Monday, September 10, 2007

Dr. John Cooper, Laguna Hills & Westminster

Here's a photo of the Hiway 39 Drive-In Theater under construction, in spring of 1955. It opened just a couple weeks before Disneyland, and was located off Beach Blvd in Westminster (just south of today's 22 Fwy). It closed forever in 1997 and was replaced by a bunch of "big box" stores. Who needs entertainment under the stars when you can buy discount crap produced by Chinese slave labor?

The Laguna Hills Community Center is sponsoring a "Slice of History Hike," which amounts to a guided 3-mile walking tour of the city's pre-history. The event will begin at 8am at the Community Center and costs $5. For more information, call (949) 707-2630.

CSUF Emeritus Professor of Geological Sciences, Dr. John "Coop" Cooper died of a heart attack while taking a morning walk on Sept. 3. He joined the faculty in 1970, retired in 2002, and continued to be very active in his emeritus role. Steven Murray (Dean, College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics) and David Bowman (Chair, Dept. of Geological Sciences) released a statement praising Cooper as a "legendary figure among geology students at Cal State Fullerton; he supervised the theses of almost 60 students during his career. He was giant in the field of Sedimentary Geology and in recent years, John had led efforts to create a curatorial facility for the Orange County Archaeology and Paleontology collection."

Information about the memorial arrangements will be posted to the Dept. of Geological Sciences website.


Anonymous said...

John Cooper was also recruited (five years ago) as one of the original Task Force members for the Olinda Oil Museum and Trail and worked countless hours developing content related to the geologic history and oil production of the early twentieth century boomtown located in the Brea foothills. He was exceptionally vital to the group and to the establishment of this fledging museum; he will sorely be missed.

The booklet he prepared for the museum is available at both the city of Brea and at the Olinda Oil Museum.

Anonymous said...

Chris---thanks for the piece on Dr. Cooper--he was wonderful to my son, allowing us to hang with him out in Santa Ana where he kept all the fossils jacketed--wonderful man whose company I adored. It makes me more than sad to think about all of that work now left unattended in those Santa Ana sheds, where students volunteered and he struggled with the reality of a city that could never properly support/understand what it took to have all of that amazing, prehistoric collection tended to and displayed. If there is ever an OC Historical Museum, it should be named for him.