Yesterday was the first Southern California Games Day in what seems like forever (actually, since June, as I missed the August day). It was also the first one at the new location, the Tujunga Elks lodge. It was a cold day (especially for Los Angeles) — temperatures were in the low 40s, with a freeze or near-freeze overnight. That didn’t bother me, but it did bother some folks. Still, we had over 100 people there, and it was quite fun.
Alas, my Machiavelli game didn’t happen–I didn’t get enough players. I also kept trying to scare up a game of Goa so I could help ixixlix figure it out, but I missed the one Goa game played (but evidently there are some useful references and errata on the Geek). I did, however, play quite a few games. I got in two plays of a new game, On The Underground, that was quite fun. In this game, you’re bulding raillines in the London Underground and transporting passengers. I also played Ticket To Ride (1910 Mega Rules), quite a few hands of Category 5, Ace of Aces (flying the Handy Rotary against a Powerhouse, I came close to shooting down Patrick’s Kraut before he flew away… it was a draw in our flying machines battle, but the rotary head-to-head was close — I had near fatal damage when I shot the Kraut down). I also got in a good game of Vegas Showdown. I didn’t get in some of my usuals: 10 Days didn’t come out, nor did Traumfabrik. All in all, it was a good day: I was gaming from 10:00 AM until around 9:00 PM. I did come home with a headache, which is thankfully now gone–I think the headache was due to a little smoke residue from the lodge (that’s common in older Fraternal order lodges).
The location of the new Games Day is interesting. It is a few doors down from Bolton Hall–more properly, the Bolton Hall Museum, being named after Mr. Bolton Hall. This is a fascinating rock building I visited many years ago, and was the center of a one-time utopian community founded in the area by the Little Landers. There’s lots of history in the valley… if you just know where to look.
And speaking of Valley History: The valleyobserved blog has an interesting article on the 11-acre Oakie Estate (click here for a picture–Devonshire is the road on the right side of the picture). This is the large piece of seemingly undeveloped property just W of the Chevy dealership on Devonshire Blvd, near Reseda. It is not that far from ixixlix‘s house. It was originally the home of Barbara Stanwyck, and was a shared ranch with Zeppo Marx. Stanwyck later sold it to Jack Oakie, a comic actor. This property has remained undeveloped, despite all the building going on around it, for years. Oakie’s widow lived in the house, and after she died in 1994, the land was donated to USC. It appears that USC has just sold the land to a developer (yet another reason to not like USC), who will be turning it into 29 homes, although hopefully keeping the manor house as a community center.
News of the development was mentioned in a column by Dennis McCarthy, where he talked about the Oakie Scholarship at USC, and the fact that many kids being awarded the scholarship have no idea who Oakie was. As a result of the benefactor trust discovering that, now every potential scholarship recipient now must watch at least one Jack Oakie film and write a synopsis or critique of the movie. By the way, this is also true for the Oakie Scholarship at San Francisco State.
As for today’s agenda: cleaning the house, and then 13 at the Mark Taper Forum.