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

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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The Theatre in Review with Tom Titus

The Costa Mesa Historical Society is pleased to announce that actor/director/theater reviewer Tom Titus  will be our speaker on Sunday October 20, 2019 .

Tom Titus was born in 1938, in Corry, Pennsylvania, where he was raised as the only child of Warren and Helen Titus and graduated from high school in 1956. Shortly afterward he embarked on a 60+-year career in journalism when he became sports editor of the Corry Evening Journal.    After four years on the Journal, Tom entered the Army and served in Camp Casey, South Korea, on the staff of the 7th Infantry Division newspaper, the Bayonet. He later became managing editor of the paper and worked at the Pacific Stars and Stripes offices in Tokyo.    On his return to the USA, Tom was transferred to Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, where he spent most weekends in New York City, picking up comp tickets to Broadway shows at the Manhattan USO, igniting a lifelong love of theater.     In November, 1963, Tom packed his earthly goods into a 1957 DeSoto and set out for Los Angeles, where searching for work on an LA-area newspaper  resulted in his hiring by the Daily Pilot in December as a city reporter, covering the events in Costa Mesa.    His career with the theater began in February, 1965, when he reviewed a production of “A Thousand Clowns” at the old Laguna Playhouse. Shortly afterward, South Coast Repertory arrived and gave him much more to write about. From 1965 to the present, Tom has seen every SCR production and reviewed all but one – his son Tim pinch-hit in 2006 when Tom was hospitalized with pneumonia.    Reviewing local theater gave Tom the yen to try it himself and in June, 1965, he made his acting debut in the first production of the Costa Mesa Civic Playhouse, “Send Me No Flowers.” He began directing in 1968 with his own play, “Summer Lightning,” at the Westminster Community Theater where he met his first wife, Beth.    In 1970, Tom appeared in the first production of the Irvine Community Theater, “Come Blow Your Horn” and two years later he subsequently became the theater’s artistic director – a position he held for 31 years.    Tom retired from his ICT position in 2003, shortly after meeting the lady he calls the true love of his life, Jurine Landoe – or “Deenie” as his granddaughters Riley and Kaylyn call her. He and Jurine have been a couple since 2002.    In 1983, Tom discovered Scrabble and has played ever since.                So come bring a friend and hear the tales of a true Thespian!

 

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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OC History Roundup

Take a trip back in time in an interactive Orange County history experience!

Stop by our booth at this fun event presented by the Orange County Historical Society! There will be tons of great activities:

• Live Reenactments of some of Orange County’s iconic historical figures.
• Tours of H. Clay Kellogg House
• Scheduled Talks presented by local historians
• Live Music from the Lillies of The West string band
• Exhibits featuring OC historical and genealogy societies
• “Storytellers Corner” where long-time residents share their personal local histories.
• Open House at the OC Historical Society Archives located on site.
• Nature Tours of Gospel Swamp
• Silhouette Artist on hand
• Food Trucks and Refreshments throughout the day
• Free Parking!

Click below for the full brochure.

Presented by the Orange County Historical Society

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Early California Days

Help us celebrate Early California Days in Estancia Park. This popular annual event will feature the following:

  • Free tours of the second oldest building in Orange County.
  • A free talk on the 250th anniversary of the Portola Expedition by historian Phil Brigandi.
  • Free mobile recreation booth and games for the kids.
  • Free kid-friendly activities. Make your own corn husk dolls and friendship bracelets and visit the coloring station.
  • Free folk music by the Sweetwater Creek Band.
  • Free cookies and sample Coffee Bean iced drinks.
  • PLUS $2 TACOS from El Toro Bravo!

We hope to see you there!

EARLY CALIFORNIA DAYS
Hosted by the Costa Mesa Historical Society
Saturday, June 1, noon – 3 p.m.

Estancia Park
1900 Adams Ave
Costa Mesa
(at Placentia and Adams)

Free parking, admission and refreshments.

View the full flyer below:

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Adobe Plaque Dedication

Join us as Orange County Historical Commission dedicates a new plaque at the Diego Sepulveda Adobe on January 12. The restored adobe is the second oldest building still standing in Orange County.

The plaque will recognize the adobe and the surrounding Native American site. As part of this free event, the adobe will be open for tours.

So come on down to Estancia Park and celebrate the recognition of one of Orange County’s — and Costa Mesa’s — gems.

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Fred McDowell on World War I
Fred McDowell poses in front of period rifles

Fred McDowell on World War I

Join us 
2 p.m. Sunday, November 18 as Fred McDowell, Costa Mesa Fire Captain, helps us commemorate the  “War to End All Wars.” In a presentation featuring authentic military artifacts, costumed re-enactors, and a slide presentation, McDowell will discuss America’s largest battle (the Meuse-Argonne Offensive), the “The Lost Battalion,” and Sgt. Rochester, the young Costa Mesan who tragically lost his life in that battle. You won’t want to miss this!

Download the full brochure (PDF)

Directions

Please note that the Park Avenue entrance is currently closed due to library construction. Please enter from Anaheim Avenue.

Costa Mesa Historical Society Museum
1870 Anaheim Ave
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

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Seeking Freedom – A Five Year Odyssey

The Costa Mesa Historical Society is pleased to announce that Tony Burica, owner of Tony’s Boat Shop, will be our speaker on Sunday October 21, 2018 . as he presents his life’s Journey from Croatia to the United States and more!

Tony Burica, owner of Tony’s Boat Shop in Costa Mesa, is known to generations of Newport Beach sailors for his superb craftsmanship in repairing Sabots, Lido 14s, and other small boats. After first working for Schock boats for 20 years, Tony opened his Boat Shop and began repairing the boats being sailed on the Bay. After nearly thirty years and many thousands of boats repaired, he finally retired, but the legend lives on in this newly published book about his life. Now we all have the opportunity to meet Tony at the Costa Mesa Historical Society Sunday, October 21st (doors open at 2pm), and to hear more about his great odyssey.

What is not generally known about Tony is how he came to Newport Beach in the first place. His life story is truly amazing. As a young man, not willing to become part of the communist regime of Marshall Tito, he fled Croatia by sailing a boat to Italy. As a stateless person without documents, he was held in a refugee camp for six months, eventually getting a job at an American Army base in Germany. Then he embarked on a journey that took him and his friend Ivan to Sweden, and then eventually to Spain and the Canary Islands. Their goal was to somehow reach America and freedom.

Never giving up, he and his friend Ivan finally arrived in Los Angeles. After getting established at Schock Boats in Newport Beach, Tony returned to Croatia and married his high school sweetheart, Tereza, who had never given up hope and waited 16 years for him. Theirs is a love story that will restore your faith in human beings.

Come join us at the Costa Mesa Historical Society at 1870 Anaheim Ave, Costa Mesa, 92627. We invite you to come and meet Tony, and perhaps purchase an autographed copy of SEEKING FREEDOM, A FIVE YEAR ODYSSEY.

So bring a friend and join us on an odyssey you will long remember! 

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.

Program Flier: 181021 tony burica odyssey

(Note: Please enter the Costa Mesa Historical Society Museum parking lot by entering from Anahem Avenue. The Park Ave. entrance will be closed due to construction.)

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