On Saturday, October 22, three members of The Ebell Board of Directors set up a display table at the entrance to the Archives Bazaar exhibit room, along with about 60 other Los Angeles organizations, in the very grand Doheny Library on the USC campus. President Laurie Schechter, Director of Collections Denise Parga and Director of Programs and Club Historian Phyllis Hansen presented the history of The Ebell from its storied past to its modern present to visitors, through personal interactions and our unique exhibit.
Flanking our table were two of our current “then and now” banners, and on display were intriguing archival materials gathered by chair of our Archives Committee Kay Lachter and unique pieces from our Ebell collections. Visitors, which included students, history buffs, researchers, collectors, professors, and many fellow exhibitors, flock to this popular yearly event. The buzz and the energy is palpable in the room when so many members of the consortium known as LA As Subject (LAAS), with the assistance of USC Libraries, each present their piece of Los Angeles history that they hold in their archival collections.
While Denise was enthralling people with a fascinating language- learning machine–with an insert for teaching French—dating to The Ebell’s early days when the club had a language department in its education lineup, Phyllis was inviting curious visitors to our Charter Day exhibition the following Monday.
Meanwhile, Laurie was engaging with a host of interesting and notable people. Victoria Bernal stopped to talk as she was doing interviews for an article for KCET. Film historian Marc Wanamaker entertained us with stories, even his own family’s adventure on how they adopted their surname. A couple from Pasadena told Laurie that when they moved into their home, they discovered Ebell artifacts left behind by former owners, including a commemorative plate. Another highlight was meeting a young woman who was a recent graduate of Columbia University involving historic preservation, and inviting her to our landmark building. We were thrilled when she joined us for the November luncheon and count her among the day’s many successes.