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Monday, December 31, 2007

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE MUSEUM OF THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

Photo taken in Russian Deli - Tarzana Dec. 31, 2007 - by Gerald Fecht for The Museum of the San Fernando Valley

Here's wishing the Museum Community and all of the Residents of the San Fernando Valley a great and happy New Year 2008.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

JOHN C. FREMONT - THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY IS FILLED WITH TREASURES -- AND, TREASURE BOXES


Lt. Colonel John C. Fremont - by California Artist Orpha Klinker - Collection of Campo de Cahuenga -
Strong Box of John C. Fremont, American Hero and Explorer - Photo by Gerald Fecht -The Museum of the San Fernando Valley 2007

One of the most important historical figures in the American West is John C. Fremont. Explorer, politician, and dashing military officer, Fremont played an essential role in the acquisition of California for the United States of America. When Campo de Cahuenga on the border between North Hollywood and Studio City is reopened to the public after its renovation, the Museum Community, the public and visitors will get to see up-close and personal some of our country's most exciting treasures. Among these is John C. Fremont's personal dispatch box, "said to have been carried by him on all of his expeditions."

Thursday, December 27, 2007

LOS ANGELES OIL FIELD FIRE c. 1928

Oil Field Fire - possibly 1926 - Postcard Collection of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley - gift of Gary Fredburg 2007

As we head into 2008, it is useful to remember Emerson's comment that "to have problems is to be human." Los Angeles and the great San Fernando Valley have had our share of problems and will have more in the future. Our best chance is to learn from the past, live responsibly in the present and prepare together for the future. Your Museum concerns itself with all three of these. Museums teach by, and explore human experiences at people's own pace and desire for learning.

It is a truth that we are defined by what we leave behind for future generations.
Define yourself in 2008 by joining the Museum Community.
And, a very Happy New Year. Jerry Fecht


The San Fernando Valley deserves a great Museum of history and culture.

RED BARN'S PHIL CARTER - LOVER OF HISTORY -

Part of Phil Carter's extensive history and Valley memorabilia collection - Photo by Gerald Fecht for The Museum of the San Fernando Valley.

For Valley residents living in the Tarzana and Reseda areas of our city, a trip to the Red Barn Feed and Saddlery means not only great service and a full array of "creature comforts", but a chance to visit Valley and American history as well. Red Barn's owner, Phil Carter is one of those valuable people who not only work hard at their businesses but care about history and its consequences.
Phil is a retired professor of social welfare from California State University Los Angeles. He lists among his many students Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge, also an avid student of our city's history. Red Barn Feed and Saddlery is a significant part of Valley history in its own right.
Business Card - Red Barn Feed Store - Archive of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

CALIFORNIA ROAD DEVELOPMENT

SHEL SHOTS --------- MUSEUM NOTES BY SHEL WEISBACH
Every so often I come across a short historical reference that really
catches my eye and just beautifully and succinctly summarizes an event.

This morning I was seeking more info on J. B. Woodson and W. Lewis
Clark, highway engineers of the Ridge Route, when I came across a book
that of and by itself said it all . . .

Ben Blow’s California Highways: A Descriptive Record of Road
Development
by the State and by Such Counties as Have Paved Highways . . .
published
in 1920.
As the famous ad line goes "You've come a long way"
Happy Holidays,
Shel

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

MUSICAL NOTE FROM SHEL WEISBACH

Parrots In Jungle CabaƱa - Storefront Mural - sherman Oaks 2006 - Photo by Gerald Fecht for The Museum of the San Fernando Valley

SHEL SHOTS
Wednesday nite, 7:30, on California Gold . . . "Photoplayer" -
Huell meets Joe Rinaudo, whose passion is a 1926 Fotoplayer - which uses
music rolls like those for player pianos to provide music and sound effects to
silent films.
Encore at 12:30AM

Shel

WIENER FACTORY CLOSING?

The Weiner Factory in Sherman Oaks - Photo by Gerald Fecht for The Museum of the San Fernando Valley - 2006

SHEL SHOTS
Shel Weisbach Recommendation . . .
If you have not been to the Wiener Factory, 14917 Ventura Blvd,
north side, just west of Kester - please check it out!!! The Factory is
set to close on Dec 31 for, I believe, a yogurt or smoothies franchise.

The interior and the exterior are REAL!!! Worth buying a couple of
dogs and sodas to sit down and soak in the vibrations of the place.

Shel

Sunday, December 23, 2007

50th ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY'S GREAT COMPOSER ERIK KORNGOLD

Erich Korngold as a young man- Toluca Lake Composer

Many world-famous musicians and composers have made the San Fernando Valley their home. Among the most important of these was young Erich Wolfgang Korngold who the great Gustav Mahler called "a musical genius".

Korngold was raised in a movie-mad Europe. He fully understood film and the importance of music in cinema's cooperative enterprise. By the early 1930s, he was regularly visiting America to work on film scores. His decision to accept a studio position with Warner Brothers, came in 1938, when his homeland in Austria began to embrace the madness of Nazism.

A resident of Toluca Lake, Erich Korngold conducted the Warner Brothers Studio Orchestra in over 20 films. His earliest success as a composer-conductor came with the block-buster motion picture, The Adventures of Robin Hood. The composition by Korngold most often featured in today's concert halls is his famous Captain Blood.

ERICH KORNGOLD
May 29, 1897 – November 29, 1957


The San Fernando Valley deserves a great Museum of history and culture.

WHAT DID JIMMIE FECHT LOOK LIKE?

PFC James Fecht - 62 Hour Leave - Photo in Collection of Gerald Fecht - electronically shared with The Museum

Several of you have asked me to post a photograph of Jimmie Fecht, whose artifacts, letters and notes we have been sharing on the Museum's blog.
This snapshot was taken on Elmer Avenue in North Hollywood, during his 62 hour leave from Camp Elliot, San Diego, California. The picture was taken less than one day before he and his fellow Marines were loaded aboard ship for transfer to New Zealand.

Jim's ashes will be burined at Oakwood Memorial Park in Chatsworth this coming Friday morning.

LURE OF THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY - HINTS IN A YOUNG MARINE'S LETTER HOME.

3rd Marine Division Emblems - Collection of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley - Gift of James Fecht - 2007


In 1919 a popular song asked American families about their servicemen, "How ’ya gonna keep ’em, down on the farm,
 After they’ve seen Pa-ree? How ’ya gonna keep ’em away from Broad-way; Jazzin’ a-’round’,
And paintin’ the town?"
The following letter to his sister Dorothy in the little town of Mexico, Missouri from Jimmie Fecht lays the groundwork for the many reasons thousands of G.I.s moved to the San Fernando Valley after World War II.

Pvt. Jimmie Fecht
Battalion D, 3rd Special Weapons
3rd Marine Division
Camp Elliot, California.
Wednesday A.M. 1942

Dear Dot (Dorothy Fecht Fetterhoff),
Well here we are standing by with not a thing to do but smoke and read. All our equipment is on our ship and we expect to go aboard ourselves in a few days. Have received your letter and the B.P. News. Thanks a lot for the paper, got quite a lot of enjoyment from it and knew many of the men.
Got a letter from Aunt Julia (Fecht-Hogan) saying that the package they send me for Christmas had been returned. She also sent me a picture of her and Uncle Hugh (Hogan). I see that Bill Fecht's boy is planning marriage before entering the service, I could change his mind easily for him I think.
Sister Veronica (nun of the Order of the Precious Blood) wrote me along with Lois (the school paper's editor) in appreciation for the compliments I save the Shamrock (school newspaper). Sister writes that she knew I was cut out for great things in life. I believe she's right - ha! She certainly wrote a nice letter. Lois' letter was good also. She said that she gave Pauline Gavin my address and will hear from her soon. Gee Dot what am I going to do with all these girls?
I spent my 62 hour last liberty of the States in Hollywood last Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It really is a beautiful city. I stayed with Joye (Barnes) in North Hollywood. We had an awful lot of fun in her Packard. Now don't get me wrong, its not entirely the card, although driving a 5 passenger coupe' with a ration card suitable for a thank full of gas on her Dad's bill every time we get low may have a little to do with it. She is a very sweet girl and really knows how to entertain. Well you see I had ten bucks and we spent together over $45 and I came home with $2 left - still can't figure out how I did it.
We ate dinner at Earl Carroll's' again, later dancing at the Palladium to Tommy Dorsey. We went to Universal and Warners - saw the making or rather the finishing of "Casablanca" with Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Billy Gilbert at Paramount. That should be there before long. Sunday morning we went to Mass at Saint Charles in North Hollywood. She is a Catholic too. We drove all over Beverley Hills and San Fernando Valley seeing the homes of the stars. We went to the Jade Room in Chinatown, Los Angeles. Really is enchanting and beautiful. Saw Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom's cocktail club, also Eddie "Strangler" Lewis' bar. He was that famous wrestler. There are so many nice places to go, you can't find time for all. As a whole, my leave with lots of fun.
Just received a letter from Aunt Florence (Fecht-Sullivan) saying that Bernard (Jim's first cousin) is going soon. Hope that he gets into something that he likes in the Army.
Well just got finished with a lecture on enemy weapons and discipline. We get paid Friday here so will probably will be either Saturday or sometime next week early when we board ship. Have most of our personal items together just ready to pack - all are in pretty good humor but very anxious to get started. Don't think I'll have much time to write for quite a while. Hope you make out ok (Dorothy was pregnant) but don't name him after me - ha. Good luck and lots of love till I see you again.
Your brother Jimmie

Friday, December 21, 2007

A JOYFUL WINTER SOLSTICE NIGHT

St. Mary's Byzantine Catholic Church - Postcard Collection - The Museum of the San Fernando Valley - Gift of Gary Fredburg

For the Members of the Museum Community who celebrate the rebirth of the Sun on the Winter Solstice, a joyful Solstice Night, and much happiness in the year to come.

This postcard features St. Mary's Byzantine Catholic Church at 5329 Sepulveda Boulevard, Van Nuys, California. The Church was dedicated on February 12, 1961.



The San Fernando Valley deserves a great Museum of history and culture.

THANK YOU MUSUEM COMMUNITY FOR A GREAT YEAR!

1908 Postcard - Collection of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley - Gift of Gerald Fecht 2007

May this postcard mailed in 1908 by L. Boespia bring you happiness and good fortune in 2008. Sent on December 30th to Mr. J. Schultz at 66 Warren Drive in Paterson, New Jersey, the card is the type that pushed thousands of folks back east "to pick up and move west." Oranges were a rare Christmas treat 99 years ago, when this "Calitype" processed postcard arrived.

THANKS FOR SUPPORTING OUR MUSEUM IN 2007. HAPPY NEW YEAR, HAPPY HOLIDAYS, AND A MERRY CHRISTMAS

V-MAIL SAVED TONS OF CARGO SPACE IN W.W.II

Archieves of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley - 2007
"V-Mail" letter from James Fecht to his mother from Guadalcanal, The Solomon Islands
Note:
"V-Mail" letters (Victory Mail) were developed during the Second World War. Letters from soldiers were done on special sheets of paper and microfilmed. The process saved tons of space for vital military use. Over a hundred thousand letters could be sent home in one mail bag. In the United States, the microfilm was processed and small photo letters were sent to the addressee.

4 September 1943 Sent by V Mail
Dear Mom: I know you wonder why I don't write more ofter but there is nothing I want to say about this to you, as it would no doubt worry you so much. I was in the hospital for a while, but nothing serious. We are subjected to Japanese air raids and have grand stand seats for night fighting those searchlights right from our own foxholes.
That's all I can tell you from this side of the world, but if I know you right, you'll be following us on the maps.
The news doesn't sound at all bad that we get from the States and feel sure that if they would turn us loose, within two months, we'd be having hot dog fires in the streets of Tokyo.
I'm always happy to receive any letters from home so want everyone of yo to write. I've has a little time lately for letter writing and seem to be doing some fancy catching up. I wrote Aunt Annie (Ann Fecht Shire) and Aunt Cashie (Cashie Ryan Fecht). Tell Sr. Veronica (Catholic nun) to write and tell all hello, and I hope to see you soon.
Your Son, Jimmie

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A MARINE'S CHRISTMAS LETTER FROM DECEMBER 1943

Letter by James Fecht - Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley

Christmas Letter from Private James Fecht W.S. marine Corps
December 26, 1943 Passed by Navy Censor Dec. 28, 1943

Dear Mother, Dad and all:

Midnight Mass was celebrated here Christmas Eve at a camp nearby. It was the most beautiful ceremony that I have ever attended on that date. Shining stars overhead in the tropical sky winked down on many boys kneeling in our area dotted with palms.
The little altar was decorated with various jungle flowers and lit with the many candles of the High Mass, that had somehow kept their shape even in this hot weather. Even in this splendor around us, many thoughts sneaked back to those years before as we used to attend St. Brendan's and other churches with snow crunching underfoot as we made our way to their doors, the congregations singing together, the cheery greetings of friends - so many things that seemed just part of the occasion. They were missed. The familiar Merry Christmas seemed a mockery here.
The day was spent in rest, with most of the boys writing letters, playing cards, and catching up on sleep. Our dinner was quite an affair. Roast turkey, gravy, dressing, fresh mashed potatoes, peas, powdered cranberry sauce, fresh bread and powdered lemonade were on the menu. It was very welcomed after so many ration meals. For desert, we had an apple and peach cobbler. Honestly Mom, I do believe even I could have made it better. don't believe what good seasoned food like you served tastes like any more.
In the evening we attended boxing bouts that determined the Champions of the Islands. All the allies in this part of the world took part with several winning awards. Medals were donated by movie stars and were quite pleased to see three Marines that fought, each walk off with one as a winner. The bouts were refereed by a former heavy weight champion of the world, and a former football player of great fame. The Army and Navy competed also, winning many matches.
Two packages arrived in the afternoon. One from Aunt Cashie (Ryan-Fecht), containing cigarettes, the other from Joye (the girl he met on leave in North Hollywood, California) was a pocket poker set, which no doubt will see much wear around here.
Suppose you can realize how surprised we were when the Battalion gave each man two bottles of American beer. Guess that's all we needed to complete the festivities. It certainly went over big and was certainly enjoyed.
Well, the end of the day found us much happier than we had been in many months. We still hope our next one will be spent at home, no matter how grand we may have it here.
I hope you had your happy holidays and may God keep you all well during this coming New Year. I thought of you often yesterday, and in closing I send my love to all.
Yoour son and brother Jimmie

Pvt. Jim Fecht USMC
Batt. D., Spl Wpons. Br..
Div Special Troops
3rd Marine Div.
c/o Fleet PO
San Francisco, Calif.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

WOMEN'S RESPONSE TO WAR'S TRAUMAS

Booklets from Cootiette Club of Van Nuys - gift of Gary Fredburg 2007 - Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley

Often your Museum receives small items that at first glance are little more curiosities. This might have been the case of the three booklets just given to The Museum by Gary Fredburg. However, on examination, the Constitution of the Cootiette Club of the United States provided a important puzzle piece in understanding the mindsets of women shortly after World War II.

The Preamble to the Constitution states: "We, the Mothers, Wives, Widows, Sister, Daughters, Half Sisters, Stepmothers, Stepdaughters and Foster Mothers, Sisters, and Daughters, not less than 18 years of age, who are American citizens, of deceased and honorably discharged officers and enlisted men of the Army, Navy, or Marine Corps, whose service to the United States Government was performed on foreign soil or hostile waters, and women of the Armed Forces who have rendered Foreign Service in behalf of the United States of America and have an honorable discharge and their Mothers, Sisters and Daughters, do hereby united to establish a permanent organization to be known as the Supreme Cootiette Club of the United States.

The timing of the club and its membership rules are important. Today gay men and lesbian women live under the constraints of the "don't ask, don't tell" policies of the military, in the 1940s, military personnel who experienced psychological trauma were equally hidden. Thousands of vetrans returned to their homes without any serious attempt to integrate them back into their communities. Women needed support groups to help them deal with the world war had created.Tom Brocaw's "greatest generation" didn't talk about mental health, alcoholism, addictions, the abuse of women. Support groups existed, often under thinly disguised "frilly" names.

Your Museum will pay attention to the Cootiette Club of Van Nuys and issues facing women in our history.

Friday, December 14, 2007

SPECIAL CHRISTMAS RECOGNITION OF RICHARD BOGY

Residence of Bing Crosby North Hollywood, California (Toluca Lake) - Postcard collection of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley - Gift of Gary Fredburg 2007

One of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley's most important development advisors is Richard Bogy. A 6th generation Californian, Richard is dedicated to the responsible use of our State's natural resources and the preservation of our cultural and historical heritage.
From his days as a student at the University of Southern California, where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity and a student leader, Richard has worked to insure that the San Fernando Valley's rich history is preserved and shared.
The Senor Managing Partner of The Bogy Company - Insurance Brokers and a Principal of The Toluca Lake Company - Real Estate, Richard Bogy carries on the philosophy of responsible development that guided his family when they developed Toluca Lake in the 1920s.
Richard has served as the president of the Insurance Brokers and Agents of the West and as immediate past president of the Toluca Lake Chamber of Commerce. One of his major achievements was bringing to life the Old Lankershim Village Project. He was also the founding Vice President of the Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council.
Mr. Bogy is a member of the Board of the Friends of Campo de Cahuenga and is presently involved in the NBC Universal / MTA Project Community Working Group. He also served as Vice President of the Toluca Lake Homeowner’s Association.
Special thanks to Richard Bogy for his help in preparing the materials needed for the professional presentation of The Museum for corporate and governmental sponsorships.

BRAVO RICHARD BOGY! YOUR HARD WORK AND LEADERSHIP MAKES YOU A HERO OF SAN FERNANDO VALLEY HISTORY.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO PHYLLIS HANSEN

Pacific Electric Red Cars - Gift to The Musuem of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg - December 2007 - Trackless Trolley in Laurel Canyon

Special thanks to Ms. Phyllis Hansen for the many kindnesses done on behalf of the Museum Community in 2007. Phyllis works tirelessly to help her Museum build our contemporary history collections. Phyllis has single-handedly alerted us about the wonderful art work of Orpha Klinker, and our city's early philharmonic history. Among her recent conquests are the construction of the website for Campo de Cahuenga and aquisition of the wonderful pastel of Mrs. Armitage Forbes for the Campo's historic collection.

BRAVA PHYLLIS HANSEN - LOS ANGELES IS A FAR BETTER PLACE WITH YOU IN IT!

"The Trackless Trolley - Operating over a beautiful mountain boulevard to Bungalow Land an Ideal Residence Park. Laurel Canyon Utilities Co. Chas. S. Mann Pres. 321 Wright and Challender Bldg. Los Angeles."

6 DAY ICON PAINTING WORKSHOP


Museum Advisor Arturo Perez invites the Museum Community and others interested in painting to participate in a 6 day icon painting workshop. Students will learn to make their own icons, using tradtional methods and materials. Fee is $275 which includes both tuition and materials. January 11 - 13, and from 18-20. Fridays 5pm to 9pm and on Saturday and Sunday 9am to 5 pm.
Questions? Call (818) 209-0837
on line: iconclass2007@yahoo.com

Space is Limited

Instructor: British painter and iconographer David Clayton
Art Department Head - Thomas More College, New Hampshire

SPECIAL THANKS FOR A GREAT DECEMBER MUSEUM MEETING

Guardian Spirit of Taoist Temple - China Town December 2007 - Photo by Gerald Fecht - Archives Musuem of the San Fernando Valley

Your Museum held a very important meeting on December 12th in Tarzana, California. Among many decisions about the future of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley, was the decision to hold a Valley-wide community meeting in the second week of February. During this open meeting, a presentation will be made on The Museum's plans to serve the entire San Fernando Valley in 2008 and beyond.

MUSEUM ACQUIRES NEW ORPHA KLINKER IMAGE

1931 Olympic Games Preview - L.A. Times - Gift of Phyllis Hansen - Orpha Klinker - Avila Adobe - Collection of The Msuem of the San Fernando Valley

In her never ending quest to build the Orpha Klinker collection of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley, Phyllis Hansen gave her Museum Community this vintage image of the Avila Abode. Don Francisco Avila, was an early alcalde of the Los Angeles pueblo. Mayor Avila began the adobe's construction on Olvera Street in 1818.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE LOS ANGELES CITY COUNCIL ABOUT MOVING THE WEDDINGTON HOUSE

11 Dec.
2007

I am writing to you on an urgent matter. The Weddington Home, the mother-house of the San Fernando
Valley is about to be moved from the Valley to the Arroyo Seco off of the Pasadena Freeway. The
Weddington family established North Hollywood, Toluca Lake and impacted the development of the entire San
Fernando Valley. It is wrong that this building should be removed from our area of the city.

The Museum Community, working to establish a great regional Museum of history and culture for the entire
San Fernando Valley, urges you and your colleagues on the Los Angeles City Council to act as soon as
possible to keep the Weddington House where it belongs, in the Valley. We were just informed that at a Planning Department
hearing during the week of November 26th the Weddington family was informed that it is essentially
a "done" deal and all details for the transfer have been finalized. The family also heard that the decision was made because there is "no available place for the home in North Hollywood ". This is not accurate!

We believe that the house should be relocated near the Orange Line, perhaps at the Lankershim Train Depot or
in North Hollywood Park (a park developed by the Weddington family, across the street from a fire station developed by the Weddingtons.) The Weddington House is the last surviving original farm house, the last surviving artifact of a family
that contributed so much to the creation and success of our community. We believe that it should be easily
accessible by school children, teachers, and families in their own Valley.

The Museum Community applauds the work of Heritage Square, but the Weddington House must stay in our
Valley, where it belongs. Please let us know if you can help in this matter.

Sincerely Yours Gerald R. Fecht Ph.D.
President The Museum of the San Fernando Valley

A SPECIAL POST CARD TRIBUTE TO FRED BERK

Citrus Packing House - California 1940 - Postcard Collection The Museum of the San Fernando Valley - gift of Gerald Fecht
Fred Berk - Studio City, California - Librarian of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley - Museum Archives

While most folks make passing remarks about why their community isn't a better place, Fred Berk is out there doing something about things. Fred, a teacher, historian, collector of rare books, and nature lover, is a major community asset. In his third year as the Librarian of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley, Fred searches for ways to educate our Board and build the professional policies of a growing Museum Community.
Thanks Fred Berk - the San Fernando Valley and our California is a better place with your leadership and example.

TARZANA COMMUNITY CENTER IS A PRESENT TO THE ENTIRE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine Salutes the Tarzana Community Center - Dec. 2007 - Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley

As we prepare, give and store away the many treasures of this holiday season in the San Fernando Valley, it's good time to think about the gifts given over the year to us. The volunteers and supporters of the Tarzana Community Center have made a dream come true. These dedicated Valley folks took a run-down statuary store and turned it into a model community gathering place.
The Tarzana Community Center certainly deserved the commendation of the Los Angeles City Council presented to it, at the Center's holiday get together.
BRAVA AND BROVO TARZANA!

THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY'S VERY OWN SAINT

Chapel of Villa Cabrini - Burbank - Postcard collection - The Museum of the San Fernando Valley - gift of Gerald Fecht
Entrance to Villa Cabrini - Postcard Collection of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley - Gift of Gerald Fecht
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini - Founder of Villa Cabrini Burbank

Few places in the United States can claim that a canonized saint lived and worked there. The San Fernando Valley is an important exception. Known in her lifetime as Mother Cabrini, the diminutive Catholic nun worked tirelessly to provide education, housing and opportunities for America's poor, especially children of immigrant families.
In 1880, Mother Cabrini became one of the founding nuns of an Italian religious order called The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
She was the superior of the order until her death just prior to America's entry into World War I.
Pope Leo XIII sent Mother Cabrini to America in 1889 to work for the poor. She was especially concerned about children with diseases of the lungs, a common thing among inner city children in her era.
Mother Cabrini founded 67 institutions in the United States, one of which was the Villa Cabrini School for girls in Burbank, California.
Mother Cabrini became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1909, upon her elevation to sainthood, America's first citizen saint. Woodbury University now occupies the site of the historic Villa Cabrini.
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini
15 July 1850 to 22 December 1917

THE MUSEUM OF THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY SERVES RESIDENTS OF ALL VALLEY COMMUNITIES

City of San Fernando - Postcard in Collection of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley - Gift of Gary Fredburg 2007

Your Museum Community works to serve the residents of all the communities that make up the greater San Fernando Valley.
Los Angeles suburbs, San Fernando, Glendale, Burbank, the Canyon Communities, Calabasas and Topanga Canyon.

The San Fernando Valley deserves a great Museum of history and culture.

Monday, December 10, 2007

HO! HO! HO! TIME FOR THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY TO LOSE A MAJOR HISTORICAL ASSET

AN EMERGENCY FOR VALLEY HISTORY IS AT HAND!

With Christmas and Hanukah distractions in full force, the San Fernando Valley faces an ENORMOUS HERITAGE CRISIS! One of the Valley's most important historical homes is about to be hauled away to a park, halfway across Los Angeles. The Weddington House, birthplace of North Hollywood, Toluca Lake, and indeed the modern San Fernando Valley, is in danger RIGHT NOW of being removed forever!

Let's assume that the owners of the Weddington House, the developers of the property on which it presently stands, and their supporters in government, mean well. Moving the Weddington from its present site makes sense not only in economic terms but for the preservation of the historic house as well. However, relocating the Weddington outside of the San Fernando Valley is a genuine affront to the hundreds of thousands of residents who call the Valley our home.

There are many, many places within the San Fernando Valley that would be a perfect place for the Weddington House. Ideally, moving the house to the grounds of the Lankershim Train Station would be perfect. Or, better yet North Hollywood Park set aside by the Weddingtons, across the street from the Fire Station that the Weddingtons originally funded.
Let's give ourselves a real present for the holidays, by demanding that the Weddington House stay right where it belongs… in the San Fernando Valley.

Contact our mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, our city council, and county supervisors RIGHT AWAY! They need to know that the
appropriate location of the Weddington House is a Valley-wide issue!

Gerald Fecht

Sunday, December 9, 2007

UNIVERSAL PICTURES COMPANY INC.

Universal Pictures Company Inc. - Universal City Post Office - Collection of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley - gift of Gerald Fecht

Someone in the Museum Community will be able to identify the year and model of the automobile parked outside of the Universal Pictures Company Inc. That will go a long way to identify the year this postcard, just added to the collection of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley, was published.


The San Fernando Valley, including North Hollywood and Universal City, deserves a great Museum of history and culture.

POST CARD COLLECTORS' SHOP IN SUNLAND, CALIFORNIA

Lee Brown 2007 - Postcard Dealer - Sunland, California - Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley

If you enjoy the postcards and other paper memorabilia posted on the blog of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley, you might wish to visit Lee Brown's Adventure in Postcards Shop at:
8423 Foothills Boulevard, Sunland, California.
The store's telephone is: (818) 352-5663.

Lee's store is usually open on Saturdays from 11am until 2pm, but wise Valley-ites make an appointment to meet her there. Her number for appointments is (818) 895-7919

Adventures in Postcards has over a 100 boxes of postcards filed under easy to understand categories. She also has a delicious number of boxes with unsorted cards, priced about ¢25 each.

Lee Brown is a supporter of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley. The Museum Community urges you to patronize her store.

The San Fernando Valley, including Sunland, deserves a great Museum of history and culture.

NOTES ON CALIFORNIA'S FLAG

Here are a few thoughts about the California State flag from Shel Weisbach - The Museum of the San Fernando Valley.

And a few tidbits . . .
The bear flag’s design is credited to William Todd, nephew of Mary Todd Lincoln.
California’s Betsy Ross was Nancy Kelsy (or Kelsey). Kelsy deserves recognition for a second feat, as a 17-year-old member of the 1841 Bidwell-Bartleson wagon train, she and baby daughter Martha Ann were
the first females to journey to California in a covered wagon. A monument to Kelsy stands in New Cuyama, Santa Barbara County.

The single star on the California flag carried the same symbolism as Texas’ lone star – seeking union with the United States.
In 1836, Governor Juan Bautista Alvarado led a revolt against Mexican rule under a white flag with a single 5-point red star.

The likeness of the bear on the early flag, not being of the best imagery - was often likened, sorry to say, to a pig.
The current design (and refinement) traces to 1911.

GARY FREDBURG DISCOVERS ANOTHER TREASURE FOR THE MUSEUM OF THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

Museum Vice President Gary Fredburg - Paper Collectibles Show Dec. 9, 2007 - Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley

Always on the lookout for another treasure to contribute to his Museum, Gary Fredburg displays a postcard of the entrance to University Studios. Nearly all of the distributors who display paper collectibles at this show are friends and allies of The Museum. They seem to know instinctively that energizing a great Museum for our Valley takes and will take the care and concern of hundreds of people.

THE MUSEUM OF THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY BELONGS TO THE JAMES FAMILY OF WOODLAND HILLS.

Adam James and his family - Tarzana Community Center - Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley - Dec. 9, 2007

Actor Adam James and his wife and son have made Woodland Hills their home. Recently from Honolulu, Hawaii, Adam came to the San Fernando Valley in the best tradition of our community as home to entertainment industry. One need go no father than to read the credits of a Warner Brothers or Universal motion picture to get an idea of the number of creative artists who make the San Fernando Valley their home.


The San Fernando Valley deserves a great Museum of history and culture..... and, it belongs to the James family.

WORLD WAR II FAMILY WINDOW FLAG

1942 War Service Flag - Leona Weaver Crites - Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley

In the late summer of 1942 this crocheted flag arrived at the home of James L. Fecht in Mexico, Missouri. The little banner was done in Minot, North Dakota by Leona Weaver Crites in honor of her grandson's service in the United State Marine Corps.

The flag was among the possessions of Mildred Fecht when she died. Her daughter Genevieve sent it from Washington State in November 2003 to her brother Jim who was living in Tarzana, California. On the back of the flag was pinned a note from Genevieve saying" "I do remember the hanging. I would look at it and think of you as well did in that house for over 3 years. ... Oh how I hoped and prayed that we wouldn't have to change the color of that star. You came home to us !!! What a great time it was." (The center star of stars were blue if the person in the service was living, and gold if he or she had died for their country.)

Genevieve Rebbe wrote further: "Thank you for being my hero, thank you for writing v. mails to me while you were gone. Thank you for the lovely Marine locket you gave me and I still have. We are so lucky you lived thru that miserable war."

Jim entrusted the precious little flag to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley in 2007.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

THE HOLIDAYS ARE FOR PERFECT FOR PIRATES


NoHo Arts Center is Simply the Best Little Theater Around.

The multi-award-winning NoHo Arts Center presents the World Premiere musical Yo! Ho! Ho! A Pirate's Christmas, perfect for the whole family this holiday season from the creative team that brought you Dorian, The Ghost and Mrs Muir and Lizard, music and lyrics by Scott DeTurk and James J. Mellon and written and directed by James J. Mellon.

In this brand-new, world premiere musical, it's up to a little seven-year-old girl named Eve to save Christmas for everyone! What will become of Christmas when Santa Claus and the citizens of the North Pole are kidnapped by a bunch of directionally challenged pirates? This wondrous new musical is destined to become a holiday tradition for you and your entire family.

Runs through December 30 Friday & Saturday @ 7:30 PM Sunday @ 2PM

PANTAGES BUILDING IN HOLLYWOOD

Sonny Bono For Mayor - Political Button - Collection of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley

A note from Shel Weisbach - The Museum of the San Fernando Valley
FYI . . . If you have not yet caught the news . . . Today's Times
Business Section, C-1 . . . 10 floors to be added to the Hollywood
Pantages Building . . . Supposedly following the original design of
architect B. Marcus Pritica - - - That the Pantages was to be enclosed
in a 12-story tower is true; but, how close the new design will be to
Priteca's plans I would question until the "final' revelation is
announced!!!

TOLUCA LAKE OPEN HOUSE FESTIVITIES


Don't miss the annual Toluca Lake Holiday Open House - fun for the entire family. Friday, December 7 from 6-9PM. Riverside Dr. in Toluca Lake Village.

Enjoy the Magical Christmas Caroling Truck, Village Christmas Tree Lighting, Photos with Santa, Live Performances and Treats from Local Merchants.

BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR SAN FERNANDO VALLEY TREASURES AT VINTAGE PAPER SHOW!

1915 Holiday Postcard - Collection of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley - gift of Gary Fredburg
Mailed on Dec. 18, 1915 this Christmas post card cost 1¢ to mail from Chicago to Los Angeles. It is part of your Museum's Events and Holidays collection. It was found at the Vintage Paper Collectibles Show.

SAN FERNANDO VALLEY VINTAGE PAPER COLLECTIBLES SHOW
Approximately 15 dealers from the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys will be displaying over 1/2 million old postcards, paper collectibles and ephemera. Included will be postcards, advertising trade cards, cigar labels, scrap, and several pieces of local history. Located at the Granada Hills Pavilion Just behind Trader Joes’s at 11128 Balboa Blvd Granada Hills Ca. Free appraisals of all old paper collectibles will be given with the price of admission, so if anybody wants to know what that old scrap book, album or box of postcards is worth, now is the time and place to find out!

WHERE: Granada Hills Pavilion 11128 Balboa Blvd Granada Hills Ca.

WHEN: Saturday, Dec 8 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. -- Sunday, Dec 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

ADMISSION: $5.00 Good for both days.

For further information call Jeremy LeRoque at (626) 665-9435

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

SAN FERNANDO VALLEY HISTORY IS FILLED WITH ROMANCE AND UNANSWERED QUESTIONS

Yet another image of the Fremont Flag
Jessie Benton Fremont - Wife of John C. Fremont
The Fremont Flag - Photo by Phyllis Hansen - Collection of Campo de Cahenga.
John C. Fremont played a significant role in the history of California and the United States. Since there are more stars in the flag field than there were states in Fremont's time, the flag is sometimes viewed as a more modern invention. However, the stars on the Fremont Flag like the peace pipe may have been decorative invention rather than numerical symbolism.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW YOUR VALLEY?


Thousands of San Fernando Valley and greater Los Angeles residents go about their business or pleasures every day without seeing the wonderful treasures all about them. This is the interior hallway of The Victorian, an office building in east Canoga Park, on the corner of Corbin Avenue and Sherman Way.

JOHN HERGERT'S ART GAINS NATIONAL PROMINANCE

"Skateboarder" - Alumninum Sculpture by John Hergert - Chicago - Fall 2007

Excitement continues to grow about the sculptures of former San Fernando Valley artist John Hergert. The winner of Red Bull's "Art of the Can contest", Hergert worked in Woodland Hills and lived in North Hollywood during his time in the Valley. Here's hoping the folks at Red Bull bring the Skaterboarder sculpture here to the Valley, where the sport originated.

MAP OF INVASION OF IWO JIMA IN WORLD WAR II


As your Museum processes incoming materials to our archieves, we will be sharing them on thise blog. Many of our recent aquisitions are of a military nature. This is a map of the exploits of a member of the 3rd Marine Division during the invasion of Iwo Jima. The use of the word "Jap" for Japanese are the Marine's own term and commonly used during the heat of the war.


Pencil map of Iwo Jima, done by PFC James L. Fecht showing his positions during the invasion of the island. "Travels of Jim on Iwo Jima Isle"

(left) positions of the 5th Marine Division
(center) 3rd Marine Division
(right) 4th Marine Division

Follow the line going up the mountain >>>>>>>> Barriers are indicated as fence-like horizontal lines.
1. Where the battle begins for Jim
2. First barrier
3. "Under heavy fire here." Second barrier.
4. "Spent 21st birthday here in foxhole."
5. Third barrier - to the left is an airfield
6. Fourth barrier
7. "Enemy bodies stacked up here after bonsai attack.
"Crawled across enemy rifle range here."
8. Fourth barrier "Buddy mine got Silver Star here for attack on pill box.
Americans were pinned down here, until an American Indian Marine
attacked the machine gun emplacement from its extreme left, under cover fire from Jim and his buddies. He had risked his life to stop
the firing on his unit. He killed the Japanese defenders with hand
grenades.
9. Fifth barrier "Picked up Jap flag and hari kari knife here."
10. The 3rd Marines and 4th Marines join together to secure the mountain
top, then move right down and across a sixth barrier.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

MUSEUM OF THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY PLANS ITS ARCHIVES

Dr. Robert Marshall - CSUN -explains the workings of the University Archives to Museum Board members. November 2007

Dr. Robert G. Marshall, head archivist of the Urban Archives Center and University Archives of California State University Northridge aids Board Members of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley to plan our Valley-wide archives. Here he demonstrated the massive archive vault in the Oviatt Library to Board Members Gary Fredburg, Shel Weisbach and Fred Berk.

Dr. Marshall and his associate Tony Gardner, Curator of the Special Collections/Archives of the University, emphasized how even the best meaning historical and cultural institutions without state-of-the-art preservation policies and equipment only slow down the process of the loss of priceless artifacts and documents. Issues such as security, theft, poor documentation and many other issues were presented to your Museum Community's representatives.

Establishing a great Museum of history and culture for the greater San Fernando Valley is far more than simply acquiring artifacts. Just cataloguing materials and presenting them on-line as useful digital archives is a massive undertaking.

The acquisition of a headquarters for your Museum's operations is our first priority. We must have a place to process and protect the steady stream of historic materials that are coming in our doors. This week alone we acquired an important collection of memorabilia from the US space program, collections of political memorabilia, relics from World War II, as well as significant photographs, notebooks and letters.

Thanks for supporting your Museum this last year.
We are going to make 2008 The Year of The Museum!
Jerry Fecht

YOUR MUSEUM SERVES THE ENTIRE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

Bronze Baseball Belt Buckle - 1948 - AA Semi-Professiona Legue - Collection of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley

Founded in 2005, The Museum of the San Fernando Valley was incorporated to serve residents of the Valley suburb communities of Los Angeles but also the greater San Fernando Valley as well. Our Museum Community collects artifacts and preserves information about the independent cities of San Fernando, Burbank, Glendale, Eagle Rock, the Canyon Communities, Calabasas and Topanga Canyon. Our interests are the interests and needs of the whole region.

The Museum of the SFV collects art and craft objects as well as historical items. Most local historical organizations have a focus strictly on their part of the city, but your Museum recognizes that the things that impact the lives of modern residents of the Valley come from nearly every region of our world.

Baseball's impact on our lives and culture deserves as much attention as do the Ice Age animals that once roamed the Valley. From the Tongva culture to Red Car Transportation, from Rocket Engines to Video Games, your Museum explores the many things and events that surround the 1,800,000 residents of the greater San Fernando Valley.

Do you have a unique collection, interest or heritage that you would like to share today and with future generations? Give your Museum a call today: (818) 609-1665. The folks at Anchor Education Foundation will make sure you get in touch.

"The San Fernando Valley deserves a great Museum of history and culture."

U.S. MARINES - 3RD DIVISION - CAMP ELLIOT, CALIFORNIA 1942

"Hab Garrison and Lee Moon - 1942
Jim Fecht (left), "Hab" Garrison, Lee Moon and "Dago" 1942
Among the many artifacts given to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley in memory of James Fecht were these two photographs taken in Camp Elliot, California in 1942. These damaged photographs, enhanced slightly here for clarity, were taken shortly before these members of the 3rd Marine Division were deployed from San Diego to the war in the Pacific. The photographs were processed by the Sauer Studio in Greenville, Mississipi. The photos were among the few items carried by James Fecht during his time in the military.
As the war progressed, Jim Fecht said that he lost so many of his buddies from boot camp and from Camp Elliot that he would not intentionally make new friends. The pain of losing them was too great.

Friday, November 30, 2007

MUSEUM BENEFACTOR JAMES FECHT DIES



Thanksgiving Day Menu November 26, 1942 - Third Marine Division - Camp Elliott, California - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from James L. Fecht - two of four pages.
James Fecht, older brother of Gerald Fecht president of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley, gave our Museum Community memorabilia from his exploits during World War II. Among these items was this Thanksgiving Menu.
The following is an abridged obituary of Mr. Fecht

James Fecht was born on the 12th of March 1924 in Mexico, Missouri. He was the oldest son of Mildred and William T. Fecht.
A natural athlete, Jim was an amateur boxer and played baseball on various teams in Audrain County.

At the age of 17, Jim graduated from high school just as the Second World War began. In August of 1942, he secured his parents permission to enter the United States Marine Corps. He was inducted into the service in Kansas City, Missouri and sent by train to the Recruit Depot in San Diego, California. He was assigned to the 645th Platoon of the 3rd Marine Division.
During a weekend leave Jim went with his buddy Webb McKelvey to Hollywood. At the USO, Webb introduced his friend to his cousin Joye Barnes. Still a high school girl, Joye took the young Marine to the sets of Universal Studios where she played minor film roles and showed him around her glamorous city. Jim fell in love.

With Joye's photograph in his wallet, Jim was shipped to Hawaii where he saw the devastation that resulted from the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. His unit was then sent to New Zealand, where Marines trained for jungle warfare and acted as additional security for a country whose sons and fathers were in combat in Europe.

The next two years took Jim Fecht into a world he that he could never have conceived. He trained continuously, experienced fierce combat and spent endless hours between tedium and terror. Names like Noumea, New Caledonia, Guadalcanal, the Solomon Islands, Eniwetok, and Guam seared into his memories. He watched the flag of the United States raised on Iwo Jima.

Badly burned Jim was in recovery on the island of Guam, when he wrote to his sister Dorothy Fetterhoff that two young combatants visited him from his hometown, "Bob Osborn and the Patterson boy, who lived nearby in Mexico."

On Mother's Day 1945 a telegram arrived at the Fecht home on West Boulevard. Jimmy Fecht was back in the United States and would soon be home on furlough. He expected to return to the South Pacific for the dreaded invasion of Japan. Three months later the Japanese surrendered.

Shortly after the war ended, Jim Fecht and Joye Barnes were married. They made their first home in North Hollywood, California. His father-in-law got the young veteran a job as an apprentice electrician at Universal Studios. There, surrounded by the glamour of the movie business, Jim learned the trade that would serve him well for the next 40 years. It was an exciting time; he played catcher on the Universal softball team and became friends with the cowboy actor Dale Robertson who "was a darned good ball player." Jim recalled how Universal "starlets" came to cheer for the team and the occasion when Frank Sinatra sang the Nation Anthem at an exhibition game played for the disabled veterans at Birmingham Hospital.

Joye and Jim Fecht had two children, Susan Lynn and Steven Thomas, both of whom live with their families in Lake County, California. After his retirement from electrical contracting and estimating, Jim married a second time to his beloved Virginia Bossler-Matter. He and Gini spent glorious hours in their Tarzana, California garden, where an amazing assortment of birds, possums, and desert tortoises shared their afternoons. Jim taught himself how to paint in oil and acrylics. Among his favorite works were those war-torn islands of his youth, with their foliage re-grown and at peace.

Jim Fecht wrote wonderful stories in the style of his beloved Mark Twain. One his favorite works was "Tales of Our Family - Truths and Possible Truths." He remained lifelong friends with Roy Harper of Mexico, Missouri and mastered the Internet to send his buddy emails.

Aside from his wife and children, James Fecht is survived by his sisters Dorothy Fetterhoff of Jackson, Missouri and Genevieve Rebbe of Granite Falls, Washington. Also by his brothers Robert of Sun City, Arizona and Gerald Fecht of Tarzana, California. He died in his sleep at dawn on the 30th of November 2007 in Reseda, California. His ashes will be scattered on the Pacific Ocean.

Jimmy requested that no flowers or contributions be made in his name. "Ask them to put out their flag for me, and to be good to one another."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

MUSEUM OF THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY IN THE NEWS

Grand plans for library building
By Connie Llanos, Staff Writer - Daily News

HISTORIC: Architect buying Van Nuys landmark vowing to preserve a bit of the past.
When the historic library in Van Nuys was put on the auction block recently, most community members were pessimistic about the future of the 81-year-old building. Many feared that the building - which housed the first library in the area and later the fire department before it was boarded up and abandoned - would turn into another office building in an area already jammed with commercial space.
But Tony Nasr, who paid $1.52 million for the building, says his plans for the 1926 building don't include either demolition or remodeling. "The key is to keep the building as is or refresh it a little," Nasr said. The architect is expecting to close escrow on the property by mid-December. And he said he can't wait to delve into the old building and start uncovering what he considers to be its hidden treasures.
"The first thing I am going to do is rip the carpet out," he said. "I am sure there has to be hardwood floors under there. "I am also looking for the original light fixtures. Those fluorescent lights will also be gone soon. Outside of renovating the bathrooms, Nasr said he has no intention of messing with what he considers to be aged perfection. The almost 15-foot-high ceilings will be kept intact, as well as the intricate Mexican stamping and ornate corner details that line the roof. The wooden beams will be polished and a special treatment will be given to the forest carving above the indoor fireplace that Nasr plans to use as a focal point for his open-air floor plan.
Nasr, who attributes his affinity for history to his Lebanese upbringing, said he is even open to the idea of housing the burgeoning Museum of the San Fernando Valley in the 2,000 square feet he plans to restore as rental space.

Gerald Fecht, president of the museum, said the board of directors had been eyeing the library property ever since it vacated its former Valley College location with intentions of finding its own location. The library would be a perfect locale for the museum because of its location in the heart of the Van Nuys Civic Center and its proximity to public transportation, Fecht said. "The library, for literally thousands of people, represents so much. It was a place where kids did their research and some very important writers used it, too," he added. "We would like to see that library be a cultural beacon, but if it's not available, we will continue our struggle somewhere."

Whatever the final results, Nasr said it is a priority for him to find the perfect tenants. "They have to share my vision of the building," he said. "It will probably take me a little bit of time, but I hope I have enough money to do this exactly like it should be done."
connie.llanos@dailynews.com 818-713-3634 


............. AND CULTURE!

Wedding In India - Photograph by Phyllis Hansen - Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley

Your Museum of the San Fernando Valley is often thought of as just another local historical organization. However, The Museum of the San Fernando Valley collects and displays works of art as well - especially when those works are the product of the creative genius of Los Angeles-based artists. This wonderful photograph taken in India by Museum Community member Phyllis Hansen is a great example!