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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

JOHN KASON - TOUGH GUY ON AND OFF THE SCREEN

2010  THE YEAR OF VALLEY ADVENTURES           Why it's called the Valley of the Stars.

During his successful career as an actor in film and television, John Kason lived in North Hollywood.
He was best known for his "heavy" roles, the all important "bad guy" that makes movies so exciting.
Kason was born in 1918 and died in an accident while on location in Santa Barbara in 1961.


John Kason - Photo gift to the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Porky Johnson November 2010.  (click on image to enlarge - refer to photo number 2001)

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GLENN STRANGE - COWBOY, MOVIE MONSTER AND TV STAR

2010  THE YEAR OF VALLEY ADVENTURES            Why it's called The Valley of the Stars.


 Glenn Strange as the bartender, Sam Noonan in CBS Television's series Gunsmoke.
Photo gift to the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Porky Johnson, November 2010. Refer to image 2000.  (click on image to enlarge)

          When he came to California as part of a singing group called the Arizona Wrangles, Glenn Strange could have little anticipated becoming one of the most recognized faces in the world ... a face in makeup that is.  As Dr. Frankenstein's monster, Glenn starred in three of Universal Studios blockbusting films about Frankenstein with the great Boris Karloff.

         Encino resident John Cox notes that Glenn Strange also played the Frankenstein Monster in three films (House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula, Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein).

IS THIS A WORLD WAR TWO MILITARY ESCAPE MAP?

2010  THE YEAR OF VALLEY ADVENTURES


 A reason silk stockings became scarce during WWII

  During the Second World War, the United States (MIS-X) and British military  produced over 3,500,000 silk and tissue paper maps. They were to be used chiefly for  escape purposes. The map in this photograph was scanned by Gerald Fecht for The  Museum’s Archives from the collection of Valley historian Porky Johnson in 2010. It was  tucked into a larger paper map of the 1932 Olympic Games. At first, Jerry assumed  that it might have been a tourist souvenier but noting that the usual tourist-stuff  was missing investigated its possibility as a military device. (refer to image number 2000.)





    Monday, November 29, 2010

    SAN FERNANDO VALLEY ON 1932 OLMPICS MAP

    2010  THE YEAR OF VALLEY ADVENTURES             Northridge100 (then North Los Angeles)

    Porky Johnson, Gary Fredburg and I were looking at this 1932 Olympic Games map to see if it showed any events held in the San Fernando Valley.. no luck, but here are a couple of great details from the map and an historic postcard from July 1932.  (click on images to enlarge)

     Map of Olympic Games Los Angeles 1932 -  July 30 to August 14, 1932

     Priceless detail of the Olympics map showing the major towns in the San Fernando Valley. Woodland Hills was called Girard, Northridge was named North Los Angeles, and Sun Valley was identified as Roscoe. Van Nuys, the cities of San Fernando and Burbank, as well as Canoga Park and Calabasas are shown.

     On Thanksgiving day, we were talking with our relatives from Northern California and Iowa about professional football and the chance that Los Angeles might someday have a pro-team again. My wife's cousin said, "Why don't they tear down the colosium and build a NFL stadium there." The room fell deathly silent!  None of us whose lives are part of Los Angeles could conceive our city without the grand old stadium.

    A DAY WITH "PORKY" JOHNSON

    2010  THE YEAR OF VALLEY ADVENTURES

    One of the most interesting people in the San Fernando Valley is "Porky" Johnson, Country-Western Music Historian. At 86, Porky is busy in his North Hollywood workshop restoring and preserving vital elements of Valley and American music history. Filled with fascinating stories, Porky is determined to share his historical memorabilia with future generations. Here is a sample of his legacy.

     Porky was about 18 years old when this photograph was taken of him at the eastern edge of North Hollywood Park. The automobiles parked behind him are facing South on Tujunga Avenue. The telephone poles go East on Weddington Street. 

     Porky Johnson holds a blue ribbon that he won in 1939 in a bicycle race. He's pretty sure that this helped create his lifelong love of racing.(click on image to enlarge)

     Porky Johnson rewarded himself last year with the first new motorcycle he's ever owned --- for his 85th birthday.  (Photo for the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley by Gerald Fecht - November 2010. - click on image to enlarge)

     Doye O'Dell shirt - collection of Porky Johnson

    Made for the performer Doye O'Dell, this classic cowboy shirt was made in North Hollywood by Nudie, "the tailor to the stars." Below - leather label on the inside of the shirt's collar.

    ANGELES TEMPLE - L.A. IMAGE NUMBER 229

    2010  THE YEAR OF VALLEY ADVENTURES  -  Los Angeles at its 230th year.

    One of the most interesting personalities of the 1930s and early 1940s in Southern California was the charismatic Aimee Semple McPherson, founder of the Church of the Four Square Gospel. The headquarters of her organization was at her Angelus Temple, still standing in Echo Park.


    Angelus Temple - vintage postcard -  Gift to the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley 
    from Gary Fredburg 2009 -  click on image to enlarge

    Several Four Square churches were established in the San Fernando Valley. "Sister" Aimee was born in 1890 and lived until 1944. She is buried at Forest Lawn cemetery in Glendale.

    Sunday, November 28, 2010

    PHYLLIS HANSEN SHARES PHOTO THOUGHTS OF VAN NUYS WALKING TOUR

    2010  THE YEAR OF VALLEY ADVENTURES
    Being part of The Museum Community is lots of fun (and some hard work), especially when I get to see the photographs taken by my colleagues at the end of one of our historic walking or bus tours. A good example of this are these photographs by Museum Board Member, Phyllis Hansen, who came along on our Walk-It-Off walking tour this last Saturday. I never noticed this vintage cast iron turn style at the entrance of the Van Nuys surplus store.

     Photograph for the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley by Phyllis Hansen - November 2010  (click on image to enlarge)

     The first woman, Eve, is tempted in the Garden of Eden by a fruit bearing snake. Judson Stained Glass window in the Van Nuys Methodist Church. You gotta love that pink serpent!

     I was past this bail bond limo before I took a photo of the hood. Phyllis captured the poor guy in jail in the back window. 

    Interior of the renovated old Public Library building in Van Nuys - Photo by Phyllis Hansen.
    (click on images to enlarge them) 

    ADDITIONAL PHOTOS FROM THE GREAT AFTER THANKSGIVING MUSEUM "WALK IT OFF" TOUR

    2010  THE YEAR OF VALLEY ADVENTURES

    The young man was alarmed at the crowd of people, he assumed were somehow after his car. Assertively he asked what The Museum walking tour was doing in front of the house in which he was living. Before he left, he said to me, "... historical importance?  Guess rent will be going up here in the 'hood." (Humm, I thought, he just may be right. Appreciating historical value adds to an all-important 'sense of place'. And, that can add to property value.)
     Museum "in-tourist" photographs a bail bondsman's limo. Check out the license plate.

     Throughout the San Fernando Valley, Christian churches feature windows and other elements of symbolic art that demonstrate the religion's origins in Judaism. Here in the Van Nuys Methodist Church, a stained glass window shows Jesus at his bar mitzvah.
    If you are interested in a future Museum of the San Fernando Valley tour of Valley religious structures and locations - add your name to our contact list - call 1 (818) 347-9665.

     Hidden in the shrubbery at the far left corner of the Old Van Nuys Post Office is this historic cornerstone. I wasn't in the situation on The Museum's historic walking tour to push the plants around, but this picture gives an idea of the information it contains. (click on the image to enlarge it.)
    Henry Morgenthau Jr. was the Secretary of the United States Treasury under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. James A. Farley, dear friend and confidant of FDR was Post Master General.  Hundreds of post offices and other federal building were constructed during Roosevelt's administration in an effort to pull the United States out of the Great Depression.

    The Museum's tour group was able to see the renovated Van Nuys Public Library Building. I hadn't been inside the structure for 53 years, since I once did research for my term papers at Notre Dame High School.  (click on this image to enlarge)

    VALLEY COLLEGE THETA RHO THETA - SPRING BREAK?

    2010   THE YEAR OF VALLEY ADVENTURES
     Group photo of the sisters of Theta Rho Theta, a sorority at Los Angeles Valley College - c. 1964 Please identify these young women from left to right - seated or standing. Digital photograph in the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley - Gift of Rosalyn Stern Krause. (click on image to enlarge) - Refer to photo number 1969
     These photos came from a Theta Rho Theta photo album. They have no date or location reference. But, I suspect they were taken on Catalina, likely during Spring break. Refer to photograph 1970.

    College boy with bubble gum in his hair.  Theta Rho Theta photo album. Refer to photo 1971


    These images were not scanned, but simply photographed in their original Theta Rho Theta sorority scrapbook. One of the first activities to be established in The Museum's planned for workspace will a Photographic Forensics Committee. The committee will work on putting names, dates and locations to photographs such as these.

    Saturday, November 27, 2010

    THIRD ANNUAL WALK IT OFF TOUR - A BIG SUCCESS

    2010        THE YEAR OF VALLEY ADVENTURES

    The Museum of the San Fernando Valley celebrated the beginning of the Holiday Season with a big walking tour success. Museum Tour Program Director, and today's docent, Richard Hilton led 37 intourists on an exploration of the Van Nuys Civic Center and arranged for perfect touring weather.
    Thanks to everyone who helped and joined The Museum Community for the day.
    Museum tour on the Civic Center promenade. Refer to photo 1982. (click on image to enlarge)
     Frieze over the entrance to the Valley Municipal Building - what locals call the Van Nuys city hall.
    Refer to photograph number 1983.

     Looking at the headquarters of the Los Angeles Police Department, one of Richard Hilton's favorite Valley buildings. Refer to photograph number 1981.
     Tile fireplace plaque in the renovated Van Nuys Public Library building.An important San Fernando Valley legal firm rescued the abandoned structure and returned it to its former glory. Refer to photograph number 1978. (click on image to enlarge)


    Friday, November 26, 2010

    PHELPS TERKEL - LA IMAGE NUMBER 230

    2010 THE YEAR OF VALLEY ADVENTURES                 2011 LA's 230th Birthday
    Liane Schirmer, Board Member of The Museum, is our coordinator for next year's 230th birthday of the City of Los Angeles. The Museum of the San Fernando Valley will have a large presence at the official birthday celebration.  To get The Museum Community thinking about the City and the Valley's essential role in its history, Liane has suggested we publish at least 230 images of LA.
    Phelps Terkel was once considered one of the finest men's stores in Los Angeles.
    Advertisement planning sheet - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg November 2010. (click on image to enlarge)

    JOIN THE MUSEUM COMMUNITY TODAY.  Call 1 (818) 347-9665

    GAMMA DELTA TAU FRATERNITY VALLEY COLLEGE c. 1962

    2010  THE YEAR OF VALLEY ADVENTURES

    There were several local fraternities and sororities at Los Angeles Valley College in the late 1950s and 1960s.  (click on image to enlarge - refer to photograph 1967)  None of these young men and women have been identified.
    Please identify these Valley College students starting in the bottom row left. If you have images of college life in the San Fernando Valley, please contact your Museum 1 (818) 347-9665
    THE YEAR OF VALLEY ADVENTURES

    At the outset of World War II, Ronald Reagan starred in a very popular film called Knute Rockne All American. Information about his life and artifacts from his careers in film and politics are an important part of your Museum's collections and historical responsibility.

    Postcard of Ronald Reagan in the 1940 film Knute Rockne All American. (click on image to enlarge)

    BETTE DAVIS - A REASON WHY IT'S CALLED THE VALLEY OF THE STARS

    2010  THE YEAR OF VALLEY ADVENTURES

    The mega-star Bette Davis lived, worked and is buried in the San Fernando Valley.   The Museum of the San Fernando Valley collects artifacts and information about Ms. Davis and her contemporaries in the entertainment industry.
    Postcard in the archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley - gift of Gerald Fecht 2009

    PIERCE COLLEGE BOYS ROAD TRIP - SEPT. 1964

    2010  THE YEAR OF VALLEY ADVENTURES

    In September 1964 two LA Pierce College boys were on a road-trip.We haven't identified them yet, but we know that they were members of a local fraternity Tri Chi at the community college.
    All three of the performers listed on the marquee above are country and western performers. The location was likely in front of a casino, possibly in Las Vegas.
    (click on image to enlarge)  (refer to photograph number 1965)
    (refer to photo number 1966)

    THE LITTLE - VERY LITTLE - BROWN CHURCH IN STUDIO CITY

    2010  THE YEAR OF VALLEY ADVENTURES.
    Here's hoping you join us tomorrow on our 3rd Annual Walk It Off historic walking tour adventure - this time in the Van Nuys Civic Center.
    This last Tuesday, the 23rd, your Museum's Phyllis Hansen and Jerry Fecht took two very bright administrative assistants from Assemblymember Mike Feuer's office on a tour of the San Fernando Valley section of the Assemblyman's district. Our goal was to show these young women, some of the secrets they might not know about our area of California.
    One of our stops was at the historic Little Brown Church in Studio City where Nancy Davis and Ronald Reagan were married. The Little Brown Church may just be the smallest house of worship in the San Fernando Valley, but exploring the site, Phyllis Hansen may have found one even smaller!



     The Little Little Brown Church in the Valley
    Photo by Phyllis Hansen for the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley.
    (click on image to enlarge)

    I wonder how many of you, like me, were fans of the great little bank, They May Be Giants. If you are then you might remember one of their lyrics that reminded us to "Make a little birdhouse in your soul."
    Thanks Phyllis for this elevated view of the Little Brown Church.

    Monday, November 22, 2010

    VIEWS OF THE VALLEY OF THE STARS

    2010  THE YEAR OF VALLEY ADVENTURES

     View from helicopter of the Hollywood Freeway looking north along Lankershim Boulevard in the NoHo. A special vote of thanks to Jerry Berns of Woodland Hills who arranged for the helicopter trip this November of the San Fernando Valley at sundown. (click on image to enlarge) Refer to photo number 1962 - Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley.

    View of Laurel Canyon looking north from Alta Vista Drive in Studio City. (click on image to enlarge) Photo by Gerald Fecht for the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley - 2010.

    Sunday, November 21, 2010

    LEADS ON STUDIO CITY HISTORY

    2010  THE YEAR OF VALLEY ADVENTURES

    Often The Museum receives items that are copies of earlier material (example - photocopies, reprints etc). Such material is of real use for our research files, since they may demonstrate the existence of information outside of our files/archives.  The following two images are taken from realty advertising cards given this week to The Museum by Studio City resident Jean Fleming.
     Studio City - about 1880  (click on image to enlarge)


    The Museum of the San Fernando Valley collects and preserves artifacts about Studio City history. Become part of your Museum Community today.  Call  1 (818) 347-9665 for information.

    Saturday, November 20, 2010

    INTRODUCING PROFESSOR DAVID MOON - CSUN's VISCOM PROGRAM

    2010  THE YEAR OF VALLEY ADVENTURES

    Some of you have been asking, who directs the uniquely creative VISCOM program at California State University Northridge? Well, it's time for The Museum Community to meet the person behind VISCOM's highly successful efforts, allow me to introduce Professor David Moon.

    Dave Moon, former chair of CSUN's Art Department, is a graduate of San Fernando Valley schools. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from CSUN and a Master of Fire Arts degree from California State University Los Angeles.

    Friday, November 19, 2010

    ART COMPLEX TABLE CSUN

    2010  THE YEAR OF VALLEY ADVENTURES

    The image of Freida Khalo on an outside table - CSUN 2010  - Art Complex
    (click on image to enlarge)

    CORPORATE POINTE WEST HILLS

    2010  THE YEAR OF VALLEY ADVENTURES

    This week, the Valley Economic Alliance held its quarterly board meeting at Corporate Pointe West Hills. Of particular interest were a handsome screen fountain and a garden pond with little water falls.

    TEDDY;S IN STUDIO CITY

    2010  THE YEAR OF VALLEY ADVENTURES

    A difficult thing about historic and vintage menus is that they seldom contain dates of printing. Teddy's had two locations, Studio City and Los Angeles. Teddy's in the San Fernando Valley was located on the corner of Laurel Canyon and Ventura Boulevard. The cover graphics speak of the 1950s. Whatever the year, a chicken dinner for $1.50 or the "chef's special" of a grilled halibut steak ofr 95¢ may offer a clue.  (click on images to enlarge)

     Teddy's menu - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg - 2010.

    ANOTHER PHOTOGRAPH OF NO HO's GREAT NUDIE

    2010  THE YEAR OF VALLEY ADVENTURES
           Thousands of creative women and men contribute, and have long contributed, to the San Fernando Valley's appropriate claim to be the heart of the Creative Capital of the World. The creative workforce of the Valley consists not only of television and film actors, but many other arts, crafts and trades. The legendary Nudie became world famous for the clothing he made for singers like Elvis Presley and the great cowboy stars of his era.

    Nudie - Tailor to the Stars - photograph 1954 - Gift to the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg - 2010. (click on image to enlarge.)

    JANET GAYNOR - SUNNY SIDE UP - 1929

    2010  THE YEAR OF VALLEY ADVENTURES

    One of the most successful actors of her era, Janet Gaynor was among the few who made an effective transition from silent movies to the talkies.
    The Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley has just acquired the sheet music for Ms. Gaynor's 1929 hit film entitled "Sunny Side Up." The film co-starred actor Charles Farrell. (click on image to enlarge - refer to image 1948) Janet Gaynor, her husband and son lived at the South-West corner of Devonshire and Reseda Boulevard.



    Sunny Side Up - sheet music 1929 
    gift to the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2010.

    The San Fernando Valley Entertainment Industry Library is part of the Museum's on-going effort to celebrate and document our Valley's amazing creative heritage. If you have books, music or artifacts that you wish to share today and with future generations related to the Entertainment Industry please call 1 (818) 347-9665.  Donations to your Museum are tax deductible.