPA was born. “The neighbors and I felt that our homes were in jeopardy. We wanted to keep Orange the historic gem that it is,” says OTPA Vice President Tita Smith, one of the organization’s founding members. “We now have tremendous support from the city to protect Old Towne and keep it vibrant.”

Now, 35 years later, the OTPA has upheld its mission of preserving, protecting and enhancing California’s largest historic district —Old Towne Orange. With an area of more than 1,400 homes built before the 1940s, the association’s members have their hands full and are dedicated to conserving Old Towne’s integrity. For Smith, whose family has lived in Orange since the 1920s, commitment to Old Towne became a foundation for her life and career. She went on to serve on the Orange City Council and later became Mayor. Before that, Smith followed in her mother’s footsteps by working in an orange packinghouse in Old Towne during high school, and her grandfather owned orange groves. “Although the orange groves are gone, the spirit of hospitality and growth is still here in Orange,” she says. “I wanted to be part of that tradition.” Over the past three decades, the OTPA has continued to enhance the hospitality and friendliness that



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Early members of the influential Old Towne Preservation Association, including (from left) Dale Rahn, Dan Slater, Russ and Patty Barrios and Joanne Coontz, enjoy a 1987 Ice Cream Social at the Ainsworth House.

the city has become known for. The members’ most distinctive contribution has been gaining Old Towne recognition on the National Register of Historic Places. “It’s been such an honor to receive that recognition,” says Smith. “When it brings prestige to our neighborhood like that, we

have a duty to keep enhancing the area and maintaining it as an asset to the community, as well as our nation.” For Smith, a self-proclaimed extrovert, the best part of maintaining the OTPA has been having companions in her mission. “It’s thrilling that people here have the mindset of preserving Orange,” she says. “It’s an incredible community to live in, with shared values.” Sandy Quinn, who retired as OTPA President in January after serving five terms, finds that throughout the organization’s 35 years, it’s now dedicated to enhancing the living experience for the entire community, not just preserving historic homes and structures. “We’re looking at how OTPA can be more instrumental in the overall improvement of Old Towne,” he says. “There’s a distinction in attitude and strategy, and we’ve provided residents who have a common cause a sense of structure to protect their neighborhood.”

To learn more about the Old Towne Preservation Association, including how to join, visit www.otpa.org. The organization is open to everyone, particularly residents and businesses in Old Towne. The group holds member meetings and hosts activities throughout the year. For more information about the Orange Preservation Internship Program, contact Marissa Moshier at mmoshier@cityoforange.org or 714-744-7243.

As the City of Orange expands economically and structurally, the OTPA has given neighbors a voice. For the past five years, they’ve hosted the State of Old Towne Forum, a conference that offers Orange residents an opportunity to hear from city and Chapman University officials about the most pressing issues facing Old Towne. Looking forward, OTPA members hope to continue their integration with the City. From attending design and city council meetings to providing advice on major public and private development projects, the OTPA is committed to helping Orange expand in a historic, honorable fashion. Smith also emphasized that the association is open for anyone

e m i t r e mm

Su and the

Old Towne Orange

to join, no matter where you live. They include new and current neighbors, whether by crafting welcome baskets for incoming residents or by encouraging everyone to participate in local events. Smith adds that the organization is for everybody who shares a goal of historical preservation within Orange. “I’m amazed by how much time, energy and spirit people have invested into preserving Old Towne,” she says. “It feels very patriotic, and there’s a sense of pride and protectiveness for Old Towne residents, past and present.” OTPA is planning an Old Fashion Family Ice Cream Social in September to celebrate its 35th Anniversary and thank its more than 400 Old Towne members.

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July / August




Gold Medal Dreams

One of the oldest art clubs in the United States, the California Art Club will hold its 110th Annual Gold Medal Exhibition at Chapman University’s Hilbert Museum of California Art from July 10 to August 14, 2021. With a rich history that spans more than a century, the exhibition, normally held in Los Angeles County, will be on view in Orange County for the first time. The

Prestigious Art Club’s Exhibition Hilbert Museum had been slated to spotlight last year’s installment of this venerable display of contemporary-traditional fine art, which ultimately had to be presented virtually, due to the coronavirus pandemic. “We’re thrilled to have the California Art Club and its roster of talented artists here at the Hilbert Museum and actually on the walls for the first time, after last year’s virtual show,” says museum founder Mark Hilbert.

Steve Curry “Grand Stance” oil on linen mounted on panel / 8.75” x 11.5”

by Mary Platt

“As the museum is back to regular hours and we return to normalcy following a challenging pandemic year, this show is something we have looked forward to for a long time—and we know our visitors will really enjoy it.” Not only one of the oldest, but also one of the largest and most active art organizations in the country, the San Pedro-based California Art Club (CAC) was founded in 1909 and is recognized

Amanda Fish “Harmony in Yellow” oil on linen / 8” x 18”

as a leading force in the contemporary-traditional genre, with both painters and sculptors as members. The club is dedicated to the advancement and appreciation of artwork created using timehonored techniques, some of which have been nearly forgotten in the mainstream contemporary art world. This exhibition will also mark the first time in its five-year history that the Hilbert Museum —which up to now has only showcased paintings and prints—

Mark Edward Adams “Renegade” bronze / 23” x 24” x 9”

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at the

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will exhibit sculptures. The Annual Gold Medal Exhibition, the CAC’s signature event, pays tribute to its pioneering artists who inspired the turn-ofthe-20th-century California Impressionist movement. “The exhibition has a long history of having no theme, similar to the philosophies of 19th-century European art salons,” says CAC president and artist Peter Adams. “This is to encourage artists to take artistic risks and create what

Michele Usibelli “Fresh Flowers” oil on linen panel / 18” x 24”

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they consider to be their most important works.” As a result, says Adams, the Gold Medal artists use classical methods, often to express important modern messages, ranging from environmental preservation to social issues and cultural perspectives. The exhibition was juried by a distinguished panel of judges and will feature more than 160 representational paintings and sculptures that pay tribute to today’s Realist movement, as well as California Impressionism. The 160 nationally renowned and up-and-coming artists employ traditional fine art techniques to create works that capture their personal experiences, interests and environments. Their subjects include contemplative landscapes and seascapes, evocative figures, intimate urban scenes and novel still lifes. “The California Art Club is thrilled to collaborate with the Hilbert Museum of California Art


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July / August




Country Roads: The Next Generation by Julie Bawden-Davis

Those who knew the late Sue Jackson, founder of the iconic Country Roads, know how fiercely and deeply she loved. This included her children, grandchildren, longtime employees and Country Roads itself. Since Sue’s passing in November 2020, her family has done their best to ensure her legacy lives on at the antiques store Sue founded in January 1993 in Old Towne. The task has been a challenging one. Just two months after Sue’s death, they were informed they had to vacate the location the store had held for 28 years. Recently, Country Roads downsized and moved one door down. Despite the ups and downs of the last few months, the Jackson clan, including Sue’s three children, have made the best of a tough situation. As they have navigated the legacy built by their mother, they’ve been overcome by memories, bittersweet, yet comforting. “Our mom would have been heartbroken over losing the space that meant so much to her, but we have tried to make the best out of the situation,” says Sue’s daughter Katie. “I know she is happy that the three of us (Katie and siblings Brande and Bryce) worked together to follow through on our promise to her in her last days to keep the business that meant so much to her going.” For Sue’s son, Bryce, moving the business that his mother loved gave him an even greater appreciation of what she built over nearly three decades. “As much as it sucked to take the store apart, the process of dismantling made me appreciate the design and detail my mom brought to the store,” he says. “I was able to recreate what she had done in our smaller space using the skills I developed working at the store since I was young.” Sue’s daughter Brande also found the move to be a difficult one, but she forged on like her mom would. “It was heartbreaking to dismantle things we’d spent

The late Sue Jackson, founder of Old Towne’s Country Roads Antiques, left the store she founded in 1993 in capable hands. Intent on honoring their mother’s legacy, her children, Katie (front), Brande and Bryce, have taken over where their mother left off.

decades building,” she says. “The radical revamping is something we all felt very deeply, but my mom was very big on ‘do what you gotta do.’ She faced some big challenges in her life, but she always managed to roll with the punches.” During the move, Brande found comfort focusing on the shop’s garden, Johnnye Merle’s,

introduced at Country Roads in 2005 in honor of her grandmother and Sue’s mom. “My grandmother and mom both loved to garden, so in a lot of ways, I feel really connected to them out there,” she says. (The garden is still at Country Roads, just in a smaller capacity.) Sue’s kids also find solace in the antique collections inspired

by their mother. “My mom’s collections reflected her and her style, but in a lot of ways, they were a reflection of her kids,” says Brande. “Each of us has connections to some of her collections. I always loved her Yellow Ware. I have some of the bowls and pitchers in my house and made sure Carol (a part of the store for 20+ years) also took a few pieces, as they originally inspired Carol to fall in love with antiques.” Brande also took home Sue’s vintage advertising sign collection. “It was almost eerie how perfectly the collection fit into my place,” she says. “I love looking at old family photos and seeing those signs in living rooms we once shared.” Collector’s items that Bryce enjoyed with his mom include old industrial pieces. “My house now has an industrial medical cabinet that she loved,” he says. “I also have this old top of a milk truck that she turned into a table years ago.” For Katie, family memories with her mom are woven into a big blue farm table Sue bought more than three decades ago. “We lugged the table to several different places that mom lived— even into super tiny spaces,” says Katie. “Somehow, she always made it fit. We had decades of family dinners on it, and all the memories that come with that. Just like her, I somehow made it fit in my dining room.” As the next generation at Country Roads marches on, Sue’s legacy is palatable. “I think my mom would be happy with what we have done,” says Brande. “The spirit of the store is still here. We kept just about everything, and almost all our vendors remained. Some people might say that it’s just a store, but that’s the thing with small businesses. It’s the people, the memories, the passion, the livelihood and the commitment. Like Sue, that will all endure.”

www. CountryRoadsAntiques .com

714-532-3041 Open Daily 10 am - 5 pm

2 0 4 W E S T C H A P M A N AV E . /

www.facebook.com/CountryRoadsAntiques 26

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F i n d o u t W h a t ’s H a p p e n i n g i n t o w n e a t :


Park Kennedy


Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, graduating in 1973. After graduation, he practiced law for four years with Levinson & Lieberman in Beverly Hills, then decided to join his father’s company. “I had thought I’d be a lawyer my whole career, but I saw the success my dad was making of the title company and decided I’d enjoy working with him, which I did,” he says. “My father had started to expand the business in 1957, and by 1987, First American became the largest title insurance company in the country. (Today, First American is located throughout the US and some foreign countries and is one of the top two largest title insurance companies in the nation.) When he joined First American, Kennedy started out working in the LA office to learn the ropes. From there, he went to run the company’s Ventura County office. He returned to Orange County as National Sales Director, working directly with his father. Eventually, he became CEO and Chairman of First American in 2003. In addition to his work with First American, Kennedy created and built a second company focused on real estate data. For a time, he also served as Chairman of First Advantage Corp., a NASDAQ company, until they decided to sell the company to private equity in 2010. Since 1980, Kennedy has lived in Orange with his wife, Sherry, who he married in 1975. They have two children and four grandchildren. He enjoys a variety of hobbies, including following college sports, surfing and trout fishing in Montana where he owns a cabin.

by Julie Bawden-Davis

Year-Round Gardening When I was a young kid living in rural Massachusetts, there was a lady who lived across the street who had a large fenced-in vegetable garden. I don’t recall her name, but we could call her Mrs. McGregor. She was a bit on the cranky side, and at first, she thought I was up to mischief when I hung around the outside of the garden and began asking about her gardening techniques.

OrangeReview.com When Mrs. McGregor realized I was truly interested in learning how to garden, one day she grudgingly opened the gate and motioned for me to come inside her patch of paradise. That started a series of gardening lessons, each ending with me being able to pick whatever delish veggie I wanted and eat it right then and there. In time, she gave me carte blanche to go into the patch even when she wasn’t around and eat whatever I wanted. The other neighbor kids would gasp and say that I was going to “get into big trouble” as I dined on veggies in the garden, but I knew better. I still remember the thrill of eating straight from Mrs. McGregor’s outdoor cupboard. My favorite crop to munch on was carrots––crispy and sweet. Mrs. McGregor set me on a path of becoming an avid gardener. I soon began growing houseplants and had

my first vegetable garden in the backyard of our next home in Maryland. While I was always growing something, it wasn’t until I bought my home in Old Towne Orange in the late 1980s that I tried growing a veggie garden, including carrots. Despite following Mrs. McGregor’s advice, I failed miserably with carrots. I soon discovered, as many gardeners new to Southern California’s unique climate do, that things need to be grown differently here. We’re blessed to have one of the few Mediterranean climates in the world in SoCal where you can grow just about anything year-round— providing the plant doesn’t require overwintering in freezing temperatures for an extended period of time. But that doesn’t mean you can simply plant, sit back and watch an abundant harvest spring forth. At least not without heeding weather variations and giving your plants and your soil some SoCal brand of TLC. I did figure out the secrets to growing carrots in SoCal. It’s those secrets and more that I share in my new gardening book, Southern California Vegetable Gardening. I wrote the book with my daughter, Sabrina Wildermuth, who in addition to gardening since she was 2 years old with me is also a food scientist and has graphic design experience. Featuring original illustrations and photographs, this comprehensive guide has growing tips for more than 40 vegetables, as well as chapters on soil health, composting, seed raising, pests and diseases, fertilizing, and a chapter on gardening with kids. You’ll also find recipes and nutritional nuggets about each of the vegetables featured. Southern California Vegetable Gardening is available in paperback and E-book on Amazon.

Julie Bawden-Davis is a garden writer and master gardener based in Old Towne Orange. She is the author of various garden books, including The Strawberry Story: How to Grown Great Berries Year-Around in Southern California. Reach her at Julie@JulieBawdenDavis.com w w w. O r a n g e R e v i e w . c o m / e v e n t s

July / August



Gold Medal Dreams CONT. FROM PAGE 25

to present our signature event in Orange County,” says Adams. “Our shared dedication to highlighting exemplary works that celebrate our artistic and cultural diversity in a time-honored visual language will allow us to raise the bar, once again, for our Annual Gold Medal Exhibition.” The artwork featured on the inside front cover of this issue, “Colorful Competition II,” is an oil painting by Orange County artist Debra Huse, a multiple award-winning impressionist whose works have been exhibited in more than 25 museums. Along with the other paintings on these pages, it will be part of the Gold Medal exhibition. “This painting depicts a colorful Yacht Club regatta in Newport Harbor,” says Huse. “The sailboats are moving quickly and jockeying for position at the start. The viewers watch in amazement as the boats fly by so close, they can hear the skipper calling orders to the crew and the boat rushing through the water. Some even become startled by the snap of the sails.” Artworks in the show will be

available for purchase through the CAC, with information at the museum. In support of the organization’s mission to foster a greater understanding and appreciation for traditional art forms, many Gold Medal educational programs will be accessible online at californiaartclub.org. The programs will include “Meet the Artist” sessions, exhibition highlight videos and art demonstrations. A live Paint-Out/Sculpt-Out by CAC artists is being planned for the closing day, August 14, in and around Depot Park, across from the Hilbert Museum and next to the train station. For more information about the exhibition and its events, visit CaliforniaArt Club.org/goldmedal. The Hilbert Museum, located at 167 North Atchison St. in Old Towne Orange, is open Tues-Sat, 11 am to 5 pm. Admission is free. Free parking is available in front of the museum or in the Old Towne Orange/Metrolink structure at 130 North Lemon St., one block east of the museum. More information: 714-516-5880 or HilbertMuseum.com.

Come in and check out our new look - our new entrance is just one door down from our old door, at 216 West Chapman, next to Wahoos. We are open from 10-5 daily, with new vintage goodies, home decor and plants arriving daily. Thanks for all of your support over this past year - we really appreciate it, and are looking forward to the summer months ahead. We hope to see you soon!

2 1 6 W E S T C H A P M A N AV E . O R A N G E Open Daily 10 am - 5 pm www.CountryRoadsAntiques.com 714-532-3041 PS: We love all things summer, but we also already have our eye on the fall! Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 6th when we’ll be having our annual Holiday Open House!


O l d To w n e O r a n g e P L A Z A R E V I E W

F i n d o u t W h a t ’s H a p p e n i n g i n t o w n e a t :

Circle in the Square by Kirk Sivertsen /

What’s Happening



Every Fri / 9 am Tiddlywinks Toys Summer Storytime Guest readers, share stories from a variety of imaginative children’s books. Jul 9 Alex & Ly Romero, Optometry Jul 16 Mike Escobedo, Plaza Review Jul 23 Kelly Borgen, Get Community Jul 30 Michelle Sullivan, Author 129 North Glassell / 714-997-8697 TiddlywinksOC.com Every Fri / 9:30 - 11:30 am Orange Home Grown Educational Farm Volunteer Farm Friday Plant, harvest, compost, mend soil & more. All ages invited, as new volunteers are paired with seasoned volunteers to work on farm projects together. 356 N Lemon / OrangeHomeGrown.org

A Little Bit of Orange resident Janice Gietzen spent much of her youth miles away living abroad in Europe. There she studied music at the International Opera Center in Switzerland. When she returned to the U.S., Gietzen continued singing and performing professionally until she became a schoolteacher. Putting her musical

1st & 3rd Fri / 9:45 - 10:45 am Orange Home Grown Educational Farm Little Sprouts at the Farm Nature inspired crafts, activities & garden fun for kids of all ages. 356 N Lemon / OrangeHomeGrown.org



Dragonfly Shops & Gardens Monthly Workshops Including Mosaic Tiling, Kokedamas, Fairy Gardens, Baubles & more. 260 North Glassell St / 714-289-4689 www.dragonflyshopsandgardens.com

“Striving to bring an exceptional experience to life . . .

www.OrangeReview .com/archive/circle-in-the-square


134 South Glassell St / Orange 92866

by Nathan Carter

training to use, she taught general music and directed choir programs for fourth and younger grades for about 20 years. During her teaching career, Gietzen had two children (Cherie and Erin) with her husband, John, who she was introduced to by a mutual friend on a skiing trip. When they met, John had a job at the Villa Park Dam in Orange Park Acres. The two moved into a home in the area about six months after their first child was born. They’ve been there ever since. Even though she enjoys life in Orange, Gietzen still loves world travel. That’s one of the reasons she chose Paris in a Cup for her coupon this month. “It’s one of my favorite places,” she says. “I love the decorations and the Paris theme. They’ve done a beautiful job with their teas. Going to Paris in a Cup is like being transported back in time to Europe.”


Jul/Aug 2021 Publishing Team Publisher Mike Escobedo Mike@OrangeReview.com Editor/Writer Julie Bawden-Davis julie@juliebawdendavis.com Writer Karen Anderson 123karen@earthlink.net Writer Yuki Klotz-Burwell klotz105@mail.chapman.edu Writer Melissa Pinion authormelissawhitt@gmail.com Writer Mary Platt platt@chapman.edu Photographer Sonserae Leese sonseraedesigns@gmail.com Digital Artist Clyde San Juan crookedtrails@hotmail.com Web Developer Chase Higgins chasehiggins@me.com Printed by Freedom Printing estella@freedomprinting.net Processed by Mailing Pros, Inc. MPI@MailingProsInc.com Distributed by the US Postal Services www.usps.com

from any Plaza Review advertiser featured in this issue. NAME PHONE NUMBER E-MAIL COMMENTS, ETC. Mail to:

Old Towne Orange Plaza Review 134 South Glassell St. #C, Orange CA 92866 Winner is selected randomly by an advertiser of the Old Towne Orange PLAZA REVIEW.

in Old Towne Orange!” Entries must be postmarked by July 31, 2021

w w w. O r a n g e R e v i e w . c o m / e v e n t s

July / August




Orange Farmers Market




More Old Towne Businesses at:


The Dragonfly Shops

16 Willits Real Estate Group

17 Laurie Cambra Realtor MAPLE


Zito’s NY Pizza

Wells Fargo Bank




Orange Circle Antique Mall


Rambling Rose Jewelry




Full Circle Meaningful Marketplace


Antique Station




25 in a Cup


26 Army-Navy Store PLAZA REVIEW Advertisers outside the PLAZA SQUARE RETAIL DISTRICT.

27 Antique Depot LINCOLN



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Orangeland RV Park

Knox General Insurance




Titan Automotive ST


(5 )











G Blaze Pizza



H & H Income Tax & Insurance


Pacific Conservatory


Cambra Speed Shop

( 57) FWY

(55) FWY

Naranjito Flamenco

Guardian Roofs




Welman Art Studio





Villa Ford of Orange




(5 )






b et OW









C ou n


Shafer Plumbing


Real Estate Establishment

Old Towne Plumbing

Jadtec Security






Orange City Hall

Golden Bear Antiques


Summerhill Ltd.








Bonham Construction

24 Blaze Pizza

Caliber Real Estate



Starbucks Coffee

Orange Main Library & History Center


Orange Realty



Orange Circle Optometry





Citizens Business Bank

Shannon Family Mortuary

Byblos Cafe

19 Matoska Trading Company


Adam Guss State Farm




91 Fr e ew a y s 57 & , in 5 5, t he , 2 2 He 5, ar e



Smoqued BBQ


ra n

N G E i s ce nt e re d




Reneé Jewelers




1886 Brewing Company

Country Roads Antiques Johnnye Merle Gardens



Jaxon’s Scratch-Made

18 Chix Tenders

Smiles of Orange

Old Towne Post Office





to 5 & 57 FREEWAY

The White Rabbit

Citrus City Grille

Circle City Barbers





O’Hara’s Pub


Taco Adobe

The District Lounge


California Art Club Exhibition






Hilbert Museum of California Art



F i n d o u t W h a t ’s H a p p e n i n g i n t o w n e a t :





ANTIQUES & COLLECTABLES: 21 Antique Depot . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 155 South Glassell St (714) 516-1731 21 Antique Station . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 178 South Glassell St (714) 633-3934 28 Country Roads Antiques . . . . . 37 204 West Chapman Ave (714) 532-3041 10 Golden Bear Antiques . . . . . . . 22 208 East Chapman Ave (714) 363-3996 16 Orange Circle Antique Mall . . . 34 118 South Glassell St (714) 538-8160 15 Summerhill Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 110 South Glassell St (714) 771-7782 13 The White Rabbit. . . . . . . . . . . 13 146 North Glassell St (949) 922-0009


11 Clyde San Juan - Art Classes (714) 299-3085 CityOfOrange.org/OrangeRec 19 Hilbert Museum of Calif Art . . . 2 167 North Atchison St (714) 516-5880 23 Marinus Welman - Artist . . . . . . C 2402 North Glassell St (714) 998-8662 6 Naranjita Flamenco . . . . . . . . . . D 301 East Katella Ave (714) 400-2939 24 Pacific Conservatory . . . . . . . . . E 1311 East Katella Ave (714) 545-1217












AUTOMOTIVE: 25 Cambra Speed Shop . . . . . . . . . J 729 West Angus Ave #D (714) 538-5396 10 Titan Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . K 939 West Chapman Ave (714) 997-2311 32 Villa Ford of Orange . . . . . . . . . . F 2550 North Tustin St (877) 585-3090







1886 Brewing Company . . . . . . 8 114 North Glassell St (714) 922-8130 Blaze Pizza 101 South Glassell St . . . . . . . . 24 (714) 783-9845 2139 North Tustin St . . . . . . . . . . G (714) 408-7361 Byblos Cafe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 129 West Chapman Ave (714) 538-7180 Citrus City Grille . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 122 North Glassell St (714) 639-9600 The District Lounge . . . . . . . . . . 4 149 North Glassell St (714) 602-8220 Jaxon’s Chix Tenders . . . . . . . 18 149 North Glassell St (714) 602-8220 O’Hara’s Pub . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 150 North Glassell St (714) 532-9264 Paris in a Cup - Tea Salon . . . . 25 119 South Glassell St (714) 538-9413 Smoqued BBQ . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 128 North Glassell St (714) 633-7427 Starbucks Coffee . . . . . . . . . . . 36 44 Plaza Square (714) 288-9754 Taco Adobe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 121 North Lemon St (714) 628-0633 Zito’s New York Style Pizza . . . 15 156 North Glassell St (714) 771-2222 EVENTS / ORGANIZATIONS:

14 Circle City Barbers . . . . . . . . . . 5 133 West Chapman Ave (714) 453-9765 1 Orange Circle Optometry . . . . . 20 227 East Chapman Ave (714) 538-6424 1 Smiles of Orange . . . . . . . . . . . . L 743 East Chapman Ave (714) 997-5495 JEWELRY 15 Rambling Rose Jewelry . . . . . 33 118 South Glassell St (714) 538-6305 15 Renée Jewelers . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 138 North Glassell St (714) 538-1956 REAL ESTATE: 12 Caliber Real Estate Group . . . . 32 134 South Glassell St (714) 988-6339 25 Laurie Cambra Realtor . . . . . . 17 Laurie@SevenGables.com (714) 726-3978 1 Orange Realty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . N 1537 East Chapman Ave (714) 997-0050 14 Real Estate Establishment . . . 21 550 East Chapman Ave (714) 744-5711 4 Willits Real Estate Group . . . . 17 229 North Glassell St (714) 315-8120 SERVICES: 8

19 California Art Club Exhibit . . . . . 2 167 North Atchison St (714) 516-5880 27 Orange Farmers Market . . . . . . 1 303 West Palm Ave www.orangehomegrown.org



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Bonham Construction . . . . . . . 23 (949) 532-6274 Bear Flag Construction (949) 795-6812 www.BearFlagOC.com Guardian Roofs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I 1010 North Batavia St (714) 633-3619 H&H Income Tax Insurance . . . 28 480 South Glassell St (714) 288-2088 Jadtec Security Services . . . . . A 1520 West Yale Ave (714) 282-0828 Kevin Groot Group Aron.groot.KGG@gmail.com (714) 270-0333 Knox General Insurance . . . . . 29 226 South Glassell St (714) 744-6537 Old Towne Plumbing . . . . . . . . 23 info@oldtowneplumbing.com (714) 213-5211




SERVICES: 17 Shafer Plumbing Contractors . . B 1307 West Trenton Ave (714) 974-9448 14 Shannon Family Mortuary . . . . M 1005 East Chapman Ave (714) 771-1000 9 Sign Painter - Patrick Smith (714) 282-7097 pgsmithdesign.com 17 State Farm - Adam Guss . . . . . . 7 60 Plaza Square (714) 978-4200 SPECIALTY RETAIL: 11 Army Navy Store . . . . . . . . . . . 26 131 South Glassell St (714) 639-7910 1 Dragonfly Shops & Gardens . . 16 260 North Glassell St (714) 289-4689 24 Full Circle Meaningful Market 31 140 South Glassell St YCOrange.org 20 Johnnye Merle Gardens . . . . . 37 204 West Chapman Ave (714) 532-3041 7 Laurenly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 142 North Glassell St (714) 538-7567 20 Matoska Trading Company . . . 19 123 North Glassell St (714) 516-9940 TOURISM: 20 Orangeland RV Park . . . . . . . . . H 1600 West Struck Ave (714) 633-0414 • • • PUBLISHER: Mike Escobedo Design www.facebook.com/orangereview www.OrangeReview.com (714) 771-6919 • • •


Oran geRe alty range .com

OldTo wneO

714- 997-005

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