This Saturday, Oct. 8, Village Laguna will honor this year’s Villagers of the Year at a party. Partying is what Village Laguna does best. The party takes place at the home of Cindy and Mark Evans, 435 Hilledge from 3 to 6:30 pm. There will be a lavish dinner, with wines and soft drinks.
It’s a bargain at $85 a head. Make your reservations by phone, 499-4809
We will honor Elisabeth Brown and Carolyn Wood; they could as easily be Villagers of the Decade. Liz Brown heads the Laguna Greenbelt; Carolyn the Laguna Canyon Conservancy. But lurking in the shadows, you may feel the presence of the man who made all this possible. Jim Dilley. The land that became our land was land Jim Dilley dreamed into reality.
How Jim did it remains elusive. He wanted the Irvine Company and other landowners to give him pieces of the Canyon. Free. Just hand them over so Jim could build a greenbelt. You gotta be kidding.
Jim would drive to the Irvine Company headquarters, bearing a bouquet of roses for the secretaries. He would sit with the company honchos and ask for their land; they would say “no” and Jim would drive back to his bookstore and issue a victory statement.
Eventually all the victory statements grew so high, the Irvine Company feared they might topple and crush them beneath the weight of Jim’s persistence. They graciously surrendered. The greenbelt was born. No, I do not have a better explanation.
So come and honor Liz and Carolyn. And perhaps you will glimpse a ghostly shade, peering above the rim of his eyeglasses, smiling a smile of victory.
Arnold Hano, Laguna Beach