Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Seal Beach postcards, racism tours, and UCI

It's hard to say what's most inviting about the image above: The miles of barbed wire along Westminster Blvd., or the cop who's waiting to ambush you and give you an expensive ticket. But if the sign says "welcome," they must mean it.
Yes folks, you are now reading the special "Seal Beach's Least Inviting Postcards" edition of O.C. History Roundup. All three of today's images are postcards you could purchase and mail to friends and family to share the wonders of Seal Beach.
Don't get me wrong. I've always really liked Seal Beach and I still do. Unlike many other cities I could name, it's retained its beach-town charm. That just makes the existence of these postcards all the more puzzling.
The second postcard shows Southern California Edison's Alamitos Generating Station (power plant). You can tell it's Christmastime because of the twinkle-light "trees" running up the side of this industrial monstrosity. Boy, when I think of escaping to the beach, I always think of giant ugly Erector Sets with smokestacks belching crud into the sky.
Our final postcard shows the collapsed Seal Beach Hotel shortly after the 1933 "Long Beach" earthquake. If the promise of poorly constructed hotels, unstable soil and violent quakes doesn't bring in hoards of tourists, what will?
In other news, Sandra Robbie took Frank Mickadeit on a "tour of O.C. racism." I'm not sure I understand why the tour singled out the City of Orange.
Notice to researchers: UCI's Special Collections & Archives have moved temporarily to the Southeast Asian Archive in Room 360 on the third floor of the Langson Library. They hope to be open in a renovated facility on the fifth floor of Langson in mid to late January. Hours at their temporary digs are Mon-Fri, 1-5pm. Renovation progress photos are posted on their Anteater Antics blog.


The Viewliner Limited said...

Excellent post as always Chris!

I seem to be unusually busy these days, as you may notice by my lack of blogging.

So, If I dont' get a chance later... I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas. Thanks for all the great posts, Richard.

douglas mcintosh said...

The cop with the radar gun at the Seal Beach city limits is enough to make my stay away.
I got nailed by a motorcycle cop with a radar in a small farming town...I was travel at 35 mph in a 30 mph zone. Not very friendly.
Are these new finds from the postcard show?

Chris Jepsen said...

@DMc: No these are actually from Tom Pulley's collection. I should have pointed that out earlier. I did get a lot of good stuff at the postcard show, however, and will share some of it as I get it scanned.

@Richard: Thanks! And a merry Christmas to you too!

Connie Moreno said...

Strange...but interesting!

ItsNotAPlace said...

I wonder if the Generating Station postcard was just some funny way of saying, "civilization has come to Orange County". A very odd choice for a postcard. I like the cop guarding Seal Beach too! That had to have been done for the humor element right?