The History Corner
by David Mostardi, Club Historian
Once Upon A Hillside: 25, 50, 75 and 100 years ago
“Night in Spain by Hillside Club is Great Success,” as reported by the Berkeley Gazette: Berkeley’s Hillside clubrooms were thronged last Saturday night, the members and their guests having gathered to witness the presentation of “A Night in Spain,” a musical drama, added to and interpreted by members of the Club. The picturesque garb of Iberia, ancient and modern, predominated, the brilliant colors mingling with the mural decorations in a way to form a delightful spectacle. So great was the crowd that “standing room only” was at a premium. In the extravaganza entitled “1492” a large number of members appeared, as is usual, this being an accepted custom in the Hillside Club, to have the cast include as many members as possible, thus extending the interest to the general membership. [The extensive cast included “Señor Bernardo Maybeck” as “El Director de Teatro,” his 18-year-old daughter Kerna as a casino girl, and his 23-year-old son Wallen as a newsboy.]
Business Meeting: A consideration of important matters of interest to all citizens now before the California Legislature. Among the speakers will be Lt. Gov. Young, Senator Breed, Assemblyman Wendering, and Supt. H. B. Wilson. [Clement Calhoun Young (1869-1947) served as California Assemblyman 1909-19, Lieutenant Governor 1919-27, and Governor of California 1927-31. He was a close friend and associate of Berkeley realtor and conservationist Duncan McDuffie. … Arthur Hastings Breed Sr. (1865-1953) was President pro tempore of the California Senate from 1917-34, and served as acting Lieutenant Governor on several occasions. He was the author of the 1913 California Vehicle Act, which established the “operator’s license” to operate a motor vehicle and mandated that no one may drive without a license. He was also co-creator of the “Mayo/Breed line,” the official division between northern and southern California, used to allocate proceeds of state gasoline taxes and to preserve the balance of legislative representation during redistricting. … Arthur Anton Wendering (1894-1972) graduated from Berkeley High School in 1912. During his first semester at Cal, he was hired as the private secretary to then Assemblyman C. C. Young. Later, as an Assemblyman himself, he authored the Berkeley Waterfront Tidelands grant bill, out of which developed the Berkeley Yacht Harbor. Wendering spent fifty-one years at the Berkeley Gazette, working his way up from carrier boy to acting assistant publisher. He retired in 1959, whereupon he enrolled at Cabrillo College to attain the degree he never finished at Cal, graduating in 1963 at the age of 68. … Dr. Harry B. Wilson (1875-1932) was elected Berkeley Superintendent of Schools in 1918, having previously been Superintendent of Schools in Topeka, Kansas. He and his wife Maude were Hillside Club members during their ten years in Berkeley. Wilson resigned in 1928 to become the National Director of the Junior Red Cross.]
Men’s Chorus Rehearsals: Bernice urges all men who can stand on two feet but who may have slipped up in voice culture to attend as stand-ins for the numerical value. These will have no special makeup and will not be distinguishable from the stars of the chorus.
Evening of Music: This is one of our most enjoyable evenings and is under the chairmanship of Florence Burrell. There will be familiar folk songs of various nations, varied with solos, duets, trios and quartets. Songs will be colorful with native costumes. The Men’s Chorus led by Bernice Hendrickson will include in their repertoire rousing cowboy songs which are calculated to stimulate the Hillsiders to break forth into song later in the evening.
Dues increase: A vote will be taken on the proposal, as presented at the January meeting, to increase the annual dues [from $35] to $40 per year, effective this month. To make this amendment effective it will be necessary that two-thirds of all members present and voting at that meeting vote affirmatively.
Blossom Safari: Reservations have been coming in fast, with one bus about 3/4 filled in the first five days. The cost of $7.50 per person includes bus fare, lunch at the El Real Café at Rutherford, and admission to the Petrified Forest [in Calistoga]. We will also visit the Beringer Winery, the Stevenson Museum at St. Helena, Oakmont Community, the Frank Lloyd Wright Center at San Rafael, and possibly the Souverain Cellars at St. Helena. What with all the rains, blossoms ought to put on a real show this year.
International Relations: The Committee will present Claudio Bay-Rossi, Deputy Consul General of Italy at our meeting on February 22. Mr. Bay-Rossi will speak on the subject “Contemporary Italy, 1971.” [Bay-Rossi, a bachelor, was a popular figure in San Francisco and appeared often in the newspaper society columns. When in October 1972 he was reassigned to a new post in Ankara, Turkey, many festive farewell parties were thrown for him.]
The Club’s archive of printed monthly newsletters ended with the May 1994 issue. If you know of a source for any newsletters between 1994 and the Club’s renaissance in the early 2000s, your historian would love to hear about it!