The Culver City Historical Society To Feature The History of the Culver City Police Department

The Culver City Historical Society To Feature The History of the Culver City Police DepartmentThe Culver City Historical Society’s Fall General Meeting and Program will be held on Wednesday, October 21, at 7 pm in the Multipurpose Room in the Veterans Memorial Building at 4117 Overland Avenue, Culver City.

The program will feature Culver City’s Chief of Police Scott Bixby and Captain Ron Iizuka who will speak about today’s Police Department and offer a PowerPoint presentation about its history. Special guests retired police Lieutenants Norman Traub, Frank Augusta and Tom Kendra (who also served as Chief of the Sierra Madre and Palm Springs Police Departments), will share their experiences as members of the Culver City Police Department in the 1950s and speak about the progress in the department over the years.

The public is invited to enjoy this free program. For information call (310) 253-6941 or send an e-mail message to The entrance to the Multi-Purpose Room is through the back of the building near the parking lot, and through the Archive & Resource Center space.


Lieutenants Traub, Augusta, and Kendra all sent in brief biographies, which we share here:


Tom Kendra was raised in Culver City and was a member of the first graduating class of Culver City High School in 1953. He earned an A.A. degree from El Camino College, a B.S. degree from Pepperdine University, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from USC.

He joined the Culver City Police Department in 1957. He worked a variety of assignments and was promoted to Sergeant and Lieutenant. He left the department in 1971 to accept a position as Chief of Police with the City of Sierra Madre. He returned to Culver City as Assistant Chief in 1974, and resigned in 1977 to accept a position as Chief of Police with the City of Palm Springs. He remained there until his retirement in 1989. Following retirement, he managed a private security firm in Palm Springs and served as Executive Director of the United Way of the Desert before fully retiring in 2000.

He married his high school sweetheart, Marilyn Putnam in 1953. They presently live in Oceanside, California.


I graduated from Culver High School, class of 1955.
I was first employed by the City of Culver City in 1956, delivering mail in City Hall and later working in the tool shed at the City Yard.
In April 1960 I was hired by the Culver City Police Department. During my tenure there, I worked many different assignments including the Detective Bureau, Juvenile Section, Traffic Section, Personnel and Training, South Bay Burglary Team and my last assignment was the initiation of the D.A.R.E. Program in the Culver City elementary schools.
I retired in 1988 having earned the rank of Lieutenant.
Following my retirement, I worked 14 years for GTE/Verizon Communications, managing the workplace Drug Program and later managing the National Fraud Investigations unit.


After graduating from Venice High School he completed an enlistment in the Air Force before joining the Culver City Police Department in 1954. He worked a variety of assignments and rose quickly through the ranks to Lieutenant. He resigned from Culver City after sixteen years to accept a position as Chief of Police of the City of Placentia in Orange County. After ten years in Placentia he resigned to be appointed Chief of Police of the City of Orange. He retired after serving for five years with Orange and subsequently served as Interim Chief of Police and Acting City Manager of several cities throughout Southern California.

He received an A.A. Degree from Santa Monica City College, a B.S. Degree from Pepperdine University and an MPA Degree from the University of Southern California. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and numerous executive development courses.

Since retirement from law enforcement, he has been the President of Norman A. Traub Associates, an organization specializing in workplace investigations. He presently lives in Yorba Linda with his wife, Robin.


Print Friendly

Join the Culver City Historical Society’s At Its Founder’s Day Picnic

Join the Culver City Historical Society’s At Its Founder’s Day PicnicThe Culver City Historical Society invites its members and the community to its first annual Founder’s Day Picnic celebrating the 98th anniversary of the incorporation of Culver City, Sunday, September 20, 2015, from 12noon to 3 pm at the picnic area in Veterans Park, 4117 Overland Avenue in Culver City.

Bring your hearty appetites because a delicious lunch catered by Santa Maria BBQ will offer tender tri-tips, plump juicy chickens, tasty chili beans, potato salad, green salad, garlic bread, soft drinks and a surprise dessert.

Formerly known as our annual “Picnic in the Park,” picnic-goers will be serenaded by Steve Lage. A 50/50 raffle will be held and there will fun for the entire family.

The price for everything is $30 per person for Historical Society Members; $35 for non-members; $10 for children 4-10 years old. Please RSVP by September 17. Checks should be sent to the Culver City Historical Society, P.O. Box 3428, Culver City, CA 90231-3428. Please include the names of all guests. Tickets will be held at the picnic site.

The Archives and Resource Center (ARC) will be open after lunch, and visitors will be able to view displays and exhibits of local history.

For additional information, or to purchase tickets online, go to

Like us on Facebook:

Print Friendly

Searching History: Digital Newspapers

Alex King, a noted researcher/genealogist, led one of our “Conversation” series in the Archives and Resource Center - Culver City Historical SocietyOn Sunday, July 5, Society member Alex King, a noted researcher/genealogist, led one of our “Conversation” series in the Archives and Resource Center. Alex showcased resources like the University of California, Riverside digital library, from which he shared 1800’s era articles that offer insight into La Ballona School’s operation in 1875, and political meetings hosted by Jose de la Luz Machado.

Following are several links he suggested for online archives of digital newspaper images. Some are free, others have a fee to see the images. All are searchable.

Print Friendly

The Story of Johnnie’s Pastrami

Johnnie’s Pastrami, a well-known eatery in Culver City for more than 60 years - Culver City Historical Society

The Culver City Historical Society invites you to hear the story of Johnnie’s Pastrami on Wednesday, July 15, 2015, at 7 p.m. in the Rotunda Room in the Veterans Memorial Building at 4117 Overland Avenue, Culver City.

Do you remember where you were in 1952? The favorite TV program was “The Jackie Gleason Show,” the favorite song was “All of Me” by Johnnie Ray, and on the corner of Washington and Sepulveda there was a not so famous restaurant called Johnnie’s that would later become Johnnie’s Pastrami! Today that restaurant is a Culver City icon. People come from near and far to eat at this establishment.

Who is Johnnie? Did they have a reason to pick this spot? Why are those pickles are so tasty? Do you remember sitting outside with the fire pits eating or playing the juke box from your favorite booth? These questions and more will be answered through a PowerPoint presentation and discussion of this well-known eatery. Door prizes be given and there will be a 50-50 raffle. The public is invited to enjoy this program. Bring a friend and your stories to share with the families of Johnnie’s Pastrami. Free parking is available in the lots surrounding the Veterans Memorial Building and across the street at the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum, at 4130 Overland Avenue and in the lot north of this facility.

The Archives and Resource Center will be open for viewing after the program.


Print Friendly

A Great Loss… Our Sol and Martha Sigall

Sol and Martha SigallMartha Sigall passed away in December 2014, preceded by her Sol.

Martha Sigall, an energetic longtime Culver City resident began her career in animation in 1936 as an apprentice painter with Leon Schlesinger Productions, which was located at Warner Bros. on Sunset Boulevard. She took part in the development of characters like Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd and Tweety. Martha went from “journeyman painter” to “inker,” tracing cartoon characters. From 1943 to the end of WWII, she worked at Graphic Films as a camera assistant on U.S. Navy training films. She met Sol in 1944.

At the end of the war, they married and Martha worked locally at MGM in the Cartoon Unit on Overland Avenue, while Sol attended UCLA on the G.I. Bill. Martha continued inking cartoons like “Tom and Jerry” for Hanna-Barbera. Martha and Sol moved to Culver City in 1949 and Martha took a “hiatus” to raise their babies, then arranged to freelance from home while the boys were young. Bob and Lee attended Culver City Schools.

Living Life inside the Lines: Tales from the Golden Age of AnimationMartha’s lifetime commitment to “the industry” included serving with Sol as docents in their retirement at Warner Bros. Martha received the prestigious “Annie Award” in 2004. She wrote her book, Living Life Inside the Lines: Tales From The Golden Age of Animation, and of course the Sigalls gave freely as Culver City Historical Society members, serving as co-chairs most recently of the Museum/Archives. Martha loved children, so contributing to the Farragut Elementary School Art Program was a joy for her. She and Sol spent days working to identify hundreds of movie photos for the society using production numbers. We know we were very lucky to enjoy Martha and Sol and benefit from their generosity. To remember Sol and Martha, we have the Sigalls’ Comcast interview scheduled to air in the Society Archives on Sunday, May 3, 2015 at 1:30 PM.

See some videos of Martha talking about her animation career on our YouTube channel.

Print Friendly