Spring 2013 Message

Louise Coffey-Webb - Culver City Historical SocietyPresident’s Message
by Louise Coffey-Webb, President

Dear Members,

Welcome Spring (and about time too!)… And welcome to all our new and renewing members!

Just in case we’re not ready to say “goodbye” to cold weather, our next public program will be on the frosty theme of Ice Skating in Culver City , which has quite an illustrious history here. Please read more about that on our front page and the story on page 5.

The Society’s big news this February was the addition of a new Secretary to our Board: the wonderful Donie Nelson. Donie (which rhymes with “pony”) comes to us with copious experience in the world of film and television development for many local production companies, as well as being both a founding and board member of the Genealogical Society of Hispanic America, Southern California Chapter. Donie is also a professional entertainment industry speaker and has already brought her professionalism and cheery manner to our meetings. We’re so happy to have her on board!

We have just applied for a grant through the California Preservation Assessment Project. So keep your fingers crossed! Also this March, Julie Lugo Cerra is beginning her new Docent Training, preparing member volunteers to enlighten our visitors. Do give us a call or email if you’re interested in joining the group.

I look forward to seeing you all on April 17th at our program, if not before during our open hours at the ARC.

Winter 2013 Message

Louise Coffey-Webb - Culver City Historical SocietyPresident’s Message
by Louise Coffey-Webb, President

Dear Members,

This Fall we enjoyed a fascinating presentation at our October General Meeting by Jim Lamm, President of the Ballona Creek Renaissance, who discussed the natural history of our communal "backyard” as well as the wonderful improvements to the “human” portion of the Creek, which is now quite the destination for hikers and cyclers.

Also in October, Costume Chair Sharon Shore and I had fun at the 7th Annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar. We saw many friends, old and new, and were fascinated by the number of interesting groups dedicated to reserving all manner of local Southern California phenomena. It was held in the stunningly beautiful Doheny Library on the USC campus. I recommend attending next year for sure.

Our "Reel Culver City" columnist Marc Wanamaker said goodbye to his sweet 96-year old mother, Edith, in December, and we all wish him well as he gathers back his own life again.

Culver City also lost a significant artist, Evelyn Ackerman, a long-time resident known to many in the Society, and a colleague from my LACMA days. It is fitting and special that her husband, Jerry Ackerman, will be our featured guest during our January program.

Every so often, it is incumbent upon a society to re-visit its By-laws. This Fall that is exactly what we have done, endeavoring to keep up-to-date and relevant. We have posted our updated By-laws on our website: www.culvercityhistoricalsociety.com and, if you do not have email, please contact us by telephone and we will gladly send you a copy by mail. All members are invited to approve the new By-laws at our January 16th annual business meeting. We look forward to seeing you then, if not before.

P.S. Please remember to renew your membership for 2013 as your dues help us to continue all our programs – our lectures, tours, meet-and-greets, and more..

Fall 2012 Message

Louise Coffey-Webb - Culver City Historical SocietyPresident’s Message
by Louise Coffey-Webb, President

Dear Members,

Fall is upon us, and our annual fun “Picnic in the Park” seems a long happy time ago now. I am pleased to report that we had a record turn-out, were serenaded by our Steve Fry’s Dixieland band, “Razzmatazz,” while our City Historian Julie Lugo Cerra regaled us with a nifty quiz all about our city’s history.

An array of local dignitaries were in attendance, including CC Mayor Andy Weissman, as well as those not so local: Harry Culver’s grandson, Chris Wilde, drove up from Long Beach. As usual, the splendid BBQ was catered by our extraordinary local talent, Jim Rodrigues, with his delicious traditional Santa Maria-style , mouth-watering BBQ. I am pleased to acknowledge his dedication and generosity to our historical society, year-in and year-out. You rock, Jim!

More recently, we had great fun at Fiesta La Ballona in Veterans Memorial Park during the last weekend in August, where we honored our founding president, Cathy Zermeno. A steady flow of first-time and repeat visitors stopped by our Archives & Resource Center (ARC) to see our displays, and we were proud to share our “new improved” air conditioning, thanks to the diligence of Culver City’s Parks & Recreation Department.

Our big fundraiser event this year – “Meet Me in Culver City” – took place at one of our favorite venues, the historic Culver Hotel. As a tribute to our special guest and legendary actress Margaret O’Brien, a costume from the MGM film classic “Meet Me in St. Louis” will be on display at the ARC under the guidance of our Costume Chair, Sharon Shore.

In the interests of documenting local living history, our Culver City Historian and VP of the ARC, Julie Lugo Cerra, arranged a video interview with Dr. Charles Rozaire, esteemed archaeologist, anthropologist and longtime resident, chatting with Culver City schoolmate Virgie Eskridge (and former owner of Culver Flowers and CCHS Treasurer).

We also hope to see you at our General Meeting on October 17th. Jim Lamm, President of the Ballona Creek Renaissance, will present a unique natural history of our communal “back yard.” So do come and learn about a fascinating resource and a wonderful place to take your kids or jaded out-of-town visitors.

Also in October, we will have a table at the 7th Annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar. This is a jam-packed free event on Southern California’s history held at the Doheny Memorial Library on the USC Campus: Saturday, October 27th, 9am-5pm. Come visit!

And one last thing… The NEW Culver City Visitors Map is now here! You may pick up a copy at the ARC.

Summer 2012 Message

Louise Coffey-Webb - Culver City Historical SocietyPresident’s Message
by Louise Coffey-Webb, President

Dear Members,

First of all, a warm welcome to all the new members, as well as those of you who renewed. It was fun to meet new faces at our last program of Broadway Melody: The Songs & Stories with tenor Winston Gieseke and accompanist Steve Fry. It was a superb program highlighting our ties to the early movie musicals and I know I wasn’t the only one singing and swaying along with the crowd!

Your membership dues cover the basic costs of keeping our ARC doors open, and our membership informed. Our four general meetings per year are usually accompanied with free entertainment – as with our annual Summer Picnic. Additional programs bring special experiences to our members as well as raise much-needed funds to help procure archival storage supplies and new displays. This past spring there has been a lot of activity in our Archive & Resource Center. Be sure to read Julie’s column for the latest news.

We are always looking for new ways to bring the fascinating history of Culver City to our ever-expanding population. For starters, we will be mentioned in the new Culver City Visitors Map (to be published later this year,) and by the time you read this, we will have taken part in the Culver Chamber Expo on June 27th.

Please come to our July 18th Picnic and BBQ at the Veterans Memorial Park. We welcome non-members too – and a little bird tells me that there will be some great raffle prizes…

Spring 2012 Message

Louise Coffey-Webb - Culver City Historical SocietyPresident’s Message
by Louise Coffey-Webb, President

Dear Members,

I am still glowing from the warm welcome and fun celebration we had at the installation in January.

Held at the historic Culver Studios, we were captivated with the pertinent and humorous talk given by installing officer Dr. Janet Fireman, editor of the California History journal and former Head of the History Division at the Natural History Museum downtown.

While some Board members have stepped down from their offices, everyone is still involved in some way with our wonderful Society. I am delighted with such dedication and continuity of effort.

This year we are continuing to look more closely at our collections, explore our resources and discover our place in this fair city, as well as our place in the larger community.

We are planning to offer more events for you than our standard four public General Membership meetings each year, while increasing the information offered on our website.

We begin with a special fundraiser on Tuesday April 3rd, courtesy of the City Tavern, to celebrate its first anniversary. Just two weeks later, on April 18 that our Spring General Meeting, we will have as our program a “Broadway Melody” evening of songs and stories relating to the marvelous MGM musicals of the golden age of cinema. Please read the separate articles for more details on both these events, and be sure to come and join us!

You will be reading familiar contributors to our newsletter, such as Julie Lugo Cerra – but with her new “hat” as VP of the Museum/ARC – and Marc Wanamaker’s “Reel Culver City.” Watch for a column from the new Chair of Costumes: Sharon Shore.

At the end of April we will say a “physical” farewell to Winston Gieseke, our former VP of the Museum/ARC, as he moves to Berlin, Germany. However – and very happily for us – he will remain with us “virtually” as he becomes our official Webmaster, operating from abroad. So now our Society is becoming truly international!

We are extremely excited about the possibility of Culver City’s Wende Museum becoming our neighbor. What with the Mayme Clayton Library and Museum already our neighbor on the east side of Overland Avenue, we could become a veritable “Museum Corridor.”

Happy Spring to you all – and please remember to renew your membership! It’s still the best deal in town, supporting the many events we bring you, and helping to keep our history alive for generations to come.