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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on September 17th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 28 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 14, Issue 28

Hobnobbing With Helen


Buck and Etta Waterfield hosted a wine and appetizer gathering for PCPA at their home on Aug. 30. Pictured from left to right are Liz Addamo, Patti Rodriquez, Mayor Alice Patino, and Mary Kober, Buck Waterfield solo in the back row.

The indomitable Liz Addamo e-mailed me and asked if I would like to join a group of 20 for wine and appetizers at the home of Etta and Buck Waterfield.

If Liz was callin’, Liz was cookin’.

Who could say no to the former Bistro Baroness (she recently sold her fabled tasting room and restaurant in Old Orcutt. This gal is movin’ on).

The icing on the proverbial cake was the inclusion of a ticket to a PCPA performance of Always … Patsy Cline at the Severson Theatre, immediately following the gathering at the Waterfields’.

Now, really, who could even contemplate saying no to such a package of temptation?

The evening was the brainchild of Gillian Andrews-Cole, executive director of the PCPA Foundation.

“Several times a year, we try to do something like this,” Gillian said. “People who haven’t been to PCPA for a while can renew their acquaintance with the theater.

“For those who are new to the area,” she added, “it is an opportunity to see what an incredible resident company we have at PCPA.”

Dominique Rivera, Diane Smith, and Skyler Addamo socialized at the event.

Well, first things first.

The food at Etta and Buck’s was, of course, fab. Liz brought a wonderful pork tenderloin with sherry vinaigrette and dotted with capers, as well as her signature brie cheese and artichoke and spinach dips.

Etta baked brownies that are on the verge of being legendary and provided lovely fresh fruit and chunks of cheese along with a mound of shrimp.

Etta is on the board of the PCPA Foundation, so of course standing over a hot stove or oven was a labor of love.

This event was an opportunity to hobnob with Hancock’s very approachable new president Kevin Walthers and his wife, Eileen Shannon. Also enjoying the social scene were Mayor Alice Patino, Diane and Craig Smith, Mary and Bob Kober, and Patti Rodriguez.

I took advantage of the occasion to hobnob with Ottsy Davis and her husband, strawberry grower Daren Gee.

Gee told me it was the first night in the history of St. Joseph High School they were selling strawberry shortcake at a football game.

Gee would know—he donated the berries for the sale and is thus forever a part of St. Joe’s football history.

Etta Waterfield (far left) welcomed PCPA Foundation Executive Director Gillian Cole-Andrews and Allan Hancock College President Kevin Walthers to her home for a special fundraising event.

This is noteworthy because it is a bit late in the season for berries. Gee said that new varieties of one of Santa Maria’s signature crops make it possible for us to enjoy a late summer-early autumn yield.

Skyler Elizabeth Addamo—who is following in her mother’s footsteps by walking down a new career path—and her BFF Dominique Rivera basked in the aura of the evening.

Former foundation board member Franzitska Shepard, whose husband, Dr. Dennis Shepard, now sits on the foundation board, stopped in to chat.

Gillian told the assembled group at the end of the reception, “I want you to treasure what we have here [at PCPA].”

She made a pitch for supporting PCPA financially: “We all know that ticket sales alone don’t do it. It really does take a village to keep a theater going.”

The evening ended on the highest of high notes: Always … Patsy Cline could not have been more enchanting. Kitty Ballay and her co-star, Susie Newman, delivered a delightful, top-notch performance.

But that’s no surprise. After all, it’s PCPA.


If you want to hobnob with Helen, you may contact her at

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