Fandango!   

Martinez adobeThe California and the West Study Group is sponsoring an event on September 30th open to the whole Institute membership.  We will be attending a fandango in Martinez at the historic Martinez adobe, with a number of added inducements. The fandango, a traditional community dance, has been organized by a group that sings historic Californio songs and also plays for dancing, Los Arribeños.  At the fandango, the group will teach a few of the dances and songs for anyone who would like to try.  This is a public event attended by all ages, as befits the original fandangos of the era (roughly 1815–1848). Observers are also welcome.

Institute members will have a mid-afternoon talk by Lance Beeson, director of the group, about the elements and sources of the music, how he got interested and put his group together, and some history of the era.  There will be Q and A. At about 5 pm we will adjourn to one of the many Mexican restaurants in Martinez. We will return for the fandango about 6:30.  The event lasts until dark, but Institute members may of course leave whenever individual carpools decide.

Admission to the adobe and the Muir house are free at all times.  There is also no charge for the fandango.  Mr. Beeson is being paid by the Institute, so there is no charge for his lecture.  However, members will pay for their own dinners, although we will make a group reservation to make sure we can be accommodated.

martinez_adobe_small_plaque_thumbThe 1849 Vicente Martinez Adobe is on the property of the John Muir National Historic Site.  Although seeing John Muir’s mansion is not part of our “official” program, interested members could certainly visit the residence before the talk, which will start about 3:30.

If you plan to attend—and especially if you want to be in on the dinner reservation—please email Jody Offer by September 23rd.

Member News

Welcome to our newest members, Gail Greene and Ernest Hook.

Steven Levi is working on his 8th book of creating thinking.  Using history as his guide, his work Off the Wall Thinking illustrates how off-the-wall ideas which were greeted with jeers when introduced have sometimes changed the world. Some of the ideas include toilet paper, braille, “creative equivocation” and other concepts.  This will be Levi’s 82nd book.  His next mystery novel, The Matter of the Dematerializing Armored Car, will be out in time for  Christmas.

Dot Brovarney is publishing a book this fall called The Sweet Life: Cherry Stories from Butler Ranch. Besides editing the collection of stories and photographs, she has provided historical context to the book about a cherry ranch in the hills west of Ukiah. At the center of The Sweet Life stand longtime owners George and Ella Butler, who through their u-pick orchard and a generosity of spirit created a unique sense of community in Mendocino County for over sixty years.

With mention of a body of work including her newest book, Framed by Sea & Sky: Community Art in Seward, Mural Capital of Alaska, and noting that she “meticulously collects, records, and shares the stories of the people, history and culture of Seward through her research, presentations, and publications,” Jackie Pels (Hardscratch Press) has received the 2017 Historic Preservation Award in her hometown of Seward, Alaska. She says she is most pleased by that word “meticulously.”

Ann Harlow has been elected president of the Berkeley Historical Society and continues to serve as editor of its quarterly newsletter (as well as copy editor of our newsletter, the newsletters of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley, and the magazine American Art Review).

Monika Trobits will be teaching her third course for San Francisco State’s OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute), beginning in late August. “‘San Francisco Urban Journeys’ will consist of 5 walking tours exploring the Embarcadero, the Haight, Civic Center, and Russian Hill. These journeys will begin at 10 a.m. the week of August 21, on either Monday or Wednesday (the course schedule is still being worked out). For more information and to register: (415) 817-4243 or www.olli.sfsu.edu.” “Meanwhile,” she writes, “I continue to fine tune my second book for publication in late 2017 or early 2018. This one will trace the story of a commodity in the San Francisco Bay Area from the gold rush era to the present day.”

On June 24, the City of Sonoma unveiled a fullscale bronze statue of city-founder General Mariano Vallejo portrayed sitting on a bench in the central Plaza. Peter Meyerhof was one of the seven-member committee of citizens which planned all aspects of this monument, hired the skilled artist Jim Callahan to fabricate it, and raised the necessary funds entirely from private donations. This interactive creation was given to the city at a dedication ceremony attended by approximately 300 people. Because of General Vallejo’s historically invaluable memoirs, Peter made sure that he was depicted holding a book entitled Recuerdos.

Members:  Please submit news of your history-related publications, lectures, awards, research finds, etc. to webmaster@instituteforhistoricalstudy.org

California and the West Events

Upcoming

Dates not set: Book discussion on Benjamin Madley's An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe; public panel on new methods of history study; excursion to Niles Canyon (Fremont); visit to Marin County Civic Center and its history room with a talk by Bonnie Portnoy on artist Tilden Daken.


Past

Fall 2017: Martinez Adobe Fandango; Public Program: “Siberia and California: Connections During the Russian Revolution and Civil War”

Fall 2016: Amador County

Summer 2016: San Francisco Presidio

Winter 2016: Berkeley History Center

Spring 2015: Sonoma Plaza

Winter 2015: San Francisco Public Library

Summer 2014:  Red Oak Victory and World War II Homefront National Historic Park, Richmond

Spring 2014:  Los Gatos History Museum, "American Bohemia: The Cats Estate in Los Gatos”

Winter 2014:  Tour of California Historical Society exhibition on Juana Briones, January 25

Summer 2013:  Green Gulch Farm Zen Center visit, August 15

Spring 2013: Visits to Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum and the McCune Collection at the Vallejo Public Library, April 13

We Promote:
  •  the study and discussion of history outside the traditional classroom setting
  •  research, writing, performances, exhibitions, and other expressions of historical study
  •  non-traditional and interdisciplinary areas of study as well as traditional approaches to history

 

 
Join Us

We welcome all men and women who have a commitment to historical study, which may be demonstrated in one or more of the following ways...

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About Us

The Institute for Historical Study is a community of researchers, writers, and artists. Our common bond is a devotion to history in its many forms. Through wide-ranging programs, we share research, ideas, and practical advice and provide a public forum for the discussion of history. 

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Play Readers Upcoming Meeting

Friday, October 27, 1 p.m., home of Nancy Zinn, San Francisco

Breaking the Code, by Hugh Whitemore

Public Programs

Public programs usually occur once or twice a year and have included panel discussions, individual presentations, and film series. Programs are co-sponsored with other institutions, including public libraries, universities, museums, and archives.

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Writers Group Upcoming Meetings

Sunday, September 10, 1:30 p.m., home of Celeste MacLeod
Passages from Celeste's book about Fanny Trollope

Next Medieval Studies Meeting:
To be announced. Please contact Lyn Reese for date, time and location.