Official Monthly Publication of the
Boosters of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
A Non-Profit Organization
November 2014
Dia de los Muertos
Led by Senior Park Aide Elena Orozco, a
team of Park Staff and Volunteers created
three wonderful altars which are currently
on display for Dia de los Muertos this
year. Elena is a Descendant of the earliest
inhabitants of San Diego, and we are
grateful for her expertise, as well as her
annual commitment to this effort.
These altars can be viewed at three
museums in the Park: La Casa de Machado
y Stewart (left), Commercial Restaurant
(right), and La Casa de Estudillo (below).
BOOT provided funding for the project;
and Bob Jones and Chuck Ferrell built the
bases for each of the altars.
Dia del los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is traditionally a Mexican celebration during which deceased
family and friends are honored and remembered. The celebrations include the building of altars
called ofrendas, honoring the deceased. The use of sugar skulls, marigolds, and favorite foods and
beverages of the departed are common elements of the altars. Pictures and possessions of the deceased are
also common items included in the altars. (pictures courtesy of Bob Jones)
Vice President:
BOOT Store:
Restoration Spec:
Web Master:
Board Members:
Dia de los Muertos, November 1-2, 2014
Commemorate “Day of the Dead” by touring the museums and shops
within Old Town San Diego. View the festive Day of the Dead altars,
and enjoy live entertainment throughout Old Town. Two full days of
celebration with a procession to the Cemetery on Sunday night.
Jeanne Ferrell (619) 543-9057
Gary Turton (619) 222-0047
Linda Jacobo
Deanna Turton (619) 222-0047
Mary Jones
Bob Wohl
Chuck Ferrell
Bob Jones
Mary Ellen Young
Tom Young
Cindy Furlong
Chuck Ross
Poppy Paper Editor: Ruth French (858) 583-1269
[email protected]
BOOT Website:
Park Website:
pg. 1
by Graham Kirkham, Senior Park Aide
Old Town San Diego State Historic Park assisted Loma Portal Elementary School
in celebrating their 100 year anniversary. Six staff members and volunteer Alice
Epault did a great job demonstrating the games and crafts popular 100 years ago.
Grades 1st through 4th made corn husks dolls, button on a string, and cat’s cradle.
Students really enjoyed playing games of marbles, hoop and stick, and sack races.
For four hours there was not a cell phone or Ipad in sight! Senior Park Aide
Vanessa Jones did an excellent First Person presentation of Miss Grace Farely,
one of the original teachers at the school.
Kindergarteners had their own area, with activities run by
Park Aide Rita Connaty. They made pioneer dolls and had
their own sack races; but, the most popular event was the
laundry. Their little arms and hands were all red and
mottled through all the scrubbing on the washboards!
A special thanks goes out to our volunteer, Alice Epault,
for all her hard work during the event, as well as prior to
the event with all the research she did on the history of
appropriate games.
I would encourage any of you who would like to lend your valuable knowledge and experience to join
us in our expanding Education Program. If you think that you want to be involved, please contact us at
the Robinson Rose Visitors Center, 619-220-5422.
Pictured (top right): Graham Kirkham and Ranger Chris Lozano with Principal Rebecca Penh;
(lower left): Rita Riccio Conaty, Michelle Magnuson, Vanessa Jones, Graham Kirkham, Alisa Miller, Lisa Long
From the Editor’s Desk…
There’s a chill in the air, and the “bewitching hour” is behind us. By the time this issue is published, the
ghosts and goblins will have had their fill of tricks and treats, and the “holiday season” is upon us.
Maybe because it falls between Halloween and Thanksgiving, perhaps one of the most overlooked
celebrations this month is Veterans Day on November 11. The date commemorates the anniversary of
the signing of the armistice to end World War I in 1918. Today we recognize ALL individuals who have
served in the U.S. Armed Forces on Veterans Day. Please take a moment to remember those who have
served to keep us safe and free!
Soon, we will all be preparing those special treats for our Thanksgiving celebrations. Turkey and
dressing, potato and vegetable concoctions of all sorts, and…of course, pumpkin pie!!! How do our
waistlines survive this time of year? However, to me, the most special part of the upcoming holidays is
family time. We are shaping the memories for those who will celebrate long after we are gone. So, as we
hurry through this cyber-shopping, retail-driven, season of celebrations…don’t be a “Grinch” or a
“Scrooge”…take times for family, for sharing, for friendship, and for gratitude.
Happy Veterans Day, Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Reading!
Ruth French [email protected]
(Deadline for submissions is the 20th of each month for inclusion in the following month’s issue.)
pg. 2
Treasurer's Notes
by Deanna Turton
Well, this year our vacation was flat tires, no snow or sleet, and the trailer did not leak on
the two times it rained! We visited almost all of the national parks in Utah and Arizona, as well as other
sites along the way…Navajo friends in Flagstaff, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, the University
of Arizona in Tucson, and the Tucson Arboretum. We even attended a nighttime procession at Mission
Xavier du Bac where Native Americans danced and processed around the plaza with a figure of St. Francis,
accompanied the whole time by church bells, firecrackers, and overhead fireworks! (Our dogs did not like
that event too much, as they are afraid of fireworks. When we went back to the truck, they had jumped in
the front seat and were trying to hide under the floor mats! Not easy for a 55 and 85 pound dog!)
Thank goodness for the foresight of our forefathers who set aside our national parks and monuments for
everyone to enjoy. However, some are very crowded,suggesting that they are being loved to death! At Zion
National Park, there were absolutely NO parking places in the entire park or in the nearby town.
At Hovenweep National Monument, dogs were allowed on the trails, so we all could enjoy the hike around
the Native American ruins together. And, at Capitol Reef National Park, the ranger gave her lecture outside
so we all could listen to the talk on the geology of the park ....whereas at other parks we had to take turns
because dogs are not usually allowed on the trails or inside buildings. I must say that our dogs enjoyed all
of the attention there because, while folks were listening to the ranger, they were also taking turns petting
the dogs. Many said they were missing their pets at home so they needed their “dog-fix.”
I would like to thank Bob Jones for serving as the BOOT treasurer for the three weeks we were gone.
When I balanced the books, everything came out perfectly the first time, so Bob did a good job of
documenting everything he did.
September was a great month for BOOT, for we came out $2349.73 ahead after all bills were paid. Besides
the income from the BOOT Store, we received $221.00 in donations from the Quilt Show downtown and an
additional $220.00 in sales from the Taste of Old Town. We also received a $50.00 donation from a man
who was very impressed with our Park Store!!! My only concern is that the daily average in the donation
boxes is once again very low for this time of year at $39.37 a day.
In the expense column, categories over $300 were:
$1321.13 - inventory replacement in the BOOT Store
$ 330.46 - Poppy Paper/Membership
$ 887.14 - Fiestas Patrias event
$ 776.91 - Stagecoach Days
$ 425.03 - Care and feeding of the park's burros
$ 591.94 - Period attire purchases and subsidies
There were five other spending categories under $300.00.
As I write this, I have just completed filing the third quarter sales taxes and getting the BOOT books up to
date in my computer. Taking a vacation is great until you have to do all the catch up work!!!
In September, Ellen once again took the prize for the most Guide Books sold! BOOT has offered
a $20 gift certificate to the individual who sells the most books each month, AND this incentive
has greatly increased sales. Thank You to everyone who has participated…and,
pg. 3
by Ruth French
For the past several years, BOOT has allocated
significant funds to the restoration of existing
structures within Old Town San Diego State Historic
Park, as well as to the construction of many new
projects to enhance the visitor’s experiences and
beautify our Park. Providing the “backbones” of many
of those efforts have been two of our very own BOOT
Board Members, Bob Jones (r) and Chuck Ferrell (l).
Bob’s familiar joke is that he got “involved” in Old Town because he was simply “Mary’s driver.” While
waiting for his wife, Mary Jones, to take care of BOOT Store business, he would fill his time exploring
and photographing the Park. Bob started helping out by being a “go-for” at special events, and was gently
nudged into being a BOOT Board member. Since then, Bob has been instrumental in getting BOOT’s
website up and running, and fills in as Treasurer when Deanna Turton is away. He also serves on the
Board of the Old Town Foundation, helping to solidify the educational plans for a renewed interest in
bringing students back to an Old Town 4th Grade Program.
Preferring to work “behind the scenes,” in Old Town, it is ironic that Bob spent much of his career being
in the spotlight. Among his many accolades as an elementary school teacher, Bob was honored as
“Teacher of the Year” in San Diego Unified School District in the 1980s. Shortly thereafter, he embarked
on his administrative career, and finally retired as school principal from Kumeyaay Elementary…an
administrator so loved that their sports field is named “Bob Jones Field!!!” WOW – that is quite an honor!
Chuck has a similar story, being married to BOOT President, Jeanne Ferrell. It seems that every time he
turned around, Jeanne would need him to help out with a project in the Park, and he serendipidously
became “involved.” Chuck is a retired construction engineer, with an extensive background in large-scale
construction development, inspection, and management. His incredible repoirtoire of skills and his
nonsensical approach to projects is awesome! Chuck and Jeanne’s home is truly a testament to his talents.
He’s redone practically every inch of their home in Mira Mesa, inside and out! When Jeanne said, “I need
a potting shed,” Chuck built a small house! To update the poolside patio area, he built an entire outdoor
In Old Town, no matter what the project, Chuck simply says, “Tell me what you need…I’ll build it.” And,
he does! Ten VERY HEAVY (period appropriate) park benches, a refurbished kitchen for the Park staff
upstairs in the Robinson Rose building, shelving for the Park’s ‘Big Ugly” storage unit, a
composting/disposal site for the donkey manure, fencing around the Machado-Stewart adobe, and
platforms for the Dia de los Muertos altars are only a few of the projects that Chuck (and Bob) have taken
on, planned, managed, and FINISHED!!!
Bob’s “official” title is Webmaster; Chuck’s is Restoration Specialist. These two men, together or apart,
do incredible things for our Park. They haul truckloads of compost to fertilize our gardens, paint flagpoles,
repair fences, design and construct ANYTHING that anybody needs, and MUCH, MUCH MORE!!!
They often recruit other Board Members, volunteers, and staff to assist in various projects…But, these two
men provide the expertise to plan, design, organize and execute projects in a timely, cost-effective
manner. Simply put, they provide the brains and the brawn to get things done! Thank you, Bob and
Chuck…you truly are AMAZING!!!
P.S. And, they ARE retired?!?!?!?
pg. 4
Caitlin Meng is a Park Aide you may have seen working around the Park with the donkeys or at the
Robinson Rose Visitor Center. She began working here at Old Town over the summer. She is a native
of the San Diego area, having grown up in Ramona and graduated from Ramona High School.
After finishing high school, Caitlin went on to attend the
University of California at San Diego. At UCSD, Caitlin
studied art and graduated with a double major in Art
History and Computing of Arts and Music. While
studying Renaissance Art History, Caitlin learned Italian,
which she found helpful during a semester in Florence,
Italy. Experiencing the world renowned art and
architecture of the city was the highlight of her studies
Also, while in college, Caitlin was on the equestrian team, serving as their captain during her Senior
year. She performed in hunt seat shows, competing throughout Southern California and Arizona.
Caitlin’s success in equestrian competitions led her to earn the title of “Sportsman of the Year.”
Caitlin has been working in Old Town for the last five months, mostly with the donkeys. She also
works at San Pasqual Battlefield State Park. She says she was drawn to the Park because working with
the donkeys and sharing history draws upon her background in history and equestrian pursuits. In
addition to working at the Park, Caitlin has a job in Ramona training horses in dressage, another form
of equestrian competition.
State Park Partnerships
by Chris Lozano, Supervising Ranger
Old Town San Diego State Historic Park was recently
invited to attend the annual Life Games Special Olympics,
hosted by, “Living Independently is for Everyone.”
Superintendent Richard Dennison and Ranger Lozano
(pictured) attended the ceremony, which included over two
hundred participants and community members.
State Parks was honored by this partnership and
commitment to serve the local community. “Living
Independently is for Everyone” provides training and
support for adults with developmental disabilities,
encouraging them to be active participants in the
community. At Old Town, we have a group that works
once a week, cleaning the outside of the museums. A
typical work day for the group consist of dusting,
sweeping and cleaning windows for about two hours.
The partnership has been so successful this past year that the Park is planning to expand the program in
the future.
pg. 5
Superintendent’s Message
by Richard Dennison, Park Superintendent
October was a great month with good weather and lots of living history activities on Saturdays, during
the week, and at the Fall Festival. Thanks to all who participated, making the history of early San Diego
come alive for visitors. November is Native American Heritage Month. Nicole Turner, District
Archaeologist, and Marla Mealy, Southern Service Center Archaeologist, provided this historical
The creation accounts of the local Kumeyaay Indians tell them that their ancestors were placed
in this area by the creator and they have been here since the beginning of time. They were
living in the area of Old Town San Diego prior to the arrival of the Spanish explorers centuries
ago and before the construction of the Mission San Diego de Alcalá in 1769. Their presence in
Old Town continued well into the American Period. The Kumeyaay provided the largest labor
force for the construction of the town, served as household servants for prominent families and
may have engaged in commerce during the early period selling pots in open markets. Although
the Kumeyaay are nearly invisible in the historical record of Old Town, their presence and
importance to the daily operations of the town is apparent in the abundant archaeological
remains found throughout the various households associated with the Mexican and American
periods of Old Town San Diego.
Several programs, exhibits, and concessions in the State Historic Park provide opportunities for visitors
to celebrate the significant contributions, rich ancestry, and traditions of Native Americans.
Craft Committee News
by Deanna Turton and Ruth French
Many thanks to the Members of the Craft Committee for working SO hard to get ready for the BOOT
sales booth at the Old Town Art and Craft Show, October 4th and 5th on San Diego Avenue. And many
thanks to our volunteer gardeners who have kept the gardens looking good through all of our recent high
Additional thanks go to BOOT President Jeanne Ferrell for procuring the best spot in town…the very
first booth across from the entrance to the Park (at the intersection of San Diego Avenue and Twiggs
Street). This year we had a 10x20 foot space…twice the space that we had last year! Plus, Jeanne had a
10x10’ space for her historic quilt display; next to a 10x10’ space for arts and crafts demonstrations.
Two other 10x10’ spaces adjacent to us were used for the children’s art competition and face painting
for the kids. We didn’t know what to do with all the space…it was like moving from a studio apartment
into a 4-bedroom house!
Despite the record temperatures, Becky Halliburton, Kim Baldwin, and Ruth French were able to haul a
considerable amount of BOOT Store products down to the festival, set up a beautiful display, and have a
successful sales weekend. On Saturday, Linda Jacobo and Diana Ojeda assisted with set-up and sales.
On Sunday, Mary and Bob Jones joined in for sales, and finally packing up and take-down.
Overall, we had a great weekend promoting BOOT, and earning nearly $700 over the two days. Added
to the BOOT Store sales, it was surely a very good weekend!
pg. 6
by Frances McMeeken
Park Interpretive Specialist
September 24, 2014
The Old Town Historic Quilt Guild took history and hexagons to the San Diego Quilt Show. The show is
held annually in the fall at the San Diego Convention Center. For the last five years the Old Town Quilt
Guild has had a large booth to promote Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, our living history
programs, and the colorful and diverse history of quilts. We share stories about old quilts; teach about
fabric dyes, batting, and quilt patterns; we encourage attendees to add a few stitches to our Juana
Machado Reproduction Quilt; and we encourage everyone to win a piece of fabric by taking the “Quilt
This year our theme was hexagons. In the 1800s these quilts were often called a hexacomb pattern based
on their shape. In the 1930s, a popular version was known as a “Grandmother’s Flower Garden.” At the
booth we offered kits with all the necessary supplies for someone to make their own hexagon flower
using the English paper piecing technique. The quilt guild members also donated several handmade
sewing items for donations. We received $223.00 in donations to support the quilt guild. Mark
September 9-15, 2015 on your calendars to come see us at next year’s show. (For more information:
You can find us in the Park on the third Saturday of the month and every Wednesday afternoon. The kit
for the 2015 Old Town Quilt Challenge is now available. This quilt will be raffled off in July during our
special event “Women of the West.” When you visit us you may also assemble a piece for the Soldier’s
Quilt that is sewn by volunteers, staff, and visitors. This quilt will be available for raffle on July 4 th 2015.
Come join us!
Hello all!
Its time for a Quilt Block Challenge! All staff and
volunteers are welcome to participate. Due date
is DECEMBER 1st.
Please contact Frances
McMeeken if you would like a piece of fabric to join in.
Come to a Quilt Guild Meeting, Wednesdays, 1 to 3
pm in the park for ideas and help.
Frances McMeeken
Park Interpretive Specialist, Seasonal
Main office # (619) 688-3260
*Please note my new email
[email protected]
pg. 7
educational, cultural and interpretive activities at Old Town San Diego State Historic
Park by joining our non-profit organization, Boosters of Old Town (BOOT). Your
minimal annual contribution helps provide financial support for the many programs that
are enjoyed by our San Diego community and the guests who visit our Park. New and
renewing members will receive a gift certificate for a commemorative gift, celebrating
the 150th Anniversary of California State Parks, as well as a serving of ice cream from
Cold Stone in Old Town. (Thanks to Jeanne Ferrell for her generous annual commitment
to supporting our membership with her gift of ice cream treats!!!)
Current members will receive a renewal reminder in the mail. However, if you are not currently a member,
an application is located on the back page of this publication. Don’t miss this opportunity to join us AND to
celebrate the 150th Anniversary of California State Parks!
We appreciate your support…
Membership News
BOOT is so grateful for our long-time supporters who consistently renew their
memberships on an annual basis. We are also grateful to those who have been able to
commit to a lifetime membership. But sadly, BOOT Membership has been dwindling over
the past decade. We’ve lost many of our long time supporters over the years. Some have
passed away…some have moved away. And, quite frankly, WE HAVE NOT done a very good
job encouraging new members to join us.
So, as an incentive to our current annual members who would like to see BOOT thrive into
the future, we are offering a free one year’s membership to you when you recruit a new
member. No matter when your membership expires, we will extend it for an entire year!
Watch the mail, as you will soon be receiving a special invitation to be part of this special
membership drive for 2015.
We may have some other prizes and incentives to add to the effort. So, PLEASE watch
your mailbox. We NEED your support!!!
Please remember…every dollar that BOOT raises stays right HERE in Old Town San Diego
State Historic Park to support all the work projects, special events, and interpretive
activities throughout the year! If you are not already a member, please take a few
moments to complete the application form on the back page of this issue and JOIN US!!!
pg. 8
In Sympathy
We are saddened to learn that BOOT Board Member
Chuck Ferrell recently suffered the loss of his brother.
Our sincere condolences are extended to Chuck, Jeanne, and
their family members during this difficult time.
Join these businesses in their support of Old Town San
Diego State Historic Park:
Old Town Market
Old Town Trolley Tours
Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO)
Toby’s Candle and Soap Shop
Write Out Loud
Please refer to the back cover page for more details.
pg. 9
San Diego State Historic Park
4002 Wallace Street
San Diego, CA 92110
NOTICE: If you have a friend who would like to learn more about San Diego History, enjoys meeting people,
and likes to have a good time, give him/her this application form to fill out and send in. New members are
always welcome. And, if you have forgotten to renew your membership…it’s never too late to send it in. We
miss you!
____$ 20.00 – Single Supporting Member
____$ 35.00 – Family (2 or more individuals)
____$ 15.00 – Senior (62+ years)/Student Single
____$ 25.00 – Senior Couple (62+ years)
____$150.00 – Life Member (62+ years)
____$ 50.00 – Corporate Membership*
(includes business card sized ad in the Poppy Paper
and on our website for one month)
____$125.00 – Enhanced Corporate Membership*
(includes business card sized ad in the Poppy Paper
and on our website for 12 months)
*Corporate Applications Only: Please enclose a business card or corporate logo with your payment.
NAME(S) ________________________________________________________________
ADDRESS _______________________________________________________________
CITY __________________________________STATE _______ ZIP________________
PHONE ______________________E-MAIL ____________________________________
I belong to the following group(s): Docent____ Military____ Descendants ____ Californios ____
I am also interested in volunteer opportunities, please contact me! _____
Make your check out to “BOOT” and mail to:
BOOT Membership Committee, 4002 Wallace Street, San Diego, CA 92110
pg. 10