It does not take much to build community, as two Palisades residents discovered several decades ago.
For the past 24 years (minus two for Covid), people gather annually on the “Grenola Loop” to make ice cream sundaes.
On November 5, the “loveable loopers” Michelle Headrick and Susan Corwin, scooped about five gallons of vanilla ice cream to people from about 100 homes. Chocolate sauce and whipped cream was added to the bowl and then it was up to individual to add toppings.
“We started when our eldest children were six years old,” Corwin said, and added their oldest offspring are now 30. “Time sure flies when you’re scooping out ice cream.”
More than scooping ice cream, “It’s a great way for us to meet new neighbors and schmooze with everyone,” the two said.
This year, about 400 flyers were printed and Loop residents Hudson and James Marks delivered them to homes on the Grenola Loop, which includes Las Casas, Grenola, Baylor, Marquette and Pintoresca Streets. (The streets are south of Sunset, and basically loop back to Sunset. There is no outside access to other areas of the coast or the Palisades.)
Once a person has a bowl of ice cream, it is up to the individual to dress it up.
There are sour gummy worms (Corwin’s son’s favorite) and frosted animal cookies (Corwin and Headrick’s favorites).
There are Teddy Grahams, M&M’s and chocolate chip and rainbow sprinkles.
“Fresh strawberries, blueberries and grapes were added to the mix a few years into the event,” Headrick and Corwin said, and added “We’ve avoided nuts due to allergies.”
The scoopers were ahead of their time because the Loop’s annual event had toppings before any of the yogurt places, which feature toppings, existed in the Palisades.
The two women were asked about the biggest change they’ve seen over the years. Not surprisingly, they are now scooping ice cream for the children, whose parents and grandparents they scooped for when the event first started.
“Long-time resident Cinda Rosenberg sons’ Michael and Daniel grew up on the Loop, and now Daniel has two ‘Scoop on the Loop’ children,” the two said and added that “Marge and Bob Gold, whose daughter and now granddaughter Marissa are ‘Scoopers,’ and Elisa and Russ Hunziker, whose daughter Emily now has children who ‘scoop’ on the loop.
“And Kang and Keum Chun, whose sons grew up two houses from ours, and they have grandchildren who love our ‘scoop sundaes,” the women said.
Corwin’s and Headrick’s love of the neighborhood is evident and part of the charm of the Grenola loop has always been an inter-generational mix of families.
“Senior citizens and babies alike – the young and the young at heart! “We’re all out at the Viewsite together enjoying our ice cream sundaes,” Corwin and Headrick said. “It’s truly one of our favorite afternoons in our neighborhood.”
Headrick recently retired from my position as a physician/professor at the USC Keck School of Medicine. Now she is traveling, visiting her grownup children, seeing friends and family, and skiing whenever it snows in Mammoth.
“My biggest joy is seeing a new generation of young people step into adulthood with incredible skills and big goals,” Headrick said. “What a privilege to be part of that!”
Corwin volunteers with The Miracle Project at The Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts. She also teaches a life skills class at The People Concern.
“Watching teenagers that I’ve mentored with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) flourish and share their talents with others gives me so much joy,” Corwin said. “And of course, walking around our beloved Loop with our dogs, talking with our neighbors and spending time with our son, friends and family are all blessings in my life.”