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September 2019

The History Corner

by David Mostardi, Club Historian

Once Upon A Hillside: 25, 50, 75 and 100 years ago

In Memoriam: Garth Burns

Club member Garth Edward Burns died on April 6, 2019, from complications of Parkinson’s. He was 77 years old. Garth began working at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scanning data from atomic reactions at the Bevatron in 1964. Following graduate school, he returned to LBNL in EETD where he eventually worked in the Battery program. He was employed there for 35 years.

From Shireen’s older brother, Earl Mayeri: “I’ve always admired Garth for his gentle, graceful manner and his sense of humor. I remember he had these same qualities when I knew him at Berkeley high school. They seemed to deepen after he began his relationship with Shireen and after his MA in Greek & Latin at the University of Washington. You got the feeling that for much of his life he had an appreciation of life and an outlook on the world that would work well in any era. Those qualities also deepened with his long, wonderful, loving relationship with Shireen and his two daughters, Rafi and Ashley.”

From Garth’s niece, Rachel Mayeri: “I will miss my uncle, who was always such a mensch—funny, courteous, handsome, gentlemanly; a model adult, he always seemed to me.”

Garth is survived by his wife of 50 years, Shireen, his daughter Rafi Burns Ly & her husband Uy Seng Ly, of North Carolina and daughter Ashley Burns Khajavi & her husband Dara Khajavi of Berlin, Germany. They have two grandsons Cairo & Rio Ly. A Celebration of Life for Garth will take place at a later date at the Hillside Club.

September 1919

Business Meeting: Mrs. Culp announced a course in “Home Care of the Sick” to be given at the Club House by the Red Cross; also that the work on garments etc. for Refugees was still continuing. Mrs. Mathis also announced a Red Cross Drive to obtain comforts etc. for the boys in Russia and Siberia, and asked for volunteer assistance from members present.

Upon adjournment, Mr. Cooper introduced Régis Michaud, Professor of French, University of California, recently with the French Army. Inasmuch as Prof. Michaud spent several years in the vicinity of Verdun in the Red Cross service, he had a very vivid story to tell, which he titled “How France is Looking Ahead.” [Régis Michaud (1880-1939) was born in Montélimar, France, and received a degree in literature from the Sorbonne in Paris. He came to the United States in 1906 and began his academic career at Princeton. When the Great War came, he returned to France to serve in the ambulance corps. He returned to the United States in 1918 for a brief stint at Smith College before coming to the brand-new French Department at UC Berkeley in 1919. He remained at Cal until 1927, when he had visiting appointments at the Sorbonne and Dartmouth before settling at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Michaud authored many books, and also translated many American authors into French, including Sinclair Lewis, Henry David Thoreau, and H. L. Mencken. He was awarded the French Legion of Honor in 1926.]

September 1944

Fireside Meeting: Do you remember the summers when we would jump into our automobiles, go dashing off in all directions, and return covered with sunburn (perhaps with poison oak), laden down with pictures of exotic scenes, and full of graphic descriptions of our adventures and of the best places to eat? It was the custom in those days of the dim distant past to give over the main part of our first Fireside meeting to eloquent descriptions of our travels, of the fish that we caught and those that we almost caught, and of other details of our hectic summer. We still are interested in vacations in an academic way, just as we are interested in other archaeological mattes. We have, however, a much livelier interest in the activities of our members in war service. The program for this evening, therefore, will be furnished by these absentee members and will be presented by Mrs. Will Mathews.

September 1969

A New Year at Hillside: The very essence of being a Hillsider is participation both in committee work and in our various programs. Take an active part on your committee and in those programs where your talents can be put to work. When you are not involved directly in an activity, come and applaud those who are.

Fireside Meeting: The Photographic Art Committee has charge of the program for the first Fireside Meeting of the Club year. It will include a showing, by Ronald Foster, of slides related to the centennial of the completion of the first transcontinental railroad. A surprise showing of slides of old Berkeley scenes is also planned.

Civic Affairs Section: Berkeley Gazette Executive Editor, Mike Culbert, will be our speaker. Mr. Culbert is a forceful speaker, as well as a fearless editor. He was been credited for “Saving Berkeley” by exposing the radical elements and their devious ways of snaring the idealist by generating one spurious issue after another. Bring guests and prospective members to hear this brilliant, dynamic young man. [In 1969, Berkeley was in the midst of its transformation from a quiet Republican town into a noisy Democratic one, and the conservative Hillside Club was along for the ride. The ‘radicals’ on Telegraph Avenue were constant fodder for the right-wing Culbert’s Gazette, who kept detailed statistics on the street fighting, arrests, and injuries.]

September 1994

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!

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