Roundups

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2017 – Roundups

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Roundup: March 8, 2017

Almansor Court – 700 S. Almansor, Alhambra, CA.
Social Hour: 5:00 PM
Dinner: 6:00 PM

Our Speaker: Thomas Pinney
Subject: Los Angeles: City of Vines; Winemaking in Los Angelse

Making wine in a coastal desert?? The role of the Los Angeles region in the history of viticulture and winemaking has almost been forgotten and has certainly been diminished. Los Angeles is where it all began, and where, for many years, most California wine originated. The entire California wine industry descends directly from Los Angeles.

Thomas Pinney has had a distinguished 35 year academic career at Pomona College, now emeritus professor of English, having previously held positions at Hamilton College and at Yale. He has published scholarly works on George Eliot, Thomas Babington Macaulay, and Rudyard Kipling. [“I say, 'Do you like Kipling? I don't know; I've never kipled' ”.] Never having kippled, but most likely having tippled, Pinney has avocationally written about American wine history, including a two-volume History of Wine in America (University of California Press) and a forth-coming history of winemaking in the Los Angeles region, from which his talk is derived.

Factoid: Who was Mesnager and name more than one L.A. area feature named after him.

Roundup: February 8, 2017

Almansor Court – 700 S. Almansor, Alhambra, CA.
Social Hour: 5:00 PM
Dinner: 6:00 PM

Our Speaker: Darryl Holter
His Subject: This Land is Your Land: Woody Guthrie in Los Angeles, 1937-1941

Woody Guthrie was, and still is, one of the most beloved of all American singers and songwriters. Guthrie’s very productive years in Los Angeles at the end of the Great Depression forever changed his music, his politics, and greatly expanded his audience.  Guthrie performed his own songs on his popular, KFVD Los Angeles, live radio show. They made him first a local, then a national, celebrity. With his lyrics about unemployment, homelessness, and inequality, Guthrie became the voice of thousands of migrant families who had fled the Dust Bowl in search of a new life in California.  His songs also inspired political activists, intellectuals, and writers like John Steinbeck. Woody Guthrie, by common assent, was the most important precursor to the American folk music revival of the late 1940s and early 1950s.  His powerful cultural legacy continues to grow in our own, 21st, century. Our February, 2017, Los Angeles Corral roundup will be a special treat, for our guest speaker will also be a guest singer, entertaining us with a selection of Woody Guthrie songs, accompanying himself on guitar.  Don’t Miss It!  We’ll See You There!

Darryl Holter is a business leader, historian, musician, and recognized authority on Woody Guthrie.  He has a Ph.D in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has taught at the University of Wisconsin and at UCLA.  Dr. Holter has written several books, two dozen scholarly articles, and has put out his own selections of historic Woody Guthrie songs as CDs/DVDs.  Radio Songs is his fourth album.  He is also the CEO of the Shammas Group, a family-owned group of automobile dealerships and commercial property in Downtown LA with nearly a thousand employees.  He founded the Figueroa Corridor Business Improvement District in 1998 and served as its Chairman for fourteen years.  But Darryl’s true passion is blending music with history, and no better nor more creative icon to focus both disciplines upon exists than Woody Guthrie.  Dr. Holter is the first historian to explore, in depth, the legendary folk singer’s time in Los Angeles.  His February, 2017, presentation will review Guthrie’s observations on the local scene from 80 years ago:  his satires on local politics, the wealthy, and the future of Los Angeles.

Brian Dervin Dillon, Ph.D.
Newly-Elected Sheriff

Roundup: January 11, 2017

Almansor Court – 700 S. Almansor, Alhambra, CA.
Social Hour: 5:00 PM
Dinner: 6:00 PM

Our Speaker: Brian Dervin Dillon
His Subject: California, U.S.A. and the Mexican Revolution

The Mexican Revolution began in 1910, and lasted for more than a decade.  It was the most cataclysmic and traumatic event of modern Mexican history, and the precursor of following revolutions in China (1911), Ireland (1916) and Russia (1917).  America and Americans participated in every aspect of the Mexican Revolution, in all of its many different factions, yet this involvement, overshadowed by our participation in World War I immediately afterwards, is largely forgotten. The Revolution took place on both sides of the California border:  it was born in places as surprising, yet familiar, as the University of California, Berkeley, and Los Angeles. The California end of the long international border was where the Revolution began, yet also where, through the efforts of enlightened men in both countries, it never went spinning out of control, as was later the case farther east.

Brian Dervin Dillon is a fifth-generation Californian. An archaeologist, he is both the son and the father of historians.  A Phi Beta Kappa and Fulbright Fellow, at age 25 he was the youngest Ph.D. in his field since his UC Berkeley department’s founding. For more than forty years Brian has done archaeological, ethnographic and historical fieldwork in almost every California County, in all parts of Guatemala, and in three other Central American countries.  Dr. Dillon publishes in three genres:  archaeology, history, and firearms history. He has taught and lectured at UC Berkeley, UCLA, UCLA Extension, CSU Long Beach, The Southwest Museum and for the California State Department of Forestry. Brian is the recipient of more than two-dozen grants, fellowships and awards. He has traveled through every Mexican state for the past 50 years. Dr. Dillon’s two-part study on California and the Mexican Revolution was published in 2013, earning him one of the five consecutive Coke Wood Awards for historic writing from Westerners International he has been honored with.

Brian Dervin Dillon, Ph.D.
Deputy Sheriff