Lotus Festival, Echo Park, CA - 14 JUL 2018

Echo Park was modeled after Shipley Park in Derbyshire, England where the 1st superintendent of the Los Angeles Department of Parks, spent his boyhood summers. 
In 1890, shortly after the new governmental agency was created, the man-made reservoir was turned into a beautiful lake.
This 29-acre park has the largest lotus bed in the United States.
The 38th Lotus Festival was hosted this year by The People's Republic of China.
There were many vendor tents, food trucks, a beer garden and a constant flow of performers.
We heard a Chinese orchestra playing traditional instruments and songs. 
There was even a dragon boat race.
You never know what you will see in Los Angeles, such as this women walking her kitten.
Over the nearly 130 year history, this park has gone through more than one cycle of prosperity, decline, revival and renovation.
The WPA boathouse was constructed in 1932.
Lady of the Lake by Ada May Sharpless was sculpted in 1934 as part of the Public Works Art Project:
There are four bas reliefs on the pedestal:
 Central Library
 Los Angeles Harbor
 San Gabriel Mountains
Hollywood Bowl
There are all kinds of vegetation and wildlife.
The original lotus plant, Nelumbo nucifera, was introduced in the 1920's by the famed evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, who's coliseum-esque church is across the street.
This plant can live for more that 1,000 years.
Apparently, not if it has to fight Los Angeles abuse, pollution and a mysterious blight...
 ...as the last plant died in 2008.
There were several years when the Lotus Festival only had paper flowers.
The lake was drained in 2011, as part of a two year, $45 million rehabilitation project on the park.
The boathouse was refurbished, the lake was cleaned, a shooting fountain installed, along with fresh grass and a variety of native plants.
Best of all, was the reintroduction of the lotus from descendants of the original stock.
How was this possible?
In 2005, a Reseda horticulturist stole a single plant from Echo Park.
Being a reproduction specialist, he turn that one plant into a thriving business.
Seven years later, for $30,000, the city was able to purchase 376 lotus plants propagated from that stolen plant.
Who says crime doesn't pay?


Fort Mac Arthur Museum, San Pedro, CA - 22 MAR 2018

Name after Henry V. Ogood (1842-1909), Civil War Medal of Honor Recipient
The San Pedro Bay Historical Society was offering a member only tour of Fort MacArthur Museum. Billed as rain or shine, it was a wet, muddy day.
Since it open in 1985, I have taken a tour 2 or 3 times. The museum is always changing and evolving.
Anti-Aircraft Battery Commander's Telescope M-1
They are currently trying to restore several rooms and make it a living history structure.
Once a year they bring out the sirens and flood lights, when they reenact "The Great Los Angeles Air Raid of 1942."
They also have a pet cemetery on the grounds.
This tour was special as we got to see a few rooms that are not included on regular tours.
Below is a machine used for Morse code training. The paper tape emits dashes and dots sounds.
At the start of World War II, the Army made plans for the construction of fifty intermediate range 6-inch coastal defense batteries (100 guns).
Three were built locally. Battery 240 (above Point Vicente in Polos Verdes), Battery 241 (below the Korean Friendship
Bell) and Battery 242 at Bolsa Chica, which is now covered up.

Of special interest to me was getting to see Battery 241, which has always been closed to the public.
I last set foot inside this battery in 1976, before the doors were permanently closed to keep out hooligans. (The B&W images were scan from negatives I took in 1976.)
Battery 241 is still closed to the public, but is in the process of being restored.
Plotting Room
Plotting Room Ceiling Tile with Communications Box
We were told the ceiling tiles were made from dried seaweed.
Same view in 1976 (taken from half way down the hall just in front of search light):
In 1976, I took a couple of friends with me, to play with taking timed exposures. In total darkness, I put the camera on a tripod, open the lens and walked down the hall setting off flashes to create ghost-like images: