Monday, October 24, 2011

"Eliza TIbbets" statue

Ok folks - if you've been downtown lately near the Mission Inn, you've probably seen that new abomination referred to as the Eliza Tibbets statue.  No one I've spoken to is happy with it, and everyone has an opinion of what it really looks like (certainly not Eliza herself).  So, I'm going to start a list of all of the (printable) ideas that I've heard regarding the statue.  Do you have others?  Please let me know!

Here goes:

Pomona (the Roman goddess of fruit, not the town!)
The hood ornament of a Rolls-Royce
Butterfly McQueen (one of the slave girls in "Gone With The Wind")
Evita Peron (the leader of Argentina about whom the musical "Evita" was written)

I'm sure there are others.  What is universal is that the statue isn't Eliza Tibbets.  Too bad - they could have done so much.  Of course, the artist and the people behind the statue say that they chose a younger Eliza to portray because people would rather have themselves immortalized as they were when they were younger, not older.  There are 2 problems with that reasoning.  One, the statue looks nothing like the younger Eliza Tibbets shown in a picture in the new book Creating an Orange Utopia by Patricia Ortlieb and Peter Economy (at a book signing on October 22 at Riverside's Barnes and Noble, Ortlieb indicated that that picture was used by the artist to make the rendition).  Second, since she is being immortalized as the founder of the orange industry here in Riverside, and she was about 50 years old when she came to Riverside, her likeness should have been in accordance with her time here.  She looked very much like Queen Victoria, and prided herself in that likeness.  So, we now have an expensive statue that took years to develop and raise funds for, that further degrades the history of this area.  I'm actually not too surprised, given the City's all-but-declared war on our history and historic structures.  It shouldn't be too much of a shock that we'd get a poor excuse for a statue of one of Riverside's most important residents.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

3 More Arcadia Books for Riverside County

Just when we thought that the Arcadia Publishing series of books was about done in our area, along come 3 more soon-to-be written or released books that should be added to the bookshelf:

The Navy in Norco, by Kevin Bash.  Kevin is the champion of the Norconian Resort.  His newest (he already has one on the Norconian itself) will focus on the Navy's years of ownership starting just at the brink of US involvement in World War 2.  It's the book that will be out the soonest - September 1.

Old Town Temecula, by Rebecca Farnbach.  Rebecca and her cohorts have authored several Arcadia books in the southwest part of the County, including Temecula and Murrieta Hot Springs.  Now, she is focusing on just Old Town Temecula (which, of course, for most of its life was called New Temecula).  She's still putting it together, but look for it in the coming months.

Finally, Corona historian Mary Winn is in the negotiating stage of developing a new book entitled Corona Then and Now, based on a lecture she gave to the Corona Historical Preservation Society a few weeks back.  Mary and her husband Richard have researched and re-photographed several postcard and photographic images and will show the two side-by-side in the upcoming book.  I'd say this one will be out after the first of the year.

And so there you have it - a few more books for the bookshelf!

My newest book - Riverside County's parks

Hi all - I realize I haven't posted here in awhile, and I aim to change that.  Anyway, my newest book is out now.  Entitled "More Than A Place To Pitch A Tent - The Stories Behind Riverside County's Regional Parks," it offers the stories behind the beginnings of 20 of Riverside County's parks and interpretive facilities.  Included are:  Bogart Park, Box Springs Moutain Park and Reserve, Crestmore Manor (the headquarters of the Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District), the Gilman Historic Ranch and Wagon Museum, the Hidden Valley Nature Center, Hurkey Creek Park, Idyllwild Park, Idyllwild Nature Center, the Jensen-Alvarado Historic Ranch and Museum, Kabian Park, Lake Cahuilla Recreation Area, Lake Skinner Recreation Area, Lawler Lodge, the Louis Robidoux Nature Center, Martha McLean/Anza Narrows Park, Mayflower Park, McCall Memorial Park, Rancho Jurupa Park, the San Timoteo Schoolhouse, and the Santa Rosa Plateau Nature Center.

The book is 150 pages, with lots of photos, both historic and new (including pics of those for whom the parks are named), Right now, it's available through me for $20.  I'm hoping to have it at the parks and in museums throughout the county over the next few months.  If interested, let me know !!