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Three Generations Tour Museum
Jeani Hibbard, Katie Hibbard, and Bonnie Murray tour the Hull Story boatbuilding exhibit.

Three Generations Tour Museum

Three generations of special women toured the society’s boatbuilding exhibit in September: Jeani Hibbard,  Katie Hibbard, and Bonnie Murray.

Bonnie Murray’s husband Arland “Buzz” Murray was a key player in the Costa Mesa boatbuilding industry. Together he and Mel Potter built Mel-Craft dinghies and sabots. The family posed for a photo next to a model of one of Mel-Craft’s most popular crafts, a 12-foot sailing pram.

A fun bonus came when Mary Ellen Goddard helped find a picture of Bonnie’s sister in the society’s archives!

Boatbuilding played a significant role in Costa Mesa’s postwar industry. Plan a visit to the society museum and explore this fascinating history yourself

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Remembering Hank Panian

Historical Society Charter Member Henry S. “Hank” Panian passed from this life on July 14. In addition to his career as a history professor at Orange Coast College and a dedicated family man, Hank made time for community service and your Historical Society.

Hank became a charter member of the Historical Society in 1966. Since that time he has:

  • Served with distinction on our board of directors
  • Co-authored the Historical Society Quarterly from 1977-1987
  • Served as a docent at the Diego Sepulveda Adobe
  • Contributed his wit and wisdom to innumerable Society meetings and celebrations
  • Recorded his memories of Costa Mesa’s history at the city’s 50th anniversary, and
  • Provided expert review of the Society’s two pictorial history books.

Hank received the Society’s Living Memorial Award in 1987 and special recognition as one of two surviving charter members of the Society in 2015.

Rest in peace, Hank. This society will never forget your contributions.

— Art Goddard

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Remembering Brad Long

Brad Long passed away from complications of a blood disorder on Nov 26, 2017.

It’s hard to imagine a more widely-known, outgoing city staff member than Brad Long. As the city’s senior videographer, you could find Brad at almost any city or community event, not only filming the event, but also, with his warmth and smile, serving as a City Hall ambassador.

Brad always said his favorite project was Echoes From the Fields, a one-hour video (available on YouTube) chronicling Costa Mesa’s history from the time of the Native Americans to the emergence of South Coast Metro in the 1990s. One of the themes of Echoes From the Fields is the value of local history — a theme every reader of this newsletter can appreciate. During his career, Brad covered nearly every City Council meeting, every Lions Club Fish Fry, Concerts in the Park, Mayor’s Dinners and Breakfasts, or just about any other city or community event.

Then, too, there were the special videos to recognize prominent citizens such as Hank Panian and Jack Hammett. Oh, and let’s not forget the video Costa Mesa My Sweet Home (available on YouTube) filmed as part of the City’s 60th anniversary. Then, too was the oral history series filmed for the City’s 50th anniversary in 2003. In fact, almost every one of Brad’s videos has a historical element, giving the Historical Society’s mission a big boost. Brad, for your warmth, friendship, and support of local history, we will all miss you — but you will live on in our memories and hearts.

– Art Goddard, on behalf of the entire Costa Mesa Historical Society

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