By Mary M. Otis
More Mover &
Shakers ...... page 2
On January 20, 1971, Governor Ronald
Reagan was presented gifts from Conference Vice President Leslie O. Merrill.
Mr. Merrill had received these gifts during his visit to Spain. Here the
governor holds a bronze plaque of the coat of arms of Lérida. Other gifts
included a cowbell and the coat of arms of the Portolá family. Mr. Merrill
reported to Governor Reagan that a sister city relationship was being
planned between Balaguer, Spain and Pacifica, California.
||Michael Harrison of
Sacramento, a CCHS founder, is 107 and doing well. Mike is an
inspiration to everyone. His imprint was on every facet of CCHS when it
was being formed and for years thereafter. He and his wife Margaret were
our first life members. He attended our 40th anniversary in Madera at
age 96. A historian by avocation, he spent a lifetime voluntarily
assembling a history library of nearly 30,000 items, built a specially
designed house to accommodate it, then donated the house and contents to
a public institution — the University of California, Davis.
Victoria Garcia Cook on a day of pleasant
symposium surprises. Discovered at the February 1985 symposium in Santa
Monica was the breathtaking tile work in the Malibu Lagoon Museum of the
Malibu Historical Society. A California legend was then introduced. Our
regional vice president Lolita Lowell’s 95-year-old mother, Victoria Garcia
Cook, “held court” in her 16th floor apartment with its spectacular view of
the Santa Monica Bay. She collected a veritable treasure trove of California
memorabilia during the many years she entertained in clubs.
|Elva Meline, our 21st president,
1976-77, is another ageless leader. “I’m really feeling my 94 years,”
she said recently, “but I do try to keep busy. The only ‘job’ I have now
is parliamentarian for the Friends of the Library (Big Bear)…just
finished a complete revision of the bylaws and standing rules. As
curator emerita for San Fernando Valley Historical Society, I’ve been
writing the procedure books for the curators, archivists and librarians.
Still have that to finish.” Dear Elva, what is your energy secret? She
attended the 1955 annual meeting of the Conference in Monterey.
Finding history in unheralded places is
one of the benefits of CCHS meetings. How many people know about Fort Jones?
Located southwest of Yreka, in Siskiyou County, it was founded in 1852 to
house soldiers sent here to control Indian problems. The museum, erected in
1947, is built of native rock with mill stones. The pockmarked boulder is an
Indian ceremonial “rain rock.” In this 1960 photo are (left to right) Faith
Schutt, wife of Harold Schutt, second CCHS president, and Donna and Fred
Meamber of Yreka, who along with Bernice Meamber, were a founding family.
||Mary Lou Lyon, our
president in 1983-84, is a whirlwind of energy. A retired history
teacher, she ferrets out the most fascinating meeting sites in the
state. Typical of Mary Lou was her remark to members urging them to make
their reservations to the February 1984 symposium at Death Valley
“…early so you don’t have to share a cactus with a sidewinder.”
Dr. R. Coke Wood, first CCHS executive
secretary, shows legislative bill naming him the second “Mr. California” to
Ruth Mahood, CCHS president in 1968-69 and chief curator of Los Angeles
County Museum of Natural History. Dr. Rockwell Hunt, first president of
CCHS, was the first “Mr. California,” having been so honored during Governor
Goodwin J. Knight’s administration.
More Mover &
Shakers ...... page 2