By Von Raees, Publisher
On Aug. 22, 1996 we published the first issue of the Arcadia Weekly. It was an exciting and anxious time for us. The following week, while we worked in our single-room office on First Avenue in Arcadia, we had a visitor. A tall, elegant woman with the air of a powerful lioness walked in and, without any pleasantries, demanded to know “who’s idea was it to get an office on the second floor of a building with no elevator!?”
She continued, “And, by the way, my name is Floretta Lauber and I’m going to be your social columnist.”
I didn’t feel that I had a choice in the matter and in that moment I knew Floretta was someone who was going to have an impact. Of course, I said yes!
Most of you reading this who have had the unique pleasure of meeting or working with Floretta have probably experienced her energy and powerful presence. She quickly became a pillar on whose shoulders this organization grew and continues to thrive. That statement can be echoed throughout this community, as she was involved in many aspects of the city and served as the first female mayor of the City of Arcadia.
She demanded greatness and let you know if you were not up to standards. She got greatness from people because she is one of the greatest people I’ve known in my 50 years.
I can’t express the level of gratitude I have that Floretta chose to walk into my office 20 years ago and give me the gift of her friendship and guidance. Years ago, on a particularly challenging afternoon, she walked in to my office and offered to help resolve an issue. As usual, we overcame. I commented that sometimes I feel like she’s like my mom and I’m so grateful for her presence in my life.
She quickly responded with a stern voice, “I’m not your mother, you better get it together!” I didn’t know how to respond to that! As she walked away, she stopped at the door, turned around, winked with a smile, and said, “maybe your favorite aunt.”
I’m going to miss my favorite aunt!