Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mystery History

Where are we? And what's happening?

The first person to guess correctly will win the respect and admiration he or she so richly deserves.

I'll give you the full scoop on Thursday.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mystery History -- Solved!

Cafe Pasadena came closest with his 9:34 a.m. Tuesday guess "...this Pasadena officer is holding a dozen Roses & sitting in a wheelchair given to him by one of the nice people he gave a ticket for overnite or overtime parking, of all things!"

In the December 1951 photo above, able-bodied Pasadena Police Officer Robert Hultman uses a wheelchair as he marks car tires while smelling the lovely aroma of iconic Pasadena roses.

The wheelchair kept him low to the ground so he didn't have to bend up and down all the time.

Another officer would come around in an hour or two, check to see if any cars with marked tires were still there, and issue parking tickets accordingly.

The roses were delivered collect by what was believed to be an irate driver who had been ticketed for overtime parking.

Talk about your photo opp!

These days, the Transportation Department is charge of parking, not the Police Department.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Freedom From Want

"Freedom from Want" is one in a series of Four Freedoms oil paintings created in 1943 by Norman Rockwell and made famous when they were printed in the Saturday Evening Post that same year.

He was inspired to paint the series based on President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's State of the Union speech on Jan. 6, 1941, one month after the U.S. entered World War II.

...In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

The first is freedom of speech and expression -- everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way -- everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants -- everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor -- anywhere in the world.

That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called “new order” of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.

To that new order we oppose the greater conception -- the moral order. A good society is able to face schemes of world domination and foreign revolutions alike without fear.

Since the beginning of our American history we have been engaged in change, in a perpetual, peaceful revolution, a revolution which goes on steadily, quietly, adjusting itself to changing conditions without the concentration camp or the quicklime in the ditch. The world order which we seek is the cooperation of free countries, working together in a friendly, civilized society.

This nation has placed its destiny in the hands and heads and hearts of its millions of free men and women, and its faith in freedom under the guidance of God. Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights and keep them. Our strength is our unity of purpose.

To that high concept there can be no end save victory.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Decorating My Office for Thanksgiving

I got this nice figurine at Stats. It's on the desk in my office.

I also got this door hanger.

I love my historic door with its transom window:

There's so much to give thanks for this year: my very life, my family, my friends and so much more.

What are you thankful for?

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mystery History

Where are we? And what's happening?

The first person to guess correctly will sleep soundly in the knowledge that he or she is the smartest thing on the face of the planet.

I'll have the full scoop on Friday. (I know, it's usually Thursday, but that's Thanksgiving and I'll have a special post that day.)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Lizards and Tigers and Snakes, Oh My!

My grandson Steven, who's 16, has an after-school and Saturday job at South Bay Tropical Marine and Reptile in Chula Vista, which caters to snake, lizard and tropical fish aficionados.

Occasionally Steven gets to go along with the boss and other staff to related conventions where South Bay Tropical is a big player. This past weekend they were at the Phoenix Reptile Expo.

Earlier this month, they were in Pasadena for the Herp World Expo at the Pasadena Convention Center. So I got to go! It was in the exhibition hall.

Here's just a small portion of the exhibition hall:

The South Bay Tropical booth was very popular:

Here's Steven with a coworker:

Lizards and snakes for sale:

The expo also featured a photo area where people could get their pictures taken with a really big boy:

There was even a young tiger (he wasn't for sale):

I posted about the 2010 Herp World Expo here, including a photo of Steven and me cuddling with a 40 lb. python!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mystery History -- Solved!

Well, I stumped everybody this week. In the 1934 photo above, demolition of the Horace Mann building at Pasadena High School is in full swing where Pasadena City College stands today.

There were orange groves and the old Grant School at the 18-acre site when construction of the PHS campus began, and the campus began to take shape the following year with three primary structures including the Horace Mann building.

Here's the Horace Mann building under construction:

And the completed structure:

This closeup shows the spectacular architectural elements:

And this aerial shot illustrates the huge scale of the building:

A population boom in Pasadena after World War I -- 45,000 grew to 76,000 -- created the need for major expansion of the school system. After the passage of a bond issue in 1924 for this purpose, the school board established Pasadena Junior College on the Pasadena High School campus.

The Field Act, passed by the California legislature after a series of earthquakes in the early 1930s, stated that governing bodies of school districts could be held criminally liable if students were injured in subsequent temblors. The report from a structural survey in July 1933 recommended that the Horace Mann building be stripped down to its steel frame.

After the demolition was completed, 50 temporary tents were set up to house classrooms.

There's much more detailed information here.

Many thanks to Pasadena City College and Pasadena Public Library.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mystery History

Where are we? And what's happening?

I can no longer offer a fabulous prize from the City of Pasadena, but the first person to guess correctly will have the knowledge that the weekly virtual honor of being best and brightest will be coming his or her way!

I'll have the full scoop on Thursday.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Make Doo Dah Not War

I'm not allowed to post items about City of Pasadena programs and events anymore, so I'm switching gears and we're going to have a little fun from now on!

In this photo, taken several years ago, I'm waiting to ride in the Doo Dah Parade pace car, which that year was a red vintage Volkswagen convertible. The war in Afghanistan was in full swing, so I decided to dress as an aging hippie carrying these signs of peace.

The hate speech I received from some of the parade-goers was really troubling. I tried to diffuse it by saying, "Hey, it's Doo Dah -- lighten up!"

For many years I rode in the Doo Dah pace car, which was different every year: a wheelchair, a motorized Radio Flyer wagon, the sidecar of a vintage motorcycle, a 14-foot-tall highchair, a gigantic toilet, a flower cart and many more.

Here I am as Elvis, in full regalia, riding in a vintage Cadillac convertible.

I finally gave it up -- too harrowing sometimes! Now every year I sit with Doo Dah Czar Tom Coston at the official reviewing stand, where we hold court while the parade passes by.

That's much more to my liking at this time in my life!

Many thanks to Paddy Hurley for the top photo, Stevena905 for the second photo and Julie Klima for the bottom two.