Wednesday, April 5, 2017

In Fond Memory of RIchard Berteaux, 1929-2017 (264)

                                                                       Davis Enterprise photo, July 16. 2013

Davis: Transformation, page 87.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The 1926 University Farm Sewage Treatment Plant (263)

1. One of two photos on the cover of the April, 1930 issue Pacific Municipalities. Looking northwest. 
2. Caption to the two photos on the April, 1930 cover of Pacific Municipalities.

From the beginning, agricultural research and education at the UC Farm created an unusual density of humans and other animals in adjacent corners of rural Yolo and Solano counties. Not commonly recognized but of fundamental import, that density produced a large and increasing stream of what is politely termed “sewage.”

Merely to avoid inundation--much less health and aesthetic disasters--significant control measures were required. One of these was a “sewage works” plant constructed in 1926 in the northeast section of the intersection of Old Davis Road and the South Fork of Putah Creek (images 1, 2 and 8).

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Oldest Known Film of the UCD Campus? (262)

Still picture from the California Sewer Works Association film linked below.

The UCD Department of Special Collections website includes a selection of “Historic Picnic Day Films,” one of which is reported to be “the oldest known footage of campus,” here: https://www.library.ucdavis.edu/dept/specol/collections/media/?media=picnicday

That footage is dated April 22, 1939 (screenshot below).

“Est” declarations, such as “oldest,” tallest,” “fastest,” “best,” and the like, are implicit challenges and, I suppose, even part of human DNA. Once issued, an “est” challenge sets a benchmark for evaluating future events of that type.

So, when I came onto a film made on the UCD campus on April 21, 1930, one of my thoughts was “this might be the oldest UCD campus film!” In that spirit, I call attention to it on Davis History Today.*

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The 1965 UC Davis Picnic Day: Moments At the End of an Era (261)

1. L to R: Clark Kerr, Emile Mrak, Pat Brown
Browsing Davis topics on eBay, I recently acquired at auction a reel of 8 mm home movies that included about two minutes of 1965 UCD Picnic Day scenes.

Among other moments and views, there are shots of Pat Brown, Clark Kerr and Emil Mrak riding together atop a long convertible, of Aggie males chasing panicked greased pigs, and of the elaborate floats student groups made for the parade.

I was quite struck by the perhaps two dozen scenes making up the film and I think they are worth sharing. I have therefore converted it to the MP4 digital format, enhanced it, slowed the some two minutes to a more viewable 8-minutes, and uploaded the result to YouTube,  here:


Most striking to me is the fact that we are looking at California post-WWII boom and exuberance at their height and this exaltation is -- at the same time and outside these views -- starting seriously to come apart.