Visiting the 2013 Award Winners
ENTRY DATELINE: March 27, 2014
The U.S.S. Red Oak Victory, RichmondLaunched on November 9, 1944 as the SS Red Oak Victory, and commissioned as the USS Red Oak Victory (AK235) in December, 1944, the Red Oak Victory is the only vessel built by the Kaiser Shipyards in Richmond, California that is being restored. The ship saw service in World War II, Korea and Vietnam and has the distinction of being the only ship operated by both military and civilian personnel during her career.
In 1996, by an Act of Congress, title to the SS Red Oak Victory was conveyed to the Richmond Museum Association. One of the primary goals of the museum is to preserve, restore and develop the Red Oak Victory into a viable asset that can be used, enjoyed and appreciated by the citizens of Richmond and the surrounding Bay Area communities.
No man had a greater influence on the City of Richmond than Henry J. Kaiser. It is important that his accomplishments and contributions to the war effort and community be made known as an example of what committed people can do.
The Richmond Museum of History has undertaken this unique restoration project because one object, a World War II Victory Ship, has brought together the devotion and commitment of volunteers, the wartime accomplishments of a community, and the vision and ingenuity of one man.
All photography courtesy of manningmagic.com
ENTRY DATELINE: March 5, 2014
The Ford Motors Assemby Plant, Richmond
ENTRY DATELINE: January 31, 2014
The Bruton House, Alameda
A large Colonial Revival house that was once home to three prominent Bay Area artists is Alameda's 30th historical monument.
The building at in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Alameda, was constructed in 1897 for San Francisco businessman Daniel Bruton and his wife Helen, according to local architectural historian Woodruff Minor.
The house was home to the Brutons' three daughters, who all became well-known artists in the 1920s and 1930s and used a portion of the building as studio space.
Although their work is not well known now, the Bruton sisters were probably the most important local artists of that period. Their work included mosaics that can still be seen at the San Francisco Zoo.
You can read more about the house's design and history in Minor's report on the City of Alameda website.
All photography by Timothy at manningmagic.com
DATELINE: December, 2013
CHC Member Neil Malloch Honored
at our 2013 Holiday Dinner
For his many years of passionate and thoughtful observation
of history, for the sharing of his vast reservoir of knowledge,
for his gift of colorful and captivating communication,
for his outreach in keeping history in vital focus for
our Bay Area Community and beyond, we give our
thanks and appreciation for his exemplary public service.
DATELINE: JUNE 19, 2013
Antique & Classic Boat Society
I love the great maritime tradition of the San Francisco Bay, always have. Maybe it’s because I kept a boat in Sausalito for years or my service in the U.S. Navy. Anyway I love the lore and the tradition of it so when it was decided that this year CHC would feature our marine history as part of our Awards Dinner I was over the top with enthusiasm.
Our dinner this year will be at the Saint Francis Yacht Club and as we are right on the water it could not be more appropriate as this is also the summer of the America’s Cup.
The America's Cup "World Series" is currently scheduled on San Francisco Bay this summer and will race at astonishing speeds along the waterfront, displaying Olympic class maneuvers in close proximity to shore, and whetting our appetites for the 34th America's Cup race on the Bay featuring extreme, 13-story high, carbon fiber, flying wing yachts. While these modern boats have captured the public's imagination, their designs have evolved over centuries, and their sailors are in fact continuing a long tradition of yachting that began, on San Francisco Bay, more than 150 years ago.
And that tradition continues to this day maintained by the several excellent historic yacht preservation organizations we will be honoring at our dinner. The list of clubs and awards for this year are listed in this newsletter. In addition we have some of the most exciting honors to award and I know we all will enjoy the evening.
See you at the hosted reception at the SFYC. PS "Go Navy"
John Hodges, Board Chair
CHC Celebrates the Season
As the Year 2012 Comes to a Close
DATELINE JANUARY 2013
Once again, members of the California Heritage Council gathered at the Saint Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco for their 53rd annual, and much anticipated, Christmas Dinner. The evening was enhanced dramatically by the magnificent setting, the unequaled views over the bay, and the festive decorations. Good friends from around California exchanged holiday best wishes.
As a featured high point, Dr. Anthea Hartig, eminent historian and gifted storyteller, captivated the crowd with her presentation, “Re-imagining the Future of Heritage in California” and brought a truly imaginative aspect to her subject. She spoke about the importance of our roles as historians, who must keep the past alive to give a sound foundation to the future.
At the evening’s conclusion, yours truly conferred our organization’s most prestigious “Distinguished Service to California History” award upon Dr. Hartig. The celebration and ceremony made it an evening to be remembered.
Happy New Year!
President, California Heritage Council
Dr Anthea Hartig, Executive Director of the California Historical Society, joyously receives CHC’s “Distinguished Service to California History” award from CHC President Christopher Layton.
CHC Members and Friends Gather
For the Annual Holiday Dinner.
DATELINE JANUARY 2013
Please enjoy the smiling faces of the CHC members and friends, pictured below, as they celebrated the season at CHC’s Christmas Dinner, held December 12th 2013 at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco.
As a footnote, CHC Executive Officer Dianne Rowe reports that the silent auction of the evening was a great success. Thanks to you all for your participation.
(All photography by manningmagic.com)
Consider this a eulogy I would have delivered had I had the chance; a testimony to Mr. “Everyman” who on reflection was really Mr. “Extraordinary.”
First some facts: Win was 86 when he passed, the eldest of four boys, a graduate of MIT, served in the U.S. Navy until 1947 and in the Navy Reserves long after World War 2.
He came to San Francisco in 1954 and worked until retirement for the city as an electrical engineer.
He loved music and was active in the San Francisco Symphony and member of the Symphony Chorus, the SF Opera, Boy Scouts, and was active in many outdoor clubs. He was a long time member and deacon of his Presbyterian Church and played the piano every Sunday. He played Christmas carols for the CHC Holiday Dinner each year to the delight of our revelers.
I first met this man 25 years ago at an Officers’ Mess, an unofficial gathering of retired or ex-military men who got together monthly to put their old military decorations on a too-tight tux, eat roast beef, drink scotch, and generally regale each other with war stories of days gone by.
What I remember about Win in those days is that he had the oldest, well worn, but absolutely the finest tuxedo you have ever seen. I asked him about it once, and he told me he bought it when he graduated from MIT! It was not black, but midnight blue, and it looked great with his old military ribbons proudly pinned on.
We remained members of that club for many years, as did our friend John Ritchie, and during this period we both were members of CHC. Now to understand Win, you need to understand the “long view” of things. By this I mean wisdom, pure and simple wisdom.
Wisdom is a tough thing to define. We can describe it better than we can define it. Wisdom speaks of maturity, of profound recognition. When I think of wisdom, I think of the elders of CHC or any community, for that matter, who have seen so much that they are not thrown off course by short-term good news or bad news.
Wise people like Win have a long view of life in that, like that old midnight-blue tux, they are not blown about by fads, or the emotions of any given event or moment. He was consistent and stable in what was good. He loved old religious hymns, old ideas, and old concepts of good for the community because they were time-honored and classic.
Win had a great mind. When it came to San Francisco city matters, he was doggedly relentless in solving its problems. I remember him showing up at a CHC meeting with a pile of papers and page after page of columns of numbers. He proudly announced that, with these pages of numbers, he had calculated that the Presidio had enough money to restore some key buildings. We asked him how he got this confidential, guarded data and he told that he side-stepped the main Presidio Trust office and went to an old friend in the maintenance department, who just happened to have that data. Win was well connected.
He did the same thing when he identified that the Lucas buildings at the Presidio were too large and several stories too high for the number of people that would be working there. His research showed that, had the calculations been done properly, in advance, two stories could have been removed from the too-tall buildings that impeded sight lines of the bay and all of us could have had a better view; not just the top two floors’ occupants.
The last project that Win was working on was documenting the cable car tracks in SF that are still in place but were simply paved over by the city. Win was, many times, way out in front of an issue. He saw the growing Presidio area as an ever-increasing tourist attraction and was concerned about traffic and parking. He remembered that the California line had once run out California to the Presidio from downtown, but there were no longer any visible tracks of this old line. Re-establishing the extended California line was his solution to a future traffic problem not yet identified as a problem. But where were the tracks?
So, Win rented one of those beachcomber metal detectors and he walked up and down California Street dodging traffic and searching for lost cable car tracks. And he found them!
In addition to his aforementioned relentless pursuits, I am going to miss Win’s written reports which he sent to newspapers, elected officials, just about anybody connected to whatever he was reporting on. Understand that he typed his own reports on an old manual typewriter that had to be fifty years old. The final product was always tight, dense logic but you had to get past the whiteout corrections, the handwritten comments, and the scotch-taped paragraph additions. But oh man, the phenomenal quality of his CHC observations looked, appropriately, like an engineer from MIT developed them!
Men and women like this are valuable members of their community. They crunch the numbers, play the piano, and support the causes of all the congregations. They rediscover the tracks. They sing in the choir. They carry the tune. But now it is time for us to carry the tune for Win.
This is what we do in the California Heritage Council -- we take turns carrying the tune for one another. Win will forever be in our hearts just like a faint tune, heard long ago; a melody played in the past from somewhere that you can’t quite put your finger on. But memories are like a tune you can’t get out of your thoughts as played perhaps by a proud piano man in an old blue tux.
So long, old friend. God Bless.
John Hodges, CHC Chairman
This site is dedicated to the memory of Henry Prien, whose untiring efforts to the preservation of California's creative heritage still inspires us all; and to Betty Ann Prien who continues Henry's legacy