Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy Birthday Marion Davies

The Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica

One of the pleasures of working at Antelope Valley College (and there are many --- just as, some days, there are many frustrations) is the wider academic and cultural community that I get to be part of. For a few more Saturdays (all of January, and just into Februrary), I get to continue to be an artist in residence at the Annenberg Community Beach House, with an office inside the former Marion Davies Guest House.

 Marion Davies was an actress and companion to William Randolph Hearst; her estate on the "Gold Coast" of Santa Monica was the "it" place for actors such as Clark Gable, Charlie Chaplin, and Greta Garbo. While her main mansion was damaged in an earthquake and had to be razed, her secondary property was saved, and it's part of a thriving arts center.

This coming Saturday I won't be holding my usual office hours, in trade for a chance to be part of a birthday party in her honor.  Here's the blurb for that, from the Beach House website:

               Happy Birthday Marion!

Happy Birthday Marion

Sunday, January 6
11 am - 2 pm

In honor of her birthday, Santa Monica Conservancy docents turn the spotlight on Marion Davies: actress, philanthropist, famed party hostess and mistress of media tycoon William Randolph Hearst at Davies's 1928 Julia Morgan designed Guest House. From 11am-1:30pm guests may tour the historic Guest House, view photos of Davies and join in this year's dancing with Rusty Frank's Lindy by the Sea Dancers.  A 30-minute swing dance lesson will be offered at 12pm by world-renowned instructor Giovanni Quintero, and a special birthday tribute to Marion will begin at 1:30pm. Guests are invited to come in their favorite Gold Coast era attire or dress as if attending one of Marion's famed costume parties.

Event is free, reservations recommended. Parking is available for $3/hr or $8/day.

Among the many interesting things to do in L.A. on a given Sunday, I would rank this fairly highly, especially since it's a "one-time-only" event. I'll be there, as will be Communications Studies professor Tina McDermott.

Reservations (via the Annenberg Community Beach House website) recommended but are not required. Directions: 14 south to 5 south to 405 south to 10 west. Take that until it deadends on PCH northbound. Go past the pier and the "California Incline" (which comes in from the right), and watch for a marked left turn signal, "Beach House Way." Go left into the parking lot. If you come to Malibu or the Getty Villa or Ventura or San Francisco or Seattle, you've gone too far.