(949) 631-5918 Thursday - Friday 10am - 3pm

Free Talk: Chris Lukather on Cinderella Homes

Architecture fans are in for a treat. This February 23rd at 2 p.m., author Chris Lukather will talk about his new book, The Cinderella Homes of Jean Vandruff.

Cinderella homes are a whimsical variation on traditional tract homes that turn suburban neighborhoods into storybook lands, complete with swooping gables, shake shingle roofs, and faux medieval designs. Never seen one? You don’t have to go far to find them. Costa Mesa has its own set of Cinderella homes in the College Park neighborhood.

Lukather based his book on field surveys as well as interviews with the architect himself. This event will be the perfect opportunity to learn more about these memorable homes.

Everyone is welcome at this free public event. Refreshments will be served after the talk.

Note: The Speaker Series event will be held on a special day this month. Be sure to mark your calendars for February 23rd — that’s the fourth Sunday in February 2020.

About the Author

Chris Lukather is a Cal Arts graduate whose books are guided by his passion for art and design, California subculture and obscure Los Angeles history. A fifth generation Californian, Chris has discovered tidbits of local history through his own family’s long-time residence, and has developed his passion into projects like this, memorializing iconic homes through the published record. His previous book on William Mellenthin’s San Fernando Valley “Birdhouse” ranch homes is available on Amazon. Chris is currently editor/publisher of The Writing Disorder, a quarterly literary journal established in 2010.

Event Details

Chris Lukather on Cinderella Homes
Sunday, February 23, 2020
Doors open at 2:00 p.m. Talk begins at 2:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served after the presentation.

Presented by the Costa Mesa Historical Society, 1870 Anaheim Ave, Costa Mesa, CA 92627.

The event is free and open to the public.

Due to construction in the area, please enter the parking lot from Anaheim Avenue.

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Spanish Patriots during the American Revolution – Installation Dinner 2020
Bernardo de Gálvez at the Siege of Pensacola by Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau. Image courtesy wikimedia.

Spanish Patriots during the American Revolution – Installation Dinner 2020

Join us for one of our most popular events of the year: the 2020 installation dinner! This year, guest speaker Letty Rodella, President of the Society of Hispanic, Historical and Ancestral Research, will discuss an under-studied part of our nation’s history, “Spanish Patriots during the American Revolution.”

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A Tale of Two Thanksgivings
Statue of Father Francisco López de Mendoza Grajales in present-day St. Augustine (Photo courtesy Ebyabe, Wikimedia Commons)

A Tale of Two Thanksgivings

By Alana Turingan

Holiday excitement is in the air. As November arrives we of course recall the famous story of the first Thanksgiving: the 1621 feast of good harvest between the pilgrims and the Wampanoag tribe. 

But what about the other European explorers who had celebrated their arrival on the Floridian peninsula a century before? 

After all, many feasts were held in the 1500s: by Juan Ponce de León in 1528 and 1531; by Pánfilo de Narváez around Tampa Bay and St. Marks in 1528; by Hernando de Soto in 1539 at Shaw’s Point; by Father Luis Cáncer de Barbastro in 1549 at Tampa Bay; by Tristán de Luna in 1559 at Penascola Bay; and even by René Goulaine de Laudonnière of France, who celebrated with the Timucua Indians near present day Jacksonville on June 30, 1564. 

Two feasts stand out in particular. After sighting land on August 28, 1565, St. Augustine’s feast day, Father Francisco López de Mendoza Grajales presided over a mass to celebrate safely landing in the new world. Following the service, Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles organized a feast and invited the Timucua tribe. St. Augustine was founded here.

Later, Juan de Oñate led a 50-day exploration through the Chihuahuan Dessert. The exploration ended with the discovery of the Rio Grande and a feast of thanks with the Mansos Indians on April 30, 1598 near San Elizario, Texas. They gave thanks not just for surviving the desert. They also had a political motive: staking Spain’s claim on La Toma, the Rio Grande. 

For the Spaniards and French, thanksgiving was more than a harvest celebration. It was an act of gratitude for finding new land and claiming the territory for their European empires. As we sit down with our families it’s important to remember the multiple facets of the first Thanksgiving and appreciate how these narratives weave into the American identity.

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Hostile Skies – the F-105 in Vietnam with Gary Barnhill

In honor of Veterans Day, The Costa Mesa Historical Society presents its annual salute to our veterans with U.S. Air Force Captain Gary Barnhill on Sunday, November 17, 2019.

Captain Gary Barnhill, illustrious Air Force pilot whose missions included hazardous and challenging F-105 missions over North Vietnam in the highest threat air environment of the entire Viet Nam War, will share his presentation “Downtown, everything is waiting for you” from Petula Clark’s 1964 hit song. “Downtown”  referred metaphorically to Hanoi.  “Everything is Waiting for You” was the pilot’s gallows humor for the SAM missiles and Anti-Aircraft Artillery that greeted each entry into North Vietnam airspace. He will briefly describe flying the high-accident-rate F-100C in Europe circa 1958 and sitting Nuclear Alert as a still maturing young lad of 22. The main topic is flying the F-105 Thunderchief in 1965 during Rolling Thunder; the air campaign to bomb targets in North Vietnam, which lasted until late 1969.  He will “take you along” on an aerial refueling episode with an extremely unusual ending.  He will also “take you along” on an interesting Hunter Killer “Experimental” mission to find and destroy a SAM missile, which up to that time, had never been accomplished. After 11 years in USAF, there was a brief flirtation with CIA, a career with Trans World Airlines, air show pilot, and founder of a B-747 pilot leasing firm.

Decorations & Awards: Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal.2nd AD, Good Conduct Medal, Armed Forces expeditionary Medal w/star, Vietnam Svc Medal, Armed Forces Longevity Svc Award w/OLC, Armed Forces Reserve Medal

Mr. Barnhill belongs to the Freedom Committee of Orange County (http://fc-oc.org) whose members speak to high school students and civic groups to bring “living history” into the classroom and instill a sense of patriotism in future generations. 

Bring a friend and join us to hear this “from the cockpit” narrative of the war in the sky! 

Seating is limited, for RESERVATIONS call (949) 631-5918.    Doors open at 2:00, program at 2:30. Free admission and refreshments. We are located at 1870 Anaheim Ave. northwest corner of the Lions Park complex.Visit www.costamesahistory.org   or go to facebook/costa mesa historical society for more information.

Note: Due to construction, entry to parking lot must be made from Anaheim Ave.

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