Docenting for the Home Tour

From “Miss Pert’s Christmas Tree,” illus. by J. Paget-Fredricks,

in Horn Book, vol.5, n.4, p.109.

So this weekend I docented for the Pomona Historic Home Tour, and it was absolutely fabulous! When people approached the house owned by the Martinez family in Lincoln Park, I was the docent who greeted folks from 2-5pm, and gave them an introduction to the house before entering.

My favorite part about it was getting to tell some of the stories about the house. I can get rather dramatic in my story telling, which I have a lot of fun with. ;) Maybe this comes in part from knowing so many librarians in my life.

In that house, I think the most amazing part is the upstairs bathroom; it is just gorgeous – spacious in it’s own unique way and such beautiful tile work original to the home. The house was built in 1925 in the Spanish Revival style.

And I knew several of my fellow docents outside of that home tour setting. One I had done a good bit of gardening for in Wilton Heights district, and another is the neighbor I met recently at the Quilting, Craft, and Sewing Festival. I found out from another neighbor that hir and hir spouse recently purchased the hotel kitty-corner from the Fox Theater and are now in the process of fixing it up. And while docenting, just for all of my clamoring blog readers, this neighbor has invited me to get an exclusive tour of the hotel during it’s renovation!!!! I am so excited!!! So look forward to future reports as they polish up that pearl of Pomona.

In other conversations that afternoon, a neighbor across the street seeing that it was so cold out and that it was a slow time, invited me in for a little tea. For the sake of the tour-ists, I had to turn hir down, but will definitely have to drop in and get to know a new neighbor. I also had on a lovely Norwegian wool sweater and a wool scarf, so I was very comfortable at the time.

From “The Children of the New Forest,” illus. by Lynd Ward,

in Horn Book, vol.6, n.1, p.145.

And someone else I got talking with, ze lives in a neighborhood in Pomona that is NOT a historic district, and it is just terrible what people are doing to the historic homes outside of the designated districts. Stucco on old craftsman homes! The travesty makes me cringe. Ze said that ze tries to reason with hir neighbors to help them to understand how destructive what they are doing is, but it doesn’t seem to help. They had nicknamed such structures, “mud huts.” I love it! They live in “mud huts”!!!!! What a perfect name!

And for all you people who think this is okay, my brain has been spinning about how to approach this from a common law perspective, since all civil law is just outrageously un-American. If one were to approach this at common law, in the wonderfully immense fluidity and flexibility of the common law, one might reason that as one’s house is such a huge economic asset, that by your neighbor stuccoing their house it could constitute either a common law Trespass or Trespass on the Case as their action is an injury to the value of their neighbor’s home! Mud-hut central, or Craftsman paradise? Also, by creating a historic district, it may help to present a means by which one might say, “Here in this area, we have on the whole decided we don’t want mud-hut central.”

In another vein, with all the home foreclosures, I saw a news report the other day and the Enchantress of Alvarado’s partner is from Detroit and ze told me about this too — about one third of their city is vacant due to foreclosures and the city is talking about bulldozing various neighborhoods of the city. Such things lead me to think, “Does anything really have value then?”

Nonetheless, we are so blessed to live here in Pomona where we have so many amazingly beautiful historic homes!

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