Finishing up teaching duties at The New School on Friday kept me from making it to La Quinta, CA (in the Coachella Valley near Palm Springs) for the Saturday morning surprise party for Louise Neeley (photo from The Desert Sun), aka “Aunt Louise” (she is actually my late grandmother’s sister, on my Dad’s side). The Palm Springs paper, The Desert Sun, reported on the festivities in today’s edition:
About 100 friends, relatives and public officials showed up to help Neeley, the director of the La Quinta Museum, celebrate her 80th birthday at the La Quinta Community Center…
Neeley is known around the community not only through the museum but also because she has been actively contributing to the community for years. Since retiring in 1985 from her teaching post at Westside Elementary School in Thermal, Neeley has been a commissioner on the Riverside County Historical Commission, a member of the county’s ad-hoc committee to save the 1907 two-room Indio School House and served on the board of the La Quinta Historical Society, to name a few of her activities.
An informative Desert Sun article from earlier this year offers more details on Aunt Louise growing up in La Quinta after family moved to the area from Mexico, settling in the Valley where most of my family, and I, grew up and lived.