Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Santa Ana Rings in 1915

Celebrating the arrival of the new year a century ago would, in some ways, be familiar to many of us. Most folks spent the evening at home with family and friend or perhaps at a small party. The Santa Ana Register reported one such party "at the cozy new home" of H. F. Hayward, 734 Cypress Ave.: "The self-invited guests brought refreshments and had arranged a program of games, and the evening sped along with much merriment. As the clock struck twelve, one guest came in dressed all in white, with a badge across the breast on which was printed the words, 'January 1st, 1915.'"

Of course, some prefer larger gatherings: "The masque carnival at the Armory skating rink on New Year's eve was socially a big success. [The Armory Building near 4th and Birch St. was turned into a skating rink for special events.] Two hundred and seventy-five enjoyed the rollers during the evening, which ended with a confetti battle. The committee of five chosen from the spectators in the balcony, which was packed the entire evening, acted as judges for the prize costumes. Awards were made as follows: Ladies' first prize, Miss Leora Peters (a typical cow girl), gold bracelet; gentlemen's first prize (cowboy), solid gold cuff buttons'; ladies' second prize (comic), Miss Margaraet Wilson, Yama Yama girl [a character from a popular 1908 musical], cut glass nappy [candy dish]; gentlemen's second prize (comic), Dutchman, gold watch-chain."

New Year's day itself "was celebrated quietly in Santa Ana, the attractions of the opening of the San Diego Exposition and the Rose Tournament drawing hundreds of people away from the city. Cars were crowded yesterday with local people going to the Crown City, but the San Diego pilgrims largely left by train on Wednesday afternoon and evening. Family dinners and dinner parties were much in evidence, no so largely as at Christmas time, but still enough of these to make the day bright with the social spirit."

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

The Great Stone Church, Mission San Juan Capistrano, Christmas 2011
With the majority of my gift-wrapping now done, I'm taking a moment to post a few photos I took at Christmastime 2011 at Mission San Juan Capistrano.  The image above is from the ruins of "the Great Stone Church" which was destroyed in an earthquake 202 years ago.
Soldiers' barracks, Mission San Juan Capistrano, Christmas 2011
 The soldiers' barracks building is now used to show films about the Mission's story and also as meeting space. At the holidays, it usually features a beautiful Christmas tree.
Serra Chapel, Mission San Juan Capistrano, Christmas 2011
And where better to tell the story of Christmas than in Serra Chapel (1782), the oldest church in California, and the only remaining church where Fr. Junípero Serra himself celebrated Mass.

A visit to the Mission is always worthwhile, but this seems an especially appropriate time of the year to do so.

Merry Christmas to you all.