Sunday, April 8, 2012

I Have a New Blog!

I have retired from the City of Pasadena, so now I'm posting on the new Ann Erdman blog. Visit me here!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Clear Skies Predicted for Our Bloggers Picnic!

Actually the forecast is for cloudy skies during the day with a slight chance of rain in the evening. That means it'll be clear!

Many thanks to the Altadena blogs for organizing the picnic again this year:
Altadena Hiker
Altadena Above It All
Open Mouth Insert Fork

Monday, March 19, 2012

We Partied Anyway!

UPDATE -- Below I misspelled (or squished together) the wonderful bakery/restaurant. It's Euro Pane (thank you, Cafe Pasadena). The mystery woman standing next to Jervey Tervalon is Georgia Jeffries (thank you, Larry Wilson).

LitFest Pasadena was rained out on Friday, but the planned after-party for organizers went on anyway at Europane on Colorado between Euclid and Garfield after it was closed for the night (thank you, Sumi!).

Mayor Bill Bogaard and Light Bringer Project President Tom Coston:

I don't know the name of the woman on the left below (chime in if you do). Left to right next to her are local author Jervey Tervalon, Pasadena Star-News Public Editor Larry Wilson and Libros Schmibros founder David Kipen.

Sandra Tsing Loh addressing the group:
New date for LitFest Pasadena: Saturday, May 12.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mystery History -- Solved!

Cafe Pasadena with his 11:30 p.m. Wednesday guess "Well, it looks like early Pasadena in the late 1800s...Could easily be a tent or a barn since not much was built yet."

In the circa 1887 photo above, two adult males hang out on the back side of a barn that was used temporarily as living quarters.

During the building boom of 1886 to 1888, settlers were teeming to put down roots in the newly incorporated city. Many put up barns first -- some quite fancy architecturally -- and lived in them until homes could be built.

Pasadena looked like this in 1883 (looking north from Raymond Hill)...

...and like this seven years later (shot from the rooftop of the Hotel Green:

Here's an excerpt from my favorite local reference book, "Pasadena: Historical and Personal" by J.W. Wood, published in 1917, which can be found in the Centennial Room at Pasadena Central Library:

It was a strange overturning that began in 1886 and drove hitherto placid-minded, contented citizens to acts of frenzy and drew to the village of Pasadena thousands of boomers and speculators, turning the ordinary conditions topsy-turvy and firing the imagination of the most phlegmatic*...

...There had been occasional movements in real estate prior to the end of 1865. Now and then some one would drop into the village of Pasadena and buy ten or twenty acres of land and pay from $100 to $300 per acre, according as to whether improved and how. In 1886 there was a sudden stimulus; why, no one can exactly say. In 1887 Southern California, especially Los Angeles and Pasadena, was on the high plane of boom prices, and in 1888 -- the beginning of that year -- it had reached the climax: the blue, blue sky! Then it was
facilis decensus, indeed! leaving numerous putative "millionaires" stranded, financial wrecks -- dazed and amazed at the sudden and tragic conclusion of their dreams. This quick finish to their rose-hued visions was sickening and remorseless. 

* Tuberculosis was a big issue back then. See a related blog post here.

Many thanks to Pasadena Museum of History and Pasadena Public Library.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mystery History

Where are we? And what's happening?

The first person to guess correctly will get free admission to LitFest Pasadena this coming Saturday!

I'll have the full scoop on Thursday.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Farmers Market Colors

While recuperating in Jamul from my most recent surgery, I went with family to a farmers market in San Diego. A couple of photos were keepers, including the berries above and whatever that is below!

Here's a long shot of the farmers market, with San Diego Bay in the background:

Now I'm back in the office, with just 13 working days until I retire!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mystery History -- Solved!

I'm giving my heart to Wanda for her 1:55 p.m. Tuesday guess "Maybe it is an initiation of some sort."

In the 1940 photo above, members of the Sorelle Club, a Pasadena City College sorority, look on as one of 14 prospective new members goes through the rite of initiation in a Pasadena barn.

The women's hair was smeared with molasses and raw eggs, they were dressed in nightgowns and masks, and made to smoke foul cigars and grovel on the barn floor.

After the humiliating hazing was complete, they were offically welcomed into the sorority during a formal ceremony:

When I was a senior in high school, I was initiated into the Belle Filles, a community service organization/junior sorority. The other candidates and I were blindfolded, taken to a very dark spot on Proctor Valley Road in rural San Diego County and made to kiss a severed cow's head on the lips without realizing what it was until the blindfolds came off (I knew it was something horrifying; turns out the father of one of the members owned a meat packing plant).

Thankfully, hopefully, this kind of hazing doesn't happen very often any more, if at all!

Many thanks to Pasadena City College.