When we arrived at the Villa on that lovely day, we discovered there was a very fancy luncheon going on where all the guests were dressed in their finest. The grand piano was playing favorite songs in the background while the diners were eating both inside the Villa and on the veranda. My eye was captured by these ladies who were all wearing Red Hats. They were from the Red Hat Society, a group of women who celebrate their age (being over 50) and the particular wisdom that only comes from living long and learning from the many experiences life has to offer.
The original owner of this Villa, Senator Phelan, also entertained many famous people here in his day. Here's another timely quote from Wikipedia:
During his lifetime, Phelan hosted many celebrities and notables of the era as guests at Montalvo. Jack London, Ethel Barrymore, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and Edwin Markham were among Phelan's many guests. Though not his only home, Villa Montalvo was one of Phelan's favorites and is where he died.
I close my eyes to picture one of the luncheons in his day and hear the grand piano playing in the background, and I'm glad we can still do the same today.
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