The President’s Column

 Dianne Cowen, President
Congress of History of San Diego and Imperial Counties

Summer musings –– Like some of you, I am an emigrant to California, as
our family followed my step-dad west for work. In the first 16 years of
my life, I was moved 16 times and lived in six different states and two
other countries!

As I grew old enough to understand what was happening,
I loudly and vigorously voiced my opposition to each impending move.
Now, I’m thankful that the last family move was to such a great state
which offered us many opportunities.

While my childhood and teen-age memories involve a lot of different places, the memories of my 97-year-old mother are of the rural community in which she was born and remained, until she moved to the city after high school graduation. . .

All of this is to say that each of us has memories that comprise our
personal history, and that history needs to be recorded. My children
know only part of my story unless I write, or tell, about the “BK years”
(before kids).

If you don’t have children, your stories are still important to record. You may not think your memories are special enough to write down, but they’re unique to you. You’ve seen your community and the world change. The historical society where you grew-up would be interested in your memories of your life, from childhood into adulthood.
Only you have these specific memories.

For example, when I married and moved to San Diego, the Del Mar Fair became part of my summer plans: Food, music, gardens, flowers, manning a booth, demonstrations, lots of people, items sold only at the fair, animals, rides, exhibits, arts,
crafts, & more! And, my experiences of all these aspects are unique to me.

One of my favorite places to visit at the fair is the historic
Alvarado House, which has exhibits depicting some of the history of Del
Mar. This historic residence has been moved a few times and is now in
the gardening/ landscaping area of the fairgrounds, where it’s open only
during the Del Mar Fair. The Del Mar Historical Society provides docents
to keep the building open. If you missed the Alvarado House this year,
put it on your must-see list for June 2019. . . .

During her recent visit from Portland, Oregon, my adult niece, Ana, asked to see Balboa
Park. She and her brother used to come here for several days every
summer and go to the San Diego Zoo or Safari Park, Sea World, the beach,
and camping in the Laguna mountains with my family. How delightful to
tour with an adult who is interested in Balboa Park’s history, art,
architecture, gardens, and other flora.

We enjoyed the Sculpture Courtyard outside the Botanic Library and then searched-out the architectural features explained in the exhibits. Ana also joined us for
a Monday night concert at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, where we were
thrilled to listen to the new San Diego City Organist Raul Prieto
Ramirez. I hope that you are able to enjoy the parks and history in your
neighborhood. We live in a region with so many different cultural
communities, which add to the exciting mix of available experiences.
Where will we go next? . . .

Thank you to the San Diego County Parks and Recreation Department Rangers at Los Peñasquitos for permitting us to meet in the conference room at the Adobe Ranch House in May. Thanks, also, to Docent Gloria Hinkley who gave CoH members an interesting tour of this historic adobe, where I am also a docent.

For our CoH board meeting THIS Saturday, July 21, the new Sycuan Cultural Center will be the host location. (For details see above.)
All our meetings are free and open to the membership; guests are also
welcome. Air conditioning will help keep us from thinking of the summer
heat and humidity!

Then, on Saturday, September 15, the meeting will be
held in the Winn Room at the Coronado Public Library. As with all
Congress of History Board Meetings, our meetings are free and open to
the public, and we do not have any items for sale.

Plan ahead to catch a ferry across San Diego Bay if you don’t want to drive over the Coronado Bridge. Or, you may drive the scenic route around, on the Silver Strand.

Unlike our usual meetings, the September board meeting will begin at
10:30 a.m. because the Coronado Library doesn’t open until 10 a.m. (More
details will be in the Sept.-Oct. edition of Adelante.) Looking forward
to seeing you soon,
Dianne P. Cowen, President


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