The President’s Column


Dianne P. Cowen, President
The Congress of History of
San Diego and Imperial Counties (CoH)

May is Preservation Month
Well, my feet have finally landed on terra firma, after floating on air for weeks following our 2018 Conference. What an event! The Portuguese History Center was a fantastic sponsor for “Believe It or Not, It Happened in My Neighborhood.” The variety of speakers’ topics and the number and variety of exhibitors indulged the passion for history among Congress of History members and guests.
Thank you to co-chairs Louise Torio and Eva Petersen for heading the planning committee. Thank you, also, to our other sponsors for their support, and to all who attended this special event, held at an outstanding venue! . . .
Now it’s off to the 2019 conference, when we will celebrate San Diego’s 250th Anniversary. This 2019 conference needs a chair and members who will lead planning and “birthing” of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Please contact me, or any other Board Member (see page 3), if you can join the fun. . . .
Thank you to Helen Halmay, Jonnie Wilson, Rosanne Goodwin, and Ray and Kathy Blavatt for joining me at the San Diego History Center (SDHC) for the April 10 Free Public Tuesday. When there, we take the opportunity to check-out the current exhibits before and/or after our table-time.
Kathy enjoyed seeing paintings by an artist who used to work a day job with her father. Helen was moved by the memorial to the late Gabe Selak (a SDHC employee, and friend of the CoH) in the Fashion Redux Competition clothing display. This was a project which The SDHC, and other Balboa Park museums, are moving beyond hands-on exhibits to visually draw visitors into smaller spaces that are packed with artifacts and information, delivered in interesting ways. Many of your organizations are doing similar things in their exhibit spaces. . . .
On a recent trip to Baja Calif., Mexico, with CAREM of Tecate (a CoH organizational member), I visited the new Caracol Museum in Ensenada, which has an environmental theme. Students of all ages (and non-students) are guided though exhibits to experience the current and future effects of changes in the earth’s climate.
We were amazed at what had been accomplished with a low budget. We also visited the site of Mission San Vicente Ferrer (1780) and Mission Santo Domingo (1775), which is still in use. Both missions were founded by the Dominicans.
. . .
May is Preservation Month, celebrated locally by SOHO with its People In Preservation (PIP) event annually (this year on Thursday, May 31; see the article on page 5). Congratulations to CoH member Susan Bugbee who this year is receiving SOHO’s top honor, the Preservationist of the Year Award. Susan will share this award with Kelley Stanco, David Swarens, and Bernie Turgeon, all honored for their tireless work over several years creating the South Park Historic District. (Then the S.D. Historical Resources Board and the City Council approved the district!) We’re so pleased for Susan, who was a speaker at our 2014 Conference. . . .
Plan Ahead – You are also invited to attend our July 21 Board Meeting, which will be held at the Sycuan Cultural Center, on Willow Glen Drive in El Cajon. The Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay have repurposed the former Cottonwood Golf Resort property for their use. (There will be air conditioning.)
Mark your calendar now for this meeting, that is open to all. We’re looking forward to hearing about what your organization or museum is doing.

Dianne P. Cowen, President 

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