Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

 I'm sharing a few Christmas photos today from Mission San Juan Capistrano, the oldest church in Orange County. Founded in 1776 -- a year you may remember for other reasons -- the Mission is today still a place of worship as well as an iconic touchstone of early California history. The image above is from the ruins of the Great Stone Church, which was largely demolished by an earthquake in 1812.
 The photo above is from the Soldier's Barracks building. And the final image, below, is from the Serra Chapel (1782), the oldest still-functioning house of worship in California, and the only surviving church in which Father Serra actually said Mass. Even for a non-Catholic like myself, it's impossible to enter this relatively simple, mud-walled chapel without feeling you are in the presence of a higher power. It's a very special place to visit -- particularly during the holidays.
Merry Christmas to you all!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Come to "Show & Tell"

C'mon we KNOW you have cool old stuff tucked away in your garage, your attic, or maybe even on your office wall. It's "Show & Tell" time again at the Orange County Historical Society, this Thursday, Dec. 13th, 7:30pm, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 2400 N. Canal St., in Orange. Naturally, YOU are invited.

Rummage through your files, boxes and scrapbooks for a choice artifact or bit of memorabilia that helps tell us something about Orange County's past. Maybe you have a local orange crate that connects to a story about a parent who worked in a packing house. Perhaps you have your name badge from when you worked at Disneyland on opening day. What about great-grandpa’s branding iron, or a piece of flatware with the name of an early local hotel stamped on the back?

There will be a sign-up sheet when you arrive at the meeting. People will be called up in order of their position on the list. This event is also combined with the OCHS annual holiday social, so feel free to break out those Christmas sweaters or what-have-you.

Speaking of hidden treasures, one of our Orange County history friends, Tustin author Guy Ball, will make an appearance on A&E's "Storage Wars" tomorrow (Tuesday) night.
Guy writes, "Looks like 'my' Storage Wars show is on tomorrow, Tuesday, night for sure. (I'll be on for maybe 60 seconds and I'm calling it "mine." Cheeky, huh?) The episode is called 'A Tale of Two Jackets.' It's on the A&E network on your cable/satellite. My fingers are sooooo crossed that I didn't say anything too stupid or look like a total dork."

In addition to writing about Orange County history, Guy is also the world authority on vintage calculators. Undoubtedly the Storage Wars guys were picking his brain to learn the value of some old Texas Instruments behemoth (or something like that) which they won in a semi-blind auction.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Last-minute lima bean alert!

There's a rare opportunity to tour the historic Segerstrom Ranch tomorrow morning, Saturday, Dec. 8th 9am-Noon. Sorry about the short notice, but I just heard about this a few minutes ago, via the Costa Mesa Historical Society.

"Interested members of the public are requested to call (714) 546-0110 to RSVP during normal business hours. Please note that tours will not be provided. This historic site is located adjacent to 3315 Fairview Road (between South Coast Drive and the I-405 Freeway). Cost: Free. Location: 3315 Fairview Rd., Costa Mesa."

I don't know how tightly they'll be adhering to the RSVP rule. If they do, then you're probably outta luck already. But it might be worth a shot. I just wish they'd promoted this a bit earlier.