A special note of thanks to Christina Park, who is working as the volunteer secretary for The Museum's "Narrating Lives - Oral Histories of the San Fernando Valley" project. Christina, who is in the process of applying to graduate school, wanted to do something productive for The Museum, during her wait. Christina Park is working as a Museum intern with committee members Scott Sterling, Semee Park, Rania Pallad, Richard Hilton, Jerry Fecht and Willard Simms. Christina is a graduate of the University of California Berkeley.
DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY 2011 100th Anniversary of Van Nuys
On February 26th, The Museum of the San Fernando Valley was recognized by Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield for its dedication to the year-long support of the Centennial of Van Nuys. A certificate was presented to Michael Stevens, Director of Museum Development and Gerald Fecht, President of The Museum. The citation reads in part: "Celebrating 100 years of Van Nuys is an important Milestone to share with the San Fernando Valley and greater Los Angeles community. Mr. Blumenfield represents the 40th California State Assembly District.
(left) Michael Stevens, member of The Museum Board, assemblyman Bob Blumenfield. and Dr. Geral;d Fecht, president of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley. (click on image to enlarge)
DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY 2011 100th Anniversary of Van Nuys
Gaelyn Whitley Keith brought several great photographs of the earliest days of Van Nuys to the 100th Anniversary kickoff event on Saturday, February 26th, 2011. The images below are two parts of the same panorama view.
I am assuming that this photograph was taken the day of the first great land auction in Van Nuys. (click on images to enlarge)
Once again these two photographs are part of a large panorama image from the Whitley family collection. This image was taken during the arrival of the first official train in Van Nuys. (click on image to enlarge)
The sheriff of Hollywood, California, once put saw horse barriers across Cahuenga Road to keep rowdy San Fernando Valley cowboys from coming into his sleepy little town on Saturday nights. The Cahuenga Pass is still a pretty rowdy place, but a long way from troubles caused by cowboys.
Today, I had the real pleasure of meeting Gaelyn Whitley Keith, great grand daughter of H. J. Whitley, the founding father of both the cities of Hollywood and Van Nuys in the heart of the San Fernando Valley. It was great fun meeting a member of the famous Whitley clan, especially on the 100th Anniversary of the founding of Van Nuys. (If for no other reason than the establishment of two such important communities, we feel that H.J. Whitney deserves to be recognized in the California Museum in Sacramento.)
Gift to the Library of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gaelyn Whjitley Keith February 26th, 2011. (click on image to enlarge).
Football players from Granada Hills take part in promotional hype before the 1967 all San Fernando Valley East-West football game, with "Movie starlet" Teddy Marlow. Left to right were: Tom Van Dulm, Keith Parkhurst, Doug Combs, Steve Mirau and Bob LeDuc.
Photo - Gift to the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011.
(click on image to enlarge)
DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY 2011 230 Images of Los Angeles (223-222-221)
With the increased arrival of artifacts, books and photographs for The Museum's archives, the need for a workspace is more and more apparent. Today, for example many new treasures arrived from The Museum's commitment to the celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the founding of Van Nuys. Volunteers are champing to get started on many important Museum Community projects, and a physical workspace for them has become paramount in importance.
Liane Schirmer, Chair of the Museum's Committee to help out with the 230th Birthday of Los Angeles, regularly reminds me that we promised 230 images of the City on this blogsite before the all city celebration in September.
Here are three snapshots that I took of the 1984 Olympic Games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. They are part of The Museum's Olympic Games collection.
A crowd heads toward the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum through Exposition Park in 1984.
Just as their religious ancestors did in ancient Greek and Roman sporting events, these Christians sought converts among visitors to the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. No, that is not a flying saucer over the trees, but the Goodyear blimp. (click on images to enlarge)
From our seats in the Memorial Coliseum, we saw the flags of the United States and Finland raised after a wonderful track and field event.
Narrating Lives - Oral Histories of the San Fernando Valley
Very soon now the "greatest generation" will become part of American history. The Museum of the San Fernando Valley is working hard to secure oral histories of Valley residents whose art contributed to the patriotic struggle of World War II. If you know a San Fernando Valley artist or craft maker who who worked in the WWII era, we've like to hear from you.
Call The Museum of the San Fernando Valley today - 1 )818) 347-9665 - leave your name and telephone number, and we'll be in touch.
War poster - Fillmore Museum of History (click on image to enlarge)
Sports lovers were all agog over the opening of the new football stadium at Birmingham High School (Roscoe and Victory) in 1967. It was the site that year for the San Fernando Valley East - West All-Star Football Game.
Birmingham High School Football Stadium - Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley - gift of Gary Fredburg 2011- (click on image to enlarge)
Before Marc Wanamaker's lecture on the San Fernando Valley and the Motion Picture business last evening, I was at last able to meet Cindy Mitchum from Portland, Oregon. To The Museum's good fortune, Cindy donated to the Archives of The Museum four important photographs related to her father John Mitchum's career in film and television.
John Mitchum - Photograph from the 1947 film "The Prarie" Gift to the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Cindy Mitchum 2011 (click on image to enlarge)
Early in his career, John Mitchum had a strong resemblance to his older brother the actor Robert Mitchum.
John Mitchum - The Outlaw Josey Wales - gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Cindy Mitchum 2011.
One of John Mitchum's most popular roles was as the policeman Frank DiGiorgio in the Dirty Harry films. This photograph was from the film Magnum Force.
Promotional photograph featuring at the left, the Sons of the Pioneers singing group, Candy Cavaratti, James Drury (the Virginian) John Locke and John Mitchum.
Chapter 6 in "Location Filming In Los Angeles" is about movie making in the San Fernando Valley. This book, along with Marc Wanamaker's really interesting lecture last evening on the Film Industry in the Valley really demonstrates the need for a map showing our Entertainment Industry heritage.
Location Filming in Los Angeles by Bible, Wanamaker and Medved 2010 - The Museum of the San Fernando Valley's Entertainment Industry Library - now being amassed - (click on image to enlarge)
DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY 2011 100 years of Van Nuys history
Have you ever heard of the Crystal Plunge? Once the mid-Valley's favorite swimming pool, the Plunge is said to have been the idea of the great old time character actor and Van Nuys resident Andy Divine. This year, The Museum of the San Fernando Valley salutes the 100th birthday of Van Nuys, and will be collecting artifacts from this important part of the Valley, all year.
This year too, your Museum's blog is noting our 1,700th entry. We'd like to add more images of Andy Divine and add some of the once famous Crystal Plunge. Think Van Nuys Heritage in 2011 - we are!
Andy Divine October 7, 1905 to February 13, 1977.
Andy Divine, America's favorite cowboy "side kick" of the 1940s and 50s. Postcard gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011. (click on image to enlarge)
The artist of this painting was Mildred Wheeler of Kingman, Arizona. It hangs in the Mohave Museum of History and Art in Kingman.
Film historian Marc Wanamaker drew a standing room only crowd tonight at the Tarzana Community Center. He spoke on the history of the motion picture industry in the San Fernando Valley. Part of The Museum's Speakers Series, Wanamaker's talk was the third in a series organized by Willard Simms, Rania Pallad and Rob Friedman.
Marc Wanamaker - author and film historian - Photo by Gerald Fecht for the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley - February 28, 2011. (click on images to enlarge)
Wanamaker audience at the Tarzana Community Center
To celebrate Marc Wanamaker's presentation, The Museum added to our Library of San Fernando Valley Entertainment Industry History, two of his important books on film; Location Filming in Los Angeles and Threatres in Los Angeles.
I received a package today from my friend Burnet Brown. Among other things, it included three photographs that I took in 1994, a few days after the Northridge Earthquake. With the suffering in New Zealand dramatically before us in today's news, it might be a good time to rethink earthquake preparedness in our own lives.
1994 Earthquake - 1406 Hazeltine Avenue in Sherman Oaks - (refer to photo 2535 )- Photo by Gerald Fecht - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley 2011.
1994 Earthquake - Woodman and Moorpark - North West corner in Sherman Oaks - (refer to photo 2536 ) - Photo by Gerald Fecht - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley 2011.
1994 Earthquake - Moorpark and Tyrone - North West corner in Sherman Oaks - (refer to photo 25337) - Photo by Gerald Fecht - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley 2011.
For the next year, The Museum of the San Fernando will be celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the founding of Van Nuys, California.
Bob Waterfield was a football hero at Van Nuys High School. In 1942, he was an "All-Coast" and "All American" quarterback for UCLA. That year he lead the Bruins to their first-ever win over the Trojans of USC in the Rose Bowl. His college career was interrupted by military service, after which he returned to lead the UCLA team. After college, Bob Waterfield played for the "Cleveland" Rams.
Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011. (click on image to enlarge)
Not many years ago Pierce College students regularly held "Rodeo" parties to celebrate the school's annual contest. This is a detail image of student Brent Brody in 1961. (click on image to enlarge) Photo gift to The Museum from Jerry Berns 2010.
After college, Brody opened a delicatessen in the San Fernando Valley and later Brent's Deli in Honolulu.
You may have seen one of the many "botanica" stores in the San Fernando Valley, especially in areas with large Latino populations. To those unfamiliar to botanicas, these centers are viewed as religious or magical supply shops. They perform both of these functions but much more. Blending Native American, Cuban and African beliefs with Catholic ritual and symbolism, botanicas serve as religious centers, even temples to many San Fernando Valley residents.
Botanicas - Latino popular religious art in the City of Los Angeles - published by the Fowler Museum at UCLA - gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gerald Fecht 2011.
Legendary pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers (1949 - 1951) (1954 - 1958) Don Newcomb arrives at the Northridge "Filed of Dreams" event - February 2011 - (click on image to enlarge) Photo by Gerald Fecht for the Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley.
Fernando Valenzuela and Sweet Lou Johnson prepare for the dedication of the Northridge "Field of Dreams". "Sweet Lou played for the Dodger from 1965 to 1967.
Because I'm out and about so much working on making The Museum of the San Fernando Valley a reality for today and future generations, I often make my appointments do "double duty" by setting aside time after my meetings to explore more of the Valley. Last week Scott Sterling, who is working on The Museum's Narrating Lives, Oral Histories of the San Fernando Valley and I met with leaders of CSUN faculty about public art for the greater Northridge community.
As I drove Scott to his office, he mentioned that there was a dedication of a LA Dodgers Field of Dreams going on in Northridge Park. While I didn't have time to stary for the whole event, here are a couple of photos that I snapped of the history-making event. (Who wants to bet that the children there will remember seeing Dodgers stars for years to come.)
Fernando Valenzuela, number 34, is one of the most loved of Dodger alumni. He pitched for LA from 1980 to 1990. Today is a radio commentator for the Dodgers Spanish language broadcasts.
It was hard to distinguish who was more excited about seeing the Dodgers, their parents or the kids.
Councilman Greig Smith, who is in his last days on the Los Angeles City Council with Dodgers legend Fernando Valenzuela 2011.
The countdown for the 230th birthday of Los Angeles is underway, and The Museum of the San Fernando Valley will be dedicating several events during the year to get folks in the mood for the big city-wide fiesta of historical and cultural groups that will mark the occasion. Throughout the year, The Museum Community will be collecting and sharing special images of our city's rich history and culture.
Here's a great photograph from our Archives, donated to The Museum by Gary Fredburg this month. It features the oldest church in our City, the Mission church of Our Lady Queen of Angels at the edge of the historic plaza. Note the porch attached to the Mission at the left and the house at the right, now long gone. Burials were made at the left of the church's entrance, commonly called El Campo Santo - present site of considerable controversy.
Date of this photo is unknown - double click on the image to clearly see the horse and buggy and how close building were to the church.
You may contact Liane Schirmer, Chair of The Museum's City Birthday Event, at (818) 347-9665. This is City Birthday picture number 224. ld
On November 23, 1968 Cleveland High School hosted crosstown Jefferson High School in Reseda High School's stadium. Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011.
(click on image to enlarge)
We are planning on a break in the weather tomorrow morning from 9:00 a.m. to at least 1:00 p.m. so the tour is can take place, so if the rain has stopped please come. If that changes when we look out our windows tomorrow morning, we will let you know, but we are holding forth that the tour will be able to happen.
Please RSVP for tomorrow and leave your email address or phone number so we can reach you in case the weather prevents us from doing the tour, so we can let you know. Remember that parking around the Civic Center is only 1 or 2 hours and the tour is longer than that. So, please park in the neighborhood where you will be able to park beyond the 2 hour limit. Hope to see you all there. Thanks.
During the centennial year of the City of San Fernando, The Museum of the San Fernando Valley will be making a special effort to celebrate the city's birthday by acquiring and presenting memorabilia about it. Here's a fun start. A menu from the Alpine Haus restaurant - 2040 First Street - c. 1968. Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2011. (click on image to enlarge)
CALABASAS HISTORICAL SOCIETY ARCHIVE COLLECTION INVITATION
Where: Calabasas Library, 200 Civic Center Way, Calabasas, CA 91302
Date: February 25, 2011
You are invited to the Calabasas Historical Collection preview of the archives of the Kathleen Beachy Memorial Library , formerly housed at Pierce College and selected materials from the Ruth Loring Collection of Southern California History. This collection contains over 400 books, pamphlets, maps, magazines and newspapers, as well as transcribed interviews of early Calabasas residents. Lite refreshments will be served. Please park in the rear and use the elevator or stairs and follow signs to library. Only rear entrance will be open for this private event. For additional information, please contact Sue Jennings 818-716=7572
Features: Free, Open to All
When The Museum voted Teddy the Beagle as our Mascot, none of us realized that we had a real star in our midst. We should have known great things were in store for Teddy when he won Number One 13-inch Beagle in 2010. Named Best of Variety at Monday's Westminster Dog Show in New York City, Teddy was edged out for Best in Hound Group by a Scottish deerhound, and will now return to the San Fernando Valley to become according to his owner Diana Lipari "a regular dog." Diana and her husband Richard Hilton (member of the Board of your Museum), will try to give Teddy a normal life. But, as those of us raised around show business, know that won't be easy.
CONGRATULATIONS TEDDY THE BEAGLE!
Read more about Teddy, the Mascot of The Museum in today's (Feb. 15) edition of the Daily News. Teddy's photo in on the front cover. The full story is on page A10.
Over two centuries ago, the Mission San Fernando Rey de Espagña in Mission Hills, claimed much of the Santa Paula River Valley in Ventura County. Today charming towns there like Fillmore, Piru and Santa Paula are a worthwhile get-aways for San Fernando Valley residents looking for new insights about our own and our neighbors' history.
Many believe that World War I was America's first big venture into propaganda. Here in the Fillmore Historical Museum, a small poster tells people to "Plant a War Garden". Victory Gardens would play a role in public war support again in World War II. Vegetable gardens didn't have a significant impact on the war effort, but it made ordinary people feel that they were part of the commitment to "Win The War."
The Greatest Mother in the World - World War I poster soliciting contributions to the American Red Cross.
Most people who live in the San Fernando Valley think of the "Y" as a place for swimming lessons. for a workout in a gym or buy a Christmas tree. But, in the World War I era, the YMCA was quite a different institution. The Y once assisted the wounded on the battlefield but also struggled against child labor as well.
The Museum of the San Fernando Valley collects and archives memorabilia from America's military conflicts. Our artifacts are collected with the intent of applying historical evidence to modern social issues. If you or a friend has historical materials from our nation's wars, including military souvenirs, please consider donating them to your Museum for today's and future generations.
Contact The Museum of the San Fernando Valley -- 1 (818) 347-9665