Society hits new heights

Swimsuit designer Asha DeMarco displayed her newest designs.

The hills were alive with more than 325 hiking souls heading up
the mythical volcano Saturday morning in Morgan Hill. The annual
climb up El Toro peak has gained popularity and set a record this
year for attendance.
The hills were alive with more than 325 hiking souls heading up the mythical volcano Saturday morning in Morgan Hill. The annual climb up El Toro peak has gained popularity and set a record this year for attendance.

Teachers, school principals, politicians, entrepreneurs, students, retirees, dogs, scouts, geologists, etc. – you name it, they were there. Hardworking Boy Scout Troop 799 set the ropes needed for the steep grade while working on Life Scout requirements.

The Leiser family of Morgan Hill had three generations of climbers with Bob Leiser at 72 years of age beating many to the top. Loy Barker, 69 caught gorgeous views of the backside and a full-to-the brim Chesbro Lake. Sightings of a bobcat and rattlesnake spooked the wildlife more than the intruders, but their habitat is safe for another year of lookyloos.

Local geologist, Peter Anderson, gave a pre-hike talk assuring the crowd the city’s trademark is made up of mostly limestone and is not hiding a magma chamber. “I can assure you the mountain will not erupt today,” Anderson said with a smile. “Maybe tomorrow, but not today.” Those geologists and their erupting humor … although we did notice Anderson wave to the crowd as he stayed on safe ground.

Down from the hillside and into trying on bathing suits can be quite a shocker. Lucky guests of Alx and Katianna Bear met with Santa Barbara swimsuit designer Asha DeMarco of ASHACouture at the Bear residence on Sunday afternoon to sample and buy (at wholesale price) Asha’s newest designs.

ASHACouture has hit the big time, being featured in the 2004 and 2005 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues.

Local photographer and longtime family friend, Brent Bear, shot the swimsuit layout for Asha’s contribution to the magazine. The magazine has a modest printing of 70 million copies!

If you missed the Morgan Hill showing, check out the April issues of InStyle and Elle. Up close, the suits are exquisitely made with high-end French and Italian materials, double lining, and soft boning to hold the shape of the design. The size 2 to 4 girls on Sunday made me envious of being 16 again.

Asha assured the mom crowd that next year’s showing will include a one-piece suit carefully designed in consultation with her mother, Sharon Purpero and Jan Bear.

The list of spring swimsuit shoppers included Mallory Youngstrom, Ashley McAleavey, Samantha Ferry, Tana Ferry, Lindsey Gannon, Alana Shipley, and fresh from reserve duty, and looking for a camo suit was Melonie Martinez.

Doing her best Paris Hilton imitation was Kate Vidovich and her tiny, teacup Maltese puppy Tommy. Can’t wait to join the girls in the fitting room next year after my only two meals of the year! Good Luck to Asha at the July trade show in Miami.

By no means warm enough for suits, Sunday’s Haru Matsuri showcased all the Taiko drumming one’s ears could handle in a given day (although my husband could go on forever listening to the rhythms of the east).

I stopped by for my yearly bento box and bumped into Congressman Mike Honda and former city councilmember Hedy Chang. The last of the Taiko was being performed by San Jose Taiko and the organizers were pleased with the attendance numbers.

Mrs. Michi Shoka Narimatsu went home after receiving accolades and awards for her 45 years of Ikebana Artistry (a Japanese style of flower arranging) presented to her by mayor Dennis Kennedy. As always, the graciousness of Morgan Hill’s Buddhist community blossomed into a wonderful event.

Ciao for now.

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