Phi Beta Kappa Northern California Association, Inc.

April 2004 Newsletter

President's letter - Mary Hanel

In this Issue...

President's letter - Mary Hanel

Upcoming Events - Mary Hanel, Jacqueline Celenza, Maria Norall, Jean James

Asilomar - Jean James

Newsletter by Email - Gerry Richards

Nominations for the 2004-2005 year

From The President

Dear Fellow Phi Betes,

This will be my last letter to you as President. It has been an enlightening and rewarding experience and a great honor to serve as your president the last two years. I have met so many fascinating and accomplished people at Asilomar, at our tour events, and at our Awards Dinners. I am most grateful to the many members who participate in our fundraising activities and support our scholarship fund. You are the reason our Association has been honored by the national Phi Beta Kappa Society.

It has also been a pleasure to work with such a capable, dedicated and hardworking Board of Directors. Thank you Muriel Bell, Letitia Sanders, Maria Norall, Jean James, Mary Gilliland, Leon Fisher, Julia Antoniades, Gerry Richards, and Jacqueline Celenza. I treasure you all. Besides the Board, I have also appreciated the work of our Webmaster Ray Hendess, our Audit Committee led by Eno Schmidt and our Nominating Committee led by Cindy Lerner. A year later, I am still grateful to Gordon Repp for all the effort he put into our last membership directory. If I may thank one more group of people, I have gotten excellent advice, kind words or encouragement from a number of our past presidents. Thank you Bob Baronian, Ray Hendess, Mel Shattuck, Bob Brandt, Mary Magill, Bette Napoli and Lana Thomson!

I am looking forward to our most inspiring event of the year, the awarding of scholarships (eight this year) and teaching excellence awards (six this year) at our May 2nd Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner at the UC Berkeley Faculty Club. I wish to especially thank Burt and Maria Norall for again funding one of the scholarships. I encourage members to attend this wonderful event. I can guarantee that the speeches of the awardees will be inspiring and make you feel hopeful about the future.

Please join PBK NCA in 2004 by sending in the membership application envelope, or contact us by email. After participating in some of our activities and making the acquaintance of some of your fascinating fellow Phi Betes, I truly believe that you will be happy that you joined!



Upcoming Events

Person making a reservation MUST BE a Phi Beta Kappa Member, but need not be a member of the Northern California Association.

Thanks to all those who signed up for the programs listed in our February newsletter. We had spectacular weather for both of our March events -the home tour and picnic at the Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site in Danville and the Chimney Rock Walk in Point Reyes. I wish to thank Maria Norall and Jacqueline Celenza for joining Jean James and I in organizing and hosting tours for this issue of the newsletter. Be extra vigilant in sorting your event coupons and note whether to send to Jean, Maria, Jacqueline or myself.

Here is a reminder about our enrollment, refund and cancellation policies. Most events can accommodate you and any friends or family you'd like to bring along. Occasionally an event will have a limited enrollment, in which case we can only accommodate one member and one guest per enrollment. As for refunds, if you call in advance they are usually available unless PBK NCA will lose scholarship money - that is unless we are financially committed to an organization at which the event will be held, based on your enrollment, and we cannot find someone to fill your space. Anyone who is "no-show" will not receive a refund and the PBK NCA Board is most grateful to those who prefer to donate the program fee to the scholarship program in lieu of a refund.

The descriptions of events follow. No confirmations or additional details will be sent; be sure to save your newsletter or reference to this web site.



Takara Sake House

Why is dubbing sake a "rice wine" not quite right? How does the Japanese ceremonial beverage differ from wine? From beer? What is the brewing process? What is a Toji? What ceremonial purpose does sake serve? Why are some types of sake served warm, while others are served chilled? For the answers to these and many more questions (and perhaps to get in the mood for sushi), join us at the Takara Sake House, where our tour guide, Yuka, will lead us through the sake museum and enlighten us. But experience is the best teacher, so we won't leave it at that; we'll hit the tasting bar to truly appreciate the difference between the nation's bestselling sake, Sho Chiku Bai, and, say, Ginjo sake.

Date: Saturday, May 1, 2004
Deadline: April 23, 2004
Time:12:00 pm (For you habitual early birds: don't panic if the facility is closed when you arrive; it opens at noon)
Price: $9.00/person

Location: Takara Sake House, 708 Addison St., Berkeley, (510) 540-8250. From I-80, take the University Ave. exit toward Berkeley. Take the Frontage Rd. ramp. Turn right onto 2nd St. Turn left onto Addison St.

[ Yahoo! Maps ]
Takara Sake House



PBK NCA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner

Join the PBK NCA Board in the charming setting and collegial atmosphere of the UC Berkeley Faculty Club as we celebrate this year's accomplishments. Take this opportunity to meet our scholarship and teaching excellence award winners and be inspired by their dedication and achievements. Social hour begins at 4 p.m. and we scheduled dinner for about 5 p.m. Choose between salmon, roast prime rib of beef, or vegetarian. There will be a no-host bar during social hour. Dinner will include house wine, coffee or tea, salad and dessert in addition to your pre-selected entrée, which comes with rice or potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

Date: Sunday, May 2, 2004
Deadline: April 22, 2004
Time: 4 - 8 PM
Price: $50 (includes parking)

Directions: The Faculty Club is on the campus of UC Berkeley (University Avenue exit off I-80). We will mail registrants driving directions, parking instructions and a campus map pinpointing the exact location of the Faculty Club the last week in April.



San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles - (website)

PBK NCA Treasurer, Mary Turner Gilliland, is also President of the Board of Trustees of the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles. Mary has arranged a very special private tour for us. Our guide through the exhibits will be both a Phi Bete and the Executive Director of the Museum - Jane Przybysz. The featured exhibit when we visit will be "A Generation Apart: Mothers & Daughters & Art" which highlights the work of three mothers and their daughters. All six women are renowned textile artists. One mother and daughter pair is the Romanian tapestry artists, Lucia and Celina Grigore. Although both make large-scale, hand woven tapestries, the subjects they depict are vastly different. Another of the mother and daughter pairs is art quilters Shirley Tyler and Evelyn Wasson. Though both are deeply rooted in the traditions of American quilt design and construction, Shirley Tyler, the daughter, tends to sensibilities that are more contemporary through her use of scale, bold graphics and strong colors. Finally, the mother and daughter pair Rusty Cantor and Leslie Cantor Fallihee are fiber sculptors. The mother's work suggests the mystery of the cosmos and outer space while the daughter's work is much more minimalist and evocative of inner space. The museum and this exhibit in particular will expand your awareness of what textile art can be.

After our tour, don't miss the Museum's gift shop with its unique, handmade textiles and jewelry. Jane will also offer suggestions for lunch at some of San Jose's excellent downtown restaurants or direct you to other venues to explore while you are in San Jose.

Date: Saturday, May 15, 2004
Deadline: May 7, 2004 (limited to 25 people)
Time: 11:00 AM
Price: $12.50 per person

Directions: San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, 110 Paseo de San Antonio, San Jose. From 280: Exit onto Guadalupe Pkwy-Hwy 87 North. Take the Santa Clara Street exit and turn right onto Santa Clara, and then turn right on 4th St. From 101 North, 680 South, or 880 North: Take 280 to Guadalupe Pkwy-Hwy 87 North. Take the Santa Clara Street exit and turn right onto Santa Clara, and then turn right on 4th Street. From 101 South: Take 280 to Guadalupe Pkwy-Hwy 87 North. Take the Santa Clara Street exit and turn right onto Santa Clara, and then turn right on 4th Street. Note: Paseo de San Antonio is a pedestrian walkway located between San Fernando and San Carlos. Parking: There are two parking facilities fairly close to the Museum that are free on Saturday -- the Parking Garage between 2nd and 3rd Streets (accessible from San Fernando or San Carlos Streets) and the Parking Lot on San Fernando Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets. Street parking also available.

[ Yahoo! Maps ]
Museum, 110 Paseo De San Antonio

 (Above the map is a link for driving directions)



San Francisco Pacific Heights Walk

We are extremely fortunate to be able to offer an historical/architectural walk in the Pacific Heights area of San Francisco with noted author and historian Professor Charles A. Fracchia. Professor Fracchia teaches at City College of San Francisco and the Fromm Institute at the University of San Francisco and is a founder of the San Francisco Historical Society. Professor Fracchia knows San Francisco intimately and is hugely popular with students for his well researched knowledge of San Francisco and delightful sense of humor. The walk will be a very special treat!

Date: Saturday, May 22
Time: l0:00 a.m. - l2:00 noon
Deadline: May 19, 2004
Price: $l0 per person.

Meet at the corner of Gough and Washington streets at Lafayette Park in San Francisco.
Directions: From Marin, Golden Gate Bridge, follow Lombard Street, then right on Gough; from East Bay, Bay Bridge, 9th Street Exit towards Civic Center, left on Harrison, right on 9th, left on Hayes, right on Van Ness, left on Jackson, left on Gough; from Peninsula, l0l North, Duboce Ave/Mission St. Exit, right on Van Ness (l0l N.), left on Pine, right on Franklin, left on Clay, right on Gough. Street parking. Look for the PBK sign!

[ Yahoo! Maps ]
Lafayette Park, Gough St At Washington St
San Francisco



Audubon Canyon Ranch

Founded in 1962, this nature preserve is one of the major west coast nesting colonies of great blue herons and snowy egrets. We won't tour all 2,000 acres but we will observe these magnificent birds and their nesting sites and will hear from our naturalist about the native plants and the other animals that find sanctuary at the preserve. We will meet our naturalist at the picnic area, behind the bookstore; for those who would like to come early, we are unable to reserve picnic tables in advance but we will meet at noon. When we visited the Audubon Ranch in 1997, there was no way for those with impaired mobility to view the birds; now the Ranch provides tablescopes at the picnic area for those who cannot manage the walk to the overlook. If you're able, though, be prepared for a moderate, half-mile walk, as we ascend a hill to the Henderson Overlook. Once there, we will have a bird's-eye view (sorry, I couldn't resist!) of the nesting area through powerful telescopes.

Date: Saturday, June 5, 2004
Deadline: May 26, 2004
Time: 12:00 p.m. wine and cheese
1:00 p.m., naturalist's talk
Price: $14.00 per person

Directions: 4900 Highway One, Stinson Beach. The Ranch is on Hwy. 1, north of Stinson Beach and south of Olema; it is just south of the turnoff to Bolinas. Participants will receive a map if they request one on the payment coupon.

[ Yahoo! Maps ]
Audubon Canyon Ranch, Stinson Beach



Gold Ridge: Luther Burbank's Experiment Farm

You've heard of the man; you may have visited his house and gardens in Santa Rosa. Now plan to join us at his experiment farm in Sebastopol. In 1885 Luther Burbank purchased a cottage and ten acres of farmland west of Sebastopol where he conducted most of his plant breeding experiments and frequently stayed in the cottage overnight instead of making the hour and a half drive to his home in Santa Rosa. After Burbank's death in 1926, his farm and cottage gradually deteriorated until the Western Sonoma County Historical Society began restoration in 1980. The refurbished cottage and remaining three acres of Gold Ridge Farm are now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
We will have a master gardener demonstration and an approximately hour long docent-led tour of the farm where we will see hybrid chestnuts, walnuts, and quince, as well as many other Burbank plants. In addition to the cottage garden, there are plants for purchase and a small gift shop. Bring a lunch and plan to picnic on the grounds, or explore Sebastopol and the nearby wine country on your own.

Date: Saturday, June 26
Time: 11 am
Deadline: June 18 (limit 40 participants)
Cost: $10 per person

Directions: From 101 N. or S., take the Hwy. 12 exit W. to Sebastopol. Travel west past Hwy. 116 (Petaluma Ave.) and Main Street. Hwy. 12 becomes Bodega Ave. Gold Ridge Farm, 7781 Bodega Ave., is located on the left between Robinson Ave. and a cemetery. If you cross Pleasant Hill Road, you have gone too far. There is a parking lot at St. Stephen's Church on Robinson Rd., if the lot at the Farm is full.

[ Yahoo! Maps ]
Gold Ridge Farm



Asilomar 2004

Administration building at Asilomar

About the Asilomar Conference Center

Asilomar was designed by Julia Morgan, who also designed Hearst Castle

Read more about Julia Morgan

Note that our Asilomar Conference now has a special URL

This past February ninety-four Phi Betes and their guests joined us at Asilomar State Conference Center in Pacific Grove for our eighteenth annual retreat. According to the after-conference questionnaires, everyone had a great time. The setting was gorgeous, as usual, and the speakers were really outstanding. But the best part of the conference for most people is always meeting and mingling with our very interesting members. In addition to the intellectual and social aspects of the conference, Asilomar is also important to our Association because it is a major fund-raiser for our scholarship program. This year we raised almost $8000 - enough to just about fund two of our graduate scholarships. This money comes from the $100 per person registration fee, and the part that isn't used for expenses (speakers' housing, wine with dinner, etc.) is totally tax-deductible. That portion this year was $83.26.

Many of this year's Asilomar attendees were generous enough to write their registration fee checks for Asilomar 2005 already. Because of this, we are able to make our deposit for next year's conference without taking away money from this year's scholarship fund. Such generosity also reflects faith in the Asilomar experience. To continue the tradition, don't forget to mark your calendars now for next year's conference: Presidents' Day Weekend, February 18 - 21. The program is still in the planning stages, so watch the September newsletter for specifics. And since the best ideas for speakers always come from the attendees, please contact me, Jean James, with any ideas you might have.

, Asilomar Chair

Get a map, personalized directions and travel time
Additional directions To Asilomar from the California parks

[ Yahoo! Maps ]


*** We had a wonderful time in 2003. Read more about the event...

Newsletter Delivery By Email

For the past two years, we have tested the idea of delivering the newsletter by email. We had been sending an email copy and a snail mail (USPS mail) copy to the people on our list. Two problems developed during the test: first, several people changed email addresses and failed to notify us, and, second, we continued to send both an email and snail mail copy. Since members continue to request email copies, we need to get an accurate reading of just how many members would prefer email delivery so we can evaluate the cost effectiveness of modifying our membership database to stop the snail mail delivery. If there is sufficient interest, we will make the change in September and notify members involved in August.

If you would like to receive the Newsletter by email, please contact


Thank you for your Contributions

The Board offers many thanks to the members and friends who have joined or renewed their membership for the year 2004 as of March. 20. Your generous support makes our Scholarships and Awards possible. We extend a special thank you to those who have contributed at the Patron and Benefactor levels.