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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Tarzana Ranch Centennial - Join Safari Walk and other organizations

Please join Safari Walk committee, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., Councilman Bob Blumenfield CD3, Theatre of Will, The Museum of the San Fernando Valley and others for this special series of events celebrating the Centennial of the Tarzana Ranch.

In 1919, with financial security assured, Edgar Rice Burroughs moved to California, where he purchased the 550-acre estate of General Harrison Gray Otis, renaming it ‘Tarzana Ranch’.  Please read Edgar Rice Burroughs fascinating bio HERE.

Three weekends- from approx. 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • September 7th and 8th
  • September 14th and 15th
  • September 21st and 22nd
There will be historical lectures and walking tours,Free, (some by former board member Willard Simms of Theatre of Will), one on each Saturday, and they all begin at 12:00 pm.  

Walking tours are supposed to start and end at the Tarzana Then And Now location on Ventura Blvd.  

There will be other activities such as drum circles, music, dance, and live animal show.

Come on out to Tarzana, celebrate this monumental occasion and enjoy - FREE to the public.  Spread the word about these special events.

On Ventura Blvd. - between Reseda Blvd. and Crebs/Burbank Blvd.

Michel Stevens, The Museum of the SFV

Los Angeles Archives Bazaar October 12, 2019 - join The Museum SFV

If you are a history buff or would like to learn more about various historical organizations, museums and societies.... well, place your lobster bib on and join The Museum SFV and about 80 other organizations at the 14th annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar - Free Admission to general public (parking fees on or near campus).

14th annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar
Saturday, October 12, 2019
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Doheny Memorial Library
USC University Park Campus
The Museum will be exhibiting along with approx. 80 other historical organizations.
Free admission to the general public
Take Metro to USC

All Day. All in one Place.

Come and celebrate the diversity of stories that make Southern California such a place of discovery. At the Los Angeles Archives Bazaar, presented by L.A. as Subject and the USC Libraries, anyone with an interest in the region’s history will find something of value. A broad array of institutions and archives will have experts on hand to show off their collections and answer questions.

In addition to the wealth of information on display from exhibitors, day-long programming will feature preservation workshops and enlightening presentations.

The USC Libraries serve as the host institution for L.A. as Subject, an alliance of libraries, museums, and other archival and cultural organizations. The relationship complements the USC libraries’ strong regional history collection and is a natural outgrowth of the libraries’ efforts to preserve and expand access to the primary sources of L.A. history.

USC is minutes from downtown Los Angeles and is easily accessible by major freeways and the Metro Expo line. Doheny Library is located in the center of campus, adjacent to Alumni Park and across from Bovard Auditorium, on Trousdale Avenue. For information regarding parking on campus, visit the Parking Services Website.

Michel Stevens, The Museum of the SFV

John Hendry’s Forgotten Suburbs - A Valley Song, or Poem Perhaps

Blog Two – A Valley Song, or Poem Perhaps
By John Hendry

A Valley song, or poem perhaps?  That is the odd topic I was given as a neighborhood council member from a group who didn’t even quite know who Isaac Van Nuys was – or why we live in a town named after him.

How does one actually know who we Valleyites are or how we live?

Try looking for our Valley song, or our poem – and you’ll find Bing Crosby singing “I’ll Make the San Fernando Valley My Home” (actually in the “Top Ten” on D-Day), – or Los Abandoned “Van Nuys es Very Nice” on the Internet as a “punk anthem” to Van Nuys gone bad, - or even Tom Waits’ “Frank’s Wild Years” depicting a San Fernando Road used furniture salesman’s insanity created by living in The Valley.  Go to Luis J. Rodriguez, former Poet Laureate of Los Angeles and his literary salon in far Sylmar, a coffee shop/bookstore in a declining shopping center, and ask him to offer us suggestions.

But recently I was struck by Amanda McBroom’s song “Errol Flynn” (who also wrote lyrics to “The Rose”) for offering a storyline about her father that seems so very “Valley”.  

The song starts –

In a hall, on a wall, in a house in Reseda
There’s a poster held up by two nails and a pin
It’s my Daddy, the actor, ‘bout to die with his boots on.
He’s the man standing up there, beside Errol Flynn.

He got third or fourth billing at the end of each picture.
“But that doesn’t mean much”, he would say with a grin.
But he’d hold my hand tight as he pointed his name out
Only four or five names down below Errol Flynn.

Now this could be our “Valley song” – so many of us have lived our lives thinking we are “only four or five names down below Errol Flynn” – or know those who are.” Birth of a Nation” filmed just below the Pacoima Dam, 9 movie ranches throughout the Valley for Errol Flynn to ride through, charging the “Light Brigade”, or was it fending off “hostiles” with the 7th cavalry one day in that canyon behind Calabasas as General Custer with his men died “with their boots on” – a whirling dervish of excitement throughout our Valley home. 

As a USPS letter carrier for over 40 years, it was all around me.  I saw all of them – just around.  From Yakima Canutt, rodeo star of the 1930’s and the guy who actually rode Charlton Heston’s chariot in “Ben Hur”, to all the lesser actors -  “four or five names down below Errol Flynn”.  The day I surprised one of my actor friends – I had been watching a video – and there she was – one scene with Robert DiNiro – and I couldn’t believe I saw her. “That’s her!”…and then she was gone.

The Valley has such a remarkable heritage.  One day in Canoga Park, riding by the Madrid Theater, I saw a hundred people dressed in “Western wear”, the “best of cowboy culture”.  It was a memorial service for Dale Evans, Roy Rogers’ wife, and here were a hundred people who “kept the West alive” – from the movies – the horse handlers, the saddlers, the armorers, the mule skinners, the construction gang – all the people who made the movies – who would have had duller prosaic lives except for the Errol Flynn’s among us.

A Valley song, or poem perhaps?  A bit closer to reality than Bing Crosby’s version.

But he’d hold my hand tight as he pointed his name out –
Only four or five names down below Errol Flynn.