Monday, November 12, 2012

Exploring WWII on the Home Front: Richmond, CA

One of my many amazing professors planned a fun field trip for our "History of Women in the U.S." class and it took place this past Saturday. Our little group met up at the SS Red Oak Victory for a docent led tour and brown bag lunch. We had such a great time exploring the ship and seeing the beautiful welding work done by Richmond's Wendy the Welders. We don't hear as much about all those welders when we talk about WWII and the Rosie the Riveters here on the home front. However, here in Northern California we primarily built ships, not planes. So lots of male and female welders lived here in the Bay Area. In all they churned out 747 ships in just three years. That number is astounding to me. One ship was built in 3 days flat -- and that was the fastest on record. I also heard that women could tell if a man welded a section of the ship or if a woman had done it because the craftsmanship was so like embroidery that the women were clearly the more skilled of the two groups. Of course, they were paid less anyway (and that's a whole separate discussion). 

The Red Oak is a Victory ship so it was part of the first wave of ships prior to the building of the more efficient Liberty ships. 

It is now owned by the Richmond Museum Association. The ship served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam and is the only Kaiser ship currently being restored. 

It's really very cool in there guys. If you ever get a chance to explore a ship of this magnitude go for it, and definitely ask for a docent led tour. 

Our guide was Lou, a veteran pilot of Korea. He was such a good time and we were so thankful for his amazing stories. 

After the tour we had lunch and headed to the Rosie the Riveter Trust (owned by NPS) for an eye opening oral history from a 91 year old woman who lived and worked in Richmond during WWII, followed by a tour of the "in process" museum and a couple of videos about Richmond circa the 1940s. 

Public history is truly the best and most invigorating kind of history, in my opinion. It's happening every day and we don't even notice it.

(no photos were edited because I am too lazy and busy, mostly lazy)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Anniversarians We Are

We decided to spend our formal aka actually planned 2nd wedding anniversary back in Capitola where we got married.

I say "planned" because we usually end up spending most of the month making excuses for why we're going out or going on little trips. In October you'll probably hear us saying, "Well it IS our anniversary, so..."

We stayed at an awesome little hotel called The Capitola Hotel . We loved it and you can't beat the location for the price.

If you've been to Capitola then by me saying that we were situated just to the right of the 6 sisters and directly across the street from the Fog Bank you can understand the beauty of this spot.

We spent Friday evening at Shadowbrook Restaurant. We had never eaten there but were finally able to use the gift card we received from family as a wedding present. We had so much fun and they even have an old time taxi car pick you up and drop you back off at your hotel for FREE! The experience is really worth the price. But, again, for us it was FREE! I like free, can you tell?

The next morning we went on a historical adventure (posts on that to follow) and ate our muffin and coffee breakfast at Capitola Beach.

Then we headed to the Boardwalk for the annual chili cook off. We are actually seriously considering joining in on this next year! It's really fun.

After we left the chili cookoff we went back out to Capitola Beach to watch the sunset and eat dinner at Margaritaville (I will never go back to that place. The food sucks)

Then we ate a digsgusting amount of ice cream. Although I can promise you that I did not finish it - that would have made me pass the heck out, for sure.

We WERE planning on going out to the Fog Bank, but instead we mesmerized ourselves in front of the television all night long. It was so sad, really. But also AWESOME! We don't have cable so for some reason commercials were so fun to watch. I don't know. We're weird I guess.

The end.
Happy Anniversary Dear of the Year.