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Member since: Tue Oct 14, 2003, 04:09 AM
Number of posts: 8,014

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Inside a preserved mansion from the 1920s

This is the second part of our exploration of the William S. Hart Museum. It is a wonderful place filled with memorabilia of the Western movie star and his friends as well as beautiful paintings of Western motifs!

Posted by robertpaulsen | Thu Mar 23, 2017, 01:56 PM (3 replies)

Outside the mansion of the first Western movie star!

We visited the home of William S. Hart - one of the first big Western movie stars of the silent era. Hart bequeathed his estate and property to the County of Los Angeles and it is now a fantastic museum. Check out some of the majestic sights!

Posted by robertpaulsen | Thu Mar 16, 2017, 01:59 PM (1 replies)

Old Trapper's Lodge: Kitschy Folk Art with a Nod to Knott's Berry Farm

In the interior of Pierce College in Woodland Hills, California, there is a fascinating collection of statues, fake tombstones and other examples of folk art.  These are what remain of Old Trapper’s Lodge. It was created by John Ehn (1897-1981), who was a trapper before moving to California, who opened a motel near the Burbank airport at Arvilla Avenue and San Fernando Road called the Old Trapper’s Lodge in 1941.  To attract business, this self-taught artist (according to unverified sources, he learned by watching Knott’s Berry Farm artist Claude Bell, who went on to build the Cabazon dinosaurs featured in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, and supposedly after hiring Bell to build the initial sculpture, Ehn built the rest himself) in 1951 began creating sculptures using family members as models. 

Though some of the sculptures may not seem very racially or culturally sensitive now, they do reflect the culture of the 50s as far as the TV perspective of the Old West and the tall tales they propagated. 
Posted by robertpaulsen | Thu Mar 9, 2017, 03:18 PM (4 replies)

Snakes, spiders and aliens - The Vasquez Rocks Interpretive Center!

When you pull into the driveway where the sign for the entrance to Vasquez Rocks is off of Escondido Canyon Road, there is a building towards the right that was new to Neek and I. This is the Vasquez Rocks Interpretive Center. It’s been open for a few years now and it is a fascinating and welcome addition to Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park.

Posted by robertpaulsen | Thu Mar 2, 2017, 01:58 PM (14 replies)

Breaking Butterflies: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and the Paranoia of J. Edgar Hoover

Breaking Butterflies: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and the Paranoia of J. Edgar Hoover

There is no doubt that later this summer, all forms of media print, TV, radio etc., will be awash with the memory, however hazy, of the 50th anniversary of the similarly media-driven Summer of Love. Never mind that if you ask the residents of the epicenter of this event, the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, a great many of them will tell you that the real Summer of Love was 1965 and 1966, before Flower Children culture was appropriated and commercialized for consumption by mainstream America to become those dreaded dirty hippies. The media got their kill for the establishment, and they won't pass up the opportunity to bask in the fifty year old glow of that victory when the chill of winter subsides.

But there is a different 50th anniversary I want to talk about. Like the Summer of Love, this is filled with just as much drugs, sex and phenomenal rock music, but with enough paranoia, treachery and overkill in this drama to describe the event as a Winter of Discontent. That would be the arrest and trial of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones for drug possession that began in February of 1967. Part of what initiated this incident was the response of Mick Jagger to a News of the World story from February 5 that reported him consuming Benzedrine and sharing hash at Blaises, a London club. Jagger was not even at the club when News of the World visited it (according to page 223 of Mick Jagger by Philip Norman, the Rolling Stone they most likely interviewed was Brian Jones), so he denounced the story as lies on a TV show broadcast that evening, then had a writ for libel served to the offending paper. Mick and Keith decided to spend the following weekend with some friends at Keith's recently purchased cottage in the Sussex countryside to escape the London spotlight. That might sound like a smart move, except for the fact that one of the "friends" they brought with them was a drug dealer with an attaché case full of LSD.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards Photo courtesy of Flickr

The weekend began the evening of Friday, February 10, at Abbey Road studios where Mick Jagger, his girlfriend Marianne Faithfull and Keith Richards attended the Beatles recording the orchestral parts of the track "A Day in the Life," a Lennon/McCartney song that would be released later that year as the final track on their album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The taping lasted until early Saturday morning, after which Keith and his guests for the weekend drove in convoy fifty miles away to his West Sussex cottage called Redlands. After arriving, some enjoyed tripping on "Sunshine," a California-made variety of acid known to provide a more relaxing and tranquil trip than usual. On Sunday morning, they enjoyed genuine sunshine with a brisk country walk through the woods. When they returned they found two surprise guests, George Harrison and his wife, Pattie. They left soon after though, as George found the atmosphere too low-key for him.

How ironic that at that time, around 5pm, a call was made to the West Sussex Regional Police Headquarters that a "riotous party" was going on at Redlands, including drug use. The eighteen raiding police officers were surprised to find a rather mellow gathering settling down to watch a film on television. They then searched each individual guest methodically for drugs. Mick Jagger had four white amphetamine tablets in his jacket pocket confiscated. Another guest, Robert Fraser, had confiscated what he told the police were insulin tablets, but were later tested to be heroin. They also confiscated marijuana from a guest named David Snyderman, known as Acid King David. Before leaving, they formally cautioned Keith Richards that if any of the items they confiscated proved to be illegal, he would face prosecution for letting them be used in his home.

read more here...


Or watch the video:

Posted by robertpaulsen | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 05:51 PM (0 replies)

Breaking Butterflies: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards & J. Edgar Hoover

"Who breaks a butterfly on a wheel?" 50 years ago, William Rees-Mogg appropriated this quote by Alexander Pope from 1735, but I think it's still a timely question.

Posted by robertpaulsen | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 02:19 PM (6 replies)

From the Old West to Star Trek - Vasquez Rocks

Vasquez Rocks has been a popular location for shooting westerns since the 1930s, so it seemed appropriate for a man on horseback wearing a cowboy hat to come ambling between the rocks. It’s also popular for shooting science fiction, most famously for the original Star Trek TV series episode where Captain Kirk fights a reptilian alien called the Gorn. So it was funny, but not too out of the ordinary to see a bicyclist at Vasquez Rocks wearing a spacesuit!

Posted by robertpaulsen | Wed Feb 22, 2017, 01:55 PM (15 replies)

An LA suburb with small town charm - Montrose, California

Los Angeles, California is not just a city but also a county with a collection of smaller communities. That is especially true for Montrose which is part of the Crescenta Valley sandwiched between the San Fernando Valley and Glendale, California. It is about 15 minutes (unless you’re stuck in traffic) from downtown Los Angeles.

So much of Southern California has become suburban sprawl where one city may seem indistinguishable from the next. It’s rare to find a place that has its own unique character and feel. Montrose is one of those places that does! While there are certainly plenty of tract homes like in every suburb, the Shopping Park area evokes small-town American charm and has its own unique history.
Posted by robertpaulsen | Thu Feb 16, 2017, 01:58 PM (1 replies)

We found an abandoned socialist commune - from 100 years ago!

Llano Del Rio was a failed socialist utopian colony that was active from 1914 to 1918 in the California desert and it really intrigued me as to why anyone would attempt to create a living in such a desolate environment. The stone ruins of the buildings and aqueduct are all that is left of an ambitious experiment of a former ordained minister named Job Harriman.

Neek and I have driven past the ruins of this commune during a number of different road trips over the years. So we were very excited to get out of the car and explore it for the first time!
Posted by robertpaulsen | Thu Feb 9, 2017, 02:25 PM (15 replies)

Street art and beautiful murals in downtown LA

Neek and I went to downtown LA in search of an area near Little Tokyo filled with murals and other street art. There was some parking on Traction Avenue so we stopped there to take a look around. Lots of murals painted on the sides of buildings were already visible as we walked down the avenue.

We were happily surprised as we approached Third Street to see that part of the street was closed off. There were booths where people were selling arts and crafts and one that was selling different blends of organic juices. We tried one filled with different kinds of citrus fruits that was really tasty. Walking around there, I could see Shepard Fairey’s ‘Peace Goddess’, a mural of a beautifully shrouded woman with an owl resting beneath her chin, which I thought looked fantastic.


There were so many murals and other examples of street art in the area it was impossible to capture it all. Many other people were also taking photographs and enjoying the relaxed atmosphere. It was a beautiful day and we had a lot of fun checking out all the great art!
Posted by robertpaulsen | Wed Feb 1, 2017, 03:33 PM (1 replies)
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