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Monday, October 31, 2011

MONTROSE IN THE FOOTHILLS ABOVE GLENDALE

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY     2011

"Greetings from The Foothills. This view of the San Gabriel Mountains north of Glendale, California shows Montrose just north of the Oakmont Country Club Golf Course. Father to the north and higher in elevation are the communities of La Crescenta and LaCañada."  (click on image to enlarge)

Vintage postcard - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011.

THE ORIGINAL BEVERLY HILL BILLIES

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY    2011

Among the wonderful photographs given to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley by Jean Putney in October of 2011 is this promotional photograph of the Original Beverly Hill Billies. Though the picture is not dated. it is likely to be from the early 1940s.  Earlier this year Porky Johnson, one of The Museum's oral history subjects, referred to the Beverly Hill Billies when he talked about the musical group, The Sons of the Pioneers and cowboy film star Roy Rogers, and the song writer Bob Nolan.

The Original Beverly Hill Billies - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Jean Putney 2011.  Man, with black hat and guitar, second from the right is likely Bob Nolan.  Nolan was the author of two of the most popular songs in America in the 1940s and 50s, "Cool Water" and "Tumbling Tiumbleweeds."  (click on image to enlarge)   Refer to photo  4029

CAHUENGA TONGVA ENCAMPMENT

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY     2011

I've been told that "gna" is an ancient Tongva word meaning village. The Tongva, sometime referred to as Mission Indians, Fernandiños or Gabrieliños spoke a Uto-Aztecan language.  Since the pre-European Tongva were hunter-gatherers, their villages appear to be temporary or seasonal gathering places. 

Temporary gna or gathering place of the Cahuenga Tongva people at the Hollywood entrance of the Caheunga Pass (date unknown). Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Michel Stevens 2011.  (click on image to enlarge)

Friday, October 28, 2011

JEAN BROOKS AND THE BLACK LEOPARD DYNAMITE 1943

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY     2011

Not much is known about the actress/model Jean Brooks after she made the RKO film "The Leopard Man" in 1943.  While critics believed that she had the looks and talent to be a star, her career never took off.  "Dynamite" the black leopard's career was more successful. He was one of Birdland's most sought after San Fernando Valley performers.

Jean Brooks - The Leopard Man - RKO Studios 1943 - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Jean Putney 2011.  These two photographs, and two more, are archived under the number 4024 and 4026.
Playing the role of Kiki, Jean Brooks portrayed a night club performer with a black leopard companion. Lots terror is loose, when the cat Dynamite gets free and horrible murders follow.  (click on images to enlarge them.) 
Publicity release:  "Pia Ying with Dynamite --- that's what Jean Brooks, RKO Radio starlet, is literally doing in the above photo. The black leopard Dynamite, which she holds on a leash, appears with the actress in the new RKO thriller film, "The Leopard Man," and offstage the big cat and Miss Brooks are the best of pals." 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

JOAN DAVIS WAS CALLED "THE QUEEN OF COMEDY" IN 1940s RADIO

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY     2011

With Kay Kyser and Mischa Auer, the great radio comic Joan Davis starred in RKO's film "Around the World" in 1943.  Comedy was exceedingly important to an America at war, and Joan Davis was much loved.
Joan Davis, radio and film star, 1943. "Around The World" - Photograph in the Putney Collection - Bird Wonderland Archive - The Museum of the San Fernando Valley 2011. The wonderful cockatoo, "Cockie" was a film star in his own right. He was part of the Bird Wonderland collection, and lived to be 75 years old.
Kay Kyser, a big band leader of his time, was called "The Old Professor of Swing."

POLLY WALKER CO-STARRED WITH JACK OAKIE IN 1930 FILM

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY   2011

Playing the role of "Looloo", Polly Walker co-starred with San Fernando Valley actor, Jack Oakie in the film "Hit The Deck" in 1930. She was attracted to the film industry, from her successful roles on Broadway, by the Granada Hills film star James Cagney.

Polly Walker, c. 1930.  Photo gift of Jean Putney to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley 2011 - Putney Collection -  Birdland Archive -  Refer to photo number 3886 - Click on image to enlarge.

The autograph reads:  "To Mr, Glick and his Bird Wonderland. Sincerely Polly Walker.  Coulson Glick was the owner of Bird Wonderland in Van Nuys / later Encino, California.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

INGRID BERGMAN AND HUMPHREY BOGART WITH SAN FERNANDO VALLEY BIRD STARS

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY     2011

While processing photographs donated to The Museum by Joan Putney this October, these great photographs of Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart and the long-lived cockatoo "Cockie" were discovered.  Possibly still shots from the film Casablanca (filmed in Burbank and at Van Nuys Airport), the photographs are undated and may be from a later film in which the two film actors co-starred.
The gorgeous cockatoo lived to be over 75 years old. 

Cockie, the cockatoo, Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart -  Joan Putney Collection.  Photo number 3882 -  (click on image to enlarge)

 Photo number 3884 - Ingrid Bergman with pottery seller in a North African scene. Miss Bergman holds the bird celebrity "Cockie" the cocatoo from Birdland in the San Fernando Valley.

Photo 3883 -  The beautiful Ingrid Bergman. The Joan Putney Collection of Bird Wonderland photographs and news articles.  (click on image to enlarge)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

AMELIA EARHART COLORING BOOK and AFTER THANKSGIVING WALK IT OFF TOUR OF THE NO HO.

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY    2011

Amelia Earhart by Muriel Earhart Morrisey - A children's coloring book and biography - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011.

See where the world famous pilot worked in North Hollywood to earn money for her flying lessons and airplane. It's a good time to mark the Saturday after Thanksgiving to go on The Museum's "Great Walk It Off" walking tour of the NoHo.  And, it all starts at the statue of Amelia Earhart in North Hollywood Park.  Call (818) 347- 9665  to make you after Thanksgiving reservations........ 

JOHN CARROLL RANCH IN GRANADA HILLS

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY    2011

 The actor John Carroll and his wife Lucile Ryman Carroll once owned a popular youth ranch in Granada Hills.  I know little about the place save for the rumor that the actress Marilyn Monroe used to visit the ranch when she stayed with the Carrolls at their Hollywood apartment. Lucile Ryman was well known in the movie industry as a casting agent.

 These images are part of a undated brochure given to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley by Gary Fredburg in 2011.  (click on images to enlarge them.)



MUSEUM TAKES PART IN 6TH ANNUAL LOS ANGELES ARCHIVES BAZAAR

 DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY      2011

 Representatives from The Museum of the San Fernando Valley participated in the 6th Annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar on October 22nd. Organized by L.A. as Subject, the gathering was held at the University of Southern California's Doheny Library. The highly attended event attracts those involved in scholarly research, ordinary folks interested in history, educators and journalists. The event represents the second year of involvement by The Museum of the San Fernando Valley.  Over 80 archives were represented. 

Fred Berk of Studio City speaks with interviewer from L.A. Archives Bazaar. Gary Fredburg, representing The Museum Board sits at the table.  Photograph at USC's Doheny Library by Phyllis Hansen.  (click on image to enlarge)  Mr. Berk acts as the Librarian of The Museum and is a former Board Member. He was among the founding members of The Museum.
See short interviews of Gary Fredburg and Fred Berk on youtube by Museum Board Member Liane Schirmer by clicking the addresses below:



 

Leslie Fischer, curator of the LA Unified School District's Archives (left) and intern at their table in the 6th Annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar - Photograph by Phyllis Hansen member of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley's Board of Directors.  (click on image to enlarge)

Gary Fredburg, Vice President of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley in the historic Doheny Library of the University of Southern California. Photograph by Phyllis Hansen. 

Fred Berk and interviewer at USC's Doheny Library

One of the important missions of your Museum is to increase the awareness of the history, culture and art of the greater San Fernando Valley. Participating in community events from Glendale to Calabasas, giving talks, creating mobile exhibits and yes... even our blog and website are ways we are reaching out. Participating in the events of the L.A. Heritage Alliance and being part of the Los Angeles Archives Bazaar are examples of our hands-on involvement. 

 Los Angeles Archives Bazaar 2011 - Photography by Phyllis Hansen

Monday, October 24, 2011

A VISIT TO THE WENDE MUSEUM IS A MUST

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY    2011

As an element in The Museum's professional growth, our Board of Directors and Committee Chairs have begun systematic visits to important, and developing, museums in our part of Southern California. Most recently, Board Member Liane Schirmer arranged for us to visit the remarkable Wende Museum in Culver City. It was one of the most stimulating museum experiences that we've shared.

Liane Schirmer, member of The Museum's Professional Development Committee, responding to a community propaganda poster on exhibit in the Wende Museum.  (click on image to enlarge it.)

For many of us, the fact that young Americans in our colleges and universities have no appreciable memory of the existence of the Berlin Wall, a divided Germany, and the real threats to our nation's survival during the Cold War. The presence of the world's largest collection of Soviet Era artifacts outside of Europe resides here in the greater Los Angeles area. 

 Heroic Egg Sorter - propaganda painting - Wende Museum in Culver City  2011

Ceramic sculpture of Heroic Miner - Who Exceeded His Quota -  Wende Museum 2011



Museum Board Member Bronwyn Ralph inspects an exhibit of commemorative plates at the Wende Museum in Culver City.  "Wende" is a German word meaning the "turning point."

Defacing a bust of Lenin during the Soviet control of East Germany could have easily resulted in prison and/or torture. Here, painted with colors from the West, is a statue defaced shortly after the fall of East Germany in 1989

Library of the Wende Museum. It contains many soon to be priceless books related to Cold War history.
Protected with earthquake protection netting, the leaders of the communist world peer into history, Most of these kinds of artifacts were quickly destroyed after the fall of the Soviet Union, and East Germany in 1989.

The Wende Museum
5741 Buckingham Parkway, Suite E, 
Culver City, CA   90230


Sunday, October 23, 2011

HOLLYWOOD DURING WWII - 1942

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY    2011

When Catherine Olson took these docile photographs of Hollywood landmarks, the world was a long way from peace. 

The west coast headquarters of NBC radio was located on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, when this photo was taken on June 4, 1942. The image was developed the same day the United States Navy was engaged with the ships of the Imperial Japanese Navy in the Battle of Midway. Photo 3876


Taken also at the time of the Battle of Midway, this photograph shows the facade of the very famous Earl Carroll Theatre on Sunset Boulevard. A note on the back of the photo indicates that the iconic neon lighted sign was the image of Beryl Wallace.  Catherine Olson noted that the address was 6230 Sunset Boulevard.  June 4, 1942   -  Photo number 3877

Ciro's Nightclub, July 2, 1942.  Photo donated to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from the estate of Catherine Olson 2011, by her daughter Mary Olson Friedman.  (click on images to enlarge) Photo number 3875

At the time this photograph was taken, and processed at the Campus Camera Shop in Westwood, the Battle of El Alamein was going on in North Africa. I am not sure, but I think automobiles were no longer being manufactured in America by this time.

JERRY COLONNA WAS ONCE ONE OF THE MOST RECOGNIZED COMIC VOICES IN THE USA

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY   2011


 Most older San Fernando Valley residents know that Bob and Dolores Hope lived in Toluca Lake and are buried in the San Fernando Mission, but are less aware of Jerry Colonna's life among us.  Jerry, his wife and son lived in Encino. His son Bob graduated from Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks.

The much loved Bob Hope with his longtime radio and motion picture side-kick Jerry Colonna rehearsing their NBC radio show. Photograph gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011.  (click on image to enlarge)

Jerry Colonna and Bob Hope worked hard to keep up the morale of American service personnel during World War II in their highly popular USO shows, and continued to entertain GIs in later years as well. Bob Colona played in many films, and had one of the most recognized radio voices in America. He died after a lengthy illness in the Motion Picture Hospital in Woodland Hills.

Friday, October 21, 2011

JOHNNY CARSON MADE "BEAUTIFUL DOWNTOWN BURBANK" AN AMERICAN SLOGAN

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY        2011

The famous Johnny Carson made the slogan "Beauitiful Downtown Burbank" a phrase known by nearly every late night television viewer, when he was the host of NBC's Tonight Show.

Johnny Carson and his wife Joanna - 1980 vintage postcard - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011 - click on image to enlarge.

STUDIO CITY EASTERN LITTLE LEAGUE 1956

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY     2011

From the looks of these fierce little guys, they probably all ended up as major league umpires?  This photograph (3870) is a gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg in 2011.
Studio City Eastern Little League "Orioles"  May 1956  (click on image to enlarge)

RIO VISTA SCHOOL 1955 - 1956

 DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY   2011

These sweet San Fernando Valley kids in the mid-1950s, are well into their 60s now, and their earnest teachers maybe gone. Perhaps you might have a family member or a friend among them?  




 Mrs. Warner's B-5 class at Rio Vista School in North Hollywood May 1955.  Photo gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011.  (click on image to enlarge) Image number 3871

Miss Yeschko's  B-6 / A-6 class at Rio Vista School in April 1956. Photo gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011.  (click on image to enlarge)  Photo # 3873

Mrs. Newcomb's A-6 class at Rio Vista School in North Hollywood  in May of 1956. In the photo is also Mrs. Van Dyke the school's principal.  Photo gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011.  (click on image to enlarge)  Photo number 3872



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JOHN WAYNE LIVED IN ENCINO IN THE 1960s.

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY    2011

John Wayne - vintage postcard - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011.  (click on image to enlarge)

On the way home from having lunch at Jerry's Deli in Encino, Tom Mentlick, Brendan's friend, drove through the hills and turned south on Louise Avenue.  We turned west above the location where the actor John Wayne once lived.
When I was a Notre Dame High School boy, the Wayne's white colonial house was still there.  He and his wife Pilar sold the property and moved (I think) to Newport Beach.

MORE VIEWS OF BEAUTIFUL SAINT ELIZABETH'S CHURCH IN VAN NUYS BY ART JACOBS

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY   2011

A few weeks ago before The Museum Board's meeting at the Christian Science Church in Van Nuys, Richard Hilton (Director of The Museum's tours - including historic Van Nuys) walk around Saint Elizabeth's Catholic Church on Kittridge Street. Richard remarked about the Latin and Greek inscriptions at the bottoms of the church's bronze lamp posts. I've been to the church dozens of times, and never noticed the lamp post bases before.
This last week Art Jacob's, regular contributor to this blog visited the church and took photographs that I have never seemed to capture. I know we all will enjoy them, along with Art's reasons for his time there.
 
Bronze water fountain - St. Elizabeth's church - priests' residence- Photo by Art Jacobs 2011.


"Today I had the opportunity to visit St. Elizabeth Church in Van Nuys. The 8th grade class sponsored a rummage sale this weekend to raise funds towards their 8th grade project. Each 8th grader will make a food basket for St Elizabeth's parish families who cannot afford a Thanksgiving meal. After viewing the sale, Mrs Silvie Martin was nice enough to take me on a tour of the school and the Parish. St. Elizabeth has been serving the Van Nuys community since 1928.  
When the school opened under the Sister's of Providence from St. Mary of the Woods, Indiana it housed a two story building with four classrooms. Since then the school has expanded and currently serves students from pre-school to the 8th grade. St Elizabeth's is committed to providing all students with a well rounded education that will assist them in their future. The $400,000.00 sancturay was designed by George Adams; Architect and Roy Steed; Builder. The Catholic Parish with its 120 foot tower was completed in 1949 on the corner of Cedros Avenue and Kittridge Street. Father Patrick O'Dwyer officated at the laying of the cornerstone. I've included some photo's of the Parish, including  a cool bronze water sculture on the wall of the home for the residing Priest.
Hope all is well.       Art"

Stained glass window - Saint Catherine of Siena - Photo by Art Jacobs 2011

Chandelier - Saint Elizabeth's Catholic church - Van Nuys - Photo by Art Jacobs 2011.

Stained glass window - Saint Cyril of Alexandria - Photo by Art Jacobs 2011.

Interior of Saint Elizabeth Church in Van Nuys - facing the main altar - Stained glass window of Christ the King.  Photo by Art Jacobs 2011.  (click on images to enlarge)

Interior Saint Elizabeth Church in Van Nuys, California - facing north-west toward the Mary Altar - Photo by Art Jacobs 2011   (click on image to enlarge)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

CHARLES A. LINDBERGH AVIATOR IN BURBANK

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY    2011

A persistent story, that I have heard about the famous aviator Charles Lindbergh, has it that he came to the Lockheed plant in Burbank and stayed in one its hangers until an airplane he had ordered was completed. 

Charles A. Lindbergh - aviator -  historic postcard - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011.  (click on image to enlarge)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

YOU MAY LIVE IN THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY BECAUSE OF THE KING SISTERS.

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY        2011

In the middle of World War II, when thousands of draftees and volunteers were stationed, or passed through, California, the King Sisters recorded their version of the popular song "The San Fernando Valley."  The four women's a capella version of the song was a big hit, and helped to create the romantic image of the Valley as the place in which to settle down when the GIs came home. 

The King Sisters - vintage postcard - gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011 - (click on image to enlarge)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

WONDERFUL PHOTOGRAPHS FROM WONDERLAND

DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY        2011

Here is a delicious sample of the terrific photographs from the Joan Putney Collection of Bird Wonderland in the San Fernando Valley.
Lucile Glick and Jackie the Lion - Photograph - Gift to the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Joan Putney 2011  (click on image to enlarge)  Lucile was a violinist in the Van Nuys Symphony Orchestra.

 
Coulson Glick and Jackie the Lion - Photograph - Gift to the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Joan Putney 2011  (click on image to enlarge) The lion Jackie was the mascot logo of Metro Goldwyn Meyer Studio.

 Left: Coulson Glick, circus clown and Cyde Beatty - date unknown - Photograph - Gift to the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Joan Putney 2011  (click on image to enlarge) Clyde Beatty was a world famous wild animal trainer and circus owner. He is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in the Hollywood Hills.


 
Lucile Glick (center) dances with performers from the Clyde Beatty Circus - date unknown - Photograph - Gift to the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Joan Putney 2011  (click on image to enlarge) 

Coulson and Lucile Glick at the Clyde Beatty Circus - date unknown - Photograph - Gift to the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Joan Putney 2011  (click on image to enlarge)