Six members of the Institute whose specialties include California got together on November 8th at Jody Offer’s house to plan for a year of programs. Meeting were Jody, Ann Harlow, Joanne Lafler, Rose Marie Cleese, Peter Meyerhof, and Edith Piness. After some discussion, the group concluded that having a series of visits to historic sites had proven to be a winning formula for 2014 and that there was plenty of material for another year of such explorations. They noted that both the Works in Progress and the Writers Group offer members opportunities to present their own work and get feedback. The historic tours allow for both learning and relaxed opportunities to interact with other members and with history-based groups of all kinds.
The group chose a tentative schedule, pending investigation of the sites. They hope to schedule events for Saturdays, to allow maximum attendance. In February, they will try for an in-depth tour of the historical materials in the San Francisco Main Public Library. In April, member Peter Meyerhof, a specialist in Sonoma history, will present an introduction and tour of the historic buildings of Sonoma Plaza. For July they plan a day at the San Francisco Presidio, featuring new developments there. And in late October or early November, Ann Harlow will give a tour of her exhibit at the Berkeley History Center on the history of art museums and galleries in Berkeley.
For 2016, Joanne Lafler hopes to organize a visit to the African American Museum and Library of Oakland, and Rose Marie Cleese will be investigating the possibility of an overnight visit to the historic Mother Lode, specifically Jackson and Volcano in Amador County, both sites relating to her study of Angelo Rossi, Mayor of San Francisco from 1931 to 1934. Visits to the historic sites in Benicia and around Fisherman’s Wharf are additional possibilities for the future.
All of California and the West’s activities, including the planned historic tours, are open to the larger Institute membership. For ideas, suggestions, or information, contact Jody at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ann Harlow at email@example.com. More specific information about each tour will be posted in the newsletter and on the website as available.