It Happened In My Neighborhood

COH_Conf_2018_Logo Color

Believe It or Not  2018 Conference!  Happened on March 2 and 3, 2018 AT THE PORTUGUESE HISTORIC CENTER in PL: 2831 AVENIDA de Portugal, San Diego,  92106. Attendees were fortunate to have enjoyed a great conference!!! San Diego Authors sold and signed books. Speakers from around the region to share their unique neighborhood stories. Presenters includes OB Historical Society Board Members- Kathy Blavatt – From Our Local Beach to the English Channel: The Amazing Achievements of the World Champion Water Women of Ocean Beach, and Eric DuVal – It Happened at Lomaland: How the Remarkable Mr. Spalding Invented Baseball’s Mythological Beginnings. Historians shared interesting, odd, funny, beautiful, or weird stories about their particular location. For more visit the COH website:

Unique and Funny O.B. Stories

TinyBWho is this gal? Feb. 15, 2018, the OB Historical Society program “Unique and Funny O.B. Stories”, By Kitty McDanial, Dedi Ridenour, & Jonnie Wilson, at Water’s Edge Faith Community
It was a nostalgic trip back in time with a trio of O. B. historians. Jonnie and Kitty (the comic cut-up!) regaled the audience with stories of strange things that went on at Wonderland O.B.’e early amusement park and other early OB tales as they as introduce you to some important Obecians you’ve probably never heard of, and reveal political shenanigans that went on during the early days of our beach town. (News flash: Things weren’t any better back then!) Dedi, on the other hand, focused on her favorite topic—OB and the Cliffs during World War II. She was only a child during that era (albeit a precocious one), but research done as an adult—combined with her early memories—have made her a bonafide expert on this subject.

Jan. 18- SD’s Naval Disaster and the Zeal for Conviction

US-C-B-Boat-grainGreat program by Karen Scanlon!- Jan. 18, 2018- San Diego’s Naval Disaster and the Zeal for Conviction
It was business as usual along San Diego’s waterfront in the early morning of July 21, 1905. But a boiler explosion aboard the patrol gunboat USS Bennington, at anchor in the stream of the bay, plundered the ordinary and remains one of the deadliest peacetime disasters in the history of the United States Navy.
Immediately, a Court of Inquiry convened in San Diego. In October, the Courts Martial of Bennington’s commanding and engineering officers took place at Mare Island Naval Yard. What caused the explosion that stole the lives of 66 men? The pursuit of conviction was intense.

Happy Holidays- No Dec. OBHS Program

Have a Joyous Holiday. See you in 2018.


O.B. Walkabout-Talkabout

Dean-portriatNov. 16, 2017 OBHS presented: O.B. Walkabout-Talkabout, Starring: Dean Hollenbeck, Produced By Kathy and Ray Blavatt, at St. Peter’s by the Sea Lutheran Church NOT at P.L.U.M.Church (due to renovations)
Ocean Beach is known for its characters, and Dean Hollenbeck is one of our most endearing. Dean loves to walk… and talk! He has made countless friends on his meandering walks in Ocean Beach and the peninsula.
At 89-years-old Dean somedays walks up to 16 miles… though it may take him the whole day depending on how many people he talks to. Ocean Beach Historical Society’s Kathy and Ray Blavatt filmed Dean on his O.B. adventures as he spoke with other interesting longtime OBceans, toured some of their homes, and discussed their tales and histories of living in Ocean Beach.
Featured film guests included: Flickie Dormer, Virginia Davis, Shoeshine Willie, Darlene the Garden Lady, and others. We learned why these residents came to O. B, fell in love with O.B., and still live in O.B.

Oct. 19th “Read the Book Before You Fly ‘Em”


“Read the Book Before You Fly ‘Em”, By Karen Scanlon Thurs. Oct. 19, 2017 was a great presentation! Point Loma’s Jack Allen Davis, Jr. wanted to fly airplanes. And fly ‘em he did! This high-flying speculator bought and sold World War II surplus aircraft with daring competence. Jack was a local boy who learned to fly at age 14 with Gibbs Flying Service. “Old Bill Gibbs turned me loose on an old Piper Cub,” Jack bragged. Flying drama, to be sure, but Jack also left a history mark as Shelter Island began to take shape in the early 1950s. He built and operated Red Sails Inn and later, Palomar Airport. Come and hear more about this adventurous fellow, and enjoy photographs of his airplanes and zest of the San Diego waterfront.

Karen Scanlon is a freelance writer, historian, and early childhood educator who writes extensively on the maritime history of San Diego, particularly of Point Loma Lighthouse and the explosion aboard USS Bennington. In other directions are her published works in children’s curriculum, and stories about people. She is a volunteer at Cabrillo National Monument and works with her twin sister, Kim, tending the Fresnel lenses in its collection. The two co-authored a book titled Lighthouses of San Diego. Karen is a contributing member of La Playa Trail Association and Maritime Museum of San Diego, and the proud recipient of The Martha Washington Medal awarded by the Sons of the American Revolution.
As for Jack Davis, we became good friends as I gathered his life story for publication. Jack died in 2006.

Kumeyaay Resistance and “Abusive” Art

Great Program!- Kumeyaay Resistance and “Abusive” Art at Mission San Diego and the San Diego Presidio, By Richard Carrico Sept. 21, 2017Do you ever wonder how the local Kumeyaay Indians might have resisted Spanish colonialization besides sacking Mission San Diego in 1775? Is there any chance that they used art forms to show their disdain for the Spaniards right beneath (and above) the eyes of the colonists? In this highly informative and engaging talk, local historian and anthropologist Richard L. Carrico delve into the “dark art” that the Kumeyaay used to continue their ancient artistic practices and their use of symbology.