Presiding over this year's 58th annual Los Alamos Valley Old Days, themed “Celebrating Old Days, Blazing New Trails,” are 2019 grand marshals Sheila Glaser and John Traller.

The historic stagecoach stop of Los Alamos will again celebrate its Old West roots by showcasing a weekend of frontier family fun, from Friday, Sept. 27 through Sunday, Sept. 29.

According to event sponsors, the Los Alamos Valley Men’s Club (LAVMC), a nonprofit that has provided scholarships and funding to students and organizations for the past 73 years, Old Days spotlights the town's authentic Western heritage while raising money for local causes.

“My heart has belonged to the Men’s Club for more than two decades," Glaser said, standing alongside fellow grand marshal Traller. "I’ve handed out Thanksgiving baskets … worked anywhere that I was needed. It’s taken a lot of effort and dedication, but it’s also lots of fun.” 

When she moved to Los Alamos with her family in 1993, Glaser, married to her husband of 43 years, has dedicated her time to the town with involvement in activities for the local school, PTO and Site Council, and the Los Alamos Valley Senior Center.

Further delving into community service, Glaser said that she eventually joined LAVMC in 1996, volunteering and sometimes chairing different events and initiative committees, such as the “Raise the Roof Committee,” the new tables and chairs committee, Santa Ynez Valley Youth Recreation “Queen’s Events,” Old Days Peddlers’ Mart, Bingo, and Christmas for the Kids.

Los Alamos Old Days Festival returns 'Celebrating Old Days, Blazing New Trails'

She has served as the LAVMC secretary and vice president, the latter of which is a post that she continues to hold.  

Through all her years as vice president of the club, Glaser says Traller has been her "right-hand man."

"I’m honored to have been nominated as this year’s grand marshal, alongside John,” Glaser said.

Traller, the editor of the Men’s Club Monthly Newsletter, says he has also served as treasurer for the LAVMC, where he helped solidify the LAVMC’s fundraising efforts to secure the club’s philanthropic 501(c)(3) tax exempt status.

A Korean War veteran who left home in 1949 at the age of 16, Traller explained that he moved to Los Alamos with his wife Cathy in 2004, after a 50-year career as a tax CPA which included 20 years teaching federal taxation at the University of California Santa Barbara.

He was the past president of Kiwanis (Ventura), Rotary (Santa Ynez Valley), and the California CPA Society (Tri-Counties). 

Although most of his professional life has involved tax accounting, the presiding grand marshal explained that he has a real passion for old and classic cars, and for dancing. He taught dancing with Arthur Murray in the 1950s.

“Old Days is the club’s biggest annual fundraiser. It’s a time for celebration, but also for reflection on our previous year’s efforts," Traller said. "We hope that visitors enjoy the festivities as much as we do, and that they return to celebrate with us every year.”

To access the Los Alamos Valley Old Days weekend schedule, visit syvnews.com

For the event schedule, more information about Los Alamos Valley Days, including a brief history of the Men’s Club, Car Show and Peddlers’ Mart applications and contact information, visit www.LAVMC.org.

Lisa André covers Valley Life for Santa Ynez Valley News. 

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