Making Los Angeles History in San Marino


While attending an event in San Marino the other night I was reminded about something which I had all but forgotten.

This will most interest y’all who live in the Pasadena area and recognize the importance of learning local history.  In this case local means Los Angeles. 

A six session course over six weeks on some Los Angeles history will be given at San Marino’s Crowell Public Library beginning Thursday, September 26th. It’s not free, but for most it’s a bargain at $60. The technical name of the course is:


Health, Wealth, and Intellect: John Randolph Haynes, USC, and the Making of Los Angeles, 1880-1932


I’m not going to repeat the details when I can just point you to a link!  Ready for the link? Are you sure you’re ready? Alright, ok, here it comes:  USC Emeriti Center College.

Besides the subject matter, I can also recommend this because I’m acquainted with the teacher –  Tom Tomlinson, PhD –  having taken a couple of courses on L.A. history from him in the past.  The professor happens to be a local resident. He’s now supposedly retired from USC but that hasn’t stopped him from teaching. In the past, you’d have to go on the freeway to USC to attend his lectures but now, as a retiree he comes to you! Lucky.

The last time I took a course from him, since I had attended a prior class of his, he warned me to keep quiet as he asked the rest of the class questions!  My point really is that he has a sense of humor, enjoys teaching his subject, and you can sense it.  He’s one of those small group of  teachers who knows how to teach!

Now, I was thinking it’s kind of late to post this, but late is kind of my M.O. unfortunately!  Then, this morning I happened to see another USC history professor, and Pasadenan, who also works with the Huntington Library.  We chatted and it struck me as another hint that I should go ahead and post this information, late or not.

As it turns out, while you should pre-register by following the information on the link above, you may be able to register on the 26th at the San Marino library if room is still available!

So, if your schedule permits you to be free on Thursday mornings, take advantage of this beginning this Thursday.


Update: I happened to see/chat with Professor Tomlinson in Pasadena, after the1st San Marino class, and I discussed with him the possibility of him giving one of his history talks in Pasadena. So we’ll see what I can do.

USC Emeriti Center College


Gotta Get Going! Stay Thirsty My Friends

Pasadena Greetings


LA Times Festival of Books @ USC

I was reminded this morning that the annual Los Angeles Times/USC Festival of Books (BookFest) is this weekend!  “The largest and most prestigious book festival in the country.”

It was last century when I last attended BookFest and I dunno if I’m gonna check out the books & their related authors this year either.  However, I do know most of the reasons I haven’t returned in years:

Uninspired presentation and setup.  Poor food availability on site. Maybe there was food but it wasn’t easily found.  And location, location, location! At its UCLA location it was decentralized out near the far left boundary of Los Angeles. I don’t wanna put in that much travel time. Can you imagine how some of those who came from outside LA County must’ve felt!

I can’t tell you all the reasons, or just the exact reasons, why the book people and the LA Times decided they no longer wanted to return to UCLA.  A couple of years ago BookFest made the switch to USC. Still, I  haven’t returned but I have to assume it’s better than when UCLA hosted it if for only one reason: location, location, location!

The closer, centralized location of USC, just minutes from downtown LA and numerous freeways, is enough to shave at least an hour off my roundtrip travel time.  And, eventually get me to finally make a return visit to the BookFest, soon if not this year.  It’s funny, because just yesterday a bookseller friend of mine was saying how they usually went to the BookFest  at UCLA but found it less appealing as each year turned and don’t plan to attend.

But I do hope you go, especially if you’ve never been, and because in this internet & self-publishing age competition to sell books is as difficult as ever.  It’s easier than ever to publish books, but harder than ever to sell them. Authors need to find book buyers at least as much as finding book readers.  I’m not sure where on campus the event will be, but I’m assuming it will be based around the main library – Doheny Library – where plenty of open space thrives. 



Hope the food situation for the event has improved since the UCLA days.  If not, on campus choices on the weekend are probably gonna be limited.  In that case, coffee, snacks, pre-packaged sandwiches, are most of your options.  My preference is this fresh fruit cup at Trojan Grounds.




There should be plenty of books covering subjects a-z, and authors flying in from exotic international places in this world. Or, at least from throughout the San Gabriel Valley. So, maybe you’ll want to check out the Von Kleinsmid Center for International & Public Affairs.




Traveling to your destination is one thing. Another is finding parking once you’ve arrived, at a good price!  There better be special event parking with special discounted rates.  Otherwise you’ll have to settle for the meters surrounding the campus.  But, I definitely would expect BookFest participants/authors to have VIP style low-cost parking!  Maybe even like the car below parked directly on campus! Maybe not?



If indeed the BookFest is located around Doheny Library then be sure to visit my favorite campus fountain: the Prentiss Memorial Fountain.   You’ll run into it if you walk straight out from the main entrance of the library.




If in addition to books you’re into the performing arts, such as film & theater, then check out the USC School of Cinematic Arts. USC’s “film school” is known far & wide.




I’ve seen these kinda trees before – even here in Pasadena, I believe.  However, I’m not much into tree-hugging or flower-sniffing so I can’t tell y’all what’s the name of this interesting tree.  But, y’all, there must be someone out there in the blogosphere who can lettuce know its name!




If you do go to BookFest, whatever you do – whether you buy a book or stroke an author, or not – if nuttin’ else visit Tommy Trojan & pose for a photo with him.  Like these UCLA & Notre Dame students did below…



Gotta Go Again, Eventually! Stay Thirsty My Friends

Pasadena Greetings


It looks like the corporate bigwigs at NBC, or anyone who may be pulling their strings behind them, have again forced out Jay Leno – the long-time host of the Tonight Show since Johnny Carson retired last century.

Once again it appears corporate is attempting to replace the older, proven, gray-haired host with a younger, hipper dude. First attempt was with Conan de O’Brien.  Round 2 is with Jimmy Fallon. 

Why has NBC made the changes? Well, Leno & The Tonight Show have been #1 in that 11:30pm time slot, even after Leno came back to rescue NBC after the O’Brien miscalculation, basically since he took over from Carson.  So, it can’t be that.

I guess we just have to trust , once again, the corporate experts at 30 Rockefeller Center know what they’re doing.  Have faith in them to know what you, the audience, really want to see, despite what the audience and ratings tell them. 

One part of Leno’s Tonight Show I’ll miss is the Headlines: Jay reads and shows ridiculous/funny newspaper headlines sent in from the audience.  Am I gonna have to take up his Headlines baton once Leno is gone? I don’t plan to. I’m not as funny or ridiculous as Jay. But here’s a pair of headlines from a couple of days ago.


Both headlines are about the same subject: announcing the employment/jobs statistics from March.


Our Pasadena Star News stick to the hard facts & stats by simply announcing the numbers.  It leaves the interpretation, good news or bad, to the readers.  Although, if you didn’t know better, these raw numbers could lead some to think the economy had a good month.  You’ll probably just have to read the article to form your own opinion.



The Los Angeles Times only states one stat (jobs) and interprets the economic news for the readers: It’s BAD economic news.  One could say The Times wants to lead you the reader to their way of seeing things.



As it turned out later, virtually all pundits & spinners interpreted these latest employment/economic numbers as negative. BAD News!  After gathering the facts, I also agree the Obama administration is still searching for a solution to this economic repression.

But, how do you want your news/paper or online – to report them to you initially?  Just the facts to help you form your own opinion (PSN Way), or giving you their interpretation/opinion to influence you to think like the media (The LAT  Way)?


Seen last Sunday


And, that’s HEADLINES for the week.


Gotta Question Authority!  Stay Thirsty My Friends

Pasadena Greetings