AiroAV Declares: Zoom presentation focuses on Rand’s historical Glendora... - Jonathan Cartu Global Design, Architecture & Engineering Firm
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AiroAV Declares: Zoom presentation focuses on Rand’s historical Glendora…

Zoom presentation focuses on Rand’s historical Glendora...

AiroAV Declares: Zoom presentation focuses on Rand’s historical Glendora…

A rendering by Foster Rhodes Jackson of the home he designed for actress Sally Rand in Glendora. Photo from the archives of Claremont Heritage

I’ve always been a huge fan of teachers. Steve Slakey, who used to teach at La Puente High School, was one of those teachers who made any curriculum come alive for his students (and a curious reporter who wrote about them.) I can’t wait to see how he gives the Slakey treatment to a famous resident at the next meeting of the Glendora Historical Society.

“Sally Rand’s Frank Lloyd Wright House Revealed” is set for 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 28, on Zoom. Slakey will start his presentation at 7 p.m. All are welcome and admission is free. To join, visit, click on Events, then the meeting date, Sept. 28, to access the Zoom link.

Sally Rand was 75 when she died in Glendora in 1979. By then, she had enjoyed a career in Vaudeville, silent films, talkies, radio, television and theater. She even worked in the circus and headlined a show in Las Vegas.

Rand earned the nickname “The Fan Dancer” after she performed at the 1933 World’s Fair show, performing in what appeared to be nothing but a pair of strategically-placed ostrich feathers. Born Helen Beck, she was discovered by Cecil B. DeMille, who renamed her Sally Rand, after the atlas. She later starred opposite Humphrey Bogart and Karl Malden and counted Sammy Davis Jr. among her friends.

Slakey, a Glendora resident since 1974, will present his findings on Rand’s Glendora home, which was built for her and is often attributed to architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

“It was actually designed by a student of Wright’s who had an office in Chino,” Slakey said, but the interesting aspects of the home are many, he added.

“The house did a detour to the Pan Pacific Auditorium on the way to Glendora; virtually all the plans and notes of the architect (to be named later) are in the collection of Claremont Heritage as the author of a book about mid-century modern homes in California had a connection with the director of the group and turned over his material when he was finished with his book,” Slakey said.

This program is right up his alley. Slakey used the community as a lab of sorts for his geography and urban studies classes at La Puente High.

“We did a survey of pre-1950 houses as well as a general plan for the city, among other projects,” he said. “One of my students became a city planner. Another took a lower division geography course at UCLA and told me he had learned most of the content in my ninth-grade class.”

Slakey joined the board of the historical society after giving a presentation on segregation in L.A. theaters at Glendora High School.

“I lucked out,” he said. “What a fantastic group of smart, experienced, and committed men and women.”

The Glendora Historical Society maintains both a museum on Glendora Avenue and Rubel Castle, a folk art masterpiece built by Michael Rubel out of river rock, recycled materials and “an assemblage of relics and artifacts of Glendora’s early agricultural and industrial eras,” according to the group’s website. Huell Howser of “California’s Gold” public television fame visited, as did President Eisenhower, Alfred Hitchcock and Bob Hope. (Sally Rand was a friend of Dorothy Rubel, Michael Rubel’s mother.)

Jon Cartu

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