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Friday, April 29, 2011

"WONDERFUL TOWN" 1964 AT VALLEY MUSIC THEATRE STARRING EVE ARDEN

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY   2011

Often, people who are growing older, like me, make wistful comments about how younger generations really missed something by not seeing an actor and radio personality like Eve Arden perform. Actually, the process of missing out on great performances is a two-way street... if you don't believe me just check out the brilliant young singers in this season's American Idol. Fortunately, for us The Museum of the San Fernando Valley supports the preservation of history and the fostering of contemporary culture as well.

Radio can rightfully claim to be the first media to bring live performances into American households. And, the great Eve Arden, through her weekly show called "Our Miss Brooks" brought her  theatrical talent to people from Vermont to Van Nuys. She was one of the best loved actors of her time.

 Wonderful Town program from the Valley Music Theatre  October 1964 - gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011  (click on image to enlarge)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

THE FALK RANCH IN GRANADA HILLS

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY    2011

Elizabeth M. and Harry N. Falk owned a handsome horse ranch in Granada Hills from 1952 until the land was sold and subdivided for housing in 1985. The property was located at 16830 Lassen Street.


Typical of ranch lands of that era, the area was bordered by white wooden fences, with the main house situated down a long gravel driveway. The house was originally built for weekend use, with bedrooms added over the years.  A pool house had a bedroom for guests. Naturally there was a hay barn and stable/tackle buildings.
As time passed, the great horse ranches of the San Fernando Valley disappeared. Folks like the great Betty Grable and Harry James boarded their horses at the Falk Ranch and similar places.


Mrs. Falk created a foundation to care for her animals and other endangered domestic creatures, that continues to this day.

LAS DELICIA - A COSTA RICAN CAFE IN VAN NUYS

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY   2011


It was lunch time, and I had a full schedule for the rest of the afternoon. I'd never had Costa Rican food before and the window menu was intriguing and the prices reasonable. So, with my notebook, I took a chance to eat at Las Delicias Authentic Costa Rican Cuisine.
I ordered "hochata" a peanut based iced drink. It sounded really strange, but is was terrific! On the table was a mild salsa and good tortilla chips. My lunch, called a Galito con steak was great. I tried some of the Lizana salsa from a little green-blue bottle. It had a mild fruity taste with a hint of lime - goof stuff.

 Wall decoration - Las Delicias Cafe in Van Nuys - watch it move - Photo by Gerald Fecht for the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley 2011  (click on image to enlarge)

A very nice lunch at Las Delicias. 15355 Sherman Way, Van Nuys - (818) 988-8323

KIT CARSON AND JOHN C. FREMONT

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY    2011

In one of the display cases in historic Campo de Cahuenga, on the borders of North Hollywood, Studio City and Universal City, is a well worn deck of playing cards. According to the exhibit, the cards once belonged to the famous American explorer Kit Carson. It is likely that the frontiersman came several times to the Valley and on one occasion stayed in the Mission San Fernando Rey de España. 
John C. Fremont played a vital role in the acquisition of California for an ambitious United States of America, including a military engagement near the Cahuenga Pass. Fremont would go on to become the first Republican candidate for the presidency of the U.S. and served the cause of the Union during the Civil War.
Richard Minnich commented on your link.
Richard Minnich  wrote: "Yes, and John C. Fremont — aka 'The Pathfinder', was a constant thorn in Lincoln's side during the war. His wife, Jesse Hart Benton Fremont, was the daughter of a Senator from Missouri (these things of the top of my head), had a lot of political clout. Interesting read about Fremont (among others) 'Lincoln and his Generals, be T. Harry Williams)."

OUR LADY OF PEACE IN SEPULVEDA

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY   2011

The San Fernando Valley, in some ways like New York City in the 1890s, is experiencing a rich infusion of people and cultures from many parts of the world. I experienced this personally when, on a quick visit to this week to Our Lady of Peace Catholic church in Sepulveda. Over a confessional was a note that the priest spokes English, Español and Vietnamese. 

 Icon statue of Our Lady of Peace at the left of the main altar. Photo by Gerald Fecht for the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley 2011. (click on image to enlarge)


 Votive candles at an exterior shine of Our Lady of Peace Catholic church in Sepulveda. Photo by Gerald Fecht for the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley 2011. 

Traditional Mexican and Central American shrine candles lighted the edge of an outside shrine, while a doll-like statue of the Infant of Prague looked out of a niche in the church's interior. 

While I was photographing the interior, an elderly Latina lady crawled on her knees toward the main altar decorated with sweeping banners of the Easter season.

THE FEDERAL STAKES A CLAIM IN THE HISTORIC NO HO ARTS DISTRICT

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY  2011

I mentioned on The Museum's Facebook page that I had eaten in a new cafe/bar in the NoHo called The Federal. The restaurant is in the old Security Bank building. The food was good, service was terrific and it was great fun to see the grand old building alive again.

 Interior of The Federal Bar in North Hollywood April 2011 - Photo by Gerald Fecht for the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley.
I forgot to mention that the prices are reasonable too.

 Front of Security Bank on Lankershim Avenue in historic North Hollywood, Date of the photograph is unknown. Collection of The Federal Bar NoHo.  (click on image to enlarge)

Historic Lankershim Avenue in North Hollywood about 1920. Collection of The Federal Bar NoHo.  (click on image to enlarge)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

HISTORIC POSTCARD OF UCLA

 DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY  2011               Salute to LA's 230th Birthday  Number 218

 Vintage postcard of the University of California Los Angeles - gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011  (click on image to enlarge)

THE BIG BAND ALUMNI PLAYS ON TUESDAYS IN NORTHRIDGE

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY  2011               Northridge100

On Tuesday mornings at 10:30, the wonderful sounds of America's big band era come alive at Las Hadas Restaurant in Northridge. There's a lady at the door who collects a $6 entry fee, but from my experience there, it is more than worth it. I went there, on the run to other Museum meetings, but saw enough to insure my return.  I would especially recommend the big band experience to the rock and roll generation who never saw any of our nation's Swinging Years.

Big Band Alumni - Photo for the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gerald Fecht 2011.  (click on image to enlarge)

Las Hadas Restaurant is located at 9048 Balboa in Northridge. A couple of sessions with the Big Band Alumni will insure that you get in your great grandma's will.


AIDS LIFECYCLE RIDERS PRACTICE FOR THE SF to LA RIDE

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY   2011

One of the things my wife and I most like about being  "roadies" for the AIDS Lifecycle ride is the spirit the riders show, especially when their training or the ride itself gets tough. On the Saturday before Easter, Janne and I worked the "Day on the Ride" practice event, and here are two the Easter spirits we encountered. 

The AIDS Lifecycle Ride won't end, until AIDS ends.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

HAVE A SPLENDID EASTER SEASON FROM THE MUSEUM OF THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY        2011
Easter Greetings - Historic postcard - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gerald Fecht 2010. (click on image to enlarge)

Magical symbols abound on this little card, printed in Germany at the turn of the 20th century. The child holds a wand of white flowers sacred to the ancient Goddess Easter (Oestre or Eostre). She or he is wearing a red Persian hat. The chick looks a lot like a crowing rooster, but since there is abundance of eggs may be a hen. 
Eggs since the dawn of recorded history have been symbolic of the resurrection of life in Spring. The Hare is the consort of Lady Easter and is related to the Indo-European God Hari. The Hare is the consort of the Goddess of Spring. The child plays the shepherd's Pan pipe yet another sign of Spring and the return of flocks to mountain meadows.
Christians, at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD, adopted the ancient feast of the Goddess of the Moon and the Dawn as the time to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.

STEVE GARVEY

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY   2001

The great Steve Garvey, once a beloved member of the Los Angeles Dodgers (here shown in a San Diego Padres uniform) wAS a resident of the City of Calabasas in the San Fernando Valley. (I believe he now lives in Palm Desert.) 
Oversized collectors' baseball card 
Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011.

Friday, April 22, 2011

CARMELA DeROSE INTERVIEWED BY THE MUSEUM OF THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY   2011
Narrating Lives - Oral Histories of the San Fernando Valley

 Carmela DeRose graduation photograph taken in 1956. Collection of Ms. DeRose.

In 1956, Carmela DeRose was in the last graduating class of Saint Ferdinand Catholic High School. In 2011 she continues to live in San Fernando. Carmela's oral history gives important insights on life in San Fernando in the mid-20th century, (click on image to enlarge)

SAN FERNANDO HOSPITAL 1927 - A MYSTERY

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY     2011

Many of you ask how can I be of help to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley in little ways. Well here's your chance.  Gary Fredburg just donated these two photographs to The Museum's archives, but I can't find anything about a San Fernando Hospital in 1927.
 Photo 2727 - San Fernando Hospital 1927  (click on image to enlarge)
 Photo 2727 - San Fernando Hospital 1927  (click on image to enlarge)

KEREN TAYLOR ACTIVIST AND ARTIST - AN L.A. TREASURE

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY   2011

Karen Taylor is a woman who I deeply admire. The founder, and now executive director of WriteGirl
 matches at risk teen girls with professional women writers... and, the program makes a huge difference in the lives of everyone involved in it. There was an article in the Los Angeles Times about Karen called "Pen Power For Teen Girls" in early April - it's worth seeking it out on Google.
But, as if turning lives around for at risk kids wasn't enough, Keren Taylor is an amazing mosaic artist too. Just for fun, here are four of her business cards. Hope you love them, as much as I do.   Jerry

GOOD FRIDAY LONG COMMENORATED IN THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY  2011

The observation of Good Friday has been part Valley culture for hundreds of years. It's first commemoration arrived with Spanish missionaries who were members of the Order of Friars Minor (OFM), called Franciscans.
At 3 pm in the church of the Mission San Fernando Rey de España, altar cloths were removed, the tabernacle box was unlocked and left open with the sacred vessels stored away. Statues were covered with black cloth and paintings turned to face the wall. Holy water fountains were emptied and all candles extinguished, not to be lighted again until Easter Sunday. The great mission bells were stuffed with cloth, and smaller altar bells replaced by wooden clappers that sounded a lot like castanets. After 3 pm no one genuflected until the Easter Mass to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ by Roman soldiers on this day.
In the Mission courtyard, a black banner was draped over the great wooden cross. Many Spanish and Indian Catholics ate nothing from Good Friday afternoon until the Easter Pascal candle was lighted on Easter morning.

Historic Easter Greeting Card - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011 - (click on image to enlarge)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

WWII VETS PURSUE THEIR DREAMS IN 1949

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY    2011

Most veterans, returning home at the conclusion of WWII, were determined to make the American dream a reality. Thousands of homes were built in the San Fernando Valley, and many young vets, like Joe Hosler and Jim Fecht started their own businesses. Jim and Joe bought a pickup truck, acquired electrical contractors' licenses, and opened up shop. These images were among the effects donated to The Museum by James Fecht just before his death. (click on images to enlarge)
 Photo 2722 - Pickup truck belonging to James Fecht and Joseph Hosler - 1949

 Photo 2721 - left Joe Hosler, right James Fecht with their new truck.  1949 - North Hollywood, gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Jim Fecht 2009.

Photo 2723 - James Fecht in North Hollywood, California in 1949. The location was on Elmer Avenue, an area removed for the construction of the 101 freeway. Jim was a World War II Marine.

A HAPPY PASSOVER GREETING FROM THE MUSEUM OF THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY     2011

Phyllis Hansen, member of the Board of Directors of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley, creates wonderful pressed flower arrangements. Here she shares with us a special spring greeting for our holiday enjoyment.  (click on this image to enlarge)


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

SYLMAR IN THE MID 1940s

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY    2011
Carmela DeRose shares with The Museum Community these interesting insights of San Fernando Valley history.
 Rural Sylmar in the 1940s. Collection of Carmela DeRose.  (click on image to enlarge) Carmela states, "I believe the shot of the horses were in Sylmar, near Foothill and Yarnell, where the Juvenile
Hall is now, was taken in the late 40s. The land belonged to my Uncle Sam De Rose, and he sold it."


Yearbook cover from the Recuerdos 1956 yearbook - Collection of Carmela DeRose. Saint Ferdinand's High School in Mission Hills.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

SAINT FERDINAND'S HIGH SCHOOL (MISSION HIGH)

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY  2011

In the 1950s there was a Roman Catholic girls high school that held classes inside of the Mission San Fernando. If I remember correctly, most people in the Valley just called it Mission High. One of The Museum's Narrating Lives - Oral Histories of the San Fernando Valley's interviewees, Carmela DeRose attended, and graduated from that school. Here's a photograph of Carmela's commencement program. It lists the girls in her graduating class.

Carmela De Rose notes" "The class of 1956 was the last graduating class from the Mission.  Bishop Alemany High School opened the following year."

I took these photographs in haste. The distortions are not in the printing.  (Click on images to enlarge)
If you know any of the women graduates on the program, please have them contact The Museum. We are interested in recovering a history of Saint Ferdinand's High School.

Here’s how to contact your Museum:

MUSEUM’S MAILING ADDRESS
The Museum of the San Fernando Valley
21031 Ventura Blvd., Suite 419
Woodland Hills, CA 91364

MUSEUM’S TELEPHONE         1 (818) 347-9665

MUSEUM’S BLOG

MUSEUM’S WEBSITE

MUSEUM’S ORAL HISTORIES     

MUSEUM’S E-MAIL

IMAGES FROM MOPAR CAR SHOW 2011 by ART JACOBS

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY   2011

On the lookout for things that have made, or are still making, history in the San Fernando Valley, Museum member Art Jacobs sends us these great photos.

Art comments:  The Chrysler air raid siren that was built from 1952-1957 by Chrysler and nicknamed the "Big Red Whistle." six were purchased by the United States government and placed around key areas of Los Angeles County to warn the public in the event of a nuclear attack by the Soviets. (Photo by Art Jacobs for the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley -  April 2011 (click on image to enlarge)


Brochures from the 2011 Mopar Car Show in Balboa Park - photos by Art Jacobs.


"I attended the 25th Anniversary Southern California Chrysler Performance West Spring Fling Mopar Event. ... It's one of the largest Mopar car shows in the West and they have every year in Van Nuys. If your not familiar with Mopar, it's a group of car enthusiast for the preservation, driving and showing of Chrysler, Dodge and Plymouth cars. This year I took my camera and was able to take a few photos. The Museum is welcome to use them on their site. 



 Byron Sherry and the General Lee automobile from the Dukes of Hazard television series. Byron played Coy Duke from 1982 to 1983.  (Photos by Art Jacobs 2011)   (click on images to enlarge)

A YEAR LONG SALUTE TO CANOGA PARK - 100 YEARS AND GOING STRONG

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY           2011
CANOGA PARK 100th Anniversary


 This year is the perfect time to get acquainted with historic Canoga Park. The Museum Community salutes the residents of old Owensmouth and new Canoga Park. 

Canoga Park Begins Centennial Year

There is a hush all over the community which is beginning to rise, the word is spreading…..that Canoga Park will be celebrating its Centennial Year, beginning with the Kick Off Event with  Mayor Villaraigosa on March 15, 2011 at the Clyde Porter West Valley Theatre.   The events planned for this wonderful year include:
24 Hours in the Life of Canoga Park a Photo Contest for Professional and Amateur Photographers which will begin in April with a showing of winning pictures in August 2011.  Along with the Photo Contest for new pictures the Commitee hopes that if you have photos from the past, family, scenic, historic you will share them as well.  If you or a family member has a story of Canoga Park and would like share it, go to the memories page.
Beginning in May, the Third Thursday of each month there will be an Art Walk through the Community with Music to enhance the evening’s enjoyment.
Canoga Park Centennial Weight Loss;  a 12 week campaign to promote healthy eating and weight control. This will begin on Saturday June 18th and continue through September 10th.  Oasis Personal Training will have a location at the Farmers Market for participants to weigh in and receive training information.  Start forming your team, or make it an individual effort. Prizes will be awarded to the winner of the categories.
Just Added – West Hills Health and Rehabilitation will be hosting Healthy at 100 a Health Fair celebrating individuals in the community who will be 100 (or older) during the Centennial Celebration.  This event will take place in July.  If you know someone turning 100 or older lets us know, we want to include them in the celebration.
Just Added -  On Saturday, September 24th the Canoga Park Womens Club will be hosting a Birthday Barn Dance from  1:00 to 4:00 p.m.  There will  be dancing and music at the Club House .  The Canoga Park Womans Club is the oldest Womans Organization in the West Valley and a major part of the communities history.
The festivities continue in the Fall with the creation of  a  Time Capsule which will capture the heart of what Canoga Park  is all about.  The Neighborhood Council will be looking to the Schools and Community Groups to contribute to the capsule so those in 2112 will know what Canoga Park was like in 2012. They will know we were here and what we felt was important in our lives.
After the Holidays, Cavaretta’s will be working with Non-Profits in the community and sponsor a 100 Foot Sandwich to be built just in time for Superbowl Sunday.
The Canoga Park Valentines Film Festival will begin in February, showing classic love stories and have a competition for new independent films.  Working with the Madrid and Clyde Porter Theatres and Columbia College of Film this event will be one for the books.
March 24, 2012 the big Celebration – Black Tie Event. Information on this event will be updated shortly.  We do know that it will be BIG!
In between we have the wonderful events that Canoga Park always provides the community, they include; the St. Patrick’s Day March through Canoga Park, The Canoga Park Memorial Day Parade, and Dia delos Muertos.
www.canogapark100.org

--

Monday, April 18, 2011

SAN FERNANDO IN THE LATE '40s

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY  2011
Celebrating 100 years of the City of San Fernando


San Fernando vintage postcard - image in the collection of Carmela DeRose 2011 (click on image to enlarge)  Much has changed in San Fernando since this postcard was made and large box stores grew on its outskirts.

VAN NUYS SKYWAYS

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY   2011   
  100th Anniversary of Van Nuys

Van Nuys Skyways - vintage postcard - gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011 - click on image to enlarge

Van Nuys Skyways Cessna Sales and Service
Aircraft sales, repair shop, parts, flight school, air taxi,
pilot supplies, private hangers, aircraft parking, aircraft rental,
conference rooms, restaurant, helicopter services, ground school,
and link trainer.  3 grades aviation fuel – turbine fuel – jet fuel.
24 hour service and parking attendance
 
Van Van Nuys Skyways 
16700 Roscoe Boulevard, Van Nuys, Calif.  
Phone: STate 2-2122

FIRE SERVICE HISTORIES NEXT ON THE MUSEUM'S ORAL HISTORIES AGENDA.

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY    2011                         100 Anniversary of Van Nuys


 Scott Sterling Leads Museum's Oral Histories Project.

Scott Sterling, Chairman of The Museum's Narrating Lives - Oral Histories of the San Fernando Valley, encourages The Museum Community to include the histories of the men and women who serve and have served in public safety in the Valley.  Thus far, Scott leadership has resulted in video interviews of five people with historical ties to the Los Angeles Police Department. Fire Safety officers are the next group whose oral histories will become permanent parts of The Museum's archives.
Scott is shown here with a classic Fire Department vehicle once assigned to San Fernando Valley fire safety stations.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

JOHN SETAR INTERVIEWED BY THE MUSEUM OF THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY    2011


The Museum of the San Fernando Valley was honored today (Saturday April 16, 2011) to interview the distinguished American musician, John Setar. Interviewing Mr. Setar for the Narrating Lives -  Oral Histories of the San Fernando Valley was Dr. Gerald Fecht, president of The Museum. The videographer was John Baird.
 John Setar 2011
John Setar is a popular member of the Big Band Alumni which meets regularly in the Valley. John began his career playing in the big band of Jess Stacey. Later he played for Buddy Morrow, Freddy Martin, Jerry Gray, Bob Crosby and Billy Vaughn. His splendid career also included being a regular on the Steve Allen Show and the Andy Williams show. 
 John Setar's first national tour was with the Jess Stacey Band - collection of John Setar 2011

 A regular on the Steve Allen show, John Setar played with Merv Griffin in the foreground.  Collection of John Setar 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

MSFV's BOARD MEMBER PHYLLIS HANSEN TO ADDRESS CALABASAS HISTORICAL SOCIEITY

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY   2011
Phyllis Hansen, Board Member of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley will address the Calabasas Historical Society.  (click on image to enlarge)



JAY LENO MAKING SAN FERNANDO VALLEY HISTORY TODAY

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY   2011
Recently, while Richard Hilton was leading The Museum's historic walking tour in North Hollywood, one of the in-tourists in his group exclaimed while looking across Lankershim Avenue, "Oh that is where we saw Jay Leno riding on his motorcycle."  When this autobiography of Jay Leno, "Leading With My Chin" was contributed to The Museum's growing Library of San Fernando Valley Entertainment Industry History, I thought about the many men and women who work at the television and film studios around us whose talents, like the great Jay Leno, are making Valley history today.


Jay Leno, like the pioneers of television whose statues grace the courtyard of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in the NoHo, are essential to the fabric of the Valley's  history and culture. Perhaps one day in the near future, The Museum of the San Fernando Valley might just display one of Jay's iconic motorcycles along with his story. In the meanwhile, Leading With My Chin is a very nice addition to our Library.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

DICK POWELL - ACTOR - SINGER - DIRECTOR - VALLEY RESIDENT

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY   2011

One of America's most favorite actors, singers, radio star, and film directors was the great Dick Powell. This great Warner Brothers star lived in Toluca Lake, Mandaville Canyon and is buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale.

Dick Powell's residence in Toluca Lake - Vintage postcard - gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011.  (click on image to enlarge)