by Deirdre Marlowe
Just your typical Los Angeles Friendsgiving high on a hill in Encino on Saturday, November 11th. Our host, Brian Saltsburg, set up dining tables in two rooms. One of the rooms had a wall of books and a fireplace (photo). Brian is currently working with Servas youth and setting up an active SYLE program. Photo - Clockwise from Left: Brian Saltsberg, Quynh Nguyen, Paige LaCombe, Jennifer McDaniel, Todj Mandel, the author.
It was our third Friendsgiving. Attendees included Todj and Natasha, hosts of the first dinner, and Paige LaCombe, host of the second. It was a very Servas Thanksgiving... a former Vietnamese child refugee long married to an Israeli American, a refugee from the Ukraine, a woman who spent her career as a pilot. Board Chair Dick Weaver made the drive up from Oceanside with his wife Patti. Sainath and Chitra Chandavarkar brought Eve of Diwali sweets. Others came and cooked for the potluck as well – some even tried new dishes, perhaps in advance of the Thanksgiving feast on the horizon. A good time was had by all.
From left: Dick Weaver, Board Chair, Natasha Mandel, Paige LaCombe, Sai Chandavarkar, Todj Mandel