Roundup: April 11, 2018

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

Our Speaker: Michael Patris, Past Sheriff, Serious Historian and Witty Raconteur
His Subject: Thaddeus Lowe and the Civil War Balloon Corps

Thaddeus Lowe is known by many to be the builder of the Mount Lowe Incline Railway in the San Gabriel Mountains. However, his fascination with flying balloons and an early attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean in one brought him to the White House lawn near the outbreak of the American Civil War. Lowe convinced President Abraham Lincoln the future of warfare would include aerial components, contributing to the fabrication and deployment of seven balloons for the Union Army. Michael Patris will tell the story of how Lowe came to the White House, deployed balloons and held several records for flight, with rarely seen images from iconic Civil War photographer Matthew Brady and other materials from the Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection.

Will Michael mention Lowe’s drop-dead gorgeous wife, Leontine, a French actress whom he married a week after meeting her?  Instead of discussing dreary battles between ir0n-clad boats, will he discuss how Lowe was responsible for the construction of America’s first aircraft carrier?  Will Michael discuss that Lowe was an early student of the science of meteorology?  (Can you picture Ben Franklin holding his key at the top of his kite instead of holding the string at the bottom?)  Will he tell how Leontine rescued him from behind Confederate lines by driving a team in a buckboard wagon in and back before the Union Army could save him? Are any of these teasers true or just Fake News?  You’ll never know unless you come to Michael’s dynamic and entertaining presentation!  You won’t want to miss this Roundup!  Bring your children, your neighbors and your friends! We already have a guest coming from Texas!

Michael Patris is no stranger to most of our members and other residents of the San Gabriel Valley!  He was Sheriff of the Corral in 2010, has been a speaker at earlier Roundups and authored articles in The Branding Iron.  Michael is a third generation native of Southern California and has always had an interest in history.  Whether collecting antiques, collecting and working on antique cars, or restoring a 1923 California bungalow in Alhambra with his wife Mudd, pieces of the past always seemed too important to brush aside.

One of Michael’s most well-known projects is a Mount Lowe trilogy, beginning in 2007 with Mount Lowe Railway, part of the History of Rail series for Arcadia Publishing.  Both Michael Patris and Steve Crise authored Pacific Electric Railway, Then and Now in 2011 and Mount Lowe, Then and Now in 2012. Michael’s current project is a hardbound book on Los Angeles Union Station, with photographer Steve Crise, for its 80th anniversary in 2019.

Michael is the President and founder of the Mount Lowe Preservation Society, Inc. and President of the Pacific Electric Railway Historical Society.  He has written numerous articles for publications other than our own Branding Iron. Michael is also President and owner of Golden West Books, a publishing company focusing on the history of trains, trolleys, railroads and locomotive material.

Posted by Jim Macklin, Deputy Sheriff.

 

Future Los Angeles Corral Events

May 9th, 2018 — Celebrate E Clampus Vitus Night at the Corral!
(Clampers respectfully requested to wear their full honorable regalia!)

Abe Hoffman — The Secret Behind the Hidden Secret of Southern California

June 16th, 2018 — Fandango at home of Vicki and Gary Turner

July 11th, 2018 — Autry Fellow — Challenging the Veracity of Civil War Era History in California & Nevada

August 8th, 2018 — Jeff Lapides — Passage to Eldorado: The First Photos on the Mojave Road by Rudolph d’Heureuse (1863)

Dinner Fees, Reservations & Meal Choices

The Roundup Dinner Fee is $40 including ample, convenient and free parking. The dinner choices for this Roundup are beef, chicken and vegetarian.  This month, that includes Kalbi Top Sirloin with a Sweet & Spicy Sauce, Chicken Roulade Stuffed with Vegetables and Italian Cheeses and Topped with a Spinach Cream Sauce or a healthy but lamentable Fresh Vegetable Bouquet for those who feel they must choose it.  Dessert consists of a Seasonal Lemon Cake.

Please choose your entrée and make out your check for $40 to “Westerners, Los Angeles Corral,” or submit your payment online as EARLY AS YOU CAN but no later than one week before the Roundup date.  Just log onto our website (www.lawesterners.org) and go to the Members Only tab.  Click on the Roundup Store option and follow the instructions.  Walk-ins can be served, but entrée choices will be limited to what is on hand.  The “late price” is now $45.00.

If you are paying by check, mail it to Ms. Therese Melbar, Registrar of Marks and Brands at 549 South Aldenville Avenue, Covina, CA 91723-2909. Late reservations or questions may be addressed to Therese via Email: tmelbar@cpp.edu or by telephone (661) 343-9373.

Travel Assistance to Our Fellow Members

Please keep in mind that some of our members can no longer drive or are uncomfortable about driving on the freeways at night.  If there are such members living in your area, please get in touch to see if they would come with you to the Roundups.

 Contact Jim Macklin, Deputy Sheriff, at 1221 Greenfield Avenue, Arcadia, CA 91006-4148, at  jhmcpa@earthlink.net or (626) 446-6411 with any questions or news items.

Roundup: March 14, 2018

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

Our Speaker: Jonathan Ritter, Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology, UC Riverside
His Subject: Campfire Songs Revisited: Musical Life in Indigenous Southern California

In light of more than a century of oft-wildly inaccurate depictions of Native American music in film, radio, and television, what was musical life actually like for indigenous peoples of Southern California prior to colonization? How did that change with the advent of the mission and reservation eras? What Native Southern California musical traditions have undergone a renaissance in recent decades, and what new kinds of music have taken root? In this talk, ethnomusicologist Jonathan Ritter will offer a broad overview of Native music in the region and speculate on some of the reasons it is so frequently misrepresented and misunderstood.

Jonathan Ritter is an ethnomusicologist whose research focuses on the indigenous and Afro-Hispanic musical cultures of Andean South America. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from UCLA, and his B.A. in American Indian Studies from the University of Minnesota. At UCR, he teaches numerous courses on Native American, Latin American, and other musical traditions, and is the director of Mayupatapi, the UCR Andean Music Ensemble.

Professor Ritter’s work addresses broad questions of how musical expressions are implicated in the work of cultural memory and political activism, particularly during times of political violence. His book, We Bear Witness With Our Song: The Politics of Music and Violence in the Peruvian Andes (Oxford University Press, forthcoming) explores these themes.

Ritter’s scholarship on Andean, Afro-Ecuadorian, and Native American musics has appeared in numerous academic journals, edited collections, and encyclopedias. Ritter is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including research funding from the California Center for the Humanities, the Fulbright Institute for International Education, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research

Posted by Jim Macklin, Deputy Sheriff.

 

5 Big Topics you need to know about!

The First Big Topic: Future Los Angeles Corral Events

April 11th, 2018
Michael Patris – Thaddeus Lowe and the Civil War Balloon Corps

May 9th, 2018
Celebrate E Clampus Vitus Night at the Corral! (Clampers wear your regalia!)

Abe Hoffman    The Secret Behind the Hidden Secret of Southern California

June 16th, 2018
Fandango at home of Vicki and Gary Turner

July 11th, 2018
Autry Fellow – Challenging the Veracity of Civil War Era History in California & Nevada

August 8th, 2018
Jeff Lapides – Passage to Eldorado: The First Photos on the Mojave Road by Rudolph d’Heureuse (1863)

The Second Big Topic: Increase in Dues

As discussed in earlier notices, the Trail Bosses increased annual dues to $50 starting in 2019 from $45 in the prior six years.  Since more than 80% of 2018 dues had been collected at $45 already, we deferred the increase until 2019.  Analysis showed that virtually all the dues were used up in 2017 with just the basic printing and mailing of Roundup notices and Branding Iron and Keepsake publications.

The Third Big Topic: Increase in Dinner Fees & Decrease in Dinner Choices

Also, as discussed in earlier notices, The Trail Bosses increased the Roundup fee from $35 to $40 as of this March Roundup.  Almansor Court had requested significant increases in the amounts they charge us for dinners.  At the prior rates, they were actually losing money on every plate they served.  Since the dinner rate we charge the members had not increased in seven years, a $5 increase from $35 to $40 is reasonable.  Even at the increased rates, Almansor is still charging us only normal lunch rates for dinner-time meals.  With ample, convenient and free parking, the Almansor is still more desirable than equivalent dinner operators in the area.

In addition, Almansor no longer will offer us four dinner choices but just three.  Almansor is obligated by regulation to offer a vegetarian plate.  Members who normally order chicken or fish frequently switch between the two.  So, we’ve decided to offer beef and vegetarian plus either chicken or fish.   We will offer chicken at most Roundups and fish at the other Roundups.

The Fourth Big Topic: Dinner Reservations

The choices for the March 14th Roundup are beef, chicken and vegetarian.  This month, that means Kalbi Top Sirloin topped with a Sweet & Spicy Sauce, Breaded Baked Chicken topped with Garlic & Parmesan or a Fresh Vegetable Bouquet that I’m told will surely make you feel good all the way to your toes. Dessert consists of a baked chocolate soufflé style treat called “Chocolate Royale.”  If your spouse chose not to attend in March, run this menu by her/him again.

Please choose your entrée and make out your check for $40 (Yes, that’s $40!) to “Westerners, Los Angeles Corral,” or submit your payment online as EARLY AS YOU CAN but no later than one week before the Roundup date.  Just log onto our website (www.lawesterners.org) and go to the Members Only tab.  Click on the Roundup Store option and follow the instructions.  Walk-ins can be served, but entrée choices will be limited to what is on hand.  The “late price” is now $45.00.

If you are paying by check, mail it to Ms. Therese Melbar, Registrar of Marks and Brands at 549 South Aldenville Avenue, Covina, CA 91723-2909. Late reservations or questions may be addressed to Therese via Email: tmelbar@cpp.edu or by telephone (661) 343-9373.

Please keep in mind that some of our members can no longer drive or are uncomfortable about driving on the freeways at night.  If there are such members living in your area, please get in touch to see if they would come with you to the Roundups.

The Fifth Big Topic: Participation, Publication & Recognition

We encourage all to consider participating in writing and publishing your literary efforts in the Corral’s publications!  The Corral is always looking for articles on historic subjects, reviews of books, poetry or write-ups of Corral activities for the Branding Iron.  If you would be willing to participate in some aspect of our publishing, please let the Trail Bosses know!  If you have s concept for a Keepsake or perhaps even a future Brand Book, let the Trail Bosses know.  Your contribution does not have to be a complex, highly researched formal paper but something far less formidable, like a summary of Jeanette Davis’s presentation in February on the Donner Incident (Start early. Don’t waste time. Don’t take the cutoff.) for the Branding Iron.

The Corral is now in the process of preparing our annual reporting to the Westerners International organization for the year 2017.  This includes our nominations of members and the Corral for awards presented by Westerners International.  We are all proud of the success of the Corral and its members in winning these awards – like the four Top Gun awards  Monsignor Weber, Abe Hoffmann, Gary Turner and Jerry Selmer received recently. (I stand corrected, they were actually designated Living Legends!)  If you are aware of members we should nominate for one of the WI awards, including yourself, please let Brian Dillon know soon.  Brian, who has become the Corral’s WI representative, has a reporting deadline of April 15th but will be in Ireland for much of March.

 You have successfully read the Five Big Topics, but there are additional topics not qualifying as “BIG.”

 Bronze Belt Buckles!  Two years ago, a limited number of Los Angeles Corral belt buckles were made available to our members.  They sold very quickly.  A few more will now be available to the membership once again.  These beautiful bronze buckles will be sold at the next three meetings for $25 each.  Cash or checks will be accepted.  Every member needs one.  Buy yours now!

2018 dues payment!  Our Registrar of Marks & Brands, Therese Melbar, has done an excellent job of collecting 2018 dues!  Only a few members still need to pay, and they have been contacted directly.  Thanks to all of you members for responding so promptly!

Humor!

In processing some old Branding Irons donated by the estate of a member, I had the opportunity to peruse some of them and found a bunch of truly humorous stories hidden in the pages.   One told an incident about Will Rogers in his early days as a rodeo clown in a traveling rodeo show.  A steer got loose and charged up the stairs into the audience.  Will roped and tied the steer and dragged it back down to the arena.  When the rodeo announcer asked him why he didn’t leave the steer in the audience, he responded “He doesn’t have a ticket.”  If you tire of laughing at the politicians, consider reading some old Branding Irons.

Contact Jim Macklin, Deputy Sheriff, at 1221 Greenfield Avenue, Arcadia, CA 91006-4148, at  jhmcpa@earthlink.net or (626) 446-6411 with any questions or news items.

Roundup: February 14, 2018

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

Our Speaker: Jeanette Davis
Her Subject: The Donner Party Incident: A Family Perspective

Anyone hungry?  Perhaps you would care for some finger sandwiches or some tasty ribs (Whose?). Comments and jokes such as these have dogged the Donner Party members and their descendants ever since the party’s plight became public.  What has been lost among the notoriety is the hardship endured by its members during the winter of 1846-47.  Trapped in the mountains, the party members were pushed to the brink of human strength, resolve and endurance.  While some questions will never be answered, what is known is that a group of people bound together by circumstance faced cold, starvation and death.

Our February speaker, Jeanette Davis, herself a descendant of the Donner Family, will concentrate her talk on brothers George and Jacob Donner and their families. Stopped by the heavy snow, they were not camped at the namesake lake, but at Alder Creek, where they struggled to survive.  Perhaps more than any other family, they paid the price for their winter in the snow.

Jeanette is a California native, almost.  With her parents, she traveled Route 66 from Illinois and arrived in the state in time to celebrate her third birthday.  She grew up in the Mojave Desert town of Ridgecrest and moved to this area to attend college.   She has lived here ever since.

 Jeanette is a graduate of Cal Poly, Pomona with a B. A. in History and an M. A. in Reading. She is retired from the Chino Valley Unified School District after 32 years of teaching.  She also taught for eight years at Citrus College in the Evening Division.

 Anyone acquainted with Jeanette knows she is an avid student and collector of Native American Culture.  She is a charter member of the San Dimas Corral and its Past Sheriff in 1987. Jeanette was the first female member to attend this Corral and, with Dr. Gloria Lothrop, to reach active status.

She is a docent for the Historical Society of Pomona Valley, a trustee for the Chaffey Museum of Art, and a literacy tutor at the Upland Library. Jeanette is a talented story teller with a sense of humor!

Posted by Jim Macklin, Deputy Sheriff. 

Roundup: December 13, 2017

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

Our Speaker: Peter Blodgett 
Subject: Pioneering Motor Tourists in the Trans-Mississippi West, 1900-1920

This illustrated lecture will discuss the evolution of automobile-borne tourist travel in the American West during the early years of the twentieth century.  In doing so, it will demonstrate the significant impact of the motor car upon the economic, social, cultural and technological history of the region during the era of America’s widespread adoption of the automobile.

Peter Blodgett currently holds the position of the H. Russell Smith Foundation Curator of Western American History at the Huntington Library.  Peter received his bachelor’s degree in American history from Bowdoin College and master’s and doctoral degrees from Yale University.  Since joining the Huntington in 1985, he has been responsible for the library’s rare original documents concerning the history of the trans-Mississippi West.  He has assisted hundreds of researchers in successfully consulting the Library’s holdings and has overseen the acquisition of dozens of collections of historical records.  Peter has spoken and written widely on national parks, tourism and recreation as well as the management of manuscripts and archives.  He has organized exhibitions at the Huntington, most recently “Geographies of Wonder: America’s National Parks,” in 2016-17.

The Corral’s members who know Peter report that he is a dynamic speaker and engaging raconteur. You don’t want to miss his presentation.  Bring a guest for Peter’s special holiday gift to us all in addition to our traditional Cherries Jubilee!

This Roundup is our annual holiday celebration. Also, it’s the time of the year that we pass the gold-panning pans for donations to our servers at the Almansor Court to express our appreciation for their diligent and patient care of us all year.  Remember to bring a generous amount of cash!

Roundups

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Roundup: September 13, 2017

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

Our Speaker: Robert “Roy” Ritchie
Subject: Warmer Weather in the Southwest?  Nothing New Except a Matter of Degree?

In recent years historians and archaeologists have been creating a new history of Early America, built upon what is known as the Medieval Warming Era, a major European climate phenomenon, long studied in Europe, where it had a significant impact. Only recently have these European studies been applied to  North America, now allowing scholars to reinterpret certain societies such as the Hohokam, Chaco Canyon and Cahokia, all of which played a major role in the American West and beyond. This talk is an introduction to these societies and their contributions to the history of Native Peoples.  

Roy Ritchie is best known to many of us as the recently  retired W. M. Keck Foundation Director of Research at the Huntington Library, etc., a position he held for 19 years (1992-2011). A native of Scotland, he and his family moved continually westward, finally reaching California. After receiving his A. B. from Occidental College and his Ph.D (History) from UCLA, Roy has specialized in Early American history, especially the 17th century. Prior to the Huntington he was in the History Department at UCSD, advancing to Professor, as well as Associate Chancellor.

Factoid:  Why are scientists counting rings in dead trees under water at the periphery of Mono Lake?

Roundup: August 9, 2017

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

Our Speaker: Paul Spitzzeri
Subject: Get Square with the Rebs: The Civil War Diary of Charles M. Jenkins

This presentation covers the remarkable discovery among the holdings of the Historical Society of Southern California in late 2015 of the diary of Charles M. Jenkins, the only Los Angeles resident to fight for the Union Army during the Civil War. Jenkins was part of a group of California volunteers assigned to a Massachusetts cavalry unit that served in Virginia. In 1863, he was captured by the Confederates and sent to several prison camps,including the notorious Andersonville, from which he remarkably survived. His remaining, post parole, service will be detailed, as well as his long and tortuous route home. Oh, to be a soldier in the field at the end of the “War Between the States”!

Paul Spitzzeri is a past Sheriff of our Corral and is museum director at the Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum in the City of Industry, where he has worked since 1988. A graduate of California State University, Fullerton,where he obtained a B. A. and M. A. in history, Paul has published extensively on local and state history, including an award-winning 2008 biography of the Workman and Temple families.

Factoid: Where was Andersonville?

Roundup: July 12, 2017

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

Our Speaker: Hadley W. Jensen, Los Angeles Westerners Fellow at the Autry Museum of the American West
Subject: Shaped by the Camera: Navajo Weavers and the Photography of Making in the American Southwest, 1880-1945

Anthropologists’ photographic records since the late 19th century both reflected and shaped visualizations of Native life in the Southwest. Drawing upon the extensive archival collections at the Autry Museum, our speaker will focus upon weaving as a common visual trope, extending into tourism promotion, ethnography, and anthropological surveys, especially through the lenses of the lesser known George H. Pepper (1866-1923) and Gladys A. Reichard (1893-1955).

Hadley Jensen is a Ph.D candidate at Bard College in the field of Material Culture, specializing in Native North American Art. She is the current recipient of the Los Angeles Westerners/Autry Fellowship in support of her doctoral dissertation project and is looking forward to making use of the Autry’s unparalleled photography archives and holdings of Native American woven materials.

Factoid: What was Vroman’s Bookstore’s original primary stock of trade?

Roundup: May 10, 2017

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

Our Speaker: Alan Pollack, M.D.
Subject: The Saint Francis Dam Disaster – History and Personal

Angelinos with a sense of history have mostly heard the story before. Just before midnight on March 12, 1928, the dam collapsed. Water for Los Angeles-the seamier, and structurally questionable, side. The rise and fall of William Mulholland, whose reputation washed away with the flood waters. Dr. Pollack and his collaborator, Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel, will enrich this epic drama with personal accounts left by victims and survivors. Will they tell us something we haven’t heard before? I leave that up to you-the audience. Here is an opportunity for discussion.

Alan Pollack is a fellow member of our Corral, a long-term internal medicine practitioner with Kaiser Permanente, and President of the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society (SCVHS). He has published extensively about Santa Clarita Valley local history, as well as carried the banner for same on local and regional media.

His co-worker, Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel, is a champion of environmental protection and preservation and is working with Dr. Pollack to  introduce and pass the St. Francis Dam Disaster National Memorial and Monument legislation in Congress.

Roundup: April 12, 2017

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

Our Speaker: Gary Keyes
Subject: To the Right of Right: Enemy in the Foothills Next Door

Fieldmarshal von Hindenburg, Adolf Hitler and the NSDAP, and the German- American Bund. How do they all intersect in suburban Los Angeles, in the Crescenta Valley above Glendale and the I-210? The youth camp in Hindenburg Park, as well the complex at the Murphy Ranch on the other side of L. A., were focal points of pro-German activity in the period prior to the outbreak of the Second World War  in Europe until the United States’ entry into the war on both fronts in 1941. What do historians make of this nexus of geography and racism?

Gary Keyes has had a long career in the teaching of history in the Glendale/Foothill area, initially 45 years at Crescenta Valley High School  in La Crescenta and then in social science at Glendale Community College. A long-time local history buff and foothill community resident, he is intrigued by the more arcane aspects of the region’s history.

Gary will be assisted by Mike Lawler, one of his former students, a past president of the Historical Society of Crescenta Valley, and his co-author of Murder & Mayhem in the Crescenta Valley and Wicked Crescenta Valley.

Factoid: Hindenburg Park was in the news again as recently as 2016. Why?

 

Late-Breaking News and Crystal Ball Gazing/Upcoming Speakers

News too hot to wait until the next Roundup?  Send to your Deputy Sheriff, Steve Kanter,  retiredrad@sbcglobal.net.

The speaker roster through next March, 2018 has been locked in and can be viewed on below. Stay tuned.

5/10/17—Alan Pollack—Saint Francis Dam—It Keeps on Rolling

                           and then, ….

 6/24/17 –FANDANGO!!- The Old Mill, San Marino

Department of Recurrent Reminders

Annual Dues and Directory Update: 

Dues payments are narrowing the gap to our goal of 100 %. My good friend Tiburcio V. has upgraded his GPS and  will meet the stage en route to the bank unless we get there first. As we become increasingly “tech-savvy” it becomes most important to have current directory info. If you give us an email address, we assume you use it and it is active.

Dinner Reservations: 

Dinner reservations cost $35.00 each.  Please choose your entrée (beef, chicken, fish, or vegetarian) and make out your check to “Westerners, Los Angeles Corral,” or submit your payment by PayPal AS EARLY AS YOU CAN, but no later than one week before the roundup date.  Walk-ins can be served, but entrée choices will be limited to what is on hand: the “late price” is $40.00. Mail your check to:  Mr. James Macklin, Keeper of the Chips, 1221 Greenfield Avenue, Arcadia, CA 91006-4148.  Contact Jim at jhmcpa@earthlink.net or (626) 446-6411, with late reservations or questions. You can also get information from Mr. John & Mrs. Ann Shea, Registrars, Marks & Brands, via Email: johnshea23@ca.rr.com or annwshea@ca.rr.com or by telephone (562) 408-6959.

PayPal Makes it Easy!

Now you can put your money where your mouse is, and make your dinner selection and pay for it over the Internet.   Just log onto our website and go to the Member’s Only tab.   Click on the pay option, and follow the instructions. The two-step process is easy once you get used to it. Mr. Joseph “Old Joe” Cavallo (626-372-5126) will gladly help you navigate on your initial PayPal voyage.   

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