You are cordially invited to join us on a once-in-a-lifetime Esotouric bus adventure: Richard’s 45th birthday road trip. As with past birthday bus excursions, this will be an extended and extraordinary day of Southern California historic exploration and celebration, interspersed with running commentary from Richard’s mother, home movies and cake.
This year our compass points to the Antelope Valley, where we’ll be visiting two very different State Parks for guided tours from expert native guides, and a unique museum run by the City of Lancaster.
First stop on the tour is the Western Hotel Museum, in the city of Lancaster. The Western Hotel Museum is one of the most visible links Lancaster has to its heritage. At the turn of the century, the two-story hotel was a vital part of local culture, accommodating everyone from muleskinners to British lords. After years of different owners and purposes, the hotel fell into a state of disrepair during the 1970s and was condemned. Lancaster residents, rallied to save the once-grand hotel. This resulted in the formation of the Western Hotel Historical Society. Restoration was completed in 1988, and the hotel/museum now houses photographs and artifacts that depict the history of the people who built, worked and lived in the Western Hotel.
Next, we’ll visit the Antelope Valley Indian Museum for a tour of the collection and historic buildings by Peggy Ronning, the Museum’s current curator and Edra Moore, the founding curator.
The Antelope Valley Indian Museum is rich in history and character. Los Angeles cinema scenic artist Howard Arden Edwards and his family homesteaded the land in the 1920s and constructed the fanciful, Germanic buildings as a repository for his amateur collection of American Indian artifacts. While Edwards’ collecting methods and interpretive choices are today controversial, he amassed a remarkable collection, which attracted the site’s next caretaker, Grace Wilcox Oliver. In the 1950s the property briefly was a dude ranch. In the 1960s, Oliver reclaimed the museum and sought a longterm steward for the collection and buildings. In 1979, it became part of the State Park system, and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (1990) brought major funding and a renewed focus on stabilizing and cataloging the collection under the supervision of founding curator, Edra Moore. In the early 2000s, curator Peggy Ronning took over management, and began a nearly ten year campaign to restore and stabilize the structure, including creating a geothermal temperature control system.
The museum is 80 years old this year and has never looked better. Join us for an in depth look at how a 1920s roadside attraction and curio stand has been transformed into a viable scholarly resource and cultural attraction.
The last stop on the tour will be The Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park, where Ranger Jean Rhyne will lead us on a guided walk of this preserve, thick with mature stands of Joshua trees and California juniper trees in their native western Mojave Desert habitat. Join us for a glimpse into the Antelope Valley as it was in centuries past.
Instructions for guests: Bring a picnic lunch. We’ll have lunch at the Antelope Valley Indian Museum’s extensive vintage picnic facilities upon our arrival. After the museum tour, we’ll have birthday cake and coffee, then depart on the bus for the Woodland walk. The entire trip from Los Angeles and back will take about 8 hours. We recommend bringing good walking shoes, a camera, a warm coat, plenty of water, your lunch and anything you’d like to snack on during the day.
The tour leaves from the Daily Dose in the Arts District, where there is ample free parking in the neighborhood. Please pay attention to posted street signs. The Daily Dose is a great place for breakfast, but we recommend that you arrive about a half an hour before check in, so that neither you nor the cafe is rushed.
This is a special event. No passes or special discounts apply. Tickets are $47.
We are delighted to announce a return engagement by LAVA favorite Ed Nordskog, Senior Arson Investigator for the LASD and author of "Torchered" Minds: Case Histories of Notorious Serial Arsonists and the newly-released Fire Raisers, Freaks and Fiends: Obsessive Arsonists in the California Foothills.
Join Ed in the Cal State Los Angeles teaching crime lab, as he presents an expansive and illuminating overview of a poorly understood aspect of American true crime lore: the history of political and organized crime bombings.
- 1876-1906 - Labor Movement bombings, such as the Haymarket Affair of 1886, the inspiration for May Day demonstrations.
- 1920-41 - Communist or Anarchist bombings, perpetrated by recent US immigrants who had been involved with these political movements in Europe.
- 1950s - Civil RIghts-era bombings, dynamite and fire bombings of blacks churches and Jewish temples which supported the Civil Rights movement. Targets also included homes of individuals. A vast majority of these bombings remain unsolved.
- 1970s - Left Wing radical bombings; thousands of incidents perpetrated by dozens of individual groups, including small splinter organizations.
- 1980s - Right Wing radical bombings, reflecting the opposite end of the political spectrum from the bombings of the 1970s, but exhibiting similar modes of attack.
- 20th Century - Organized Crime bombings, which are unique and bear no relation to the other types of incident.
By the end of Ed's presentation, attendees will have gained familiarity with the different eras and motivations of American bombers, the tactics and types of explosive devices used, and the individuals and institutions targeted by the various groups.
Copies of Ed Nordskog's books will be available for purchase during the program.
The Ukulady and her imaginary friend, Astrid Strudelman, the Unicorn Whisperer, host the kids show of the LA Storytelling Festival! 6 Amazing storytellers weave magical adventures and meep for tiny humans and handlers! Featuring Astrid Strudelman, the Unicorn Whisperer, Heidi Swedberg, Don Black, Jackie Jones, Jayne Entwistle and Mista Cookie Jar! At Santa Monica's only bookstore geared for kids and their handlers! Cookies, Snacks, Friends, Music, Stories! Meep with us and bring the tiny humans in your life!
Join us in the Cal State Los Angeles teaching crime lab for an afternoon’s inquiry into the development of the science of forensic investigation in the L.A. area.
Mike Fratantoni, an LASD Deputy who sits on the board of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Museum, makes a return engagement to the crime lab to present the fascinating and complex 1920 James “Bluebeard” Watson serial murder case, which had a profound impact on the development of the LASD’s homicide department. This new department allowed future investigators to maximize efficiency by pooling resources for evidence gathering and analysis, often using the forensic skills of contract chemist Arthur Mass.
ABOUT THE CASE:
James Watson married at least 18 women throughout the United States, several simultaneously. He placed “lonely hearts” personal ads in newspapers which read:
“A gentleman, neat appearing, of courteous disposition, well connected in a business way; has quite a little property, and is connected with several corporations. Has a nice bank account as well as a considerable roll of government bonds. Would be pleased to correspond with refined young lady or widow. Object, matrimony. This advertisement is in good faith. All answers will be treated with respect.”
There was no shortage of lonely women who took the bait and accepted the lie that he had to travel frequently for his work in the U.S. Secret Service. He targeted wealthy women, took control of their finances, and killed at least seven—perhaps as many as fifteen.
If it were not for the suspicions of his final wife, Kathryn, and the insight and tenacity of the LASD investigators Bell and Couts, District Attorney Thomas L. Woolwine simply would have had nothing more on James Watson than a case of polygamy to take to a judge. Instead, Watson made a deal on the multiple murders, led investigators to a shallow grave, and was sentenced to life in prison.
Meiling Cabral, Chair of the California Association of Criminalists’ Historical Committee, and a forensic investigator for the LAPD, will present on three defining LAPD and LASD cases that influenced the development of modern forensic investigation. Meiling combines a practicing forensic scientist’s experience and an historian’s passion for reconstructing the past, to bring to life the legendary Los Angeles investigators who invented the field. Looming above them all is the LAPD’s Ray Pinker, who would go on to found the CSULA Criminalistics Department, the site of today’s seminar. Vintage forensic collection kits will be available for viewing between presentations.
ABOUT THE CASES:
Featured cases are the Marion Parker kidnap slaying (1927), the Wineville chicken coop murders (1928) and the Black Dahlia murder (1947). Fingerprints played an important role in both the Marion Parker and Black Dahlia cases. LAPD Captain H.L. Barlow, the forensic investigator on the Parker case, was so famous that he later sold his namesake fingerprint kit through ads in the back of detective magazines. The story of how LAPD homicide detectives Harry Hansen and Finis Brown accessed cutting edge telephony to rush the fingerprints of the unidentified Black Dahlia victim to the FBI for identification is as riveting today as it was when it made headlines. The death penalty case against Gordon Stewart Northcott, the Wineville boy killer, was based entirely on trace evidence: hair and fiber gathered at his murder ranch.
LAVA Visionaries April Dammann and Adrienne Crew are alumnae of Hedgebrook, a writers retreat for women located on an island in the Puget Sound of Washington State. They are both involved with Hedgbrook's Southern California Alumnae Council, which will be hosting a one-day retreat designed to give writers the space and time to just write in an unstructured, quiet environment on Sunday, August 4, 2013 at the old Doheny mansion near USC in Los Angeles.
See details below or review the brochure here:
THE COUNTRY IN THE CITY
One-Day Writers’ Retreat at Downtown LA campus of Mount Saint Mary’s College in Los Angeles
SUNDAY, AUGUST 4, 2013
9AM – 5:30PM
Turn off your clocks, schedules, and expectations. This is a day to nurture body and soul, commune with your muse, and above all write. Women writers of all experience levels and interests are warmly welcomed.
Participants may join writing circles to inspire imagination and hone craft, write quietly in community with others, wander to the “farmhouse table” for talk about writing and group feedback, or simply sit under a tree and dream. In the afternoon, industry professionals and Hedgebrook alumnae will be available for one-on-one mentoring. Feedback on work will always be given with the utmost respect for the writer’s vision. Participants should note, however, that the Retreat is a day for rejuvenation, not for detailed manuscript review.
Enjoy a day inspired by Hedgebrook!
It's time once more to learn staple draping with Fashion on the Fly!
Staple draping is a fun, fast and effective technique for creating anything made of material. And I mean anything, from upholstery to car covers to clothes. (No, we will not bring your car into the classroom. Yes, we can drape it in the parking lot.) You'll learn to make your own shapes and patterns, and even learn how to alter your clothes to make them fit and look better. If enough folks are interested, we'll do a duct-tape mannequin session. This way you can staple drape yourself at home without straining to reach your own back.
FASHION ON THE FLY CLASS SCHEDULE:
Saturdays, June 29, July 13 and July 20 (no class July 6th)
TIME: 12 PM- 3 PM
COST: $45 (due at registration) plus $20 materials fee for scissors, fabrics, staples and a stapler.
AGES: 16 years and older
REGISTER ONLINE/by PHONE/ in PERSON at www.cityofpasadena.net/reserve or (626) 744-7500
Instructor: costume creatrix, LAVA Visionary and professional goofball A. Laura Brody, currently working with Nickelodeon and Disney XDTV.
INTO THE ZONE (ITZ) follows the evolution of Cacophonists from the San Francisco Suicide Club in 1977, the exploits of the SF Cacophony (1986), their nexus creating the Burning Man Festival to Los Angeles Cacophony (1990-2005) and beyond. Featuring Chuck Palahniuk of Fight Club fame, who expresses the essence of what drove the Cacophony Society's exploits. ITZ leads the viewer through the madness and mayhem of a cast of miscreants who expose and exploit the norms of society to shape and enliven Amerikan culture. The Cacophony Society is a randomly gathered network of free spirits engaged in the pursuit of 'experiences beyond the mainstream.' YOU MAY ALREADY BE A MEMBER
Ticket information will be up soon on IntoTheZoneMovie.com or the more frequently updated Facebook page.
The Black Surfers Collective, Heal the Bay, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the Santa Monica Conservancy and other groups will offer a day of surf lessons and activities for young and old to commemorate the life of Nick Gabaldon (1927–1951), the first documented surfer of African American and Mexican descent, and the heritage of the historical African American beach site, sometimes formerly called the “Inkwell.” The day is a celebration of our California seaside, cultural and historical heritage, and outreach to promote historical studies, surfing and ocean stewardship.
Instructor: longtime professional costume maker anf LAVA member A. Laura Brody, currently working with Nickelodeon and Disney XDTV. Ask Laura about class details at http://www.dreamsbymachine.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staple draping is a fun but practical technique for creating clothing, slipcovers, sculpture, car covers- anything made from fabric. No special skills are needed to start and the tools are easy to use. We’ll use our fellow students to create art right on the body. You will come away from the class with a real-world skill you’ll use again and again. Staple draping isn’t permanent. That’s why we’ll take your staple draping and turn it into a pattern to use with any fabric you like. In the last class, we’ll staple drape furniture.
Saturdays, March 30th- April 20th
Saturdays, May 4th- May 25th
TIME: 12 PM- 3 PM
COST: $45 (due at registration) plus $20 materials fee for scissors, fabrics, ruler, staples and a stapler.
AGES: 16 years and older
REGISTER ONLINE/by PHONE/ in PERSON at http://www.cityofpasadena.net/reserve or (626) 744-7500
On the east side the Los Angeles River, some of the most fascinating Southern California stories are waiting to be told. Join Esotouric, L.A.’s most eclectic bus adventure company, on a century’s social history tour through the transformation of neighborhoods, punctuated with immersive stops to sample the sites, smells and cultures that make our changing city so beguiling.
Voter registration, citizenship classes, walkouts, blow-outs, anti-Semitism, adult education, racial covenants, boycotts, The City Beautiful, Exclusion Acts and Immigration Acts, property values, xenophobia, and delicious dumplings—all are themes which will be addressed on this lively bus and walking tour.
THE SAN GABRIEL VALLEY:
In the mid-1920s, Monterey Park was poised on the brink of becoming the Beverly Hills of the east. The Wall Street crash put an end to opulent residential development, but left some beautiful remnants of what might have been. In the 1950s, a thriving Italian-American community settled in the hills, and established some of the area’s most beloved landmark businesses. Since the 1980s, the communities of Alhambra, San Gabriel and Monterey Park have transformed themselves from sleepy suburban bedroom communities (bursting at the seams from a 1950s housing explosion) to the nexus of a pan-Asian megalopolis. Fueled by immigration and investment from Taiwan, Hong Kong and South-East Asia, these communities have found their 21st Century identity, and their economic base—but at the expense of aging long-time residents, who have seen familiar neighborhoods and retail zones become unrecognizable.
In the 1890s, Rev. Dana Bartlett ministered to and taught the Russian Molokons in the cramped riverside neighborhood known then and now as “The Flats.” Today, the area contains public housing projects--a belated mid-century solution to the social problems that worried Bartlett, and an ongoing challenge for residents and city planners. In the 1960s, the Chicano Moratorium emerged from the same streets where in the 1920s and 1930s Jewish activists helped change the face of labor in California and the nation. Using the organizing tools first honed by their Jewish neighbors, young Chicanos stood up and rejected the military machine that sent so many of their peers to die in Vietnam, and developed an empowered social identity that lead all the way to the Mayor’s office.
SO GET ON THE BUS:
This whirlwind social history tour of some of the most interesting and dynamic neighborhoods on the east side of Los Angeles will include stops at: