Monday, October 19, 2009

La Habra, Doris Walker, Pancho Barnes, Flickr, etc

Taken in 1958 to document a road construction site, this photo from the Orange County Road Dept. almost looks like it was staged. The boys are crossing Coyote Creek in La Habra, near Lambert Road. Today's children, of course, will never be endangered by makeshift bridges, polluted creeks, harmful UV rays, or scary farm animals. They will remain safely in their beige stucco boxes, playing video games and watching "educational" television.
Historian Doris I. Walker will be the guest speaker at the Dana Point Lighthouse Society meeting on Oct 22. She'll preview her newest (12th) book, Images of America: Orange County, A Natural History. The meeting will take place at the Dana Point Tennis Center, 24911 Calle De Tenis, 6:00-7:30pm. Thanks to the folks at Arcadia Publishing, I've already seen the book. It includes many good images I've never seen in print before. And although she's mostly limited to captions, Doris' winning writing style shines through.
Speaking of books, I just finished The Happy Bottom Riding Club: The Life and Times of Pancho Barnes, by Lauren Kessler. It's a history of one of the first female aviators and her enormously colorful life. It's not a new book, but it was new to me, and I wanted to point it out. Barnes' Orange County connections included her beach house and air strip at Laguna Beach, and her visits to Martin Field and the Orange County Airport.
Someone has started a new Yahoo! Group for Orange County history. Click on over to check it out. I look forward to seeing what this grows into.
And while we're on the subject of online resources, I see the Orange County History group on Flickr has reached 145 members and well over 2,000 entries. I love to check in and see what other people are sharing.
With my new computer mostly working, I'm once again able to do some video editing. I've already posted two videos of the 1938 flood to the O.C. Archives' Flickr site, and two videos from the Allison Honer Collection (showing the building of Buffum's annex in Santa Ana and the building of the Buena Park Mall) for the Orange County Historical Society's Flickr site.


Doug said...

Pancho Barnes was quite a character.
I few years ago I did some excavation work at the "Happy Bottom Riding Club"
site on Edwards Air Force Base. It was quite a set up, with a small "motel", restaurant/bar, riding stables,rodeo arena, swimming pool,airstrip, milking barn, alfalfa fields, etc....The trash dump from the site was truly amazing. She spent thousands of dollars installing several very deep water wells at the site. I had the honor of helping to document the well features.
There are lots of stories and mythes associated with Pancho. The museums at EAFB and Boron each have small exhibits devoted to PB.
Glad you pointed out the O.C. connection.

Anonymous said...

You should see the new documentary film about Pancho. Visit the website:

Chris Jepsen said...

Doug: I think all of the features you mentioned,.. from alfalfa fields to wells, was mentioned in the book. That must have been an interesting job. But then most of yoru jobs sound interesting to me.

Anon: Yes, I'm thinking about doing something with that documentary soon. Maybe getting the folks who made it to come to an OCHS meeting and do a presentation.

Doug said...

Wow Chris, I took a good look at the photo you posted. It has that timeless look. This could be "Any Where U.S.A." Kids mucking about in a creek with old tires and assorted discards, etc.
Sadly agree with you, in that few kids today will ever know this joy. Thankful we live along such a creek and my daughter and friends spend more time mucky about and exploring, than in front of the television or p.c.

Vicki said...

So many fond memories of shopping at Buffum's! I remember shopping at the Santa Ana store for the last time at their going out of business sale.

Little did I know that in a few short years I would also lose my beloved Bullock's, Robinson's, and The Broadway.

R.I.P. the Great American Department Store.

Thanks for the link. On flickr I also saw a grand aerial shot of the Santa Ana Buffum's.