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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mystery History -- Solved!

Wonder Wanda wins with her 12:21 p.m. Wednesday guess "Construction of the Pioneer Bridge in the early 1950s (two PCC coeds -- possibly Rose Parade princesses -- looking on?)"

In the March 1952 photo above, college students Shirley Mackey and June Woodard observe the wooden framework for Pioneers Bridge, the freeway bridge that runs parallel to the Colorado Street Bridge.

Here's construction superintendent Paul Paulson in a cheesy shot pointing at the framework:

I love this photo shot from under one of the Colorado Street Bridge arches:
A closer look at the construction site; I imagine the construction noise affected the people living in homes all around.
Those wooden arches were covered in concrete prior to construction of the deck:
And here's the deck in progress, with the Colorado Street Bridge on the right and Vista del Arroyo in the background:
When the Foothill (210) Freeway was planned in the early 1950s, the California Department of Transportation made known its intention to demolish the Colorado Street Bridge. But after much public outcry and appeals from the City of Pasadena and other organizations, Caltrans allowed the bridge to stand and built their own bridge parallel to it.

Pasadena Pioneers Bridge is named for the party of settlers led by Dr. T.B. Elliot, a physician who held meetings in his Indianapolis home for people interested in moving to California and settling where the sun would shine year-round. After extensive fact-finding, the party of settlers came by train to San Francisco, then by ship to San Pedro, then wagons to what became the Indiana Colony.

Ground was broken for Pioneers Bridge in 1951. By then, daily traffic on the Colorado Street Bridge was causing stress to that structure to the point where traffic was not allowed during peak hours.

I did a Mystery History post about Pioneers Bridge three years ago on my Pasadena PIO blog, mostly with different photos and a lot more background information. See that post here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mystery History

Where are we? And what's happening?

The first person to guess correctly will win a fabulous prize: a double dose of self-esteem at just the right moment.

I'll have the full scoop on Thursday.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mystery History -- Solved!

Rebecca (my daughter Becky) came closest with her 10:09 a.m. Wednesday guess "ROTC graduation at a Pasadena high school?"

But it's not high school, it's Caltech!

In the 1958 photo above, Richard M. Frincke, commander of the Air Force Association's Pasadena area squadron, presents an awards medal to Caltech Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) Cadet Captain Barry E. Feinberg.

The ceremony was a big annual deal.

Mrs. D.A. Holbrook, Pasadena regent of the Daughters of American Revolution, presented the DAR medal to Cadet Capt. David C. Gildersleeve.

Even Caltech President Lee Dubridge got into the act:

Dr. Dubridge was no lightweight: He supervised the development of JPL and made the cover of Time Magazine. (To this day JPL is managed by Caltech.)

Caltech's Air Force ROTC program began in 1951, just six years after the end of World War II. Cadets had two years of basic courses in aeronautical science and military drill, with more specialization during the remaining two years. Summers were partially spent training at a U.S. Air Force base. Upon completion of the four-year course, they were commissioned second lieutenants in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and were subject to the call to active duty at any time.

Students enrolling in the ROTC program had to meet Caltech's rigorous requirements for admission.

There is still an Air Force ROTC program at Caltech, but it's now in partnership with USC. Cadets go through training at USC and receive Caltech credit.

Many thanks to Pasadena Museum of History and Caltech.

This is for my grandson David.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mystery History

Where are we? And what's happening?

The first person to guess correctly will win a fabulous prize: a good night's sleep knowing the world is safe because of his or her brilliance.

I'll have the full scoop on Thursday.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Why Should You Care About These Children?

Eric Riddle, back center, hams it up with young residents of the Machao Orphanage in Makueni, Kenya.

Eric is the son of Pasadena Police Lieutenant Phlunté Riddle.  The Police Department is among the producers of a concert to benefit Machao Orphanage on Saturday, August 18, at 6 p.m. in the elegant Ambassador Auditorium and I encourage you to go!

See a full rundown of the evening here, then order your tickets and enjoy the evening this Saturday! It's for such a great cause.

Located about two hours from Nairobi, the orphanage serves destitute children who have lost their parents due to the AIDS pandemic.

AIDS has impacted the entire social structure in Makueni, creating a generation of orphans and vulnerable children.

Under the circumstances, the children at the Machao Orphanage get the best advantages available in their part of the world -- education, food, clothing, shelter, sports activities -- but ongoing funding is sorely needed for additional programs and buildings.

The children, with the help of staff and volunteers like Eric, help cultivate the land and produce their own food as part of a sustainable agriculture program.

Here's a nifty little video about the importance of the benefit concert:

I'll close out this post with a note from Eric:

With additional funds, we will be able to focus on facility enhancements like running water, bedding, transportation, etc. The concert is a fantastic opportunity to sow into these children’s lives. All proceeds go directly toward enhancing life on the Machao Orphanage. I look forward to returning to Machao in the future to aid in their continuous expansion and experience the deep gratitude that these orphans have for the impact we’ve made in their daily life.

Get your benefit concert tickets here:  

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Mystery History -- Solved!

Well, I stumped everybody this time. In the photo above, soldiers on military motorcycles travel past the Maryland Hotel during the Liberty Loan Parade in 1917.

There was much more to the cross-town parade than motorcycles:

There were Liberty Loan Parades throughout the U.S. during World War I.

Citizens were encouraged to loan money to the government via the purchase of war bonds, which were promoted as a patriotic duty.

Even children, including Boy Scouts, promoted and participated in the program:

There were four issues of Libery Bonds, and more than $21 million was raised nationwide to help fund the war effort for the U.S.  and its allies.

After the war, each bond could be redeemed for its purchase price plus interest.

Pasadenans were involved in the war effort from beginning to end.

Here's an excerpt from Ann Scheid's book "Historic Pasadena: An Illustrated History."

The outbreak of World War I in 1914 gave a great boost to Pasadena's tourist trade, as wealthy Easterners could no longer frequent their favorite resorts in Europe. And Pasadenans and visitors alike organized relief efforts, beginning in late 1914 with the founding of a local chapter of the American Red Cross. Dr. James Scherer and Mrs. James A. Garfield were among the founders. The local chapter distinguished itself by being the first to organize and equip a Red Cross Ambulance. The Pasadena chapter sent thousands of surgical dressings, hospital supplies, and refugee garments to Europe and in three years collected almost $200,000 for war relief. Other relief groups in Pasadena added the Belgians, Italians, Syrians, and Armenians.

In drives for Liberty Loans and War Savings Stamps, Pasadenans subscribed over $9 million. Education in food conservation and thrift extended down to the smallest children, who were encourage to perform small household tasks for money; in ten weeks Pasadena schoolchildren earned and saved $5,500 for the war effort. A fabricated ship, "The Good Ship Thrift," built over the body of an automobile, toured the town campaigning for membership and enrolling over 2,100 citizens. Once the United States entered the war, the Navy League (later the Army and Navy League), under the leadership of Mrs. Myron Hunt, set up a knitting program, with 4,000 knitters knitting 61,000 garments in little over a year.

This photo shows the Pasadena chapter of the American Red Cross entry in the 1918 Rose Parade:

Many thanks to Ann Scheid and the Pasadena Museum of History.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Mystery History

Where are we? And what's happening?

The first person to guess correctly will win a fabulous prize: the pleasure of his or her own brilliant company!

I'll have the full scoop on Thursday.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Fun on Jackson Street

Pasasdena City Councilman Chris Holden hosted his annual District 3 summer block party yesterday. In the photo above, a Muppet-esque character instructs children how to twirl their tiki warrior toys.

Fresh-squeezed, ice-cold lemonade was provided free by Robin's Woodfire BBQ (thank you, Robin Salzer!)

Even four-legged guests were in the lemonade line!

Pasadena firefighters cooked free hot dogs on their famous grill:

The grill surface can't really be seen in the photo I shot today. Here's one I took during National Night Out at Jefferson Park two years ago so you'll get the picture:

It was great to visit yesterday with some of our Police Department leaders. Left to right are Lt. Phlunté Riddle, Chief Phillip Sanchez and Commander Darryl Qualls. I miss working with them. (Thanks to City Councilwoman Margaret McAustin for snapping the photo on my phone!)

Several other City of Pasadena departments were represented at booths and tables where there was plenty of information and giveaways.
Here's Catherine Haskett Hany, communications director for the Pasadena Public Library system, explaining some new programs to a guest.

Cathy was part of my PIO Team, as was Phlunté.

These children were smart to bring a wagon for transporting all their loot!

I don't know the name of the band that entertained everyone the last couple of hours. It was music to everyone's ears.

These residents enjoyed the show from their front porch:

And these had it made in the shade:

This was a new one to me: a video game trailer:

The mouth of this behemoth is a bounce house and the tail is a slide. The kids were having a great time playing in and on it all day. I shot this on my way back to my car at the end of the block party, so there was only a handful of children by that time. Dads were standing by:

From the back, spanning the entire width of the street, it looks like the aliens have landed:

Huge props to Jackie McIntyre, Chris Holden's field representative. Every year she plans every detail for the annual block party months in advance and then supervises the event all day.

I parked on Douglas Street, so I walked down North Madison Avenue to get back to my car. I stopped along the way to admire a couple of the iconic two-story Craftsman homes along Madison with sturdy arroyo stone gracing the retaining walls and beautifully planted yards and parkways:

This huge piece hangs from a tree in front of one of the homes on Madison. I have no idea what it is. Anybody? It's on the west side of Madison a couple of houses north of Douglas.

As I was wrapping up this post, I realized that I hadn't shot any photos of Chris at the block party. It was my privilege to work with him for 21 years. So in homage to the esteemed councilman, here's the Read poster featuring Chris (each councilmember posed with his or her favorite book):

In June Chris won the democratic primary election for the state assembly seat representing the 41st District, which generally encompasses a large area from La Cañada Flintridge to Upland. If he wins in November -- and I think he will -- can we anticipate the summer block parties continuing?

I'll have to talk to him about that...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Mystery History -- Solved!

Wanda, Diana and Karin were getting pretty warm with their guesses related to a number of different movie stars, and Bellis figured it was a movie set.

In the photo above, Bob Cummings (in white hat) acts in a scene from "The Carpetbaggers" shot at the Santa Fe train station in Pasadena.

The film debuted in 1964 and also starred George Peppard, Alan Ladd and Carrol Baker.

Pasadena has been the location of hundreds of films, TV shows, commercials, music videos and more.

Film productions on location in Pasadena have included "Birth of a Nation," "To Kill a Mockingbird," "The Sting," "Back to the Future," "Pulp Fiction," "The Big Lebowski," "Legally Blonde," "The Artist," "The Social Network," "The Last Samurai," "Spider-Man 3," "Transformers," "The Terminator," "Men in Black II" and "A Walk in the Clouds" (meeting Anthony Quinn in full regalia on a horse in the City Hall courtyard was a particular thrill for me!).

In "Gone with the Wind," the Arroyo Seco doubled as Ashley Wilkes's Twelve Oaks plantation for the big barbecue scene:

And Pasadena City Hall was the setting for several scenes in the film "The Changeling." My former graphic designer, the mighty Zack Stromberg, shot this photo of director Clint Eastwood chatting with the film's star, Angelina Jolie.

Among the many TV series filmed on location in Pasadena are "Perception," "The Mentalist," "Parks and Recreation," "Mad Men," "The Office," "Desperate Housewives," "The Closer," "CSI," "West Wing," "True Blood," "Glee," "Bones," "Dexter," "NCIS," "Beverly Hills, 90210" and so many others over the years.

See a full list of movies and TV filmed in Pasadena here.

The City of Pasadena Film Office works with location scouts and production companies constantly. Ariel Penn and her staff are very, very busy all the time, which is a good thing!

So if you see a yellow sign like this...

. . .it's guiding actors, extras, production crews and others to TV and film locations.

Many thanks to Pasadena Museum of History.