The real story of the evening can be seen in the photo above. Look how many people showed up for an (only-semi-well-advertised) event on a cold Monday night, in spite of a rainy forcast! Clearly, there's a strong public interest in local history in Huntington Beach just waiting to be tapped. If the politicians on the dais tonight have any savvy, they'll tap into that interest and make it work for them and for their city -- the way they do in places like Orange and Pasadena. That's how cities get the Mills Act passed, how government begins to support preservation, and how city libraries launch new historical collections. What an opportunity to leave a positive legacy to your community!
This kind of large-scale interest is also how community preservation and historical organizations get started. That could also be a very good thing for Huntington Beach.
The photo above and the photo below include a number of long-time H.B. residents, local historians, former mayors, and descendants of pioneer families. How many can you name? (I was surprised to see how many former mayors are currently free on their own recognizance.)
Anyway, happy birthday to my home of 36 years: Huntington Beach! I'll post more updates and related items on this blog throughout the centennial year. I'll also be speaking to various H.B. community groups (if they'll have me), about the city's history and how we can preserve it.