The LVHS website “Event Photos” montage of images reminds us of the varied activities of 2021 and reflected the LVHS commitment to community interaction. Front and center is the 1938 International Truck with students from Bonita High School hard at work. Now stripped to its frame, the truck will be restored with a new engine, transmission, and everything else needed to make it street-ready. Expect to see this reminder of La Verne’s history and the legacy of former LVHS President Inman Conety.
Shirley Turner and Barbara Smythe (pictured) led the discussion of a project entitled The Story of La Verne ’21, which will result in the creation of a video to enhance the third-grade curriculum of BUSD students. Third-grade teachers in the BUSD will receive a study guide to use with the video. When finished, The Story of La Verne ’21 will be posted on the LVHS website.
Another Zoom presentation featured “Uncle Dave” Rosenkrantz, a WW II paratrooper who gave his life and whose remains were returned to the United States for interment more than 70 years after his death. Dave’s story was told by his nephew Phil and was a poignant reminder of the sacrifice made by so many in armed conflict.
The LVHS sponsored tours and presentations, thanks to a partnership with La Verne TV. Kathryn Booth-Butler opened her home for a virtual tour and Q&A with Sherry Best. A virtual garden tour reminded us of the beauty and tranquility of nature. Eric Davis, a notable local artist, described his mural creation on the wall of the Fourth Street Mill. All our virtual tours were accompanied by historical background information, courtesy of Bill Lemon.
When possible, we celebrated together. Participants visited the Jacob Price House on White Avenue, hosted by Don Kendrick. LVHS members huddled for our potluck picnic, which was unseasonably cold in October. We enjoyed the music and each other’s company but will return to a summer picnic in 2022. The picnic location at the Evelyn Hollinger Memorial grove at Las Flores Park was a reminder of the beauty of nature and the efforts of La Verne’s first City Historian, who spearheaded the creation of the grove in 1976.
The LVHS partnered with community organizations throughout 2021. At the invitation of the La Verne Police Department, we helped residents celebrate a “National Night Out” on August 3rd. Even with masks and distancing, it was good to see groups of people co-mingling. We sold t-shirts, marmalade, and books. The LVHS sponsored a vintage holiday sale event, which featured many decorative treasures donated by the Kalousek family. The highlight of the sale was the appearance of the Bonita High School Bearcat Band, who marched down Third Street and performed for onlookers. We were in the holiday spirit and the vintage sale made a significant monetary contribution to the “truck fund.”
There were partings. Several LVHS friends are no more with us and their lives were highlighted in Legacy Links. In September, the LVHS turned out to honor Marine Lance Corporal Dylan Ryan Merola of Rancho Cucamonga, as his funeral procession passed under the I-210 freeway bridges at Fruit, Emerald, and Wheeler in La Verne on its way to Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Covina. La Verne lost over 300 trees to a destructive windstorm on January 22, a sad way to greet 2022.
Some public activities were canceled in the COVID-intensive 2021 year. However, we intend to restore these in 2022, and once again you will be able to participate in person at home, cemetery, and bus tours. Hopefully, we will resume our collaborative “Get on the Bus” activity with the Hillcrest Retirement community. It will be great to see our friends again.
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