Saturday, June 7, 2014

CALIFORNIA APRICOTS at the Sunnyvale Historical Society

I wanted to make sure all the readers of my blog in the region south of San Francisco, knew about this upcoming event at the Sunnyval Historical Society. You don't have to be a Sunnyvale resident to attend: the talk is about the orchards of the region, not just the town of Sunnyvale.

Sunnyvale, however, has done a great job of preserving its history. The city has a heritage apricot orchard, a museum and a wonderful historical society. I'll be signing books at the talk with the proceeds going to support their programs.

So,  I wanted to make sure I spread the word. I'll be speaking at Sunnyvale's Heritage Park Museum, Monday, June 9, 2014, 7:30 p.m. at 570 E. Remington Drive, Sunnyvale. And here's a link to the Society's web site for more info. We're expecting a good crowd so come early!

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Crazy Time at UC Santa Barbara

I am an alumnus of the University of California, Santa Barbara, where I got my undergraduate degree before going to UCLA for my Masters.

There was a shooting rampage at UCSB this weekend that has devastated the school. This message, from the UCSB Chancellor, went out to all of us this weekend.  Very sad story indeed:

Friday, May 23, 2014

B-17 Crews--From the 91st Bomb Group--Gather to Remember

Ace Johnson and Don Freer flew B-17s over Germany during World War II. They visited the Moffett Museum as part of their reunion.

Members of the 91st Bomb Group gathered at Moffett Field this week for a reunion. The men and their crews flew B-17s over Germany, out of Bassingbourn, England, during the toughest years of World War II.  

All of them, on this Memorial Day Weekend, remember the men who didn't make it back.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Powerful Book For Our Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin

The latest book from the pen of Doris Kearns Goodwin is very much a story for the 21st century.

There is so much talk these days of big, important people in America living by one set of rules while the rest of us are forced to live by another, that the history of the early 20th century is truly a timely tale for the modern reader.

This is just the story told by the talented Doris Kearns Goodwin, in her new book with the unwieldy title: The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism. How she managed to fill this 750 page book with such important details, got it out so relatively soon after her Lincoln book, and still is able to make all those television appearances, is a question for the ages. (I'm going to guess that like Winston Churchill, she gets some help with her research!)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Authors' Intellectual Property Rights in the Age of Google

Authors Guild general counsel, Jan Constantine, stands on a chair at Two Sisters Bar and Books in San Francisco. The New York based attorney just testified before Congress about the challenges authors face in the world of the Internet.

It was a stunning day to visit San Francisco, April 7, 2014: the high was a very unusual (for April) 77°F, and there was not a visible cloud or a finger of fog to be seen. But I wasn't there entirely to enjoy the weather, nor the fascinating street scenes of this place we peninsula residents just call The City. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Meeting Mickey Rooney: The Larger-Than-Life Talent

Mickey Rooney in his prime was the most successful actor in Hollywood.

I was in the newsroom at WESH-TV, Orlando, Florida, when we got the news that actress Ava Gardner had died. It was January 1990, and I was working then for a man who really understood news: news director Steve Ramsey, whom we fondly called Rambo. One of us--and it might have been me--noted that Ava Gardner had once been married to MGM star Mickey Rooney and that Rooney himself was in town with his hit Broadway show "Sugar Babies."

While I anchored the 5:30 PM newscast, the producer called his hotel to see if he would be available for an interview. Available? Were we bringing a camera? He just happened to have an opening in his schedule.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Historic Train Station Continues Its Travels Through Time

I wanted to share with you a piece I wrote for "Under the Oaks," the Los Altos History Museum's quarterly. The piece is about a recent renovation of the city's old train station, a station I recall my father using when he worked in San Francisco. Alas, in the early 1960s, the tracks were pulled up to make room for an expressway. The expressway is a handy route indeed: but now it would cost billions to reconstruct the even handier old rail line that carried travelers between San Francisco and Los Gatos. Here's the piece:

The newly renovated Los Altos train station. That is a nineteenth century caboose from the Gold Country.

      The local entrepreneur who recently renovated the Los Altos train station to transform it into a bakery and cafĂ©, has joined a tradition begun half a century ago when the station also served as a restaurant.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Solvang, California is so HOMICIDAL!

Solvang, California on a rainy day in February 2014.

I made a flying visit to Solvang, California, this week. It is a charming little tourist spot on the California coast, nestled in the Santa Ynez Valley between San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara. To reach Solvang, you turn east at Buellton and everybody knows where Buellton is because it is the home of Pea Soup Andersen's where they make Andersen's Split Pea Soup.

I accidentally timed my visit to coincide with the only rainy week we've had in California in about a year, and for me the mood fit neatly. This Danish-California village may be cute; but, it will always seem a little homicidal to me. Since you may find that strange, I shall explain.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Coming Year Another Big One for California Apricots!

California Apricots: the Lost Orchards of Silicon Valley, brought me, in 2013, to Stanford University where I spoke at the Stanford Bookstore. My friend Michelle Wahl, widow of LAHS grad Vic Wahl, is a nurse at Stanford Medical Center and stopped by to stay "hi."

We have a new schedule of events and book talks for CALIFORNIA APRICOTS: 2014. The book has been out for nine months and is headed toward its fourth printing! I thought things would be slowing down about now, but that hasn't happened.

Just click "Read More" and scroll down for the upcoming events: