Saturday, July 27, 2013

Hoodlums in 1939

The Army and Navy Academy, originally located in Pacific Beach, moved to Carlsbad in 1937. Today, it continues to be a part of our community, with a most excellent and picturesque location on the northwest end of town. This 1939 article tells the story of some hooliganism that occurred on the campus by local teens. The way the situation is handled by the staff and community, via the Carlsbad Journal, demonstrates the sensibility of their time and place. FYI, in 1939, there was no Carlsbad High School. Carlsbad teens attended Oceanside-Carlsbad High School in Oceanside, now Oceanside High School.

The Journal is in receipt of a letter from Major John Davis, president of the San Diego Army and Navy academy, reporting that Mrs. Virginia Atkinson, their dramatics coach and their dramatics team, were continuously annoyed at the theatre last week by hoodlums.

The dramatics team was rehearsing for the State tournament held this week in Pasadena where the Carlsbad entry from the Military academy won second place and in which, there were eleven entries.

During the evening while rehearsals were in progress these hoodlums would pound on the theatre doors and throw rocks and other missiles at the building for no other apparent purpose than to annoy and disturb those who were at their work.

When Mrs. Atkinson went to the door and invited the boys inside they responded with language and epithets that are imprintable.

Some of the hoodlums were recognized and at least some of them are high school students at Oceanside, and one of them a senior.

President Davis in his letter to The Journal said that it is not the desire of the academy to make unnecessary trouble for the boys or their parents, that the school not only desires to avoid such steps, but wants still more to become a home institution, a part of the community life in Carlsbad, and he asks what can be done to avoid experiences of this kind in the future.

The splendid thing for these boys to do, if they read this report, would be to go to Maj. Davis or Mrs. Atkinson and apologize and promise not to repeat their acts of rowdyism.

Putting it mildly, it is unfortunate that a community like Carlsbad should have young men as residents whose idea of fun is to indulge in acts of vandalism, and worse still, should consider it smart to use vile language in the presence of a lady. Mrs. Atkinson will be able to forgive and forget, but the boys themselves, and high school students at that, will eventually suffer severe and unpleasant consequences for engaging in their idea of sport.

There is just one way that these boys will ever amount to anything. It won't help them any to be arrested and punished by law, but if they persist in such rowdyism that is what will happen to them. If they want to feel good again their only course is to report to the Academy that they are sorry.

That would be the first step toward becoming young gentlemen.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Coronado Fishing and Hunting Grounds

The ocean fishing off Coronado in plain sight of the hotel is unparalleled. During the season of Spanish mackerel, rock cod, barracuda, and yellow tail, a two hours' catch of a couple hundred pounds is an every-day affair. Spanish mackerel weighing from eight to nine pounds is a fair average.

Those who have had the most experience in all parts of the United States say that the California quail is the most difficult bird to kill, and get in your bag, that flies. The famous shot, the late Ira Payne, after failing to bag a single quail with nine consecutive shots, said that they are the most elusive and delusive birds he had ever tackled.

A reservation of 1,900 acres within one and one-half miles of the hotel has been stocked with thousands of jack-rabbits, and the management has cleared a field of one and one-half miles long, over which guests of the hotel on horseback follow a pack of thirty greyhounds.

These rabbit chases are now among the most popular sports in Coronado, and occur twice a week, and oftener, if a dozen riders desire to indulge in a chase.

There is no expense to guests to join any of these chases, except for mounts, it only being necessary for them to leave their names at the office one day in advance.

(From a travel brochure, circa 1900)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Viewpoints of time & place

"Just as travel underlines that obvious but ever-surprising fact that, from wherever you view the world, it looks different, so does history offer intellectually something of the same insight. Our surroundings have been the home to countless generations of people estranged from us by time, for whom the assumptions and realities of life were, in a myriad of ways, fundamentally different. That realisation [sic] should be revelatory, inspiring and admonishing in equal measure."

From the March 13, 2013 issue of Country Life magazine

"A Plea for Palomar", by J.H.Y., 1901

A poem written about Palomar Mountain, which had earlier been known as Smith's Mountain

Fell my oak and fell my pine-tree; send my cedar to the mill;
Strip the tangled pine from off me; roll my boulders down the hill;
Grade my summit; till my valley; tear away my woodland pride;
Parcel me in city lots, and run a railway up my side;
Rule my streets with dull precision, block by block, in order time,
Here a church and there a depot, where the tiger lilies grew;
Mar God's handiwork about me; let my beauty be a myth;
Then, defaced and desecrated, call me after Mr. Smith.

But while yet the stately cedar sentinels the sylvan lawn;
While at times from yonder thicket peeps the nimble-footed fawn;
While the glory of the morning breaks on precipice and peak,
And the winter sees my waters leaping down to Panama Creek;
While the valley smiles beneath one, stretching westward to the main,
Mile on mile of rolling pasture, green alfalfa, golden grain;
While I look on Catalina, far beyond the ocean shore,
And the gleam of sunny waters on the lake of Elsinore;
While I dominate the lowland, hill and valley, near and far,
In my majesty and beauty, let my name be Palomar.

Baron Bror Blixen-Finecke speaks on open space, circa early 20th c.

So far the tourist has not discovered it [Africa], and I would like to see it in its undisturbed glory before railways and air routes have arrived, before luxury hotels and nightclubs have grown up like poisonous fungi - before it’s been tarnished and made ugly for civilisation [sic] which is unable to let things well enough alone.

From Bror Blixen: The African letters, edited by Gustav Kleen, 1988

Monday, March 25, 2013

What is "Reasonable" to You?

Tonight, the Carlsbad City Council and Mayor will vote on the proposed Quarry Creek development plan by the McMillin Company. The Carlsbad Planning Commission recommended the plan after some slight alterations. However, as the proposed plan stands now, there are still too many issues to allow the plan to be approved. If you agree, I have included contact information for our mayor and council.

McMillin representatives stated at the Carlsbad Planning Commission meeting on February 20th, that they had listened to all “reasonable” requests in their planning of the Quarry Creek development, which will be built behind Kohl’s, off College and the 78. I have a few questions about what is reasonable.

Is it unreasonable for Carlsbad residents to expect the Carlsbad Planning Commission, the Carlsbad Mayor, the Carlsbad City Council to represent residents’ interests over a developer’s?

Is it reasonable for residents to expect the city government to use funds set aside for the purchase of open space when we passed Prop C in 2002? The Buena Vista Creek Valley was number one on the list. Our city has a dedicated open space plan. In this instance, the city could gain open space for residents, for our community without spending any of that money. The City Council just needs to scale back the number of houses they will allow in Quarry Creek.

Is it reasonable to be hired to create a development and then state that you cannot make a profit unless the city’s general plan for the area is thrown out and that you be allowed to build more than twice as many houses, which would as a matter of course, destroy the Buena Vista Creek Valley, a wildlife corridor?

Is it unreasonable for the residents to expect their city government to turn down that company’s business and meet with other developers, who would be interested in building 293 houses as allocated to the former quarry land?

Is it reasonable for the Carlsbad school district to keep one school open and allow more overcrowding in that and other north Carlsbad elementary schools for the benefit of McMillin’s profits and to the detriment of the students, the district’s budget, and the quality of life in Carlsbad? Educational quality isn’t just about high test scores; it’s also about small class size and amount of money spent per student.

Is it reasonable to use low-income residents and affordable housing as a smoke screen by creating the impression that not supporting McMillin’s proposal will negatively affect the building of affordable housing units? The fact is, no matter how many houses are built, 65 must be affordable housing units. So supporting McMillin’s proposed plan does not benefit low-income families at all. Another fact is that they were supposed to build 98, but got that number reduced to 65. Low-income residents and supporters of affordable housing should actually be protesting the proposed plan and demanding that the number be reinstated to 98.

This doesn’t even touch on the reasonable desire of Carlsbad and affected Oceanside residents to not have to deal with greater traffic issues than they already experience in that area today.

It looks like I have a different definition of what “reasonable” means. I have personally never met anyone who lamented that more houses haven’t been built. However, I have met many, many people, of all different political persuasions, incomes, Carlsbad residents and others, who value open space. This doesn’t just mean manicured parks and designated trails, but true open space where wildlife can prosper and future generations can still have the benefit of seeing what the land looked like before development.

If you feel that it is reasonable for McMillin to follow our city’s Adopted General Plan and build 293 houses, including 98 affordable housing units, which would protect our open space in the Buena Vista Creek Valley, prevent additional overcrowding in our schools and on our roadways, please contact the Carlsbad Mayor and City Council before tonight.

Contact info:

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Operatic History in Letters

The following excerpt is from a 1905 letter written by Florence Shipley to her mother Julia. Born in 1882 and recently a high school graduate, Florence was traveling around the country visiting friends and relatives of the family. This letter was written during her stay at the Rockwood estate in Wilmington, Delaware, home of her father's cousin, Edward Bringhurst. In this excerpt, Florence's discussion of opera includes the singers Johanna Gadski, Marcella Sembrick, Enrico Caruso, and Ernestine Schumann-Heinck, as well as Lucia di Lammermoor, the opera by Gaetano Donizetti and the comic opera, Love's Lottery.

I am very glad to know that you went to hear Madame Gadski, and that you enjoyed it, but it is too bad that the attendance was so poor at the concert.

I do not think that either Philadelphia or Wilmington is at all musical, for they do not have the opera here at all, and at Philadelphia they only have it about once in two weeks during the New York season.

The singers come down from New York and then return there after each performance, and they do not give any matinées, so I have not been able to hear anything so far. We did plan to go up and hear Madame Sembrick and Caruso in Lucia di Lammermoor when they sang it there a short time ago, but the weather was so stormy that we had to give it up.

Madame Schumann-Heinck will be in Philadelphia all of next week, but I heard her when I was in Washington. A great many people think she is wasted on light opera, but if she gets as far as San Diego you ought certainly to go and hear her in Love's Lottery, for it is charming, and very funny. Mary and I enjoyed it immensely.

Interestingly, not only did Madame Schumann-Heinck "get as far as San Diego", she was instrumental in providing the funding for building the organ pavilion in Balboa Park. She also lived here, both in Grossmont and on Coronado. See the article below for the full story.

Johanna Gadski: href=""

Marcella Sembrich: href=""

Enrico Caruso: href=""

Lucia di Lammermoor, synopsis: href=""

Madame Schumann-Heinck in Love's Lottery, a review: href=""

Ernestine Schumann-Heinck: href=""