Friday, March 21, 2008

Port Chicago

While poking about the LA Central Library for other research materials I was looking into the other day, I walked by the Periodicals section which had the current issue of whatever magazine the LAPL happened to have. That's where I came across the Winter 2008 issue of National Parks Magazine and the Port Chicago article.

Little to no funding has been given to this almost forgotten piece of California (and Bay Area specifically) WWII history. Those who are familiar know of Port Chicago as the Naval Munitions Depot where in July of 1944 over 300 African-American Sailors lost their lives during one of the biggest munitions explosions to have occurred during that time and was felt hundreds of miles away.

From Winter 2008 article
A Silent Explosion

"At the time of the explosion, Port Chicago was front-page news around the country. “But in the midst of war, new, dramatic headlines quickly replace yesterday’s stories,” says Robert Allen, PhD, historian, and author of The Port Chicago Mutiny. “Port Chicago soon faded from the news, and was in danger of being lost to memory. We need a national memorial so that all those who served and died at Port Chicago are remembered and honored for their service to the nation.”

To say that the US Military wanted to sweep such things as the Port Chicago incident under the rug, by denying it existed, or laying blame at the feet of the wrong people or laying claim to survivors with charges of Mutiny for refusing to be reassigned to another munitions depot, and so it goes. It's a little known tale of our history that needs to be remembered like so much of the controversial and ugly truth of our Multi-cultural nation. Things like this can and do still happen, perhaps in smaller bits and pieces. Port Chicago did indeed lay a path for some important Civil Rights issues at large.

It's important to remember those who went before and what path they tread. So happy to know that after having learned about the Port Chicago Explosion several years ago while still new to the history of my adopted state, that there may be good news for this poorly cared for Memorial. That legislation may come in the way of Congressional funds to shore up the National Park.


one of our intrepid meanderers..

The last couple Sundays I was lucky to join the group of cyclists called "la bike meander" which heads out every Sunday around 10am from the Toy Factory Lofts over on Industrial. They don't go anywhere in particular, not too fast, and it's not necessarily a flat ride, but then again, sometimes it is. =)

I had fun, I took some pix and I even posted them to my flickr. I really had a good time and while I can't always expect to go every Sunday, I'll try and make it now and again. Thanks bunches to the nice folks I rode with. =)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

When St Patricks Day is over.. the cold begins!

holidays come & go and with it a big cold. Suffice to say I'm glad to be out in the fresh air, and we'll see how long that lasts =)

This is who I've been spending my days with.. curled up next to me purring to her heart's content:
02 20 08 kiki condo
Kiki (named from the Miyazaki character)

Ok.. enough about me, except maybe that there's nothing better than hot tea and fresh air to get me feeling better about myself.

Oh, and Walter if you are reading this you passed me by as you walked by Banquette this morning. I don't have my lungs back but I would have shouted to you if I could have. *grin*

Here's hoping the good luck hasn't left me along with the cold.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

speaking of happy things..

ps: my cel phone is working again.. AND I have a new local number!!!