Tel: (818) 347-9665 PST

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Part II The History of Jue Joe Ranch - Otto Brant; Free Zoom event; The Museum SFV History of Speaker Series

The Museum of the San Fernando Valley, as part of its History of Speaker Series is pleased to present Part II The History of Jue Joe Ranch.

Date:  Saturday, September 26, 2020

Time:  Noon - 2:00 pm   (Learn about history during lunch!)

Cost:   Free * 

(*we would appreciate a $10 donation to support interview, video editing and coordination of this program - via PayPal or website)

Part II will be highlighting the relationship between Jue Joe and Otto Brant.

Excerpt from Jack Jue's blog...

One of the fascinating stories in the Jue Joe saga is his friendship with Otto Brant. We have followed Jue Joe's story up to Los Angeles where he is employed as a house boy on a wheat ranch in Chatsworth in 1893. 

In that same year, Otto Brant and his friend O.P. Clark founded the Title Insurance and Trust Company in Los Angeles which is destined to become the largest Title insurance company in the United States. How does a poor Chinaman who is a houseboy on a wheat ranch, meet up with and become fast friends with a wealthy Title insurance president? I do not have the answers, but I do have Otto Brant's life story which makes their association even more difficult to understand. Family oral history has Otto and Jue Joe becoming friends when they are both poor and both on the way to Los Angeles. If we follow Otto Brant's life story during the same years as Jue Joe this becomes very difficult to believe. There is ample documentation in real estate deeds and family oral history that Otto and Jue Joe were associates and friends but why or how that friendship developed is something I do not understand.

“Descendant of the 2nd emperor of the Song Dynasty (Zhao Gunagyi), Jue Joe was born and raised in a chicken coop, in 1860. He grew up dirt poor and vowed that his descendants would never suffer as he had. So at the age of 14 he sailed alone to California, working as a cabin boy, and jumped ship in San Francisco. He sailed with 16 lbs of rice and landed with 1/4 lb left. So he went to the Chinese Six Companies for help. They sent him to St. Helena and Marysville to work the vineyards. Then he found work on the Southern Pacific Railroad. In the Mojave Desert he met Otto Brant who was hoboing his way to L.A. They became friends and together hoboed to that destination. According to San Tong, Jue Joe learned business from Otto Brant and what land and water would mean to future settlers of the L.A. Basin. “ – written by Auntie Soo-Yin.

In 1913, California passed a law that forbid aliens (Non-Americans) from purchasing land in the state. The openly racist ALIEN LAND ACT was aimed at a growing and prosperous Asian population whose success threatened white hegemony in the Golden State.

But Chinese born Jue Joe was friends with the very powerful Otto Brant. The fascinating story of how Otto Brant helped his Asian friend purchase land, in spite of the restrictive law.

Franky Ortega, educator and historian of the SFV and WWII history tying in the valley will present.

Free to all Museum members and guests.

A $10 suggested donation would be appreciated to support YOUR Museum with the cost of video editing and organizing this programming. You can go to our website at to make a donation on PayPal.

Presentation and Q&A session to follow.

Please RSVP on EVENTBRITE HERE.  You can also


Meeting ID: 842 6055 5591

Passcode: 570354

Thank you.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

9-12-20 - Noon to 2:00 pm; FREE; Zoom; PAI Artist Speaker Series - Join Christine Douglass

The Museum of the San Fernando Valley and its Public Art Initiative invites you to meet the September Artist Speaker Series guest, featuring, Christine Douglass.

Zoom presentation (see link below):
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Noon - 2:00 pm
Cost: Free*

(*suggested donation to support the Public Art Initiative of The Museum SFV - $10
Pay on our website, PayPal, Zelle)


Douglass is a local San Fernando Valley artist who has always enjoyed drawing but discovered her love for oil painting as an adult. She accidentally became an artist.  In 2004, after the passing of her late husband of 35 years, she found herself in deep despair.  

By 2006, she gave herself an assignment to find joy in her life.  She was not sure how to pursue or achieve this goal, but she decided that since she had done a lot of drawing and some painting when she was very young, she would sign up for an oil painting class.

The painting featured above is called Papa and Me.  It has a special place in her heart (learn more about it during the presentation) and it won First Place in the City of Los Angeles 2017 Senior Art Exhibit. 

Years later, she has been exhibiting many of her paintings to countless juried art exhibits throughout Southern California.  Her artwork is eclectic and tends to be realistic, but lately she has been introducing artwork that simply stems from her imagination. 

Attendees will be able to speak to Christine at the end of the presentation, ask questions about her career, specific paintings as well as inquire about items for sale which include paintings, blank note cards, purses, handbags and prints on canvas.  

You can view her artwork too at

Bring your lunch, invite family members, tell friends about it and enjoy a presentation on art and life.

The Zoom link is:  

Meeting ID: 847 8268 3275

Passcode: 330556

Watch the presentation or listen in via phone - dial
        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose), then add Meeting ID and passcode.

For any other event information, please contact Michel (Michael) Stevens at or dial 747-202-3084.

Please also visit our website at

Thank you.


Saturday, September 5, 2020

Jakob van Zyl, JPL engineer involved in numerous space exploration missions, dies

 Jakob van Zyl, an engineer who held crucial positions at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and was involved in numerous space exploration missions over decades, has died at a hospital in Pasadena at age 63.

Van Zyl, who retired in 2019 after a 33-year career, suffered a heart attack Aug. 24 and died Wednesday, said Veronica McGregor, a spokeswoman for JPL.

His roles at JPL included serving as director for astronomy and physics, director for solar system exploration and associate director on a project to formulate a vision for JPL’s future.

“JPL and NASA are richer for his many technical and managerial contributions, and for his unwavering dedication and engaging personality,” JPL Director Michael Watkins said in a statement.

His early work in Earth sciences led to roles designing and developing missions using synthetic aperture radar.

A native of Namibia, Van Zyl received a degree in electronics engineering from Stellenbosch University in South Africa and earned his master’s and doctorate in electrical engineering from Caltech, which manages JPL.

JPL said Van Zyl was passionate about encouraging young people in Namibia and South Africa to pursue science. With his wife, Kalfie, he returned again and again to his homeland to conduct science programs.