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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN SAYS IT ALL

Coaster from California Pizza Kitchen 2013

I'm one of those people who believes that California really is a State of Mind. There used to be joke that said that if you could turn America on its side, anything that was loose would slide into our State. What are the factors that cause Californians to care so much about their health, style, or civil equality? In 2014, this blog will be exploring what makes the San Fernando Valley and Southern California so unique.

HAPPY NEW YEAR MUSEUM POSSUMS! BE HEALTHY AND HAPPY IN 2014.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

EARNIE'S TACOS IN NORTH HOLLYWOOD from 1952



Ernie's Taco House - business card - 1950s - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2013. (click on image to enlarge it.)

Ernie's Taco House, traditional Mexican eatery in North Hollywood was the 2nd of three locations in the greater Los Angeles area. Founded by Ernie Cruz, the North Hollywood location was opened on the 17th of June 1952.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

HARVARD WESTLAKE SCHOOL IN 1937

CHERISHING OUR VALLEY                      2013

     One of the most prestigious schools in California is Harvard - Westlake School in Studio City. Harvard School was founded as a boys' military academy in 1900 by Glenville C. Emery in what is now downtown Los Angeles.
Grenville C. Emery - Founder of the Harvard School.  
Excerpt from the Sentinel yearbook produced in 1937 - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg in 2013. (click on image to enlarge it.)

      Harvard School was opened in 1900 near the corner of Venice Boulevard and Western Avenue. In 1911 the school was affiliated with the Episcopal Church. In 1937, the school was relocated to property once owned by the defunct Hollywood Country Club in Studio City. The headmaster was the Right Reverend Robert Gooden.

Robert B. Gooden, Episcopal Bishop, Headmaster of Harvard School (1912 - 1930 / 1934 - 1949)




H. Peter Gantz - Senior Harvard School 1937
(I thought it might be interesting to include the yearbook biography of one of the graduating students  from the Harvard School.)

     H. Peter Gantz "Pete", was born in Fullerton California August 19, 1919. His father is Harry Gantz, well-known oil man. His mother's maiden name was Beatrice Miller she is now married to Elmer J. Boeseke Jr. the  international polo player, and he is now a Pete's guardian. A step-sister Gertrude completes the family.
     Pete entered Harvard school in 1934 as a sophomore coming to Los Angeles from La Cumbra School in Santa Barbara he is a member of the Red Club and the forum Club.
     Pete has always been an enthusiastic sportsman although his thoughts are more with polo than in any other sport. He is an excellent player and we hope he will follow in the footsteps of his illustrious guardian. However Pete has always taken an active part in other sports, playing on the B football team in 1934 and in 1935, and taking his place as a regular on the 1935 - 1936 baseball teams.
     He was appointed a Private, 1st class in the 1935 and later in the same year won his promotion to corporal. In his senior year he was appointed second lieutenant and was assigned to Company D. He has won his Marksman Badge.
     Pete lists his hobbies as horses, polo and the fairer sex.  He has signified his intention of matriculating at Stanford to prepare himself for a career as a petroleum engineer
    His  permanent address is 375 San Leandro Alejandro Lane in Montecito California. 

 Harvard School Track Team - 1937 (click on image to enlarge it.)


Advertisement in the 1937 Sentinel yearbook of Harvard School.
(click on image to enlarge it.)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM YOUR MUSEUM

CHERISHING OUR VALLEY                2013

The nice thing about living in the San Fernando Valley is that if our historic crooner from Toluca Lake, Bing Crosby, gets to us with his "dreaming of a white Christmas" we can take a few hours to drive up to Mt. Baldy or Big Bear. 
I think it's sweet to bring snow for the kids at the Tarzana Community Center or a park in Burbank. It's even sweeter when its on its way to the Los Angeles River the next day.
Enjoy your families, get some rest and eat some turkey - we have a Museum to build next year.
Merry Christmas 
Jerry Fecht

Snow on Mt. Baldy - c. 1948- vintage postcard - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2013.  Click on image to enlarge it.

Road Around Hog's Back - c. 1948- Alexander's Studio - vintage postcard - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2013. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

LOOKING BACK AT VAN NUYS HIGH SCHOOL IN 1950

CHERISHING OUR VALLEY           2013

On several occasions, in this blog, I have stressed the value to the San Fernando Valley's social history of school yearbooks and organization scrapbooks. Yearbooks often have an charm to them due to the fresh young student faces that are filled with the optimism of impending graduations. But there are occasions when the unpleasant ghosts of racism and social inequalities are glaringly apparent as well. Staged advertisements allow us to peek back into other times and circumstances.

 "Captain China" now playing at the Encino Theater 1950
16342 Ventura Boulevard

 Templin's Electrical Appliances
"Kent claimed it was the finest he had ever laid eyes on."
14522 Friar Street, Van Nuys

 "A beautiful display of fabrics and sewing materials"
Moore's Department Store
6329 Van Nuys Boulevard

 Zimmerman's Ice Cream Company
6374 Van Nuys Boulevard

Minstrel Show 1950 Van Nuys High School.
1950 Crimson and Gray yearbook 
 Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2013.

VIERLING KERSEY LOS ANGELES VALLEY COLLEGE


CHERISHING OUR VALLEY              2013

In June of 1949, Vierling Kersey was the principal of Van Nuys High School. Kersey was selected to be the director of Los Angeles Valley College, which was at that time located on the high school campus. The college was under the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles Board of Education. It was a variation of the school district's adult education classes. 
Classes were held in world war ii military bungalows and focused on classes appealing to veterans using their GI Bill education funds.

VIERLING KERSEY
Photo from a 1950 Van Nuys High School yearbook - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2013.  (click on image to enlarge)

Friday, December 13, 2013

VAN NUYS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYERS

CHERISHING OUR VALLEY            2013

What do these Van Nuys High School football players have in common?  Look carefully at their faces.


The Answer:
Today their average age would be 80 years old.
Today the ethnic demographic would be different as well.

1950 "Crimson and Gray" yearbook - Van Nuys High School - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2013.

Friday, November 29, 2013

FRED KAVLI PASSES - SFV PHYSICIST & BUSINESSMAN AT AGE 86

Fred Kavli, San Fernando Valley physicist and businessman who owned Kavlico Corp. in Van Nuys, passed away at age 86.

The company developed  sensors for the automotive and aerospace fields and was very successful.

He was a philanthropist and supported youth groups and neglected children locally. Kavli also established a foundation and gave away $200 million while setting up 15 institutions worldwide. 

The Kavli Foundation is dedicated to advancing science for the benefit of humanity, promoting public understanding of scientific research, supporting scientists and their work.

Read more about Fred Kavli in an obituary by clicking HERE:


Monday, November 25, 2013

JERMAINE JACKSON - VALLEY BOY - MEGA STAR

CHERISHING OUR VALLEY                 2013

Jermaine Jackson, once the lead singer for the Jackson 5, graduated from Birmingham High School in Lake Balboa. He was, for many years, the lead vocalist with his brother Michael. He attended the Jehovah's Witness facility, in what was once the Valley Music Center, in Woodland Hills and lived at the Jackson family compound in Encino.

Jermaine Jackson - detail from Jackson's Victory Tour souvenir book.
Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2013.
(click on the image to enlarge it.) 


LUMINARIA FESTIVAL DECEMBER 8 - FREE FAMILY EVENT


SAN FERNANDO VALLEY DIVERSE POLITICAL VIEWS

 

In 1964, California still had many "liberal" Republicans, influenced by political leaders such as Earl Warren. The growing influence of Conservative Senator Barry Goldwater and very Liberal New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, San Fernando Valley moderate Republicans worked to draft Governor William Scranton for the presidency. 

 

Four years later "liberal" Democrats in the Valley supported the challenge of Senator Eugene McCarthy to President Lyndon Johnson, as the "peace candidate.

As in other parts of the United States, the San Fernando Valley has long been a place of divergent political opinion. This is exemplified in the political memorabilia donated to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley since our creation in 2005. For example, materials reflecting support for the moderate governor William Scranton of Pennsylvania reveals a desire for a presidential candidate somewhere between conservative Barry Goldwater from Arizona and New York governor Nelson Rockefeller in the 1964 election. 

 

Two years later, Democrats in the Valley were divided between supporting the reelection of President Lydon B. Johnson and the "peace" candidate Eugene McCarthy. In 1976, Democratic Senator John Tunney was defeated for reelection by colorful S.I. Hayakawa. 

 



Help your Museum build our San Fernando Valley Political Archives
Donate tax-deductible videos, photographs, records and other artifacts to your Museum today.
The Museum of the San Fernando Valley
Acquisitions Committee
21031 Ventura Blvd., Suite 419
Woodland Hills, CA 91364-2230

THE MUSEUM’S TELEPHONE
1 (818) 347-9665

THE MUSEUM'S EMAILS
gerald.fecht@TheMuseumSFV.org
info@TheMuseumSFV.org
THE MUSEUM’S BLOG
THE MUSEUM’S WEBSITE
www.TheMuseumSFV.org

Friday, November 22, 2013

CAL AUTOMOTIVE - A NORTH HOLLYWOOD MURDER STORY



CHERISHING OUR VALLEY              2013

Cal Automotive Inc. (vintage postcard - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2013.  (click on image to enlarge it.)

 The following is unedited - as printed:
"8044 Lankershim Boulevard, North Hollywood, California 91605 - Phone 767-8025
INTRODUCING   This worlds nost powerful Mustang Mr. Cal Automotive, Driven by TEX COLLINGS the famous Hollywood badman. Powered by the World War II P38 and P51 Mustang - 12 Cylindrs, 1710 Cubic inch, 3500 H.P. Allison, Tex Collins, the only man that ever successfully made a Aircraft engine run in a car. No problem to go 200 MPH in 1/4 mile."

Hey there may be a real story here!
The hot rod shop called Cal Automotive Inc. in North Hollywood was bought out by a Hollywood stunt man named Tex Collins. Several internet accounts have it that Tex died as a result of being shot to death over equipment sold to a Texas client.

According to a posting on the T Busketeers blog:
http://www.tbucketeers.com/threads/what-ever-happened-to-cal-automotive.10725




"Curt Hamilton who founded Cal Automotive has a shop in Van Nuys, California on Stagg Street called Hamilton Automotive Industries. He still has the T-Bucket molds with the improved dash panel and molded one piece pick up bed body. All his bodies were hand lamenated fiberglass., cleaner and stronger than a messy chopper sprayed body. Tex Collins, who purchased Cal Automotive from Curt tried to mass produce T-Bucket bodies by selling franchiases with hastley made molds to "Mom and Pop" operations. One such operation soured and as a result Tex was shot in the back by the son of a law enforcement official and was later aquitted at trial. Tex was a part time Hollwood Western stuntman who had a fiberglass company called Ford Duplicators in North Hollywood when he purchased Cal Automotive."

There’s a little more to the story. The Tudor ended up in the hands of a sometime Hollywood stuntman named Tex Collins, an Allison fanatic who ran one in a Mustang Funny Car, plus the Lytle-built oddity seen here, The Bad Brawma Bull, which used a White 3000 truck cab and modified chassis (check the bolted-together roll bar, as with Big Al IV). Collins, who owned Cal Automotive and was, sadly, shot to death, actually made passes in this thing and got to the far end unharmed. Mike owns the Bull, too. - See more at: http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2012/01/18/rip-jim-lytle-a-power-crazed-genius/#sthash.2YjjHEf1.dpuf
There’s a little more to the story. The Tudor ended up in the hands of a sometime Hollywood stuntman named Tex Collins, an Allison fanatic who ran one in a Mustang Funny Car, plus the Lytle-built oddity seen here, The Bad Brawma Bull, which used a White 3000 truck cab and modified chassis (check the bolted-together roll bar, as with Big Al IV). Collins, who owned Cal Automotive and was, sadly, shot to death, actually made passes in this thing and got to the far end unharmed. Mike owns the Bull, too. - See more at: http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2012/01/18/rip-jim-lytle-a-power-crazed-genius/#sthash.2YjjHEf1.dpuf

SOCIAL NORMS IN SAN FERNANDO VALLEY HODYS

CHERISHING OUR VALLEY                         2013

This little booklet, given to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley by Gary Fredburg, on the surface would appear to be a simple employee guide to customer "courtesy: but it also provides the addresses of Hody's locations in the Valley, and detailed behavioral expectations of workers in the marketplace.


(click on images to enlarge them)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

RICHARD HILTON LEADS GREAT "WALK IT OFF" AFTER THANKSIVING TOUR OF THE NO HO.

CHERISHING OUR VALLEY          2013

Ok! So you've overindulged with pumpkin pie and extra turkey stuffing. Here's the perfect way to ease your guilt and enrich you mind at the same time. Join actor, historian Richard Hilton on the Great After Thanksgiving Walk It Off exploration of historic walking tour of North Hollywood.

Join Mr. Hilton at the Amelia Earhart statue in North Hollywood Park (northwest corner of Tujunga Ave. and Magnolia Blvd.) on November 30th at 10:00 a.m. for a 2 1/2 hour tour filled with surprises and new memories gleaned from the past. 

For a donation of $10 you'll walk off a pound or two and discover part of our San Fernando Valley's amazing heritage. (You can always make at larger tax deductible donation and earn Karmic points.)

Call The Museum at (818) 347-9665 - RSVP with your name (clearly and slowly) and your email/telephone number just in case it snows!

Richard Hilton, founder of the historic walking tours of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley.
(click on image to enlarge it.)

What Confederate soldier, who became a significant American poet, lent his name to the history of North Hollywood? 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

ADDITIONS TO SAN FERNANDO VALLEY RELIGIOUS HISTORY

CHERISHING OUR VALLEY             2013

     The Museum of the San Fernando Valley conducts an on-going study, and collection of artifacts, related to religious institutions and practices in our diverse communities. This week the archivist of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary in Montebello, California is amassing the history of the once important Catholic girls school, Our Lady of Corvallis for our Library. The school, no longer in Studio City, educated hundreds of women in our region.
     Two weeks ago, Gary Fredburg, vice president of The Museum acquired five "Cabrinian" yearbooks from the 1960s for our ever-growing library. (The Museum collects artifacts and memorabilia from both secular and parochial schools.) Inside of the yearbooks from Villa Cabrini were 4th and 5th grade report cards, and a religious medal of "Our Lady of Lourdes." The silver medal invokes the protection of the mother of Jesus as well as the intercession of Saint Bernadette Soubirous. A major Catholic parish in the north San Fernando Valley is named for this story.
      (Bernadette's vision of the Virgin Mary is the basis of a very famous American film called The Song of Bernadette, a Jennifer Jones and Vincent Price movie from 1943. The film played an important role in American civilian morale during the Second World War.)


Yesterday, November 19th, a longtime friend Clem Boyland joined me on one of my exploration walks along Ventura Boulevard. We were visiting places where he grew up and went to school. Clem attended Saint Cyril of Jerusalem school and church.

Clem Boylan of West Hills examines a bronze plaque on the front doors of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem Catholic church in Encino. The two images on the main doors depict the Virgin Mary receiving the message from the Angel Gabriel that she is to be the mother of the Messiah. 

 The side of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem church in Encino, showing the small bapistry and meditation chapel at the right.
Altar housing the Eucharist (small golden box with Greek letters chi and rho. Red light signifies that the Sacrament is present in the chapel.

 Mary holding the infant Jesus in the Encino chapel.

 Terrazzo floor in the chapel.

Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist, with radiant beams of the Holy Spirit. 


            Help your Museum build our San Fernando Valley Religious History Archives
Donate tax-deductible videos, photographs, records and other artifacts to your Museum today.
The Museum of the San Fernando Valley
Acquisitions Committee
21031 Ventura Blvd., Suite 419
Woodland Hills, CA 91364-2230

THE MUSEUM’S TELEPHONE
1 (818) 347-9665

THE MUSEUM'S EMAILS
gerald.fecht@TheMuseumSFV.org
info@TheMuseumSFV.org
THE MUSEUM’S BLOG
THE MUSEUM’S WEBSITE
www.TheMuseumSFV.org

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

GLENDALE'S OAKMONT COUNTRY CLUB

CHERISHING OUR VALLEY              2013

Oakmont Country Club c. 1922 - Vintage postcard - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2013 (click on image to enlarge it.)

To learn more about the history of Oakmont Country Club, click HERE.

Do you care about The Museum of the San Fernando Valley and the preservation of Valley history, art and culture?  Let us know.

 John Raymond Leal says:
"Good luck with finding a permanent location - your area deserves no less."

CASA VERDUGO IN GLENDALE - AN HISTORIC RESTAURANT

CHERISHING OUR VALLEY           2013

Vintage postcard of historic Casa Verdugo Restaurant in Glendale. Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2013.  Postcard c. 1920-25  (click on image to enlarge it.)

"Not the Railroad Place - The original Casa Verdugo, a high class Spanish restaurant situated in the foothills of "The Verdugo Mountain" where a dinner may be had among tropical surroundings. Especially prepared by SeƱora Piedad Yorba Sowl.
A picturesque auto trip, only nine miles from Los Angeles. One block east of Glendale car line. "Around the Corner" Glendale phones: Sunset 370, Home 1481." Domestic postage 1¢.

Casa Verdugo is one of the most historic dining places in California. Its owner's struggle with railroad magnate Henry Huntington is in itself one of our region's most interesting adventures. Check out its great history:
http://paradiseleased.wordpress.com/2011/01/17/casa-verdugo-old-l-a-s-famous-restaurant-out-glendale-way/

Monday, November 18, 2013

MARTHA RAYE WAS THE BACKBONE OF THE USO

CHERISHING OUR VALLEY           2013

Martha Raye 1916 to 1994

Martha Raye, who lived in Encino, could well have been the reason why vaudeville invented the term "trooper". Martha was a comic performer who left an indelible mark as the indefatigable road star for the USO. She received the Motion Picture Academy's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award Oscar in 1969 for her tireless volunteer support of America's troops in World War II and the Korean War.


Friday, November 15, 2013

EDWARD EVERETT HORTON - AN ACTOR FOR ALL SEASONS

CHERISHING OUR VALLEY                2013

Until the Ventura 101 freeway was built, there stood in the way the stately home of the actor Edward Everett Horton. I think a freeway bridge bearing his name still spans the highway in Encino there. Horton was one of the most employed performers in Hollwood from the 1920s right up to the time of his death in Encino in 1970. Much admired by Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, Horton appeared in many of their films. (Click on image to enlarge it.)

Edward Everett Horton  1886 to 1970
Mr. Horton died in Encino and is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery Glendale.

EXPLORING THE DOCTORS' HOUSE IN GLENDALE

CHERISHING OUR VALLEY                  2013

I try not to be pushy about exploring the San Fernando Valley ....... but, here's a push! As part of The Museum Community's effort to understand the challenges of maintaining a professional museum of history, culture and the arts for the San Fernando Valley, we had the good fortune to visit the historic Doctors' House Museum in Glendale. It was simply an amazing experience. I urge you to put the House on your must visit list. 

 Scott Sterling, President of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley in the restored Doctors' House parlor. He stands aside an original Edison Victrola. If the the sound was too loud, the listener would drop a stuffed sock into the horn ... "put a sock in it!" 


The parlor room of the Doctor's House. Note the wall benches restored from a visitor's memories.



Assistant Director, Peter Rusch in a genuine 1890s stove pipe hat, greets The Museum Commnity, prior to entering the Doctors House Museum.

The wall paper in the parlor room of the Doctors' House was matched from samples from the original wall coverings.

Nicknacks, crochet work and sheet music give the Doctors' House a warmth and almost lived in feeling.

No Victorian house would be complete without musical instruments. Before radio and television, a family entertained itself. Fine European prints adorn the walls.

Peter Rusch comes from the Doctors' House to greet his guests. On the roof, just above Peter and a little to the right is a large gouge. A Glendale city worker came to remove bees from the attic. He tore off part of the roof, killed the insects without any consideration for the historic shingles. The shingles remain unmatched.

A missing hallway door was matched and replaced from a nearby demolition.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

NELL SHIPMAN FEMINIST FILM MAKER OF THE EARLY 20th CENTURY

CHERISHING OUR VALLEY                2013

Nell Shipman's conservative Canadian parents worried about their "head strong" daughter. Nell's history was to prove them correct. As the British Empire struggled in the first World War, Nell decided to come to Hollywood. If the family rented a traditional home in Glendale, they believed they had a chance to influence their daughter's ambitions. They failed.
From 1917 to 1920 the Shipman family rented Nell what was to be the historic Doctor's House now in Brand Park in Glendale.

From the "little white house" on Wilson street, Nell launched an amazing life. She would become a silent screen actress, a writer, produced and director of avant guard motion pictures.

 Nell Shipman - 1892 to 1970



 Nell found herself liberated from family influences when the great influenza epidemic took the life of her mother and a stroke felled her father. By 1920 Nell was rid of her unwanted husband, a great scandal in those days. She used a modest inheritance to hire a staff and dive into film making. Nell Shipman demanded the fair treatment of women and children, and was a champion for early 20th century animal rights.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

FRED ASTAIRE AND GINGER ROGERS

CHERISHING OUR VALLEY         2013

My son Brendan and I drove to Chatsworth on Veterans' Day to visit his uncle's grave. While we were there we walked to the entrance area of Oakwood Cemetery to see the final resting places of two very famous American performers. 


Ginger Rogers 
1911 to 1995
 An amazing performer, Ginger Rogers was an actress, singer and wonderful dancer. She starred on the stage, in films, radio and television. She was one of the greatest stars of the 20th century. Ginger Rogers frequently worked with the great dancer Fred Astaire.

Fred Astaire 
1899 – 1987

A mega-star performer, Fred Astaire was an actor, musician, singer, stage actor, and above all one of the greatest dancers in American history. He was the dance partner of Ginger Rogers in many films.

 "The history of dance on film begins with Astaire". 
Gene Kelly  

Help your Museum build our San Fernando Valley Entertainment Industry library. 
Donate tax-deductible videos, films, records and other artifacts to your Museum today.
The Museum of the San Fernando Valley
Acquisitions Committee
21031 Ventura Blvd., Suite 419
Woodland Hills, CA 91364-2230

THE MUSEUM’S TELEPHONE
1 (818) 347-9665

THE MUSEUM'S EMAILS
gerald.fecht@TheMuseumSFV.org
info@TheMuseumSFV.org
 
THE MUSEUM’S BLOG
 
THE MUSEUM’S WEBSITE
www.TheMuseumSFV.org