WAHA E-News 11-26-2006

WAHA's Holiday Tour (Next Weekend), Expo Line Update, Crime Scenes on Tour, and More!

By Laura Meyers

Sunday, December 3 Noon to 2 p.m.

This year marks WAHA's 20th Holiday Tour, and we are celebrating with "A Holiday to Remember in Victoria Park." Tour visitors will see impressive historic homes with an abundance of period touches, including massive hearths, antique light fixtures, carved woodwork, and many fine examples of stained and leaded glass windows that evoke William Morris and the pre-Raphaelite art movement. And, they are beautifully-decorated for the holiday season.

The Progressive Dinner is sold out, but we still have space available on the Sunday afternoon self-guided walking tour. Regularly-priced tickets are $40. WAHA members ONLY have received postcards offering them a two-for-the-price-of-one deal (two tickets for $40). To obtain your Holiday Walking Tour tickets, send or deliver a check made out to WAHA to 2209 S. Virginia Rd., Los Angeles, CA 90016 (that is in Wellington Square, south of Washington Boulevard, if you want to slip it through the mailbox.)

If you are a tour volunteer, you may visit the houses during the Walking Tour. Why not bring a friend? Or two, for the price of one, and make it a fun threesome.

For more information and reservations, contact WAHAholiday@aol.com.

We still need some additional volunteers for the Tour as well. If you are available on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday evening this week, please consider joining one of our decorating or cooking work parties. We also need docent staffing at the "Dessert House" on Saturday (shift is approximately 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.) and docent staffing during the Walking Tour (shift is approximately 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) Contact Lindsay Wiggins at wigginsla@comcast.net.

Saturday, December 2 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Baby, it's cold outside. A blanket of real snow will cover a (small) part of West Adams next Saturday morning. But don't worry - we are not really expecting precipitation! It's the second annual Winter Wonderland at the Benny Potter Park, right next to the South Seas House at Arlington and 24th Street.

The event includes games, food and a Santa, plus a toy giveaway. More toys are certainly still needed. Donations of toys can be dropped off at the South Seas House, 2301 West 24th Street, by Thursday, November 30. Contact Park Director Erika Simson at 323-373-9483 or Erika.Simpson@lacity.org for more details.

The Winter Wonderland is sponsored by United Neighborhoods Neighborhood Council and the City's Recreation and Parks Department, and is co-sponsored by the West Adams Avenues Neighborhood Association and West Adams Heritage.

Saturday, December 16 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Two weeks after WAHA's traditional holiday historic homes tour, you'll have a chance to tour West Adams in a different light. The "Weird West Adams Crime History Bus Tour" delves into the lost L.A. being explored by the 1947project.

Since January, the bloggers at 1947project have taken their Los Angeles crime history research on the road with their lively, mysterious and very popular Crime Bus tours. Past routes have explored the dark side of Pasadena, the secret history of downtown and the real story of the Black Dahlia case.

Now, 1947project offers a new tour celebrating the Beverly Hills of the early 20th century, that grand swath of city just west of downtown: our very own West Adams.

On this four-hour tour, Crime Bus passengers will be treated to detailed descriptions of some of the most notorious, strange and fascinating forgotten tales from the past hundred years, each told at the scene of the crime. This is NOT the usual Historic West Adams Tour!

Visitors will learn about the carjacking horror of silent film starlet Myrtle Gonzalez. They'll shiver as Dream Killer Otto Parzyjegla chops his newspaper publisher boss to pieces with the paper-cutting blade, shudder at the pickled poignancy of the murder-by-brandy of Benjamin Weber, marvel at the Krazy Kafitz family and their litany of murder-suicides, attempted husband slayings, Byzantine estate battles and mad bombings, then revisit the terrible fate visited on kidnap victim Marion Parker by The Fox.

There will be some celebrity sites along the route, including the death scenes of Motown soul sensation Marvin Gaye and 1920s star Angels baseball catcher Gus Sandberg.

And in a special treat for the holiday season, the Crime Bus will toast the Winter Solstice by visiting the city's shortest street and remembering 2' 11" Angelo Rossitto, the charismatic cult actor/newsstand operator ("Freaks," "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome") who famously visited the spot in his teeny-tiny car on December 21, 1937. All this, plus a robbery by Pretty Boy Floyd, Prohibition-era houses transformed into secret distilleries, fumigations gone terribly wrong, mashers, bad marriages, rotten drivers, assorted weirdos and a mummified teenage cult priestess.

1947project has quickly built a reputation for the most eclectic and well researched crime history tours in the Southland, with feature stories in The Los Angeles Times, and many other local media outlets.

Passengers on this eye-opening, funny and informative tour will forever see the West Adams district in a new light. Cost: $47 cost includes snacks, beverages and five-hour luxury coach tour. Reservations are required, and the tour is expected to sell out quickly.

For more info on the blog or Crime Bus tour, visit http://www.1947project.com. They ask that you e-mail (using the feedback form on the website) to reserve your space before either paying online with Paypal, or arranging to send a check.

Tuesday, November 28 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Alexander Science Center School, Multi-Purpose Room, 3737 South Figueroa St. ( Exposition Park - the historic Armory building)

The Exposition Construction Authority invites you to a design presentation and project update meeting for the new 8.5-mile Exposition Light Rail Line - Downtown Corridor.

Staff will be highlighting key design elements proposed for the project, including:

o canopy design o wall treatments o landscaping o art opportunities

Your input is valuable, so please do attend. For more information about the Exposition Light Rail Line, please visit BuildExpo.org or call 213-922-3976.

Sunday, December 10 2-5 p.m.

Good friends, good food, great cheer - WAHA's Annual Holiday Party is just around the corner. Details to follow - but please mark your calendar now.


We welcome your contributions to the WAHA E-News and West Adams Heritage Association's monthly publication, "West Adams Matters." Please understand that we do have deadlines. Material for the print newsletter should be submitted no later than the 1st of the prior month (i.e.: April 1 for the May issue). If your event is scheduled for early in a month, we suggest you request coverage for the prior month (i.e.: May issue for a June 3 event), because it's entirely possible that not all of our members will have received their newsletter by then (we do try hard…). We reserve the right to edit submitted material. For the WAHA E-News, we prefer to only send it out once or twice a month. Please don't wait until two days before an event to let us know about it. It may not be sent out. EXCEPTION: If you suddenly hear of an important city hearing or other public meeting that is important to West Adams, we will endeavor to send out a special bulletin. Submit your material to Laura Meyers, editor, lauramink@aol.com.