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.


OB Activism in My Activist Youth

Bob-at-SSC-RallyAUG. 17 Athe OB Historical Society presented: O.B. Activism in My Activist Youth, BY ROBERT BURNS, The presentation addressed O.B. activism of which I was aware or in which I was involved in the 1970s & 1980s. The focus is not on me but, rather, on that of which I was aware of sometimes with my involvement and sometimes only with my observation. Organizations and phenomena discussed encompass: Ocean Beach Planning Board, O.B. Free School, O.B. collectivism, O.B. Rock ‘n Roll bands, O.B. Tenants Union, Winchell’s opposition, Committee to Save Black’s Beach, C.E.A.N., O.B. C.R.A.B., O.B. People’s Food Store, Committee to Save Red House, Committee to Save Sunset Cliffs, and Friends of Famosa Slough.
Robert Burns grew up in Ohio where Lake Erie died, the Cuyahoga River caught fire,
forests were clear-cut, farms were strip-mined, and students were murdered at Kent State by the Ohio National Guard. Five- months of ill living within the Big Ag plume in Imperial Valley, he moved to O.B. to go to law school with a passion for organic produce. Life in O.B. presented a continuous variety of grassroots movements and causes; he was involved in quite a few particularly in the 1970s & 1980s. He became a lawyer in 1980 and for awhile used the legal system as a vehicle for grassroots.

Watch Your Step!

Urban-Forestry-blkThurs., July 20, 2017 in O.B.- The Ocean Beach Historical Society presented: Watch Your Step! The Sidewalks of Ocean Beach & Point Loma– By Eric DuVall,
Little did we know Sidewalks were so fascinating!
Eric DuVall explained his 45 year fascination with the sidewalks of Ocean Beach and Point Loma. This is a path upon which entire streets appear and disappear, and where the passage of time and the physical history of our community are literally written in concrete. No, really! Would anyone have thought that something so ubiquitous and ordinary, something so obviously hard, if not always cold, as common sidewalks, could be even remotely interesting? Or that the very sidewalk beneath your feet might be steeped in mystery and controversy? Well it sure is.
Eric’s occasional Facebook Feature, Sidewalk Sunday, proved – against all odds – to be popular. And our presentation on the 50th Anniversary of the Ocean Beach Pier showed the world that people will turn out to hear a man talk about concrete. In this case our presenter was not an expert on the subject, but merely an observer. An observer of something that doesn’t move, something that is the same this morning as it was thirty, fifty, or even one hundred years ago. Or is it?
Thanks Eric for a interesting and entertaining program.