• Pat Gylfe

    Participating For: 19 Years, 11 Months

    I have always had an interest in things "western", so when I had the opportunity to become a docent at the Leonis Adobe, it was a natural for me. I was born an easterner in Ohio, but at 11 years moved to Hollywood, graduated from Hollywood High, UCLA and CSUN with a teaching credential. Now, after 20 years of teaching Kindergarten and 4th grade and 50 happy years of marriage filled with traveling, skiing adventures and many sailboats, I've moved to the next phase. I live in Calabasas, "the "last of the old west" and am happily involved in the 1880's events at the Adobe--right where I belong.
  • Jim Stehlik

    Participating For: 19 Years

    Jim Stehlik married his high school sweetheart Charlotte in 1963.  Together they raised three wonderful children, and now have three lovely grandchildren as well.  Jim grew up in Van Nuys and has been in the San Fernando Valley his entire life.  

    Jim came to work at the Adobe over ten years ago as a vaquero (cowboy).  While the Adobe has undergone many changes to its school tour program, Jim has remained a faithful and outstanding employee throughout the years.

    Before coming to the Leonis Adobe, Jim spent 28 years working out of Northridge for UPS.  After leaving UPS, Jim owned and operated a coin laundry in Northridge for four years.
  • Connie Danihels

    Participating For: 19 Years

    Hi everyone my name is Connie Danihels and I am a California Native. I love this beautiful, golden state, where I have grown and raised my two beautiful girls alongside my California native husband. With close to thirty years of marriage, we have lived in Old Agoura which is a great equestrian area surrounded by trails and grassy hills. With horses and both vegetables and fruits growing in our backyard, I can relate to living a lifestyle similar to what I teach. Being a docent at the Leonis Adobe has been like my second home. Teaching and working with the groups of children is always a rewarding and heartwarming experience. Sharing the traditions of the Leonis Family and explaining how life was for them is a humbling and enlightening adventure every tour I give.
  • Janice Swain

    Participating For: 16 Years, 6 Months

    After working for LAUSD as a Cafeteria Training Specialist for 27 years, Jan Swain decided that it was time to retire.  Six months later, Jan was ready to get back to work.  At the urging of her good friend Charlotte Stehlik, Jan became a docent at the Leonis Adobe Museum.  Born and raised in Southern California, Jan enjoys helping to preserve the history of the area.

    Jan is married to her husband Howard.  Together they raised two wonderful children and now have four grandchildren.  In her spare time, Jan enjoys travelling and dedicating her time to a philanthropic sorority which raises funds for Multiple Sclerosis.
  • Kathy Kirby

    Participating For: 14 Years, 10 Months

    Kathy was born in Budapest Hungary but has lived in the San Fernando Valley since she was six years old. She has always been interested in history and taught Western Civilization at Loyola Marymount University (her alma mater) for a number of years. When her daughter left home for college Kathy wanted to find something worthwhile and enjoyable to occupy her time. She enjoys being a museum guide and spending time at the Adobe.
  • Tomo Stephens

    Participating For: 11 Years, 8 Months

    I was born in Japan, but spent my school years in Hollywood, Ca. I have three lovely children and six grandchildren. After I retired from work I lived in Costa Rica doing volunteer work with animals. I now live in Calabasas and am very happy working at the Leonis Adobe Museum as I get to interact with two of my favorite things, children and animals.
  • Lenny Berg

    Participating For: 10 Years, 4 Months

    I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I received my B.S. from CSUN with a degree in health science. I am married with two children who are both newly married. I worked in the retail clothing industry which took me to Colorado for ten years. After moving back I worked in the entertainment industry for several years. Once retired, I was searching for some kind of community involvement that would reflect my interests. I enjoy meeting new people and working with children. At an early age I became passionate about cowboys and their place in history. After my wife took her first grade class on a field trip to the Leonis Adobe Museum, she told me she found the perfect place for me. I followed her suggestion and am so happy to have the opportunity to be a Museum Guide.
  • Andrew Brand

    Participating For: 9 Years, 10 Months

    Being  raised on a cattle and turkey ranch in Los Angeles County gave Andy an early appreciation of agriculture.  Family tours of California Missions and Old West towns exposed him to our rich California history. 

    Andy spent 35 years in the dairy industry, first by servicing local dairy farms for Quality Control and Laboratory services.  Primary services were later provided for New Mexico and Texas dairy farms with pioneering regional dairy laboratories that Andy designed, operated, and staffed. 

    In retirement Andy is attentive to the families and careers of his five children.  His pursuits include self improvement, music, and study of the sciences.  He lives in Calabasas raising teenage grandchildren.
  • Paula Stromquist

    Participating For: 9 Years, 5 Months

    I am a native Angeleno who grew up in Silverlake and attended public schools until graduation from John Marshall High School.  After earning a BA from UCLA and an MA and teaching credentials from CSULA, I spent 36 years teaching 4th grade and special education with the Oak Park Unified School District.  The history of California including Rancho Life is right up my alley!

    Retirement has afforded my husband and me more time to pursue our many interests:  Culinary pursuits, dining out (Love discovering LA's many ethnic cuisines), reading, music-all kinds, attending plays and concerts, travel, shopping, and trivia games.  I have been in the same women's poker group (OK, more eating and visiting than poker) for over 20 years.  I love dogs, especially Golden Retrievers!  

    Being a life-long learner is a personal goal.  Toward that end, I've recently taken classes in philosophy, financial planning, and opera.  I'm hoping to brush-up on French and Spanish and learn Italian and Mandarin (So I can, at the very least, know what I'm ordering in a restaurant).

    I'm a huge advocate for returning the instruction of Music and Art to prominence in the curriculum of K-12 public schools.  I also have a special interest in the education of girls, especially in developing countries.

    I'm delighted to be a docent at the Leonis Adobe where I can share my love of California history!
  • Maya Debus

    Participating For: 8 Years, 2 Months

    Maya is a California native and has loved California history ever since learning about the missions in the fourth grade. She loves antiques and learning about people and how they lived in years gone by. She collects vintage hats and vintage purses and has an extensive collection of antique hand-painted china. She also loves going to the theater, riding motorcycles and dancing.
  • Robert Conlee

    Participating For: 5 Years, 11 Months

    Robert recently retired after working 29 years at a local hospital. He and his wife live on land once owned by Miguel and Espiritu Leonis. Since his teens, his hobbies include studying late 19th century American history and self-sufficient living skills. He "served" with a Civil War artillery reenactment unit.  His goal is to provide a discovery of 19th century
  • Linda Salvati

    Participating For: 5 Years, 10 Months

    I was born in Athens Ohio, moved to Leucadia California when I was four. Growing up in North County was a fantastic experience. Moved to attend Art Center College of Design, in Pasadena, in the late seventies. Received my BA degree in Graphics/Packaging. For the next 35 years, I worked in the entertainment industry. Disney, Saban Entertainment and Warner Brothers Consumer Products. I learned of the Leonis Adobe Museum from my neighbor Janice Swain, who has been a docent for eleven years. I asked if I could see in detail what the tours are all about. I shadowed Janice and decided I would like to become a tour guide. I'm pretty new to this group. Everyone is so wonderful and kind! The Leonis Adobe has a rich history, and sharing this history is a great experience.
  • Pam Pinkham

    Participating For: 5 Years, 2 Months

    Pam, while a California native, became a "Valley Girl" just before entering the 4th grade. She attended North Hollywood High School and then went on to Los Angeles City College. Her first career was as a dental assistant. She eventually moved on to a 36-year career as an administrative assistant at a local aerospace company supporting executive staff, and then in the Human Resources organization before recently retiring.

    Her path to the Adobe comes from an on-going interest in American history, and specifically, the daily way of life that people lived during the 1880's. She is eager to continue learning and then passing on that knowledge to others. Pam is married to her husband Phil who she met at a square dance many years ago. They love to travel and then Pam enjoys creating a scrapbook of memories afterwards.
  • Suzanne Kush

    Participating For: 5 Years, 1 Months

    As a native of Los Angeles, I have always loved this city and all it has to offer with the culture, art, history and architecture. I graduated from CSUN with a degree in 2D art and textiles. Since that time, I have a been a docent, guide or volunteer for many of the wonderful organizations in Los Angeles.

    I have two grown sons living in Arizona and five grandchildren. I am fortunate to be able to share this special gem with my granddaughter Zoe, as well as the many children that attend the Leonis Adobe School Tours. Hopefully, I will spur their love of culture and history.
  • Alicia Arrigo

    Participating For: 5 Years

    A native New Yorker, I grew up on the majestic Hudson River surrounded by nature, beauty, and history.  My childhood was spent stomping through the woods discovering old property lines marked by stone walls, and cemeteries of prominent families of the day.  All of this peaked my interest immediately and my love of history was born. The more knowledge I attained about my surroundings the more I had to see with my own eyes. I was fascinated knowing George Washington had his headquarters near my home town, and how the Hudson River played such an important role during the revolutionary war! I spent much of my free time exploring this amazing history and that continued when I made Los Angeles my home in 2004.  I immersed myself in California history and began visiting old missions, cemeteries, stage coach stops, and towns. When I saw an opportunity arise at The Leonis Adobe it was a perfect match for me. As a mother of three I especially enjoy greeting our excited elementary school tours to our museum and hope the experience and knowledge I provide them lasts a lifetime. I am proud to be a part of the Leonis Adobe family and welcome all near and far to join us here in Calabasas for a glimpse into Ranch life of the 1880s.
  • Shosh Byron

    Participating For: 5 Years

    Shosh grew up in England where she received a degree in Theatre Arts.  When she moved to the U.S., she worked in the music industry, in the Artist Relations department of A&M Records. At that time, Shosh met her soon to be husband. She left A&M to become a “stay at home mom,” and happily raised her two children. Once they were settled in school, she went back to the work force but this time in the field of education. She was the Director of Admissions at Sierra Canyon School and the Executive Director of the Day Camp. After 20 years at Sierra, Shosh changed her career to become a Preschool Director and worked at several preschools in the Valley. She finally returned to an elementary school, as the executive director of Woodcrest School. Shosh retired for a year but missed the interaction with children and teachers. Says Shosh, "Working as a tour guide at the Leonis Adobe Museum is the perfect combination. I get to enjoy working with the guides and love showing the children what life was like in the 1880s."

    Shosh lives in Chatsworth with her three dogs. She loves spending time with her two grandchildren, the theater, all genres of music and world history.
  • Laura Kaplan

    Participating For: 4 Years

    Laura grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina where she and her family frequently visited, performed in, or worked at outdoor dramas (plays based on historical events presented at their actual sites). She earned a BA in Dramatic Art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a member of Actor's Equity Association and SAG/AFTRA, having pursued a career in acting before switching gears to the field of counseling psychology. She earned an MA in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University in Los Angeles. After starting a family, she became a stay at home mom and moved to Calabasas where she and her family have lived for over 22 years. She was very active as a parent volunteer at her children's school where she enjoyed working with the students in various activities. Now that her children have grown and flown, she is delighted to combine her lifelong interests into being a tour guide at the Leonis Adobe Museum and sharing the history of 1880s Calabasas.
  • Molly Libby

    Participating For: 1 Year, 6 Months

    Molly grew up in Washington state spending weekends and summers on her family’s farm. She graduated with a BA in History from Arizona State University. In 2000 she moved to Los Angeles, where she had always wanted to live. After living in Los Angeles, Orange County, and Long Beach for several years she moved with her family to the San Fernando Valley in 2013. Her love of history and Los Angeles has made working at the Leonis Adobe a very fulfilling job.
  • Andrea Beilinson

    Participating For: 1 Year, 5 Months

    Andrea Beilinson is a native Californian who moved to West Hills in the 1970s with her family. She graduated from CSUN with a B.A. in Liberal Studies and a teaching credential. She taught 3rd and 5th grade and later became a teacher for Valley Professional School, teaching young actors and singers, which included Janet Jackson. Andrea married and had two beautiful children, dedicating her life to their upbringing and activities. Later, she worked in the insurance industry as a claims adjuster. Many years later, Andrea became a realtor but missed working with children. Working at the Leonis Adobe allows Andrea to work with both children and adults and share her love of history, animals, and antiques.
  • Mira Felt

    Participating For: 1 Years

    Mira, is a California native who grew up in the San Fernando Valley and is "totally" a Valley Girl. Mira is married and has four children, a son in the United States Marine Corps, another son who is a graduating senior at Taft High school, and two young daughters who attend elementary school in the San Fernando Valley. Since early childhood she has been passionate about giving back to the community and working with children in various capacities. Mira has served as a teacher, board member of PTA's, domestic violence volunteer and been part of the Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Mira's wish to be part of Leonis Adobe came from participating in a field trip with her local school. During the trip Mira realized that many of her 28 aunts and uncles who came from several parts of the world such as Mexico and Israel lived in similar conditions as presented on the tour. The feeling of familiarity and community she felt after her visit to Leonis Adobe and her belief in preserving the past for our future was a perfect match to her passion about giving back by becoming a guide at the museum. Mira is crazy excited to meet you on the tours and share her experiences of rancho life with you.
  • Linda Escobar

    Participating For: 1 Years

    Linda Escobar is a native to the San Fernando Valley and has lived in the West Hills area for most of her life. In her young days Linda began her career as a stage performer/singer/actress, and received her Masters Degree in Music as well as her California State Teaching Credential, and in 2002 she began a career as a teacher with LAUSD. After retiring in 2021, Linda continues teaching private voice lessons, and has found a happy home here at the Leonis Adobe educating the students who come to visit.