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Passing of Art Goddard

Dear Fellow Members –

It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you of the passing of Art Goddard, one of our long time volunteers, due to cancer on February 13, 2021. He was 78.

Art and his wife Mary Ellen moved to Costa Mesa in 1977 and she started volunteering at the Society shortly after that. “Art began volunteering for computer stuff, when we first got our Apple (the little one with the tiny screen in a tall little box) in the early 1980s” said Mary Ellen and he has been our main “tech guy” ever since, working primarily behind the scenes.  As he told “I Heart Costa Mesa” in 2015, “I saw that this place really needed some technical expertise, some computer savvy. So, I began the process of switching us from paper and things that weren’t going to work in the future, to something that would.”

Art  obtained a Bachelors degree from Worchester Polytechnic Institute, attended the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and received a Masters from Montana State University-Bozeman in electrical engineering. He then embarked on a 32 year career starting with Collins Radio and later Boeing, retiring from there as an executive in 2001 which gave him more time to devote to the Society and other hobbies.

One of those hobbies was ham radio. He was first licensed for that in 1956 and was a life member of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) holding positions in that organization. Art was active on the air from HF through microwaves. A member of the Southern California Contest Club, he took part in contest expeditions, travel was another hobby, to locations ranging from subarctic to tropical around the world.

As part of his volunteering, Art and Mary Ellen collaborated on two books on behalf of the Society published through Arcadia Publishing and still available. They are: Early Costa Mesa (2009) and Costa Mesa: 1940-2003 (2016).

Additionally, Art and Mary Ellen were heavily involved with the Friends of the Library and strong proponents for a new library and at which opening they were recognized in May, 2019.

No Public services are planned at this time but it hoped that a memorial service will be held in 5-6 months when Covid is past us and public assemblies are again possible.

Sympathy cards may be addressed as follows:

Mary Ellen Goddard and Family

c/o Costa Mesa Historical Society

P.O. Box 1764

Costa Mesa, CA 92628

Kind Regards,

Terry Shaw

President, CMHS

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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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