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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

AMERICA'S FAVORITE PIN UP GIRL IN WWII

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY

Betty Grable, vintage postcard - gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011 -  (click on image to enlarge it)

Betty Grable was considered the number one pin-up girl for American GIs during World War II. Her beautiful legs were insured by Lloyds of London for a $1,000,000 - a fantastic sum of money in those days. She was married to the famous big band leader Harry James, until their divorce in 1965. Betty and Harry had a horse ranch near Pierce College in Woodland Hills,

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

THE KING OF THE COWBOYS LIVED AND WORKED IN THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY   2011
Just so that you old time cowboy movie enthusiasts don't feel slighted, here is a vintage postcard photograph of "The King of the Cowboys" Roy Rogers. 
Owning a genuine Roy Rogers' cap pistol was a major status symbol for school kids in the late 1940's and early 1950's.  Roy and Dale had a small ranch just off of Topanga Canyon Boulevard between Canoga Park and Chatsworth. Do you remember the name of Roy's faithful dog? How about his horse, or his Jeep's name?

Roy Rogers - Cowboy movie star and recording artist - postcard gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011.  (click on image to enlarge)

CELEBRATING THE GREAT WALL OF LOS ANGELES

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY    2011

None who have yet to visit The Great Wall of Los Angeles can really claim to be a true San Fernando Valley resident. The wall, which should not be missed,  is simply one of the Valley's greatest treasures!
The longest mural in the world, took five summers to complete in the mid 1970s. Under the direction of a Los Angeles’ artist-treasure Judy Baca, The Great Wall winds over 2,750 feet in the Tujunga Flood Control Channel just east of Los Angeles Valley College.  I make a point of taking visitors to the Valley to see it, and all who go there are in amazement of its brilliance. 

 Scott Sterling (Chair of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley's Public Arts Committee), Judy Baca (leader of SPARC and famous mural painter) and Michael Stevens (Vice President for Museum Development) meet at the celebration of The Great Wall of Los Angeles.
Michael Stevens, member of The Museum's Board of Directors, works tirelessly to bring the Valley's rich history to our area's school children. Here he stands in front of Judy Baca's Great Wall van that features the signatures of over 400 school kids who have participated in the mural project.

Monday, September 26, 2011

DALE EVANS PLAYED AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN DEVELOPMENT OF WEST HILLS

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY   2011

When the singer-actress Dale Evans acquired a ranch in Canoga Park, she and her famous cow-boy performer Roy Rogers made an important contribution to the development of what is today the San Fernando Valley community of West Hills.
Dale Evans - vintage postcard - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011.  (click on the image to enlarge it.)

ACTOR WILLIAM HOLDEN BECOMES RONALD REAGAN'S BEST MAN IN STUDIO CITY

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY    2011

When Ronald Reagan married his second wife Nancy in the Little Brown Church in Studio City, the actor William Holden acted as his best man. Ardis Holden, William's wife acted as Nancy Reagan's matron of honor.
 William Holden, film actor. Vintage postcard - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011.  (click on images to enlarge)

Ardis Holden, Ronald and Nancy Davis Reagan and William Holden - Studio City, California.

A Facebook response to this posting states:
"Bill Holden lived on our street at this time. It was on Addison between Whitsett and Coldwater in what is now Valley Village. He sold the house to a family who then sold it in the early 60's to James and Kitty Franciscus. My dad had just built our house on Addison when the Holdens were there. I wasn't born yet,but I understand the Reagans had a small reception in the Holden house.
I do remember the Franciscus family. At the time they had 2 daughters Jamie and Kelly and their mom was so sweet! She was William Wellmans daughter. The house did have a tragic history as several people including James Franciscus and William Holden died tragic deaths later on."

Friday, September 23, 2011

PIERCE COLLEGE FRATERNITY BOYS DURING "RUSH"

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY   2011

In February and March of 1964, members of the local Pierce College fraternity XXX were busily engaged in the "rushing" of new pledges.  A variety of ways were used to attract future members, including: sports days, stag parties, and themed date parties. Popular too were "exchanges" with local sororities (who themselves were rushing for pledges). The Museum has about 10 more sets of Tri Chi photographs that are being numbered and secured for future identifications.

 Tri Chi Volleyball Squad - March 1964  refer to photo 3385 (click on image to enlarge)

 Pick up baseball game - Chi Chi Chi Fraternity March 1964 -  refer to photo 3386

 2nd Tri Chi Sports Day Rush - March 1964  (click on image to enlarge - refer to photo 3384

 Tri Chi Stag Party - Part of Spring Rush 1964  - photo number 3384

Monday, September 12, 2011

SAN FERNANDO VALLEY COMMEMORATES OUR LOSSES AT 9-11

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY      2011

The following photographs and comments are from Museum Community member Art Jacobs. They were take at the 9-11 commemoration at Los Angeles Fire Department station number 88.

Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel speaks at the 9-11 commemoration. - Photo by Art Jacobs 2011.  (click on images to enlarge.)


Los Angeles Fire Department Station 88 in Sherman Oaks - 2011. 
Fire fighter from the California Task Force that responded to the 9-11 emergency and worked at Ground Zero in New York City. 
 Museum supporter Art Jacobs with new Los Angeles City Fire Chief Brian L. Cummings.

Fire fighters at Los Angeles Fire Department Station 88 in Sherman Oaks.

9-11 COMMEMORATION AT VALLEY FIRE STATION NUMBER 88

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY

Once again we are indebted to Museum supporter Art Jacobs for recording a very important event for our Archives. Art took part in the 9-11 commemoration at Los Angeles Fire Department Station number 88 in Sherman Oaks.(Click on these images to enlarge them.)

 
 "John Keys LAFD Retired played "God Bless America" and "Amazing Grace" on the bag pipes. The brother of the pilot whose plane went down at the Pentagon also spoke at the event."


"The picture of the Red Cross volunteer is Dick Thorpe. Both men in the photo served our country in World War II."
 
 The American flag at LA Fire Station 88 stood at half staff during the 9-11 memorial commemoration.

 "The group of ladies with guide dogs assist were there to show their support. The animals are used as a form of therapuetic support to those who have had trauma."

Carrie Konjoyan, is the coordinator for the 9/11 Memorial Fountain in front of Station 88. The World Trade Center Steel arrived at the station and was dedicated on December 11, 2004.  The Memorial is here to bring about healing in all forms, to offer a place of quiet solitude, as a tribute to those who risk their lives daily and to "Nver Forget" the lives of those lost by first responders on 9/11. www.911socal.com
Art

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

ORAL HISTORIES of the SFV at RANCHO CORDILLERA DEL NORTE

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY    2011

The following article appeared in the recent edition of the SFV West Valley News.


Notable American architects Dion Neutra (standing) and Eric Lloyd Wright (sitting), who is the grandson of the famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, with Willard Simms (holding certificate), Board member and director of education of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley.  (click on image to enlarge)


 There couldn't be a better backdrop for the staging of the initial phase of Narrating Lives - Oral Histories of the San Fernando Valley - presented by The Museum of the San Fernando Valley - than Rancho Cordillera del Norte, the original home of a valley pioneer family, Elizabeth Waldo, a composer, violinist, producer, whose late husband Carl Dentzel developed and named Northridge (Northridge is English translation of Cordillera del Norte), still lives within the expansive ranch. She has her own New Mission Theatre where she holds plays the reflect the Valley's history.


On Sunday, August 14, 2011, nearly 140 guests answered the call to attend a special reception to highlight and showcase the first phase of video vignettes from interviews of pioneering San Fernando Valley residents. It was a beautiful summer afternoon, hot and humid, typical of an August day in the Valley. The lush beautiful gardens welcomed the guests who gathered around to meet and greet while a Spanish troubadour walked around playing his guitar and quietluy singing. Some guests chatted under the Spanish tile patio cover of the New Mission Theatre, others sat around tables arranged near the Spanish rancho style outdoor cantina a few yards away. In the spirit of historic diversity of the Valley, a multi-cultural buffet and refreshments catered by Sabroso Mexican Restaurant of Winnetka, was served.


Event organizers patiently waited until all guests had enough to eat to start the afternoon program. The Museum of the San Fernando Valley Board member, Richard Hilton was the m.c. for the event, Among the special guests were former Councilman Greig Smith, Porky Johjnson and Montie Montana Jr.
"It was very exciting having the two architects Eric Lloyd Write and Dion Neutra, with their impeccable bloodlines there, lots of people were talking about that afterwards," commended Willard Simms, who apprears in a photo above.
The Museum has some fascinating architectural events planned for the Fall. Contact Gerald Fecht, President for more information at 818-347-9665. Or, visit www.theMuseumSFV.irg

Monday, September 5, 2011

VAN NUYS 100th PHOTOS BY ART JACOBS

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY    2011

Thanks to Art Jacobs for these shots of the 100th Anniversary Celebration of Van Nuys.  

Tommy Gelinas greets some of his many Valley Relics fans. Tommy's  intensive  collecting of San Fernando Valley memorabilia and his exciting Valley Relics blog site, have stimulated a renewed interest in Valley history and culture.


 Antique car at the Taste of Van Nuys centennial event.




 Birmingham High School band performs near The Museum of the San Fernando Valley booth.


 The great Birmingham High School marching band.

VALLEY GLEN'S FAMOUS JANE WITHERS

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY   2011



Detail from a program of the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters. Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Barbara Silva 2011.  (click on image to enlarge)
Cast in the film "Bright Eyes" in 1934, the great Jane Withers has been a major American performer in over 50 films. For a generation of television viewers she became Comet cleanser's famous Josephine the Plumber.

ACTRESS MARGARET O'BRIEN WAS HONORED IN 1996

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY    2011

In September 1996, the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters honored the actress Margaret O'Brien at the Sportsmen's Lodge in Studio City.

Margaret O'Brien from a program of the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters. Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Barbara Silva 2011.  (click on image to enlarge)

Margaret O'Brien got her first big break in film, as a child star, in the 1945 hit film, Meet Me In Saint Louis." You can her handprints at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

CHARLIE SHEEN SAN FERNANDO VALLEY RESIDENT

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY   2011

The famous actor Carlie Sheen played the role of Paul Tracey, an aspiring politician, in the 1987 romantic comedy called "Three For The Road." Sheen lived in Studio City at the time this film was made.
Promotion photograph of Charlie Sheen 1987 - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Barbara Silva 2011.  (click on image to enlarge)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

PANEL ON ORAL HISTORIES

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY   2011

As part of the culmination event for the first stage of The Museum's Narrating Lives - Oral Histories of the San Fernando Valley, a panel presented an overview of this highly successful project. 


left: Scott Sterling- Narrating Lives Chairman, Gerald Fecht (with microphone) President of The Museum, Liane Schirmer, Richard Hilton, Melissa Brown Bitterman, Willard Simms and moderator Rania Pallad. (click on image to enlarge)