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SHIPS AHOY! We Visit the California State University Maritime Academy in Vallejo Friday, October 27, 2017

Golden Bear- Maritime AcademyMost of us have been driving past CSUM for years but have never stopped. This is our chance to make up for that as we will be touring the Maritime Academy, founded in 1929 in Tiburon, including a visit to the ship Golden Bear. Our tour of the Academy, the only degree-granting maritime academy on the west coast of the U.S., will start with an orientation to the property and then we will be visiting key sites on the campus. Because our tour will include the Golden Bear, you will need to have some form of picture I.D. and you should wear shoes with rubber soles if possible. No open-toed sandals or high heels (we will be walking!) and equally important, there are steep stairways and high doorsills on the ship, so be prepared.
A campus map is available at the school’s web site: https://www.csum.edu/web/about/location

 

 


Bread—the Staff of Life—Exclusive Class with an Extraordinary Master Bread Baker

Bread- The Staff of LifeSaturday, September 16, 2017 from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm

What an experience this will be for us! Starting bright and early, we will meet at Judy Hardardt’s home in Davis where we will have the chance to not just learn how to bake a loaf of bread, but to “hands-on” make and bake several different kinds of bread with master baker Chris Kenber. Lunch will include the pizza that we start making in the morning. By the end of the day, we’ll be going home with freshly baked souvenirs. What more could we possibly ask for other than freshly-churned butter to go with our breads? Come hungry!

 


Visit to San Francisco's KQED Radio and TV Education Network
Date:   Thursday, July 20, 2017
Time:  10 am to 12 noon

KQED's History

KQED auction cowCows in the KQED Studios? Take a nostalgic trip through KQED's history, starting in the 1950s.

1950-59  When KQED went on the air in 1954, it was one of a handful of stations in a new field referred to as the "educational TV movement." Conceived initially as a teaching tool, the station quickly broadened its scope to include entertainment and public affairs programming - designed to appeal, above all, to a viewer's intelligence.

Description:   This docent-led tour will take us through the KQED facility and includes the history of public radio and television and the current challenges they face, such as funding, political and other external pressures.  Our tour will include the FM Master Control Room and a "working" studio, the videotape library, TV Facility (Studios A & B, Production Control Room, Equipment Rack Room, Edit Suite, the suite to ingest audio feeds, and Master Control Room.  In addition, we will visit KQED Interactive and have an overview of their Web Site and the KQED Education Network.  Special surprises anticipated as well!

There is a parking garage located at the back of the KQED building on York Street.


Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing: Saturday, June 3, 2017 

Dorothea LangeFew 20th Century photographers have produced such instantly recognizable and iconic works as Dorothea Lange. Gain a new understanding of this beloved American photographer when we visit the Oakland Museum for our docent-led look at their exhibition –Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing.

Through the lens of her camera, Lange documented American life with riveting, intimate photographs that showed the major issues of the times. This spring, view the emotional and political impact of her works in this major exhibition, which coincides with the 50th anniversary of the artist’s gift of her personal archive to the Oakland Museum of California. From documenting the plight of Dust Bowl migrants during the Great Depression to magnifying the grim conditions of incarcerated Japanese Americans during World War II, Lange’s photographs demonstrate how empathy and compassion—focused through art—can trigger political action. View approximately 100 photographs, including vintage prints, unedited proof sheets, personal memorabilia, and historic objects. Examine how Lange’s artistry and advocacy swayed minds and prompted significant change in this nation’s history. Discover how her work continues to resonate with millions, illustrating the power of photography as a form of social activism.


ΦBKNCA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner - Sunday, May 7, 2017

Annual MeetingGet out your calendars!  It’s time to make sure that you have this year’s ΦBKNCA Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner blocked out!

Our meeting in May will be held from 4:00 pm until 8:00 pm at The Bancroft Hotel in Berkeley, the same location as last year’s meeting.  As you are aware, the annual meeting is the occasion when we celebrate ΦBKNCA’s primary mission—the awarding of scholarships and teaching excellence awards to deserving scholars and professors, fulfilling ΦBKNCA’s objective to enhance scholars’ educational and research activities and to honor those who are teaching our next generation.

For those of you who have not been able to come to the Annual Dinner before, we encourage you to do so.  In meeting some of these outstanding honorees and learning about their academic interests (as well as renewing old friendships and perhaps getting more involved in our vibrant organization, ΦBKNCA), you will be able to more fully appreciate the value of the programs we offer throughout the year: the funds generated through the Asilomar conference, the many monthly events and the direct contributions you make!  

Enjoy the food, wine and, best of all, wonderful fellowship of kindred spirits.

Social hour begins at 4:00 p.m. with a cash bar; dinner, including your choice of entrées (seafood, chicken, vegetarian), white or red house wine, will be served at 5:00 p.m.  Coffee and tea will be served with dessert.


The Spirit of the Old West—at The Blackhawk Museum, Saturday, March 18, 2017. “You come here to tell us lies, but we don’t want to hear them.”  Sitting Bull We return to the Blackhawk Museum in Danville for a very special Docent-led tour of Kenneth Behring’s collection of Western Memorabilia.  The collection started when Behring was only 12 years old and found an arrowhead at his home in Pennsylvania.  He eventually made his way “out west” as an adult, discovering in Cody, Wyoming a collection that more than seeded what is now comprised of over 9000 pieces.  This is a very special exhibit at a very special museum; after the tour, consider having lunch (not included in cost) as you can return to the museum afterward – our admission covers the entire day’s visit, not just the Behring exhibit


ΦBKNCA 31st Annual Asilomar Conference – A great success!Presidents’ Day Weekend, February 10-13, 2017.

Anja ManuelHighlights of the ΦBKNCA 31st Annual Asilomar ConferenceMore information may be found on our website at
http://www.pbknca.org/asilomar/asilomar.2017.phi.beta.kappa.pbk.php

Friday evening, Dr. Anja Manuel, International Policy Studies, Stanford
India and China:
The New Superpowers

Saturday morning, Lisa Maldonado Bradford, Asilomar The Remarkable Women of Asilomar

Saturday afternoon, Molly King Ph.D. Candidate, Stanford. Who Owns Knowledge? Information Inequalities by Class, Gender and Race

Saturday evening, Dr. Penelope Boston, NASA Ames. The Astrobiology of the Subsurface: Exploring Cave Habitats on Earth, Mars and Beyond

Sunday morning, Dr. Frederick M. Lawrence, The Phi Beta Kappa Society and Yale Law School. The Contours of Expression: Free Speech and Civility

Sunday night, Elan Portner, Ph.D. Candidate Stanford. Open ocean food webs: how we study the largest habitat on Earth

Monday morning, Stephen Palumbi, Stanford Woods Institute. The Evolution Explosion: How Humans Cause Rapid Evolutionary Change


Visit to SF MOMA for Saturday, January 14, 2017. We will determine which of the tours as we get closer to the date. The SFMOMA website has ample information and by January some new exhibits may be available for us to choose. See https://www.sfmoma.org/exhibitions-events/


Thursday, November 17, Cline Cellars, Mission Models Tour and Wine Tasting. A historic display of all 21 California missions, built to scale in 1939 for the California Pacific Exhibition. The building was designed and constructed specifically to house these models. Website: http://californiamissionsmuseum.com/ The tour will be followed by a wine tasting.
In 1939, the California Mission Models made their debut at the World’s Fair at Treasure Island. Their construction was based upon two years of research and was completed by a team of German cabinetmakers under the direction of Italian artist Leon Bayard de Volo. All were designed to scale, are faithful representations of the original missions, and are finely detailed down to the shrubbery and the figures utilized. Materials used in their construction include wood, clay, glass, cast iron, paperboard, and real plant material. As a collection, the models are acclaimed as an extraordinary and accurate depiction of California history.

In 1998, the Cline Family saved the models from being auctioned off individually, and in 2005 created the museum as a fitting showcase for these historical treasures. In addition to the models, the museum also features a life-size figure of Father Junipero Serra, mission paintings by artists Robert Morris and Henry Nelson, and two stained-glass panels originally housed in Mission Dolores prior to the 1906 earthquake.

Visit Ramini Mozzarella. Saturday, September 24, 2016 at 2:00 pm Ramini Mozzarella of Tomales, CA was founded in 2009 by Craig Ramini and Audrey Hitchcock, with a dream of raising Italian water buffalo and becoming the only Americans currently making authentic, artisan buffalo mozzarella. Audrey says “We love animals and wanted to spend our days with these amazing, exotic creatures. We'd learned they could be as loving as dogs if treated with affection and care. We also learned no one at that time was producing buffalo mozzarella in the US. We knew the cheese was incredible, and thought: Americans should have this cheese produced domestically and experience what the Italians have discovered in these rich, porcelain white, creamy balls of fresh cheese. Its shelf life, if made as the Italians do, should be only three days. Importing it from Italy means we are getting it, more than likely, past its prime or previously frozen. The challenge was on and we were ready!”

Audrey will give a 45 minute talk followed by a tasting surrounded by buffalo and a chance to pet the babies. Guests are encouraged to bring a picnic and beverage of their choice which can be eaten during the tasting in our picnic area.

Tour the Opera San José. Saturday August 20, 2016 at 11:30 amOpera San José is the professional opera company in San Jose, California, founded in 1984 by Irene Dalis. In 1988, it formed a resident company of principal artists, for which it has purchased fourteen apartment units to provide rent-free accommodation. Until 2004, the company performed in the Montgomery Theater in San Jose's Civic Auditorium complex, but since then it has performed in the remodeled California Theatre, now a performing arts venue in the city.

We will have a backstage visit to see how Opera San José prepares for their productions. Our guide will be Larry Hancock, who assumed the role of General Director of OSJ in June 2014. We will have a brief site visit of the workshop and watch a bit of staging rehearsal. The shops will be empty, but Larry will orient us to how and what they are preparing, there will be no technical staff there on a Saturday.

Cruising the Bay from Alameda - Sunday, June 11, 2016, 10 a.m. Starting at the Grand Street Marina in Alameda, we will cruise San Francisco Bay in the comfort of a launch that will take us through the bridges and around the islands and inlets. Here is our chance to get a new angle on familiar surroundings from a convenient starting spot. June 11, 2016, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Bring water and snacks and then enjoy one of Alameda’s highly varied spots for exotic cuisine.

Visit to the Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA - Sunday, July 30, 2016, 11:00 a.m. Docent led tour of the “Great Works” of Asian Art. A premier city center location for a day visiting the area and time afterward to find lunch at one of the many restaurants in that region of the city. This is one of the largest collections and a jewel in the region’s resources for the appreciation and study of the world-wide development of art and culture.

Fremont Patterson House Friday, April 8, 2016 The 16 room Victorian-era Queen Anne mansion is seated on 205 acres in the heart of Silicon Valley. Filled with original furnishings, it is operated as a museum offering a multitude of events and programming for the community.
The earliest parts of the house date to approximately 1857. The original house was a relatively simple, with only 5 rooms; a parlor, a dining room, two bedrooms upstairs, with a shed style addition containing the kitchen on the rear of the building. It is still a part of the Queen Anne addition!

In 1889 George and Clara Patterson, after 12 years of marriage, added the grand Queen Anne addition. The addition was spectacular, and featured all of the elements which identify a building as a Queen Anne, including the tower, the interesting variety of windows, and the mix of shingles, siding and carvings. The entrance arch design was repeated in the interior.

Elephant Seal guided tour, in Año Nuevo State Park Friday, March 11, 2016,These popular three mile walks over rolling sand dunes last about three and a half hours and are considered moderately strenuous. They operate daily, rain or shine.  No cancellations.  A unique feature of the Central California Coast, Año Nuevo State Park is breathtaking in every season as the elephant seals can be viewed year-round. Pups are born between December and February during the “Breeding Season.” During the spring and summer months, elephant seals come ashore to shed their fur during the “Molting Season.” Each fall, yearling seals “hang out” on the beaches during the “Fall Haul-Out Season.”  Dec-Mar Access limited to guided walks only. A Natural Preserve is designated at Año Nuevo Point to provide wildlife viewing opportunities and minimize disturbance to the animals in their natural habitat.

The Esterházy Quartet Friday, January 8, 2016, Enjoy the sounds of Early Music from the Middle Ages through Late Classical in this thrilling new series featuring some of the hottest period-instrument ensembles in the Bay Area. Experience classical like you’ve rarely heard or seen before in the close-up, intimate theater setting with lush acoustics.Rhythmix Cultural Works, 2513 Blanding Ave, Alameda

Bancroft Rare Book Library Tuesday, December 1, 2015. We will have a presentation by the Bancroft Library staff of their unique collections of manuscripts ranging from Egyptian papyri to the works of Mark Twain and Jack London.
The University Library's Rare Book Collection was founded in 1954 and transferred to The Bancroft Library in 1970. It is responsible for collecting, preserving, and making accessible old, rare, fragile, and sensitive materials over the entire range of the Library of Congress classification scheme. As it is impossible to collect actively in all fields, certain collections are more significant than others. As a rule, the Rare Book Collections avoid the subject areas of law, medicine, music, and East Asian languages, since other campus libraries specialize in these areas. Genealogy and military science are also not collected. An overview of collections provides a brief overview of some of the more important rare book collections available for use at The Bancroft Library.

The Walt Disney Family Museum Friday, Nov. 6, 2015 From Mickey Mouse to Snow White, from Mary Poppins to Disneyland, Walt Disney’s artistry and imagination helped define 20th-century America. The Walt Disney Family Museum brings his legacy to life and invites viewers to find their own creative inspiration in his story.
The museum illuminates Walt’s fascinating life: his tremendous successes as well as his disappointments, and his unyielding optimism as he worked tirelessly to advance the art of animation. Walt was a risk-taker who influenced popular culture through pioneering animated and live-action films, television programs, theme parks, and other new technologies. His story is told through innovative, interactive galleries. Visitors get to know Walt through early drawings and animation, movies, music, and listening stations featuring his own voice, among others. A 13-foot model of Disneyland as Walt originally envisioned it is a perennial favorite with museumgoers.

Located in a historic brick building on the main post of San Francisco’s Presidio, the 40,000-square-foot museum melds history with state-of-the-art technology, including more than 200 video screens sprinkled throughout our galleries. Visitors can also enjoy the Museum Store, Learning Center, and Fantasia-themed theater, which shows Disney classics six days a week.

Chabot Space Center Saturday, October 10, 2015 The mission of Chabot Space & Science Center is to be a place for students of all ages to learn and be inspired about the Universe and our Planet Earth.Founded as an observatory in 1883, today Chabot offers visitors the very latest in hands-on interactive exhibits, displays, and Planetarium shows that explore the mysteries of the universe and of life here on earth. Set amid beautiful redwood parkland in the hills above Oakland, yet just 2.5 miles off the freeway, Chabot is also home to Nellie, Rachel and Leah - their three magnificent telescopes and the largest on the west coast open weekly to the public (shown above is Leah, Chabot's historic 8" Alvan Clark refractor telescope. It is the original 1883 instrument donated by founder Anthony Chabot.). Here visitors of all ages can experience for themselves the wonders of the cosmos as they gaze through the telescopes at distant stars and planets.

California Historical Society on the Anniversary of the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition Sept. 19, 2015 In the early twentieth century, a splendid walled city of domed palaces, palm-lined courts, and monumental statuary arose on San Francisco's northern shore. The 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE), a world's fair commemorating the opening of the Panama Canal just nine years after the devastating earthquake and fires of 1906, emerged on 635 acres of land previously underwater. In celebration of the PPIE's centennial, the California Historical Society presents an exhibition exploring the PPIE as a critical event that shaped the San Francisco we know today—a city undaunted by tragedy, audaciously innovative, rising to meet the challenges of the day.

We invite you to take a journey inside the exposition to see what fairgoers would have encountered 100 years ago in the grand palaces, exotic foreign pavilions, and the amusement midway known as the Joy Zone.

Visit to Tara Firma Farms (between Novato and Petaluma) August 13, 2015 After an inspiring talk by Tara, the owner, we will tour the farm (a bit of hill climbing required, this is Petaluma, after all), see pigs in the field without nose-rings, chickens (really free-range) and cows (grass fed, not corn). They rotate the animals from one pasture to another on a daily basis to conserve the land. Tara will tell us about a natural process to raise chickens, pigs and cows - Cage Free, Free Range, and Pasture Raised, and why you might care. Also, how soil/grasses rely on grazing of chickens, pigs and cows; life cycles connecting animals, plants and soils; and how grazing cows can help to solve global warming. After the tour we will have lunch provided by Tara. A bonus for this visit is membership in the farm, normally a $15.00 charge.

Anything Goes! We Celebrate Summer at The Lesher Theater Saturday, June 20, 2015 You will absolutely love this show at the Lesher Theater in Walnut Creek. Winner of the 2011 Tony Award for Best Revival, Anything Goes begins with the SS American heading out to sea with two unlikely pairs off on the course to true love, proving that sometimes destiny needs a little help from a crew of singing sailors, an exotic disguise and some good old-fashioned blackmail. Peppering this hilariously bumpy ride are some of Cole Porter’s most memorable standards, including “I Get a Kick out of You”, “It’s Delovely”, and of course, “Anything Goes”.
Some basics: Presented by Center REPertory Company; Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter; Original Book by P.G. Wodehouse & Guy Bolton and Howard Lindsay & Russel Crouse; New Book by Timothy Crouse & John Weidman; Directed by Michael Butler.

Historic Stroll through Suisun City with Gary Holloway: Early Days, Refuge for Earthquake Victims, Today. Saturday, April 18, 2015  Suisun City is a small suburban city set amidst the bulrushes and marshes of Solano County. It is one of the oldest cities in California, having been established shortly after the Gold Rush as a port to handle agricultural and timber products for this newly settled part of our state. This area was inhabited for over ten thousand years by the Suisunes, a branch of the Patwin tribe. The name Suisunes means the "west wind". This small city of just a few hundred people became a backwater area, even though it is located on the main transcontinental railroad line, due to the establishment and growth of other nearby better-located places such as Vallejo, Benicia and Fairfield. On our stroll, we will walk Main Street, and find that the three famous large hotels there are all gone, having burned down. And the tallest building in the city, the Masonic Lodge, was pulled down many years ago. From Main Street, we will go through the City Plaza, along the waterfront promenade and through the historic small back residential streets that still contain post-1906 Earthquake housing, all of which capture the unique flavor of this very special place.

Fertile Ground: Art and Community in California - Saturday, March 21, 2015 Our visit to the Oakland Museum is for a special docent-led tour of works from both the museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Illuminating local histories and social forces that changed the face of art in and beyond the Golden State, the exhibition tells the stories of four creative communities at decisive moments in the history of California art: the circle of artists who worked with, influenced, and were influenced by Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in San Francisco in the 1930s; the legendary painters and photographers associated with the California School of Fine Arts in the 1940s and 1950s, including Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, Richard Diebenkorn, David Park, Minor White, and Imogen Cunningham; the free-spirited faculty and students at UC Davis in the 1960s and 1970s, such as Robert Arneson, Wayne Thiebaud, William T. Wiley, and Bruce Nauman; and the streetwise, uncompromisingly idealistic artists at the center of a vibrant new Mission scene that took root in the 1990s through the present, including Barry McGee, Chris Johanson, Margaret Kilgallen, Amy Franceschini, Ruby Neri, Alicia McCarthy, and Rigo 23, along with many others.

Blu Homes Factory Tour: These Are Anything But Ticky-Tacky Boxes! Saturday, January 24, 2015 We return to Mare Island to go behind the scenes and see first-hand the design, engineering and construction of the extraordinary prefab homes being built by this innovative company. Located on Mare Island, Blu Homes has focused its efforts on designing not just “green” but architecturally appealing and surprisingly priced pre-fabricated homes – really eye-opening, modern and efficient, all in a single package. While the Mare Island facility is Blu Homes’ headquarters and design center, their houses are already found across the U.S. from the Pacific Northwest to the East Coast.

Due to limitations at this location, we will be touring in groups of 6 with the first group starting at 10 am, the second at 12 noon and the third at 2 pm.

The Christmas Revels: In Celebration of the Winter Solstice Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 1:00 PM Our final event for this year takes us to see  the California Revels at the Scottish Rite Theater on Lake Merritt in Oakland. Since 1986, California Revels have brought their unique theatrical, participatory arts form to audiences in the Bay Area. Founded by singer, author and music educator John Langstaff in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1971, The Christmas Revels crosses religious and ethnic boundaries and appeals to young and old alike. The Christmas Revels blends traditional music, dance, ritual and folk plays from many different cultures, presented by a large volunteer chorus of children and adults drawn from the community, accompanied by highly talented professional actors, musicians, artists, directors and “bearers of tradition.”
Our show opens in 1930s Appalachia and then goes westward through the bayous of Louisiana and on to the Pacific Coast. And what a trip it will be! We have arranged for great seats in the first 3 rows of the center dress circle at the theater so sign up quickly to secure your places.

Bodega Marine Laboratory, University of California Davis Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 11:00 AM Carpooling is strongly recommended for our November event which is a docent-led visit to the Bodega Marine Laboratory. Our day will begin at the BML’s west wing where we will see a 24-foot-long display of many local fish and invertebrates as well as a kelp forest. Beyond the display is a harbor aquarium with anemones and other sub-tidal shore organisms. Other aquaria include local and some unique marine creatures, a tidepool display and much more. For more information and to prepare for this important event, see BML’s website at http://bml.ucdavis.edu/

The Presidio from Earthquake Refuge to Part of the National Park System Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 1:00 PM We will visit the Presidio to learn about its critical role in the 1906 earthquake to its current transition from a military base to a crown jewel in the National Park System. Our docent-led walking tour will commence at the parade ground flag pole near the Officers’ Club and will allow us to better understand the Presidio’s role while a U.S. Army Post (1846-1994), as a refuge after the earthquake to the present day.

Lines on the Horizon: Native American Art from the Weisel Family Collection Saturday, September 6, 2014 We return to the de Young Museum today for a docent-led tour of this exceptional collection of indigenous arts from the American Southwest. Over 1000 years’ worth of ceramics, weavings and drawings from both the Weisel collection and the de Young’s permanent collection will be exhibited. Included will be work from Navajo artisans and Hano Pueblo and also Northwest Coast and Plains artists.

Herb Caen Dash with Gary Holloway Saturday, July 26, 2014 For over 50 years, newspaper columnist Herb Caen was the poet and chronicler of San Francisco, working for both the San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner.  Herb’s daily column was the most read part of these newspapers and his wit and wordsmithing were legendary in the Bay Area.  Over the years and especially during wet-weather periods, Caen developed a route from his office south of Market Street to his favorite restaurant, Le Central, on Bush Street near Grant Avenue.  He proudly called this route the “Herb Caen Dash.”  To honor Caen, we are going to replicate his Dash route on this walk.  This is a fun and level walk which starts at the main front door entrance to the Chronicle building at the southwest corner of 5th and Mission Streets.

The tour will end at Le Central, 453 Bush Street, and if you are interested in staying there for lunch, indicate this when you sign up for this event.  Certain San Francisco VIPs often lunch there as they did when Herb was still with us.

Visit to the Computer History Museum Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 11:30 am Here’s our chance to find out why computers go back an estimated 2000 years. Our Docent-Led visit to Mountain View’s Computer History Museum will include the exhibit “The First 2000 Years of Computing,” and the IBM Watson exhibit. We will see and hear the pioneers in computing telling their personal stories and so much more. Our docent will be waiting for us at the museum to introduce us to the fantastic exhibits the museum has organized for us. We will be encouraged to do some “hands-on” games, take pictures (no flashes) and really get involved in the computing

John Steinbeck’s Of Mice & Men - Sunday, March 30, 2014 “got you to look after me…and you got me to look after you.” We return to the Cinnabar Theater in Petaluma for Steinbeck’s masterpiece.  Directed by Sheri Lee Miller, the play is a bittersweet tale about friendship and hope. Lenny and George can’t count on anything except each other. Working on a ranch, they save their dimes and dream of buying their own farm… but the boss and his flirtatious wife could spoil it all. Don’t miss joining us for this touching portrait of two underdogs in pursuit of the American dream. “Painfully honest… Of Mice and Men packs a punch!” – Back Stage

Sandhill Crane Wetland Tour Announcement follow-up; in January, date TBA If you remain interested in the tour of the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve in January, please email or call Judy Hardardt (hardardtj@gmail.com or 707-696-9498) before November 8.  The tour will take place in mid-January but sign-ups with the California Fish and Wildlife Department cannot be done until the middle of November.  Once I’ve been able to get us signed up, you will be emailed (and an announcement posted on the ΦBKNCA web site) so that you can confirm you’ll be able to attend.  No information as to cost per person is available so far.

A Grand Night for Singing: Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Music Saturday, December 7, 2013 This is our “must see” event for this year! A Grand Night for US! The music of Rodgers and Hammerstein in revue at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek will include something from every R&H Broadway musical, including Carousel, Oklahoma!, The King and I, South Pacific, Cinderella, and The Sound of Music.
We have 20 seats blocked out and may not be able to get more so call or email right away if you want to be part of our kick-off to this year’s holidays.

Our Halloween Special Tradition Returns! We visit Alfred Hitchcock’s San Francisco on Saturday, October 26, 2013 The Master of Suspense loved San Francisco and used its beauty, elegance and mystery to great effect in several films. From Nob Hill to Union Square, we will see some of the hotels, clubs, retail stores and other locations featured in Vertigo and other Hitchcock classics. We'll learn why Hitchcock chose these locations and how he filmed them. And we'll learn about their history, architecture, and the stories they tell about San Francisco fifty years ago and today.
We will meet at the fountain in Huntington Park, off Sacramento Street between Taylor and Mason. The tour ends in Union Square and includes a steep downhill walk. And a steep walk uphill back to your car (or take a cab).

We Will Tour Oakland’s Paramount Theater Saturday, September 21, 2013! The San Francisco Chronicle’s Jon Carroll described the Paramount as the world’s best haunted house with its “tunnels, trapdoors, secret doors, crawl spaces” to quote part of his article on the theater. We will visit this gem of old time movie theaters with its gaudy, rococo, ornate, not-long-ago restored interior including the definitely working Wurlitzer organ. This is a not-to-be-missed event.

Pirates of Penzance at Santa Rosa Junior College Summer Rep Sunday, August 4, 2013 Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance has been enjoyed by audiences worldwide ever since 1879. Pirates of Penzance was the fifth of the collaborations by G&S and includes the much-parodied “Major-General” song. We will be attending the final matinee performance of the SRJC Summer Rep, and for those  interested, we will stay afterward for an early dinner at one of the many superb Santa Rosa area restaurants.

All Aboard for the Western Railway Museum! Sunday, July 7, 2013 We will be experiencing California as it was 100 years ago, taking a 10-mile electrically powered train trip through the peaceful, picturesque Montezuma Hills over the original historic main line of the Sacramento Northern Railway. As a living history museum, the Western Railway Museum gives visitors the opportunity to ride authentic historic streetcars and interurban electric trains from all over California and the western United States. After our train ride, we will tour Car House 3 to see the train cars and trolley cars that have been restored, are in the process of restoration or waiting patiently for the volunteer hands that will skillfully bring them back to life.

Tour of the Stanford University Campus Saturday, June 8, 2013 Mission accomplished! We will meet at the oval east of the quad (Palm Drive) where we can find parking and begin our tour of the Stanford University campus, focusing on the historic architecture from the early days to the present. Our tour will be led by Gary Holloway, tour guide extraordinaire, and will include historic buildings and their stories, the chapel, the rose garden and will end at the Hoover Institution, hopefully with a great overview from the top of the tower.

We Return to Mare Island – Wednesday, March 27, 2013 At the special request by many ΦBKNCA mem­bers, we will be returning to his­toric Mare Island for a docent-led visit. Our tour will include St. Peter’s Chapel with its Tiffany stained glass windows, the Mare Island Artifact Museum, the Admiral’s mansion, and the Colonial Revival era Officers’ Row mansions. We will also be able to check out the dry docks along the waterfront of Mare Island Strait.

A bit of history: David Glasgow Farragut founded the Mare Island Shipyard in 1854 and the Navy closed the yard in 1996. During the active period, over 500 ships, including nuclear submarines, were built at Mare Island Naval Shipyard.

Tour of the Oakland Aviation Museum – Saturday, January 19, 2013 From the early days of aviation until the start of World War II, the Oakland Airport was one of America’s most significant airports. The Aviation Museum includes in its displays aircraft from the Wright Brothers Model EX to the Short Brothers Solent MKIII, the “flying boat”. We will enjoy a docent-led tour of the Museum and learn the ins and outs of these early days of aviation. We will get a chance to appreciate where we started and how our aircraft developed over the years.

Hallowe’en at Cypress Lawn Cemetery: The High Society Tomb Walk. Saturday, October 27, 2012, 1:30 pm   Our annual Hallowe’en Special this year will focus on the famous California pioneers interred at Cypress Lawn Cemetery. These people played important roles in the development of San Francisco and the Golden State itself. Our docent is a local historian who has written numerous articles on California pioneers as well as several books on Peninsula history. Don’t miss this very special event! Boo!

Take me out to Ball Park: A Player’s Eye View of Baseball’s Perfect Address! Saturday, August 18, 2012. It’s the ballpark where home runs can be “splash hits” and the breathtaking Bay view rivals the action on the field. It’s where one of baseball’s most hallowed franchises plays inside an architectural landmark.

Our behind the scenes visit to AT&T Park will start with a private tour taking us to places only the players and staff go and includes the field warning track, a dugout, the visitor’s indoor batting cage, the visitor’s clubhouse, the press box and a luxury suite. Following the tour, we will enjoy lunch at the park that includes sandwiches, chips, bottled water & dessert prepared by Boudin Bakery.

San Mateo County History Museum, Redwood City - Saturday, July 21, 2012, 11 AM. The San Mateo County History Museum is an innovative regional history center located in the Old County Courthouse in Redwood City. Featuring interactive experiences, the History Museum's long-term exhibits are the place where we can explore San Mateo County’s rich and colorful history. On the National Register of Historic Places, the 1910 courthouse features a stained-glass dome and mosaic tile floor. Glenn Allen designed the building to look as impressive as San Francisco City Hall.

Born Yesterday at the Cinnabar Theater, Petaluma - Sunday, June 3, 2012, 2 PM. Garson Kanin’s wonderful comedy, so appropriate in the 2012 election year filled as it is with tales of Washington political insiders, greed and government cover-ups, will be our treat of the month in June. Sign up early as these tickets will be going faster than Emma 'Billie' Dawn – live on stage – can answer the phone.

San Francisco Palace Hotel—Historic Tour - Tuesday, March 20, 2012 Majestic. Spectacular. Words fail to convey the extraordinary beauty of the elegantly restored Palace. See this 1909 Beaux Arts gem for yourself, and discover why it's consistently ranked as one of the top luxury hotels in the world! We will meet our tour guide on the right side of the hotel lobby at approximately 10:45am. Consider staying for lunch at the hotel after the tour is completed. Be ready to learn lots of history! Enjoy checking out this site: www.sfpalace.com/assets/u/PalaceHotelFamousGuests.pdf

You Say “En-dive” and I Say “On-deev” -Wednesday, January 25, 2012 Remind you of a song? But let’s not call the whole thing off. This is a once-in-a-lifetime visit to the only place in the US where Belgian-style Endive is grown/produced. And it’s in our backyard. We will visit California Vegetable Specialties in Rio Vista to learn all about endive from Richard Collins, the UC Davis grad who started the business. After our visit, we will adjourn to The Point Restaurant (www.pointrestaurant.com/) for a special luncheon with lots of ways to continue learning about endive and to enjoy a very special surprise guest.

Holiday Traditions at Filoli Tuesday, November 29, 2011 Our visit to Filoli two years ago for their “Holiday Traditions” was such a success that we are doing it again! Come and enjoy the excitement of Filoli’s spectacular nine-day Holiday Traditions event. Shop the Holiday Boutique, with its wide range of unique holiday gifts to be found throughout the house, while performers sing and play seasonal melodies. Filoli will be decorated for the holidays from top to bottom, both inside and out. Weather permitting, we will be able to explore the gardens as well as doing some Holiday shopping. We will stay at Filoli for lunch as well (reservations will be made for all of us) and if we are as lucky as we were at our last visit, we will leave feeling totally spoiled!

Physicians: Saints or Scoundrels and Millionaires Row at Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland—Tuesday, November 15, 2011 Close enough to Hallowe’en for our visit to the Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland’s answer to Pere Lachaise in Paris. We will enjoy a guided introduction to the final resting places of Charles Crocker, Julia Morgan, Thomas Hill and more. The cemetery was designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and its spectacular vistas of the Bay Area are in themselves worth the visit. Our visit will involve using cars to take us to the various points of interest to save us time and energy and to allow us to focus on the stories shared by our docent.

Private Docent-Led Tour: Marine Mammal (Rescue) Center – Friday, September 23, 2011 The mission to expand knowledge of marine mammals—of their health and that of their ocean environment—and to inspire their global conservation, is the overriding objective for the hard-working people at the Marine Mammal Center. Their core work is the rescue and rehabilitation of sick and injured marine mammals, supported by state-of-the-art animal care and research facilities, a corps of dedicated volunteers and an engaged community.

We will have a docent-led tour of the facility, escorted through this unique outdoor animal rehabilitation hospital, have our questions answered, and learn the stories of the current patients. We will view seal and sea lion patients and learn how the hospital functions, look into key areas such as the fish kitchen, chart room, laboratory, and post-mortem area (optional). Depending on the number and type of patients they have onsite, we may be able to watch animal-care crews in action preparing and offering food, cleaning pens, and helping with medical procedures, as well as observe technicians doing laboratory analyses. Hands-on experiences with rescue equipment and touching pelts enhance the tour and highlight the characteristics, behavior, and adaptations of the seal and sea lion patients.

Visit to Cheese Country – Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company – Saturday, August 27, 2011  “Our cows eat local grasses all year long. The milk is consistent in our stable coastal climate. The salty, Pacific breezes help cure and age our cheese and we don't rely on milk from any other farm. This allows us the ability to guarantee consistent, supreme quality all year long.” Bob Giacomini, owner.

Thanks to the recent article in Sunset Magazine, it was really difficult to get a good date to visit the Giacomini Family Farm in Point Reyes, especially since we wanted it on a Saturday so that all members could sign on. Our visit to Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company and their new cooking school, The Fork, will start with a one-hour tour of the farm, possibly led by owner Bob Giacomini. Following the tour, we will enjoy a cheese presentation with a 1½ hour focused tasting of 5 cheeses paired with accompaniments and two wines. We will also have the opportunity to sample cheeses not yet on the market from the private cheese cellar. For more information about this Giacomini Family venture, visit their website at www.pointreyescheese.com.

Southwestern Banded Blankets: Three Cultures, One Horizon – San Jose Quilt Museum – Thursday, July 21, 2011 After a hiatus of several years, we are visiting the San Jose Quilt Museum once again. This time we will enjoy a docent-led tour of a unique exhibit and the first of its type to focus exclusively on banded blankets by Native American weavers. These utilitarian and simple striped blankets showcase the rich cultural tradition of the Pueblo, the Navajo, and the Spanish Colonial Rio Grande blankets of the “Four Corners” area of the American Southwest. United by common elements of stripes and indigo coloration, these blankets are elegant in their design composition, sophisticated balance, and amazing variety.

Southwestern Banded Blankets provides a special opportunity to examine the austere beauty and subtle variations of three traditions of these rare, well used textiles. A catalog of the exhibition will be available. http://www.sjquiltmuseum.org/

Ruth Bancroft Garden Tour, Walnut Creek — Saturday, June 4, 2011 – Deadline May 28 We’re having a docent-led tour of the famous Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek. Learn all about how the garden was created, about the plant collection and about water-wise gardening. Our tour will last about 1½ hours, after which we are free to explore at will, check out the plants for sale and learn about the many programs offered at the garden. If you receive this before May 28 and are interested, call Judy Hardardt (707) 696-9498.

Splendors of Faith/Scars of Conquest The Arts of the Missions of Northern New Spain: 1600-1821 at the Oakland Museum of California Thursday, April 14, 2011
This exhibition, which originated at the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso (Mexico City), explores the rich artistic legacy of the Franciscan and Jesuit mission churches in northern Mexico and the American Southwest. Many of the missions were exuberantly decorated with lavish paintings, sculpture, furniture, and liturgical objects and vestments. The exhibition will showcase 125 objects from collections in Mexico, the US, and Europe, including many from the missions themselves. OMCA is the only California venue for this traveling exhibition and one of only two in the United States. Website http://museumca.org/exhibit/splendors-faithscars-conquest

VIP Visit to Michael Mondavi’s Folio Winery in Napa. Saturday, March 26, 2011 It amazes me that it’s just seven years ago that the Michael Mondavi family purchased the property that has become the home to both Folio Winemaker’s Studio and Folio Fine Wine Partners. The former produces such wines as I’M (Isabel Mondavi) Wines, Oberon, Hangtime, Spellbound, Medusa and Mahoney Vineyards. The latter represents wines from California, Argentina, Italy, Austria, Spain and New Zealand.

I first became aware of Folio when I was in of all places, Lincoln, Nebraska. Seeing wines by Frescobaldi on a restaurant wine list, and being a fan of that particular winery which is a centuries old family operation outside Florence, Italy, I bought a bottle to enjoy with dinner. Checking the label to find out who was importing it, I discovered Folio in the Carneros district of Napa listed as the importer. I’d never heard of Folio, but as a former Napa resident, I contacted them as soon as I was back home. Needless to say, that Folio was the creation of Michael Mondavi made me more interested.

Twenty of us will have the very pleasant experience of visiting the Folio Winemaker’s Studio and enjoying a VIP introduction to Folio in its many “iterations.” Included will be tasting of Private Cellars wines – some from the Frescobaldi Family – all complemented by a selection of cheeses for pairing with the wines. A vineyard tour and more are included. Our group size is limited so as to maximize the quality of our experience.

Docent-Led Tour of the Charles Schulz Museum, Santa Rosa, Thursday, January 20, 2011 Our docent-led tour of the Charles Schulz Museum is built around the museum’s mission to preserve, display and interpret Schulz’s art. The Peanuts Cartoon Strip collection of over 7000 drawings is the heart and soul of the collection and spans Schulz’s work from 1950 to 2000. The tour will last about 45 to 60 minutes after which we can explore the permanent and special exhibit galleries on our own and/or enjoy lunch in the “Warm Puppy Café.”

Holiday Tour of Dunsmuir Mansion, Oakland – Saturday, December 4, 2010 Our holiday tour is to one of the gems of the Bay Area. Dunsmuir's volunteers will have worked more than 5,000 hours to transform this 16,000 sq.ft. mansion into a magnificent masterpiece of an Edwardian holiday display. Each room will be decorated with elegant holiday trees, garlands, antique furnishings, and festive decorations. Our visit is a self-guided tour of approximately 45 minutes, and while the grounds are open from 11 am to 5 pm, our actual tour of the mansion will begin promptly at 1 pm. Our tickets include the scheduled mansion visit, access to the Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate grounds and activities, and the gift shop. Note: carpooling suggested; limited parking on street or possibly on the grounds for a fee.

Customized Wine Tasting Event at Thomas Fogarty Winery--Saturday, November 6, 2010 What began as a pastime is today the Thomas Fogarty Winery and Vineyard, one of the San Francisco Peninsula's most respected wineries. A Stanford Cardiovascular Surgeon and world-renowned inventor, Thomas Fogarty took up home-winemaking in the early 1970's in a small cabin on the current winery site. He planted his first grapes in 1978, and in 1981 established a commercial winery in the historic grape growing region of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Twenty-five acres of Burgundian-style varietals are planted on the 325 acre estate, focusing on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and small lots of Merlot and Sangiovese. The winery property, located directly west of Palo Alto and Stanford University, sits on Skyline Blvd. at a 2000-foot elevation. The long, cool growing season and excellent sun exposure provide an ideal climate for these grape varieties. Dr. Fogarty's vision is to produce high quality, character-filled wines which take full advantage of the unique soil and climate of this appellation.

Our visit to the winery is customized for Phi Beta Kappa members and their guests and will include a more detailed and in-depth wine-tasting experience with wines specially selected to accompany the program which explores the history and operation of this extraordinary winery.

Chocolate Fest! Saturday – October 9, 2010 Chocoholics beware! This event is being held on Saturday so that those of us still gainfully employed can participate. The Chocolate Tour we did last year in San Francisco was great and we're hoping to top that this year when we visit the Belmont Congregational Church where we will be able to sample the wares of some 20 different vendors of chocolate, including their ice cream, gelato, brownies, cakes, cookies, truffles & candy of every sort as well as chunks of pure chocolate. And, in addition to all the chocolate, we'll enjoy free champagne and coffee, plus the atmosphere provided by the Michael Medwid Jazz Trio. There are also a chocolate boutique and prizes. This is a charitable event benefitting community programs such as Samaritan House, Second Harvest Food Bank, Interfaith Hospitality Network.

Rosie the Riveter & WWII Home Front National Historical Park – Thursday, September 16, 2010 One of America's newest historical parks, Rosie the Riveter & WWII Home Front National Historical Park is right in our own backyard. While we all know the stories about Rosie, our visit to and ranger-led tour of the park will give us the "nuts and bolts" (pun intended) behind the myths and legends of this fascinating effort which took place during World War II.
The Rosie the Riveter Memorial in Richmond's Marina Bay Park is fully accessible and open year round, dawn to dusk, as are the other Richmond city parks within the National Park's boundaries. The SS Red Oak Victory Ship was built in the Kaiser Shipyards and is located in Historic Shipyard #3 in the Port of Richmond. For those of us who collect them, a National Park PASSPORT STAMP STATION is on the Ship. Be aware that the ship has a steep gangplank, and is not fully accessible.

Walt Disney Family Museum – Wednesday, August 18, 2010 When you wish upon a star…the Walt Disney Family Museum, recently opened on the grounds of the Presidio, will allow us a peek into the life of this fascinating and creative man, his achievements, his stories, and his entrepreneurship. The 10 interactive galleries in the museum, its theater, the models of Disneyland and more, illuminate Disney's successes, disappointments, and never-ending optimism. The creator of Mickey Mouse, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disneyland, and the global yet distinctly American company that bears his name, Disney was a risk-taker who started his first business at the age of 19 and worked tirelessly to elevate animation to an art form.

Tour of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco - Thursday, June 3, 2010 One of the world's foremost collections of historic United States currency can be found at the San Francisco Fed.  Our 90 minute-long pri-vate tour of the Fed will include the Currency Pro-cessing oper-ation areas, the cash vault, the interactive lobby exhibit and the historical currency collection. Be prepared for a unique experience! No souvenirs or samples will be available, however.

NOTE: We are required to provide the Fed with the names of everyone in our group two weeks prior to our visit. Please bring a form of identification (passport, driver's license, or state-issued identification card) with you. The name on your ID must match the name on the list we will be providing them prior to our visit.

Enjoy Brunch and Theater with Mark Twain! at Cinnabar Theater in Petaluma Sunday, April 11, 2010, Time 11:30 am to about 4 pm Is He Dead? by Mark Twain, adapted by David Ives.

After his obituary was mistakenly published in the American press, Mark Twain sent a cable from London stating "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." Unlike what appeared in the newspapers, rumors of this play were not exaggerated - it received its world premiere on Broadway in 2006 - and it’s a live one! Jean-François Millet, a brilliant but unrecognized painter, can’t sell a landscape to save his life (literally). His wacky bohemian friends convince him that faking his death is just the ticket for raising his stock. So Jean-François disappears from life and re-emerges as his imaginary twin sister, a widow both mad and madcap. Here’s gold dust in your eyes, as extended horseplay involving the stench of Limburger cheese and the deconstruction of a woman of “artificial parts” will make you howl for more.

Tutankhamun and The Golden Age of The Pharaohs, de Young Museum, San Francisco Wednesday, March 3, 2010 Here is a great chance to see the updated "King Tut" exhibition, especially for those of us who missed the one back in the 1970s.
More than 3,000 years after his reign, and 30 years after the original exhibition opened in San Francisco, Tutankhamun, ancient Egypt’s celebrated “boy king,” returns to the de Young Museum. It is a glorious exhibition of over 130 outstanding works from the tomb of Tutankhamun, as well as those of his royal predecessors, his family, and court officials.

Tutankhamun was one of the last kings of Egypt’s 18th Dynasty and ruled during a crucial, turmoil-filled period of Egyptian history. The boy king died under mysterious circumstances at the age of 18 or 19, in the ninth year of his reign (1322 BC). Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings was filled with magnificent treasures meant to ensure his divine immortality. Many objects belonging to the young king—exquisite personal items used in his daily life—were placed in it.

All of the treasures in the exhibition are more than 3,000 years old. Note that this is not a docent-led tour as they are available only at 8 or 8:30am (before the museum opens). Audio guides will be available at additional cost.

San Francisco's KQED Radio and TV Education Network Thursday, January 21, 2010, Cows in the KQED Studios? Take a nostalgic trip through KQED's history, starting in the 1950s. This docent-led tour will take us through the KQED facility and includes the history of public radio and television and the current challenges they face, such as funding, political and other external pressures. Our tour will include the FM Master Control Room and a "working" studio, the videotape library, TV Facility (Studios A & B, Production Control Room, Equipment Rack Room, Edit Suite, Ingest Suites and Master Control Room). In addition, we will visit KQED Interactive and have an overview of their Web Site and the KQED Education Network.

The San Francisco Gourmet Chocolate Tour Saturday, November 7, 2009 “Exercise is a dirty word. Every time I hear it I wash my mouth out with chocolate.”  

Do you love fine chocolate? Join us in San Francisco for a private Chocolate Tour with Gourmet Walks! Our guides will take us on a delicious three-hour walking and tasting tour of the city's best chocolate makers. We'll learn about how fine chocolate is made, understand its health benefits and see the latest trends from bean to bar. We'll visit seven different gourmet chocolate boutiques in downtown San Francisco, and taste a variety of bars, bon-bons and hot chocolate. Since the days of the Gold Rush, San Francisco has had a love affair with chocolate and is now at the center of the new wave of artisan chocolatiers, experimenting with high quality beans, new production methods, exotic fillings and breathtaking packaging. Come find out why! 

And, we will also get "Chocolate Lover Cards" to use on future chocolate shopping trips! 

Our tour leaves at 2:30 pm sharp from Justin Herman Plaza, located at the foot of Market Street and the Embarcadero. Our group will meet at the base of the AMERICAN FLAGPOLE at 2:20 pm, close to the Hyatt and the entrance to Embarcadero Center. Look for the tour guide with her umbrella!

Tour of Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site, including Tao House- Saturday, September 19, 2009.  Deadline: September 1, 2009 "I will always be a stranger who never feels at home…who must always be a little in love with death." The Long Day’s Journey of Eugene O'Neill began in New York City where he was born in 1888. It encompassed infancy in hotel rooms and theater wings, Catholic boarding schools, Princeton University, Honduras, South America, flop houses, a TB sanitarium and so much more.
One of America’s most prominent playwrights, Eugene O’Neill won four Pulitzer Prizes and the Nobel Prize for Literature for his playwriting. He is often thought of as the father of modern American drama for the new, uniquely American style of tragedy he created. Eugene wrote what he considered, and what many critics consider, his best work while living at Tao House.
During our tour, we will no doubt learn some tidbits about O'Neill's family and background, such as the fact that his father was the famous late 19th Century actor James O’Neill who is best known for playing the Count of Monte Cristo over 6,000 times. Or, that Greta Garbo made her talking picture debut in the 1930 MGM version of O’Neill’s Pulitzer Prize winning play “Anna Christie.”
Accessibility: Transportation is accessible to wheelchair users with advanced notice. The first floor of Tao House is accessible. A media presentation of the second floor guided tour is available.

Historic Tour of the Presidio of San Francisco-Tuesday, July 14, 2009.  Deadline: July 1, 2009

Did you Know? In the three days following the 1906 earthquake, the Army's refugee camps at the Presidio issued 3,000 tents, 12,000 shelter halves, 13,000 ponchos, 58,000 pairs of shoes, and 24,000 regulation blue shirts.

Did You Know? In 1915, a tragic fire at the Presidio claimed the lives of General Pershing’s wife and his three daughters. Pershing's son, Francis Warren, survived the blaze and chose to enlist in the army as a private during World War II. By the end of the war he had achieved the rank of major.

Did You Know? The Presidio has a rich cultural history spanning back to the time of the native Ohlone people. The Spanish arrived in 1776 to establish the northernmost outpost of their empire in western North America. The Presidio then fell under Mexican rule for 24 years before the U.S. Army took control of it in 1846. Over 148 years, the U.S. Army transformed the Presidio grounds from mostly empty windswept dunes and scrub to a verdant, preeminent military post. Since 1994, the Presidio has been a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Our tour of portions of the Presidio by one of City Guides’ docents will cover the extensive history of the Presidio while we explore its historic places.

A Visit to Bay Area Turtle and Tortoise Rescue- Saturday, June 6, 2009 Lewis Carroll: "We called him Tortoise because he taught us…Achilles had overtaken the Tortoise, and had seated himself comfortably on its back... 'You flatter me - flatten, I mean, said the Tortoise; for you are a heavy weight, and no mistake! Well now, would you like to hear of a race-course, that most people fancy they can get to the end of in two or three steps, while it really consists of an infinite number of distances, each one longer than the previous one?' "
The largest tortoise refuge in northern California is in our own backyard, where Ginger & Gary Wilfong care for hundreds of injured, threatened, and unwanted tortoises and turtles at their home in Castro Valley. We will visit the refuge and learn how this dedicated couple found their mission in life, rehabilitating and releasing back into the wild when they can, and how they care for the tortoises and turtles when release is not possible.

The Bay Area Turtle and Tortoise Rescue doesn’t have a website, but some articles have been written. For links to some great pictures and more information, see the ΦBKNCA online newsletter at www.newsletter.pbknca.org

Quarryhill Botanical Garden Highway 12, Glen Ellen, CA - Saturday, May 16, 2009 Quarryhill Asian Botanical Garden, a world-renowned botanical institution with living examples of the beautiful and threatened temperate flora of East Asia, celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2007. Home to one of the largest collections of scientifically documented wild-source Asian plants in North America and Europe, Quarryhill Garden covers 20 acres of land in the Mayacamus Mountains of eastern Sonoma County. Our docent-led visit to Quarryhill is the first for ΦBKNCA and we will have the opportunity to see rare and endangered species from both China and Japan which represent ancestors of horticultural favorites found throughout the western world.

Following the tour, we will be able to picnic at the garden's lovely picnic area, so bring your lunch with you or stop at the Glen Ellen Village Market (707-996-6728, ext. 16) to pick up your box lunch that you can order ahead.

Private Docent-Led Tour of "The Dragon's Gift: The Sacred Arts of Bhutan"- Wednesday, April 22, 2009 The Dragon's Gift: The Sacred Arts of Bhutan. Asian Art Museum We will enjoy a private docent-led tour of this exceptional exhibit, com-prised of more than 100 works of art dating from the eighth to the twentieth centuries, including thangkas (paintings on cloth), gilt bronze sculp-tures, and ritual objects.

Located in the Himalayas to the east of Mount Everest and Nepal, Bhutan is unique as a sovereign nation that has maintained its culture, arts, and religious and political traditions intact. It is one of the few countries in Asia that was never colonized by its neighbors or by Western powers. The first exhibition of its kind to focus on the Himalayan nation's Buddhist culture, The Dragon's Gift provides an exceptionally rare opportunity to view some of the most sacred and beloved Buddhist arts of Bhutan. Many of the objects remain in ritual use in temples and monasteries and have never before been accessible to a Western audience. In an unprecedented effort, the exhibition also documents ritual Buddhist dance forms through video footage that will be shown on monitors situated in the galleries.

Note: The Café Asia at the museum will be available to us for lunch. If you are interested in lunch at the café, please include that information when you send in your reservation coupon and payment for the event.

Treasures of the San Francisco Mission District, Thursday, March 19, 2009. The largest collection of Hispanic murals in the world outside of Mexico are found in San Francisco's Mission District. We will see approximately 80 of the almost 200 murals chronicling Latino history in a tour led by Gary Holloway, Bay area walking tour guide extraordinaire.

Included in our visit to the Mission District will be a stop at the Precita Eyes Mural Center, home of Mujeres Muralistas, where about 90% of the murals are created by women and where we will also have a chance to learn about their educational programs and community outreach efforts.

In addition, the tour includes a visit the Cesar Chavez School and Balmy Alley, both displaying a collection of extraordinary murals. Our visit will culminate in a stop at San Francisco's oldest ice cream parlor, the "St. Francis", complete with its original soda fountain, where we may enjoy lunch or some good ice cream concoctions.

The New California Academy of Sciences! Friday, February 27, 2009.    In September 2008 the new Renzo Piano- designed academy opened its doors to rave reviews. Blending seamlessly into the landscape of Golden Gate Park, this architectural gem is an epitome of energy efficient design, topped with a 2.5 acre living roof of native plants.
   As we tour the Rainforests of the World exhibits, the Philippine Coral Reef, have a virtual African safari, visit the Morrison Planetarium and enjoy the Academy Gardens and the Living Roof, we will have Docents and Academy staff available at each point to help us get the most out of our visit. In addition, if you so choose, Audio Tours are available for $7.00 each. We will end our visit at approximately 1 PM with "Dutch Treat" lunch at the Academy Café. After lunch, you will be on your own to continue your visit or to go home for a nap.

Blackhawk Automotive Museum - Saturday, January 17, 2009. Deadline December 17, 2008.   The Blackhawk Museum, opened in 1988, showcases about 90 cars, many of which are on loan from Museum friends worldwide. These automotive treasures are a carlover's dream, blending art, technology, culture and history, including a treasure of coach-built cars.
   Cars frequently arrive at the Museum after they have been exhibited at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance each August. Thus, at Blackhawk, these same cars can then be seen all year long. This concept keeps Blackhawk's exhibition diverse and ever-changing; in recent years Museum visitors have seen such spectacular Pebble Beach entrants as a 1903 Mors J. Rothschild & Fils limousine, a 1909 Winton Touring Model 17, a 1911 Mercedes Labourdette Skiff, a 1936 M.G. PB Airline Coupe, a 1968 Bizzarrini 5300 S.I. Spyder, and the 1937 Figoni et Falaschi Delahaye 135 that received Best of Show during the Pebble Beach Concours' 50th anniversary in 2000.  

We will enjoy a docent-led tour of the museum which will take approximately one hour; you will be free to enjoy the museum following the tour. The museum is located at the end of the Blackhawk shopping plaza, which includes an assortment of boutiques, restaurants, galleries and many other shops. With a stream running through its manicured landscaping, from the fountain atop the Museum's plaza to the outdoor terrace of the Blackhawk Grille, the Plaza provides a unique shopping experience as well as lunch. For more information on the plaza

Tour of John Muir Home and Historic Site: Saturday, November 16, 2008. My life these days is like the life of a glacier…one eternal grind…soon I'll throw down my pen and take up my heels and go mountaineering once more. So said John Muir on one of those days we all have now and then. But for Muir, this was not a fanciful dream but a definite reality, for Muir was to many of us the original mountain man. He was famous as a preservationist and as a naturalist - if it hadn't been for John Muir, Yosemite National Park might never have been created. Muir was also personally involved in the creation of the Grand Canyon, Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and Mt. Rainier National Parks. Muir is also credited with the founding of the Sierra Club (with William Colby) in 1892 and served as the Club's president until his death in 1914.
   The John Muir National Historic Site is located in Martinez. Our tour will include a docent-led tour of Muir's home and the property that surrounds it.

History Cruise on the USS Potomac: Thursday, October 2, 2008. The USS Potomac was first commissioned "The Coast Guard Cutter Electra" on June 30, 1934. She was subsequently re-commissioned "The USS Potomac" in 1936, after being chosen to become the Presidential Yacht, enjoyed by then president Franklin Delano Roosevelt as his "Floating White House". The Potomac is docked in Jack London Square. The history tour will include the story of the ups and downs (literally) of the ship and how she was adapted to serve the needs of a physically handicapped President, and all the while we will be enjoying the very special views one can only get from the waters of the San Francisco Bay.
Be sure to bring sunglasses, a jacket and a cap or hat that will not blow off and land in the water. Binoculars and cameras are also a good idea. We will meet at the dock at Jack London Square no later than 10:30 AM as the ship leaves the dock at 11 AM. We will complete the tour at approximately 1 PM. Lunch will be available at area restaurants of your choice.
Access: The Presidential Yacht Potomac does not fully comply with the facility access standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The facility allows limited access for the mobility impaired. Potomac docents or staff are available to provide access assistance to mobility-impaired.

Jack London State Historic Park – Friday, September 19, 2008. I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time. Jack London (1876 - 1916)
Once known as Jack London's "Beauty Ranch," the park's 1400 acres include the Beauty Ranch, Museum, Wolf House ruins and more than 10 miles of trails. Our visit to the park will include a docent-guided tour that will include the House of Happy Walls, the Londons' gravesites and the ruins of the Wolf House. A service is available for members needing assistance getting to the Museum and the Wolf House. We will enjoy a picnic at the park after the tour, so bring a brown-bag lunch. After lunch, you are free to explore other areas of this fascinating facility. For those with ambulation problems, a cane may be useful, since some of the paths are a little narrow. For additional information, including a video

Repeat Tour of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory – Thursday, September 11, 2008, 10 AM  We are providing this tour again; last year we were obliged to turn some prospective attendees down because the Lab bus, which transports us from downtown Berkeley to the Lab, seats only 20 people.
  You will recall that the Laboratory was founded many years ago by late Berkeley professor Earnest Lawrence, the inventor of the cyclotron. Dr. Lawrence was the first member of the UC Berkeley Faculty to win a Nobel prize. Since then, this same research facility has received at least ten more Nobel awards. Owned by the United States Department of Energy but operated by the University of California, its research facilities are available to any qualified scientist in this country, and possibly from other countries as well. We have been promised guides who will discuss topics of research at the Lab different from those that were discussed on the prior tour.

Tour of the Buck Institute on Aging - July 17, 2008   While the process of aging is one which none of us can escape, as Winston Churchill once remarked, “It’s better than the alternative!” As those years roll by at an ever-speedier pace, we all recognize the problems that arise with aging. Some of us may have already experienced these in our parents: alterations in physical status, cognition and memory, ability to carry on the activities of daily living, (the ADL’s of the geriatrician), medical care including medications, boredom and in some instances, especially in women who tend to live about five years longer than men, loneliness.
   The problems bear especial relevance in the US with the aging of the baby boomer generation. As a result of a number of factors, the percentage of our elderly population, as in all developed countries, is increasing rapidly. It is estimated that by 2050, one third of the US population will be elderly.
   The Buck Institute, located in Novato, California and funded by the Buck Trust, was established to approach aging problems through research and education.
   Dr. Leonard Buck was a pathologist on the staff of University of California Medical Center; his wife was trained as a nurse. Prior to Mrs. Buck’s death, she wisely asked that part of the estate be used to “extend help toward the problems of the aged.”
   Located on approximately 488 acres on Mount Burdell in Novato, The Buck Trust opened its research Institute in 1999. To learn about some of its research projects, as well as its facilities for education, visit www.buckinstitute.org where a wealth of information on the nature of the Institute’s priorities and programs may be found. Better still, visit the Institute in person by filling out the coupon for our private, pre-arranged tour, and mailing it with payment as indicated on the coupon in the next newsletter.

Tour of the Audubon Canyon Ranch: The Bolinas Lagoon Preserve - Saturday, May 17, 2008   This past July our members enjoyed a tour to a remarkable area, the Bolinas Lagoon of the Audubon Canyon Ranch in Marin. Because of its enthusiastic reception by the attendees, we have scheduled a second tour on Saturday, May 17, 2008.
   This delightful site consisting of hillsides, coastal scrub, redwoods, chaparral and many hiking trails was saved in 1962 for posterity. The dedication of private individuals made possible its purchase and donation to the Audubon Society.
   Webster’s Dictionary defines a lagoon as a “shallow sound...or pond communicating with a larger body of water.” The Bolinas Lagoon is much more than just a body of water, however. In addition to providing a major nesting colony for The Great Blue Heron and the Great Snowy Egret, it attracts a wide variety of ducks and other birds as well. Our tour is scheduled for a time when the chicks will be hatching and visible.

Tour of UC Berkeley Botanical Garden - Saturday, April 12, 2008   There is a fabulous garden in Berkeley covering 34 acres. The Garden, a part of UC Berkeley, boasts a scientific collection of over 13,000 plants from all over the planet arranged in geographic order. Nine major regions are represented, including a Mediterranean garden, an Asian garden, a Southern African garden, a “New World Desert”, a South American garden, a garden representing Australasia, a Mexico/Central American garden, an Eastern North American garden, and, of course, a California garden. Since picnic tables are available, bring a brown bag lunch. After completion of the guided tour, visitors are free to explore other areas of this beautiful facility. For those with ambulation problems, a cane may be useful, since some of the paths are a little narrow.

San Francisco Civic Center Tour, March 13, 2008 Most of us have been in the vicinity of the San Francisco Civic Center on one occasion or another. One of our most popular mentors, fellow Phi Bete Paul Cooney, will be our guide. Although the tour is listed as the Civic Center Tour, Paul assures me that his emphasis will be  on City Hall, one of the most impressive municipal halls in the United States.  Paul has selected  Thursday because on Thursdays, some of the sessions in progress are open to the public. The tour will also include the San Francisco Public Library. Tour lasts about two hours, and should conclude by noon.
For those who may wish to have lunch in the area afterwards, there are many good restaurants, including Citizen Cake at 399 Grove where lunch is available until 2:30 PM. Some members have expressed interest in having lunch after the tour at the Carème Room, sponsored by the California Culinary Academy, located at 625 Polk Street near Turk. For more information and reservations call (415) 771-3500, or reservations may be made online at www.opentable.com, specifying Carème Room. Lunch there is available between 11:30 and 12:45 by advance reservation. Our guide, Paul Cooney, may have additional suggestions for lunch in the Civic Center area.

Anchor Brewery Tour January 11, 2008 Over the past two years, one tour has out-subscribed all others in popularity, the tour to San Francisco’s beloved brewery, founded in the late nineteenth century. We’ve been most fortunate in obtaining permission to schedule another tour of the Brewery this coming January 11, 2008, Friday, at 2:00 PM. The tour might be entitled Brewing 101.
Our guide, an employee of the Brewery, is most knowledgeable about the wide variety of ales and other brews created at this immaculate, state-of-the-art institution. The tour lasts about two hours, and involves some walking up and down stairs. Tasting of a number of samples is offered. One caveat. Be cautious about just tasting a very small amount  if you are the one who drives home!

deYoung - Tour of the Louise Nevelson sculpture exhibit - Saturday, November 3, 2007 Come join us for a guided tour of an exhibit of one of the most innovative and ingenious American artists of the twentieth century. No ordinary artist, Louise Nevelson was a pioneer in the art of transforming found objects into fascinating works of art. The de Young Museum of San Francisco has mounted an exhibition of more than seventy examples of her craftsmanship. Her art is unique in the true sense of the word. As mentioned by the Museum, her work is a not only a story in sculpture, but also the autobiographical statement of a gifted woman artist. The exhibit is drawn from many public and private collections and comprises both sculpture and works in paper. The Whitney Museum in New York, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Walker Art Center and the Jewish Museum of New York have all participated in loaning examples of her work.

Filoli Tour in the autumn - Friday, September 28, 2007 Because of its beauty and the diversity of its plantings, Filoli has always been a popular destination for lovers of flowers, the out-of-doors, and the green world in general. While many of us have had the pleasure of visiting Filoli in the past, to fully appreciate its beauty, one should visit it in the different seasons of the year. A guided tour is being arranged for us in late September. Here’s our opportunity to visit Filoli in the autumn. Granted, it is not identical to fall New England foliage, but it certainly is still a glorious experience. For visitors in wheelchairs, certain paths of the garden are accessible. For more detailed information, consult Filoli’s website: www.filoli.org.

Tour of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory September 7, 2007 Come visit a world famous scientific and historic landmark, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The Berkeley Lab is the home of the first cyclotron, invented by the Laboratory’s founding father and UC Berkeley’s first Nobel Laureate, Ernest O. Lawrence. Discover how the Laboratory, founded in the depths of the Great Depression, initially in a small wooden building, went on “from typewriter to cyclotron” to win a total of eleven Nobel prizes for its distinguished and brilliant staff. High on the hill overlooking the UC Berkeley campus (the view of the Bay is great), the Laboratory is the oldest of the US Department of Energy’s laboratories. Its annual budget exceeds 500 million dollars, and it employs 3,800 persons, including over 500 students. It is organized into a multitude of scientific disciplines. Next best to visiting the Lab in person, one may appreciate the full extent of its scope by pulling up its website at www.lbl.gov. One of California’s most innovative and prestigious scientific institutions, it is well worth a visit.  A two-hour guided tour of the Berkeley Laboratory has been arranged for us on Friday, September 7. We are to meet in downtown Berkeley and will be transported by bus as a group to the Laboratory.

Tour of the Audubon Canyon Ranch: The Bolinas Lagoon Preserve, Saturday, July 7, 2007 The Bolinas Lagoon Preserve is a thousand acre sanctuary located on the lower portion of the Marin peninsula, above Stinson Beach. It consists of open hillsides, coastal scrub, grassland and chaparral, redwoods, stream ponds and freshwater march habitats. The Preserve supports a major nesting ground for herons and egrets, particularly the Great Blue Heroin and the Great and Snowy Egret. The Preserve is a part of the Audubon Canyon Ranch, founded in 1962 to save the nesting colony of egrets and herons. These beautiful birds nest each spring in the tops of tall redwood trees in Picher Canyon. In the nearby Lagoon and tidelands, they find food for their young and themselves. All sorts of wildlife in addition to the herons and egrets abound in the area. Although eight miles of hiking trails are available, facilities are also available for the less ambulatory among us. There are picnic tables; bring your brown bag lunch with you, and your camera and binoculars. It’s an opportunity to enjoy a charming area of our state; don’t miss it! Website: http://www.egret.org/bolinas_lagoon.html

Nob Hill Walking Tour - Saturday, June 23, 2007 Come join our expert City Guide, and fellow Phi Bete, Paul Cooney, on a tour of San Francisco’s legendary site, Nob Hill. Famous hotels are to be found here, including the luxurious Huntington, the Fairmont, the Mark Hopkins, and the Stanford Court. Learn about the background of the men behind these institutions who amassed the wealth that enabled them to build these magnificent facilities. Other features include a great cathedral, the Pacific Club, and many other points of interest. Paul is a walking encyclopedia on the subject of San Francisco. He assures me that most of the walk is on a level surface, although it does involve one moderate grade. We will meet in front of the entrance to the Stanford Court Hotel. The hotel is on the corner of Powell and California, and the address is 905 California Street.

Chinatown Walking Tour, Saturday May 19, 2007 What could be more San Franciscan than its Chinatown, the largest enclave of its kind outside of Asia? Come join us for a walking tour, led by a City Guide expert. We will visit the side streets and alleys of this colorful section of the City.

Learn about the family associations, the sewing shops, and other community organizations. Visit the live markets with their chickens and turtles, and the produce markets; view the famous Chinatown Gate, and check into some of the art galleries. Inquire of your guide regarding the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, and such fascinating Chinese style buildings as the Bank of America and the Bank of Canton. Explore the shops offering a multitude of Chinese products. Check into the wide variety of Churches, and the better restaurants. City Guides are very well informed and welcome questions.

RAILROAD MUSEUM TOUR IN OLD SACRAMENTO - Friday, April 20, 2007 All Aboard for the Railroad Museum! History buffs, and non-history buffs, you're all welcome! Come visit one of the renowned Museums in all of California, the California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento. Even those of you who have never experienced the fun of traveling on a Pullman car as a youngster, hauled by a steam locomotive chugging away, punctuated by the lonesome and haunting warning of the train as it approached automobile intersections, you'll love this visit to California's and America's past. With the advent of the transcontinental railroad, following the Gold Rush, the trials and tribulations of crossing the continent in a covered wagon became a thing of the past. The transcontinental railroad project took place largely during President Lincoln's administration, but the event was clearly overshadowed by the Civil War. (Lincoln, himself, had been an attorney for the Illinois Central Railroad).

The construction of the railroad was accompanied by many collateral events, including the importation of Chinese workers who played a vital and valuable road in its construction, the development of locomotives powerful enough to scale the mountain ranges of the great west, and the culmination of the joining of the two railroads, the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific, with the driving of the Golden Spike at Promontory, Utah in 1869. (The Golden Spike National Historic Site is now part of the National Park Service).

Our tour begins with a movie, followed by a tour of the exhibits. The great locomotives of the past have been lovingly restored. Special features are the Pullman dining car and the Pullman sleeping car. Don't miss this tour!

Stanford Mansion Tour - Saturday, March 3, 2007 website http://www.stanfordmansion.org/ One of the truly historic sites of California history is located in the former home of Leland and Jane Stanford. As a result of the efforts of a foundation, formed to restore the home as it was in the 1860's and 1870's, we now have an opportunity to experience the home as the Stanfords knew it in their lifetime. Interactive exhibits, artifacts and an orientation film are part of the visitors' legacy. One may observe many of the original furnishings of the Stanfords, the polished wood paneling, gilded mirrors, and crystal chandeliers. Visitors are also welcome to stroll through the Victorian Garden surrounding the Mansion.

San Francisco Bay Area Model Tour - February 6, 2007 Come join us in exploring the Model of the San Francisco Bay Area. We have arranged for a guided tour in early February. The Bay Model is a most remarkable learning facility dedicated to explaining the geography, the ecology and the human and natural history of the San Francisco Bay and Delta around which we live and probably largely take for granted.

The Army Corps of Engineers, responsible for most of the dredging and filling projects around the Bay, maintains the Bay Model in one of the original Marinship warehouses. The model is a two acre functional scale model of the entire Bay and Delta region, built originally to test bay fill projects, such as the Reber Plan, and which is now used primarily as an educational display. It is the only remaining, intact, and functioning hydraulic model of this size in America, and it shows the whole of the Bay and Delta region, surrounded by displays and kiosks.

Explanation of the tidal action, and the currents and eddies become more relevant as we recall the disastrous Tsunami which occurred in Asia recently. The Model provides a dynamic example of the various natural phenomena affecting our coastline. The Model is located close to Sausalito, and is best reached by automobile. After visiting the Model, we will have a much better appreciation of the unique area in which we live.

Anchor Brewing Company Tour - Thursday, January 11, 2007 Website http://www.anchorbrewing.com Come sign up for what has been one of our most enjoyable and informative tours , the venerable (1896) Anchor Brewing Company of San Francisco. Although limited to a maximum of twenty persons, and to weekdays, since the Brewery is closed on weekends, the popularity of the tour was self evident. Accordingly, we decided to repeat the tour this year.

The tour is conducted by a member of the Brewery staff, who is most knowledgeable, which is fortunate since beer making is a very old industry.. One soon learns that there are a multitude of varieties of beers and ales. The facility is spotless and immaculate, and most impressive.

The tour lasts about two hours, involves some walking, and tasting of the various beverages is offered

San Francisco Holiday Walk - Friday, December 8, 2006 This is the fourth year of one of our most popular programs.
In describing the details of the walk, with Jean James’ permission, I’m going to repeat, with some personal modifications, part of her enthusiastic description of this highly successful event!
Are you under the impression that Christmas decorations are just a few features of Macy’s window? Bestir yourself! Come join us for a guided tour of the uncommon holiday decorations in San Francisco. Our guide again will be Tom Filcich, an experienced tour guide for the College of Marin. We’ll visit many sites not usually included in ones daily routine. The artistry and design of many of these decorations demonstrate the virtuosity of their creators, and truly constitute a visual feast. Like Cleopatra, they are “of infinite variety.” In addition to the buoyant spirit of the holiday season, the walk enables one to become acquainted with a number of the major buildings and institutions, which play so vital a role in the life and commerce of San Francisco. The history of the individuals who inspired and built some of them will be mentioned. Be on the lookout for the portraits of two famous nineteenth century gentlemen, magnificent in their bearded state, Mr. Wells and Mr. Fargo, adorning the wall of the institution which they founded. Tom is very well informed, and welcomes questions.

We will meet in the atrium of the Ferry Building, near the Peet’s Coffee location, at 10:00 A.M., and make our way to Union Square. At the conclusion of the walk, those who wish to do so may dine at one of the many restaurants in the area, or do some holiday shopping. Lunch is not included in the fee.

Hawk Hill Tour-Saturday, October 28, 2006 California Wildlife viewed from Hawk Hill in the Marin headlands, is one of our most popular tours and for good reason. At this location, very close to the northern exit of the Golden Gate Bridge, is a remarkable opportunity to personally witness the fall migration of raptors (birds of prey). Among the birds that fly over this area, depending on the time of year, are: Ospreys, white-tailed kites, Northern harriers, Sharp-shinned Hawks, Cooper’s Hawks, Golden eagles, and American Kestrels to mention just a few.

Ranger\Naturalist Phil Johnson will be our guide as we ascend Hawk Hill, where some of these remarkable birds can be observed during their fall migration. We may also have the chance to witness some captured birds and observe the banding process. There will also be a talk on the subject of avian raptors. Interested members are urged to obtain a wealth of more detailed information available at the very informative Golden Gate Raptor Observatory website: www.ggro.org.

Dress warmly, since this is scheduled for late October. Bring sunscreen just in case the sun shines, binoculars if you have them, and your own lunch and water, since there are no food facilities. Although there is no picnic area, one may sit anywhere while watching the birds. All trash must be packed and removed from the headlands. Portable restrooms are available.

Walking Tour of the Landmark Victorians - Saturday, October 14, 2006 View some of the most colorful and famous Victorian homes of Alamo Square in San Francisco with a member of Phi Beta Kappa as our personal guide! The Painted Ladies include the world famous Postcard Row. The walk does entail some upgrade, but our guide has promised to be considerate of the physical limits of our group. PBK member David Paul Cooney will meet us in front of 824 Grove Street.

Mission Murals- Saturday, October 7, 2006 Treat yourself to an artistic display of world famous, fabulous, colorful murals in the Mission District of San Francisco. City Guides provides a walking tour, complete with personal guide, through a most unusual collection of decorated buildings in an unforgettable display of people’s art. Some of the murals depict historical, Latino legendary figures. Meet at Precita and Harrison behind Flynn Elementary School. Some murals may be view here

ALERT ALL ART LOVERS! READ THIS NOW!- Friday, September 15, 2006 Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco exhibit entitled “Monet in Normandy” For art lovers among our membership, and for fans of French Impressionism, in particular, we have the opportunity of a lifetime! The Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco has just announced a forthcoming exhibit entitled “Monet in Normandy”. This is a traveling exhibit and will be on display only three months, from June 17 to September 17, at the Museum. We have arranged to have a guided tour, just before the exhibit leaves San Francisco, of 50 magnificent paintings by the celebrated French painter whose painting “Impression of the Rising Sun” gave its name to the Impressionist School. (We don’t expect that painting to be on display, but if you look to your left, there it is!) Some of his works will include his paintings of Rouen Cathedral, the seaside at Trouville, and the beautiful water garden he created at his home in Giverny. We fully realize that the September Newsletter will barely have arrived in your home before the date of our tour, September 15! Nevertheless, after consultation with other members of our Board, we have decided that this is too outstanding an opportunity to forego. Please spread the good word to other members of our organization about this epic event.

Computer History Museum Tour, 1401 North Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View, CA Website Saturday, July 15, 2006 Looking back over the years, there was that new medium, radio. The early radios had huge speakers and earphones, and squawked with static a good deal. Then television came along with initial black and white screens not much larger than an unabridged dictionary in diameter. After an interval, color television arrived on the scene. Now, we are immersed in the computer age, the latest development in telecommunication. Computers are still relatively “new” in that all of the technical bugs haven’t been eliminated. What could be more timely than to visit the Computer History Museum in the heart of Silicon Valley? Some of the earliest computers models are on display: Eeniac, Johnniac, Cray 1, Apple 1, among many of the earliest prototypes.

Tour of Davies Hall and the War Memorial Complex The San Francisco Opera House and Veterans Building\ Herbst Theatre Monday, June 19, 2006 We shall have an opportunity to tour three of the major centers of the performing arts in San Francisco, as well as review some local and world history. Davies Hall is celebrating its twenty-fifth birthday, which makes this a timely opportunity to review the features of Davies Hall. Because of their proximity, we shall also have the opportunity to visit its two historic neighbors on Van Ness Avenue in the Civic Center. The three structures face San Francisco City Hall. For the curious, we’ll find out who Ms. Davies was; learn about the construction of the War Memorial Complex, and its historic role as the birthplace of the United Nations. We’ll also note the site in the Opera House where the United Nations Charter was signed by President Truman and other world leaders on June 26, 1945. We’ll have an opportunity to view some of the glorious features that characterize both the Opera House and the Herbst Theatre. Also of historic interest in the Herbst Theatre are the famous murals originally commissioned for the Panama Pacific Exposition of 1915, and executed by Frank Brangwyn, a famous Belgian muralist. The tour will take only an hour or two, and will be geared to the walking limitations of the tour group.

Note: Ms. Virginia Miller, the person in charge of the tour of the three performance halls at the Civic Center telephoned me after receiving my letter confirming our "Backstage Tour". She corrected the misimpression I was given that this was a Backstage Tour. It is a "Front Hall Tour" of all three buildings, as advertised, Davies, Opera House, and the War Memorial including Herbst Hall.

Holy Trinity Cathedral Saturday, May 13, 2006 We Americans pride ourselves on the diversity of our population. Except for native Americans, we are all either immigrants or descendants of immigrants.One of the most remarkable examples of our diversity is the Holy Trinity Cathedral, located in San Francisco. The congregation which first engendered the Cathedral traces its roots to December 1857 with the founding of the Greek Russian Slavonian Orthodox Eastern Church and Benevolent Society.

At first, chaplains from Russian Navy ships visiting San Francisco Bay served the spiritual and sacramental needs of the congregation. In 1868, an Orthodox Priest from Alaska was sent to conduct services during Holy Week. In 1878, another Alaskan missionary became the first Rector of the San Francisco parish. Over the years, many distinguished pastors served the congregation on a regular, full time basis.

The bell tower of the Cathedral contains five wonderful bells donated by the Emperor Alexander III in 1888. The temple itself is illuminated by a grand chandelier donated by the last tsar of Russia, Nicholas II. Tradition has it that he also donated a beautifully decorated icon of his patron saint, Nicholas of Myra and Lycia to the Cathedral. Many other highly valued objects as well as gorgeous icons are features of the Cathedral. Today, the Holy Trinity Cathedral is a multinational American Orthodox community, and the only one in San Francisco which conducts its services in English.

Join us in visiting this remarkable institution in the heart of San Francisco. The Right Reverend Benjamin, Bishop of Berkeley has kindly agreed to serve as our guide.

Architectural Tour of the New de Young Museum Saturday, April 1 at 9:30 AM Note: While the tour is over (and we had a great time), we strongly recommend that you go visit the Arts and Crafts Exhibit entitled "International Arts and Crafts: William Morris to Frank Lloyd Wright" at the Museum from 18 March 2006 —18 June 2006. For more information, see the website at http://www.thinker.org/deyoung/exhibitions/exhibition.asp?exhibitionkey=520

The de Young Museum has been a beloved feature of the Bay Area dating back to the late nineteenth century. For the past several years it has been closed during construction of its beautiful new home. The new “state of the art” de Young Museum is now a reality! It’s here, awaiting our critical inspection.
Located in the heart of Golden Gate Park at 50 Hagiawara Tea Garden Drive, the museum is once again available as a favorite center for art appreciation and edification Our docent guided tour, will last about an hour, emphasizing the art and architecture of the Museum. You are free to inspect any other collections of special interest to you following the guided tour. Lunch, not included in the price of the tour, may be obtained afterwards at the Museum Cafe.

Centennial Exhibit of the San Francisco Earthquake San Francisco MOMA Saturday, March 25, 2006 It was on the eighteenth of April, not in “75" (1775) but in 1906. Teddy Roosevelt was in the White House; Orville and Wilbur Wright of Dayton had flown their Wright flyer less than three years before at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, and a young Swiss patent clerk had just published some obscure physical theories a year earlier. Although sliding tectonic plates were unheard of then, the young City of San Francisco was suddenly torn asunder by one of the most devastating, destructive earthquakes in human history. Commemorating the centennial of that tragic episode, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has mounted a magnificent exhibition of photographs not only from its existing collection but also from privately held pictures of the event as well. Our personally guided tour of this exhibit, the opportunity of a lifetime, indeed of a century, is scheduled for Saturday, March 25 at 11:15 A.M. at the Museum, 151 Third Street in San Francisco.

The Mechanics Institute Library and Chess Room Thursday, January 19, 2006. Plan to visit the beautiful Mechanics Institute Library and Chess Room. The Institute, a genuine treasure of San Francisco, is currently celebrating its 150th year of existence. Located downtown within one block of Market Street at 57 Post Street, the Institute is indeed a remarkable and unusual organization. First established in 1854 by tradesmen and engineers, a subscription library was soon organized which now encompasses the humanities and the arts as well as technologic subjects. In addition to serving as venue for a series of monthly lectures, the Institute also serves as the home of the Chess Club, the oldest continuously operating chess club in the United States. The current photographic exhibit covers 150 years of San Francisco history as well as that of the Institute in those formative years. We will assemble in the meeting room on the fourth floor of the library.

San Francisco Holiday Walk Friday, December 2, 2005 This walk was so popular the last two years that we are re-running it…. Do you think of Christmas decorations in San Francisco as Macy's windows and Union Square? Are you suburban types longing for an adventure? Then you are in for a treat. Please plan to join us for a guided tour of the San Francisco holiday scene you have probably never before experienced. Tom Filcich, who regularly leads walking tours of San Francisco for the College of Marin, will be our guide to places most of us never see - at least not during the holidays. We plan to meet at Peets Coffee in the Ferry Building Lobby at 10 a.m. During our three-hour walking tour, we will explore the new Ferry Building, visit hotel lobbies, and see business decorations that you never dreamed existed. We will end our tour with lunch, at your own expense, at the San Francisco center, which offers a variety of choices and prices - not to mention shopping opportunities. After that, you are on your own to shop or return home at your leisure. The cost is $20 per person and our group is limited to 30 people. Dust off your comfortable walking shoes and plan to join us on Friday, December 2, 2005 for a holiday experience you will not soon forget.

Eye Hawks on Hawk Hill Saturday, October 22, 2005 Hawk Hill in the Marin Headlands is one of the best places in the U.S. to witness the fall migration of birds of prey. Join Ranger / Naturalist Phil Johnson as we trek up Hawk Hill looking for HAWKS, FALCONS, EAGLES, HARRIERS, AND OSPREY. During the right conditions, this spot can produce over 100 HPH (hawks per hour). There will be a raptor talk, and we may be able to see the captured birds and a banding demonstration. We may also be able to see the raptors released into the wild while we are there (depending on if (awkward construction??) they catch the birds, of course).

Special Notes: Bring binoculars, snacks, sunscreen and water. All trash must be packed out of the headlands. There is no picnic area on Hawk Hill, but you can sit down anywhere on the Headlands to eat and enjoy the view. There are portable restrooms at the location. Meeting Place: We will meet at the restrooms at the entrance of the tunnel before the short walk up to Hawk Hill (about 500 yards).

Sebastopol Apple Farm Tour (no worms allowed!) Saturday, October 15, 2005 Sebastopol used to ship thousands of tons of apples all across the country. But, the success of the wine industry has led to most of the apple orchards being replaced by wine grape vineyards. Even those who continued in the apple business saw the focus move from fruit to juice. Then, the competition came from Washington State, and now China dominates the apple juice producing market. However, there are a few hardy survivors, like Lee Walker, who are determined to preserve the heritage of apple production in Sebastopol. The Walker family currently grows 25 varieties of fruit annually. Lee Walker sees the future of local farms in specialty and heritage apple crops.

Join us for a tour of the operations of this family business. Due to the nature of this family owned and operated business, we will be starting early for our tour to avoid interfering with business operations, and will not have access to the entire property. However, the family has graciously allowed us to visit, and will share a 45 minute tour covering the history of the business, how it is run, the types of apples grown, and answer questions about their apple growing operation.

During our tour, we will be allowed to taste up to 15 varieties of specialty apples grown on the farm. At the end of the tour, you will have an opportunity to purchase the apples you have tasted (and can’t live without!).

See Historic Petaluma! Saturday, September 24, 2005 Few cities in America have earned the reputation that Petaluma can claim. From one of California’s largest cities (1860s) to the "World's Egg Basket" (early 1900s) to Telecom Valley, Petaluma is an economically thriving and progressive community.

From the 1880s through the 1940s, Petaluma became famous as a poultry town and was known as the "World's Egg Basket". Petaluma was home to the world's only Chicken Pharmacy (as featured in National Geographic and Ripley's Believe It or Not). Great wealth was accrued during this period and is still evident in commercial buildings and homes from that time. Come join us for a docent-led walking tour of the historic "A" Street District, including the Old Palms B&B, the St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church, and many Victorian-era homes. Following the docent portion of the tour, we will be touring a Julia Morgan private home, where we will also enjoy light refreshments. You can drive, or take a 10-minute walk, from the walking-tour location to the Julia Morgan home.

Special Notes: The Julia Morgan home we will be touring is a currently occupied residence. Attendees are requested and cautioned to respect the privacy of the occupants, and not open closets or drawers, or go beyond the bounds of the tour.

Opera House Backstage Tour Tuesday, June 14, 2005 Attention Opera Lovers! Have you ever wanted to know more about the architecture and construction of the Opera House? Have you wondered about its colorful history? Have you always yearned to travel through the auditorium and behind the footlights to the artist dressing rooms, back stage area, and Wig and Make-up Department? If so, this is the tour for you! We will meet at 10:15 am at the Groves Street entrance (opposite Davies entrance) for an Opera Guild docent-led tour beginning at 10:30am.

Treasure Island Walking Tour and Three Course Lunch at the Treasure Island Fine Dining Restaurant Wednesday, April 20, 2005 Treasure Island!! Brainchild of the City of San Francisco - to build a complete island on “shoals” in 1940 to be the official airport. First, however, it would be used for the Golden Gate exposition in 1939, honoring the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge, both of which were just completed. Then the Second World War erupted, and the Navy took the island. Let’s meet at the main gate to Treasure Island to see the remnants of the past, the activities of the present, and the projects of the future during a two hour walk. An all-inclusive three course lunch, prepared by students of one of the vocational training programs on the island, will follow our walk. Tom Filcich, who led the Holiday walk, will also be leading this tour.

Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve Sunday, April 3, 2005 Put your hiking boots on and come join us for a hike of Jasper Ridge during wildflower season. The 1,189 acre preserve is a natural laboratory for researchers, students, and visitors located near the Stanford University campus. It is also a refuge to native plants and animals. The Bay Checkerspot butterfly was studied at Jasper Ridge, demonstrating the value of long-term research in ecology and attracting federal funding of such studies. One monitoring project that hits close to home for many of us has mapped the invasion of Argentine ants and studied their impact on the ecological communities in the path of the invasion. The studies at Jasper Ridge highlight the importance of correlating research and conservation efforts. Come and see the remarkable diversity of the Preserve with us!

Whale and Bird Watching Saturday, March 19, 2005 Did you know that Gray Whales migrate between the North Pacific and Baja California? This 12,000 mile journey may be the longest migration of any mammal on Earth. Come join us for whale and bird watching out of Half Moon Bay/El Granada as we try to spot the whales on their return trip to Alaska and the Arctic. Other species of whales seen off the California coast include Humpback whales, Minke whales, Pilot whales, Blue whales and Killer whales. Various porpoises, dolphins and sea birds may also been seen.

Special Notes: Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed as feed, weather patterns, and individuality affect the timing. Please dress in layers and consider if seasickness medication is appropriate. Don’t forget to bring sunglasses, sunscreen, and of course, your camera.

UC Berkeley Seismological Laboratory Saturday, March 5, 2005 Have you ever been in an Earthquake? Did you know that the U.C. Berkeley Seismological Laboratory works with the U.S. Geological Survey to monitor earthquakes in Northern California? On our private tour of the laboratory, we will learn about the history of the lab, and the role it has played in monitoring earthquakes. We will see live displays of seismic data and will have a tour of the engineering lab. There is a seismometer there, so if anyone wants to try making a little earthquake, go ahead and see what happens! At the end of the tour, we will learn the steps that we can take to help prepare for an earthquake.

Scharffen Berger Factory Tour Sunday, February 6, 2005 Do you need to buy any chocolate for Valentine’s Day? With our tour, each participant will be given a $1 gift certificate that is redeemable in the gift shop after the tour. Scharffen Berger specializes in dark chocolate. They make five types of dark chocolate: semisweet chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, extra dark chocolate, mint chocolate, and mocha chocolate. They also make milk chocolate and have just debuted a line of confections and truffles. On our tour, we will learn about the history of the company and the history of chocolate. There will also be a chocolate tasting, and a tour through the factory.

After the tour, if you would like to have lunch, there is a restaurant called Café Cacao, and you can try some of the Scharffen Berger chocolate in the desserts. Their phone number is 510-843-6000, and their website is cafecacao.biz.

Special Notes: For safety reasons, closed-toed shoes are required on the tour. There is also an age limit for children. They must be at least 10 years of age to join us on the tour.

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum Saturday, January 22, 2005 Come join us for a private tour of the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose. The museum has the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts on exhibit in the western United States, with more than 4,000 artifacts! The museum and collection are owned by the Rosicrucian Order. This fraternal, philosophical organization offers the museum as a gift to the City of San Jose, and the region.

Our docent will provide an introduction to Egyptian history and the museum collection. We will also learn about the kings and queens and the gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt, the mummification process, the mysteries of the hieroglyphs, and tour a replica rock-cut tomb. There are six mummies on display, and they are all authentic (not replicas). After the tour, feel free to browse around the museum or go to one of the Planetarium Shows. Or, just stroll the grounds with papyrus-lined paths, elaborate fountains, and colossal statues of Egyptian gods.

Special Notes: Picnicking is not allowed on museum grounds. Backpacks and large bags are not permitted inside the museum. No video, tripod or flash photography is permitted inside the museum.

San Francisco Christmas Walk: Friday, December 10, 2004 Do you think of Christmas decorations in San Francisco as Macy's windows and Union Square? Are you suburban types longing for an adventure? Then you are in for a treat. Please plan to join us for a guided tour of the San Francisco holiday scene you have probably never before experienced. Tom Filcich, who regularly leads walking tours of San Francisco for the College of Marin, will be our guide to places most of us never see - at least not during the holidays. We plan to meet under the clock tower at the Ferry Building at 10 a.m. During our three-hour walking tour, we will explore the new Ferry Building, visit hotel lobbies, and see business decorations that you never dreamed existed. We will end our tour with lunch, at your own expense, at the San Francisco center, which offers a variety of choices and prices - not to mention shopping opportunities. After that, you are on your own to shop or return home at your leisure. The cost is $18 per person and our group is limited to 30 people. Dust off your comfortable walking shoes and plan to join us on Friday, December 10, 2004 for a holiday experience you will not soon forget.

Lindsay Wildlife Museum Saturday, November 6, 2004 Come join us for a private tour of the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek. The museum is dedicated to wildlife rehabilitation and has one of the oldest and largest wildlife hospitals in the country, treating more than 6,000 injured and orphaned animals each year. The museum is also home to the animals that can not be released back into the wild. On our private tour, we will meet many of these animals, and our tour will finish just in time to see the eagle feeding. After our tour, feel free to explore the learning theatre, discovery room, the gardens, and other animal presentations throughout the day.

Tule Elk Walk Saturday, October 16, 2004 Put on your hiking boots and plan to join us for a naturalist-led walk to see the beautiful and regal Tule Elk at Tomales Point near Pt. Reyes. The elk, which used to be abundant in Central and Northern California, were brought to the brink of extinction by hunting and habitat loss. They currently live on approximately 22 preserves around the state. The largest herd of elk can be found on the grasslands of Tomales Point. They received their name because they used to graze on Tule, a kind of sedge or bulrush. They are also known as dwarf elk or “Wapiti” and are the smallest of the elk. Their Shawnee name “Wapiti” means white rump. The Tule Elk have light bodies and dark heads.

The elk’s mating season (also known as “rutting”) begins in July and continues through the middle of October. During this time, the male elk compete with other males. The winning bull gets the harem. Occasionally, bugling, a clear whistle, is heard as part of the mating process.

Dress in layers, as it can be chilly and windy, or warm and sunny. Don’t forget your binoculars (if you have them), and a sack lunch or visit Tomales Bay Foods at 80 Fourth Street. There are also places to pick up a sandwich in Inverness or Olema. Please also be prepared for ticks in the area. There is no restroom at the Tomales Point trailhead. You could stop at the parking lot for the Abbott’s Lagoon trailhead, a couple of miles before the end of Pierce Point Road, and use the facilities there.

After our walk, you may want to stop at one of the three local oyster companies: Hog Island Oyster Company (415.663.9218), Johnston’s Oyster Farm (415.669.1149) and Tomales Bay Oyster Company (415.663.1242). If you visit one of the local beaches afterwards, please note that they have strong currents, and there have been shark sightings.

Our instructor will be the personable and knowledgeable Wendy Dreskin, a naturalist who teaches the popular Meandering in Marin class for adults at College of Marin, as well as conducting weekly nature education classes at various elementary schools around Marin County. She is the winner of the 2003 Terwilliger Environmental Award.

Calling All Olive and Olive Oil Lovers Saturday, October 2, 2004 Do you long for the taste and beauty of Tuscany? Then mark your calendars now and plan to join us on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2004, when PBK NCA will have the rare opportunity to visit Nan McEvoy's 550-acre organic olive ranch located at 5935 Red Hill Rd. (between Novato and Petaluma). The McEvoy Ranch features 18,000 olive trees thriving in a spectacular valley near the Marin-Sonoma border.

During the tour, we will visit one of the orchards and discuss the horticulture of growing olive trees, McEvoy’s certified organic practices, and their harvest techniques. (Ours is one of the last public tours before the harvest, so it should be quite impressive.) We will then proceed to the frantoio, or olive milling room, to discuss the McEvoy process of extracting olive oil. The visit concludes with a sensory evaluation, tasting, and discussion of the culinary uses of olive oil.

The tour starts promptly at 10 a.m. and ends at noon. At the end of the tour, there will be time available for shopping in the McEvoy Ranch retail store where you may purchase olive oil, olive trees, other olive oil related products, as well as fresh items produced at the ranch.

Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy after the tour just a few miles south of the McEvoy Ranch at the Rouge et Noir Cheese Factory (where you may also buy your picnic items), or travel on to Pt. Reyes Station which offers a variety of luncheon opportunities.

Gold Ridge: Luther Burbank's Experiment Farm Saturday, June 26, 2004 You've heard of the man; you may have visited his house and gardens in Santa Rosa. Now plan to join us at his experiment farm in Sebastopol. In 1885 Luther Burbank purchased a cottage and ten acres of farmland west of Sebastopol where he conducted most of his plant breeding experiments and frequently stayed in the cottage overnight instead of making the hour and a half drive to his home in Santa Rosa. After Burbank's death in 1926, his farm and cottage gradually deteriorated until the Western Sonoma County Historical Society began restoration in 1980. The refurbished cottage and remaining three acres of Gold Ridge Farm are now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
We will have a master gardener demonstration and an approximately hour long docent-led tour of the farm where we will see hybrid chestnuts, walnuts, and quince, as well as many other Burbank plants. In addition to the cottage garden, there are plants for purchase and a small gift shop. Bring a lunch and plan to picnic on the grounds, or explore Sebastopol and the nearby wine country on your own.

Audubon Canyon Ranch Saturday, June 5, 2004 Founded in 1962, this nature preserve is one of the major west coast nesting colonies of great blue herons and snowy egrets. We won't tour all 2,000 acres but we will observe these magnificent birds and their nesting sites and will hear from our naturalist about the native plants and the other animals that find sanctuary at the preserve. We will meet our naturalist at the picnic area, behind the bookstore; for those who would like to come early, we are unable to reserve picnic tables in advance but we will meet at noon. When we visited the Audubon Ranch in 1997, there was no way for those with impaired mobility to view the birds; now the Ranch provides tablescopes at the picnic area for those who cannot manage the walk to the overlook. If you're able, though, be prepared for a moderate, half-mile walk, as we ascend a hill to the Henderson Overlook. Once there, we will have a bird's-eye view (sorry, I couldn't resist!) of the nesting area through powerful telescopes.

San Francisco Pacific Heights Walk Saturday, May 22, 2004 We are extremely fortunate to be able to offer an historical/architectural walk in the Pacific Heights area of San Francisco with noted author and historian Professor Charles A. Fracchia. Professor Fracchia teaches at City College of San Francisco and the Fromm Institute at the University of San Francisco and is a founder of the San Francisco Historical Society. Professor Fracchia knows San Francisco intimately and is hugely popular with students for his well researched knowledge of San Francisco and delightful sense of humor. The walk will be a very special treat!

Takara Sake House, Berkeley Saturday, May 1, 2004 Why is dubbing sake a "rice wine" not quite right? How does the Japanese ceremonial beverage differ from wine? From beer? What is the brewing process? What is a Toji? What ceremonial purpose does sake serve? Why are some types of sake served warm, while others are served chilled? For the answers to these and many more questions (and perhaps to get in the mood for sushi), join us at the Takara Sake House, where our tour guide, Yuka, will lead us through the sake museum and enlighten us. But experience is the best teacher, so we won't leave it at that; we'll hit the tasting bar to truly appreciate the difference between the nation's bestselling sake, Sho Chiku Bai, and, say, Ginjo sake.

San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles: Saturday, May 15, 2004 PBK NCA Treasurer, Mary Turner Gilliland, is also President of the Board of Trustees of the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles. Mary has arranged a very special private tour for us. Our guide through the exhibits will be both a Phi Bete and the Executive Director of the Museum - Jane Przybysz. The featured exhibit when we visit will be "A Generation Apart: Mothers & Daughters & Art" which highlights the work of three mothers and their daughters. All six women are renowned textile artists. One mother and daughter pair is the Romanian tapestry artists, Lucia and Celina Grigore. Although both make large-scale, hand woven tapestries, the subjects they depict are vastly different. Another of the mother and daughter pairs is art quilters Shirley Tyler and Evelyn Wasson. Though both are deeply rooted in the traditions of American quilt design and construction, Shirley Tyler, the daughter, tends to sensibilities that are more contemporary through her use of scale, bold graphics and strong colors. Finally, the mother and daughter pair Rusty Cantor and Leslie Cantor Fallihee are fiber sculptors. The mother's work suggests the mystery of the cosmos and outer space while the daughter's work is much more minimalist and evocative of inner space. The museum and this exhibit in particular will expand your awareness of what textile art can be.

After our tour, don't miss the Museum's gift shop with its unique, handmade textiles and jewelry. Jane will also offer suggestions for lunch at some of San Jose's excellent downtown restaurants or direct you to other venues to explore while you are in San Jose.

Buck Institute for Age Research Thursday, April 8, 2004 What is the nature of aging? What factors trigger the chronic diseases associated with age? Join us on Thursday, April 8, in Novato to find out the answers to these and other questions. The nonprofit Buck Institute, named for Leonard and Beryl Buck, whose estate has funded its generous endowment, opened in 1999. The 488 acre site has 238 acres dedicated to permanent agricultural use, 70 acres deeded as public open space, and a campus designed by world-renowned architect I. M. Pei. During our hour and a half tour, we will explore the biological mysteries of aging, experience Pei's architecture, and discover what scientists are learning about Alzheimer's, stroke, and other age-related diseases. Plan to be in the lobby of the building at 9:45 for our tour, which begins at 10:00. Preceding our tour, Dr. Christopher Benz, the Director of the Cancer and Developmental Therapeutics Program, will join us; Dr. Birgit Shilling, staff scientist, plans to join us afterward.

Seymour Marine Discovery Center Saturday, April 3, 2004 The Seymour Marine Discovery Center is part of the Joseph M. Long Marine Laboratory, a research and education facility of UC Santa Cruz. The laboratory serves as a base for field research in Monterey Bay and the ocean beyond. The Seymour Center reflects the world of the scientist. Rather than the polished, nicely finished look of most museums and aquariums, the interior portrays the labs and seawater aquaria where scientists spend their days. The Seymour Center is organized around the process of how scientists do their work - looking, testing, puzzling and questioning. We arranged a private 45-minute docent-led tour for our group. This will include a tour of the outside grounds with background on the design of the landscaping. We will hear about projects at the adjacent Center for Ocean Health. When we reach the overlook above the dolphin and sea lion pools, we will learn about a current UCSC research project pertaining to these two marine animals. The tour will conclude with advice on highlights to look for when we return to tour the inside exhibits on our own.

Chimney Rock Wildflower Walk Saturday, March 20, 2004 Put on your hiking boots and plan to join us for a naturalist-led wildflower walk at Chimney Rock near Pt. Reyes. In case you have never heard of it, Chimney Rock has one of the most spectacular displays of wildflowers in the Bay Area, with 237 recorded species. On the walk we should see mission bells, pussy ears, goldfields, three species of Indian paintbrush, and many, many more. On inaccessible beaches below, we may see elephant seal weaners, pups left alone when their mothers returned to the sea. Perhaps some harbor seals will be swimming in Drake's Bay, and there is always a chance of a northbound gray whale returning from the breeding grounds in Baja. Bring your binoculars (or share our leader's) to spy on birds like cormorants, surf scooters and brown pelicans. The three-mile walk will take approximately three hours, and has some not-strenuous up-hill parts. Bring a bag lunch to enjoy after our return to the picnic area at Drakes Beach. After lunch, you are on your own to explore Inverness, Pt. Reyes Station, the Bear Valley Visitor's Center, or whatever else strikes your fancy.

Our instructor will be the personable and knowledgeable Wendy Dreskin, a naturalist who teaches the popular Meandering in Marin class for adults at College of Marin, as well as conducts weekly nature education classes at various elementary schools around Marin County. She is the winner of the 2003 Terwilliger Environmental Award.

Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site Tour & Picnic Saturday, March 6, 2004 Participants at our Asilomar Conference this year will have the pleasure of seeing a one-man show on Eugene O'Neill performed by actor/scholar Kurt Gravenhorst. Visiting the Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site would make a perfect follow-up to that program. O'Neill, winner of four Pulitzer Prizes, and the only Nobel Prize-winning playwright from the United States, lived at Tao House in the hills above Danville from 1937 to 1944. O'Neill's interest in Eastern thought and his wife Carlotta's passion for Asian art and décor inspired the name Tao House. It was at this site that he wrote his final and most successful plays: "The Iceman Cometh"; "Long Days Journey into Night", and "A Moon for the Misbegotten". At this 13-acre site, the National Park Service has been restoring and preserving Tao House, plus its courtyard and orchards, and telling the story of O'Neill, his work and his influence on American theater.

Access to the property is limited. Visitors who are part of a pre-arranged tour group are transported to this Historic Site by Park Service mini-bus from a Park & Ride Lot in Danville. So, here is a rare opportunity for a 3-½ hour visit to the Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site. The visit will include a guided tour of Tao House, a self-guided walk around the grounds, a chance to shop at the bookstore featuring writings by and about O'Neill, and time to socialize over a picnic lunch with your fellow Phi Betes. Bring along your own beverage and bag or box lunch since food is not sold on the property

Auguste Rodin Tour of Cantor Arts Center January 11, 2004 The Bay Area community is very fortunate that Stanford University graciously opens one of its greatest treasures, the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts to the public. The Cantor Center owns and exhibits some remarkable pieces of art from several continents and cultures but it is best known for its superb Auguste Rodin indoor galleries and outdoor sculpture garden. Stanford, in fact, owns the largest group of Rodin sculptures outside of the Musee Rodin in Paris. A private 65-minute guided tour of the indoor and outdoor Rodin collections has been arranged for us. You can expect to come away with a greater knowledge of Rodin's life and times and his legacy to the art of sculpture. After our private tour of the Rodin galleries, you have the option of taking a free 2 PM public tour of a special exhibition at the Cantor Arts Center that is on loan only through January 18th. This exhibition titled, "Hudson River School: Masterworks from the Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art", features a selection of 55 paintings by some of the world's foremost painters of the Hudson River School, artists who painted magnificent scenes of America's untamed wilderness. Among the painters represented in this exhibition are Thomas Cole, Albert Bierstadt and Frederic Church. Other options include lunching on a gourmet salad or sandwich at the Museum's 'Cool Café', checking out the Museum's delightful gift shop and bookstore, or just wandering the campus where one can't go far without admiring a lovely building or spying an intriguing piece of public art.

San Francisco Christmas Walk Friday, December 5, 2003 Do you think of Christmas decorations in San Francisco as Macy's windows and Union Square? Are you suburban types longing for an adventure? Then you are in for a treat. Please plan to join us for a guided tour of the San Francisco holiday scene you have probably never before experienced. Tom Filcich, who regularly leads walking tours of San Francisco for the College of Marin, will be our guide to places most of us never see - at least not during the holidays. We plan to meet under the clock tower at the Ferry Building at 10 a.m. During our three-hour walking tour, we will explore the new Ferry Building, visit hotel lobbies, and see business decorations that you never dreamed existed. We will end our tour with lunch, at your own expense, at the San Francisco center, which offers a variety of choices and prices - not to mention shopping opportunities. After that, you are on your own to shop or return home at your leisure. The cost is $18 per person and our group is limited to 30 people. Dust off your comfortable walking shoes and plan to join us on Friday, December 5, 2003 for a holiday experience you will not soon forget.

COPIA Saturday, November 8, 2003 In 1988, legendary vintner Robert Mondavi, with his wife Margrit Biever Mondavi and other leaders in the wine community, began to explore the idea of creating a small institution to celebrate American achievements in the culinary and winemaking arts. The idea attracted others, including key institutions involved in wine and food excellence, and soon the University of California at Davis, the Cornell University School of Restaurant and Hotel Administration and The American Institute of Wine & Food were lending their vision and resources as partners. The result is COPIA: The American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts. Located on 12 beautiful acres along the Napa River, COPIA is a major non-profit cultural institution devoted to exploring the interrelationships of food, wine and the arts.

San Mateo County History Museum Saturday, November 1, 2003 The San Mateo County Historical Association houses its unique collections in the Old County Courthouse in Redwood City. The building boasts beautiful interiors with a mosaic tile floor, a grand stairway, rotunda, and a jewel-like, stained glass dome. This stained glass dome is the largest of its kind in a public building on the West Coast. Our group will enjoy a private 60-minute tour of the building and its collections. Following are examples of the exhibits we will tour. "Nature's Bounty" tells the story of the Ohlone Indians and how subsequent settlers have used natural resources. "Journey to Work" exhibits the vehicles and modes of transportation used on the peninsula and in travel to San Francisco. "Ships of the World" showcases about 20 model ships, from California's Spanish era through World War II, all painstakingly handcrafted from the actual historic plans of the ships by Charles Parsons, who now lives in San Carlos. In historic "Courtroom A", we will learn about early judges and famous cases that made headlines on the peninsula and in San Francisco.

Asian Art Museum of San Francisco Saturday, October 11, 2003 Art lovers agree that the treasures of the Asian Art Museum now have a fitting home in The City's former Main Library which has been handsomely renovated. The Museum's collection spans over 6,000 years of history and is comprised of nearly 15,000 treasures. Please join us for a private guided tour of the Museum's permanent collection on October 11, 2003 at 11:00 a.m. After our tour, you will be free to explore the Museum in greater depth on your own. The cost for the Asian Art adventure is $16.00 per person. We must receive your reservations by October 4, 2003.

Guide Dogs Graduation Saturday, July 26, 2003 Guide Dogs for the Blind is a nonprofit, charitable organization with a mission to provide Guide Dogs and training in their use to visually impaired people throughout the United States and Canada. The dogs and services are free to those served, thanks to the generosity of donors and the support of volunteers. Guide dog puppies are born of the finest breeding stock, cared for by a devoted kennel staff, and placed in the homes of 4-H families at the age of 2 to 3 months. Later, after the dogs return to the center, professional instructors train them to be guide dogs and teach the class of blind men and women who receive those dogs as guides. To learn more about this fascinating work, join us for a tour of the San Rafael Campus followed by the heartwarming guide dog graduation ceremony.

Our docent-led tour begins at 12 noon, so we need to meet at the Administration Building at 11:55. This tour involves an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes of flat walking and standing. The graduation takes place at 1:30 pM and is held outside. The weather can be very hot and sunny (or cold and foggy), so be prepared to cope with the conditions that day. Also, plan to eat lunch beforehand or afterwards, as no picnics are permitted on the Campus. Cameras are welcome.

Napa Valley Wine Train Saturday, June 21, 2003 Join us at the McKinstry Street Depot in Napa on Saturday, June 21, at 11:30 a.m., for a return to the gracious era of elegant rail travel, gourmet food, and distinguished service. You will enjoy a unique dining experience while traveling through the heart of the Napa Valley in a train the interior of which is reminiscent of the famed Orient Express. Besides marveling at the scenery during the three-hour trip up and down the Napa Valley in the company of fellow Phi Betes, the staff will treat you to a three-course gourmet luncheon, starting with your choice of salad (baby spinach with fresh beets, endive, and candied walnuts laced with smoked goat cheese in honey cider vinaigrette) or soup du jour. Then you choose one of the five entrees (to be served with chef’s accompaniments): either roasted Angus tenderloin in red wine-shallot reduction sauce and fried onion ribbons; or pork tenderloin stuffed with gorgonzola cheese over a potato pancake with mushroom cabernet sauce; or smoked chicken pasta (egg and spinach linguine with onions and mushrooms in roasted garlic cream sauce with artichokes and parmesan cheese; or grilled cedar board salmon over cucumber, jicama and arugula with garlic aioli; or stuffed gypsy pepper (a vegetarian selection of wild rice cake, grilled asparagus and roasted gypsy pepper stuffed with sautéed baby spinach and shallots, with fresh steamed vegetables in a tomato coulis). Meals end with freshly created Wine Train desserts, coffee, or tea.

Winchester Mystery House Saturday, June 14, 2003 The Winchester Mystery House is a registered California Historical Landmark. Both the house and Sarah Winchester, the woman who built it, are intriguing. Born in 1837, Sarah Pardee married William Winchester during the Civil War in 1862 at a time when his father’s "Winchester Repeating Arms Company" was making a fortune producing rifles for the government. Sarah was devastated when her infant daughter died in 1866. 15 years later her husband died of tuberculosis. After that, legend and mystery surround her life. Either friends or a spiritualist urged her to move to California for her health and take up a hobby to distract her from her grief. The hobby she chose was architecture. She bought a house in San Jose and for the next 38 years until her death in 1922, she kept workers busy 24 hours a day building onto it. Legend says she was building all those rooms and odd features like stairways leading nowhere to confuse the ghosts of those killed by the Winchester rifle. Despite the many oddities of the mansion, it includes many outstanding elements of Victorian architecture, beautiful Tiffany glass windows, many touches of fine craftsmanship, and innovative plumbing features.

We arranged a private docent-led tour for our group. The 65-minute tour will take us through 110 of the mansion’s 160 rooms. After the tour, your admission includes admittance to the House’s magnificent gardens filled with fountains and European statuary plus admission to two museums on the estate. One of the museums tells the story of the Winchester Rifle, the "Gun that Won the West". After World War I, the Winchester Company diversified into manufacturing products other than guns. The second museum, "The Winchester Antique products Museum" displays items produced in the 1920s ranging from Winchester cutlery, flashlights, lawn-mowers, boys’ wagons, fishing tackle and roller skates, to food choppers, electric irons, and farm and garden tools.

Luther Burbank Home & Gardens Saturday, May 17, 2003 Luther Burbank was born in Lancaster, Massachusetts in 1849. The inspiration for his career as a plant breeder came from his New England farm boyhood and from reading works on plant domestication by Charles Darwin. His first significant "new plant creation", the Burbank potato, provided the income for his move to Santa Rosa, California in 1875 where he lived for the next 50 years until his death in 1926. During his career, Burbank became world famous, introducing more than 800 new varieties of plants including numerous varieties of plums, prunes, nuts and vegetables and hundreds of ornamental flowers including the Shasta daisy and several varieties of roses and lilies. Among the famous people who visited his Santa Rosa home were Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.

We arranged a private docent-led tour for our group. Our "deluxe combo tour" will allow us to explore both the Burbank Home and its varied and fascinating gardens, fully.

Angel Island Excursion March 22, 2003 Angel Island is the jewel of the San Francisco Bay with lovely views of San Francisco, the East Bay and Marin County. On a clear day you can see . . . well, just about everything in the Bay Area. There is more to Angel Island, however, than meets the eye and we invite you to explore the scenic and historic island with us on Saturday, March 22, 2003 at 10:00 a.m. We will depart from Tiburon aboard the Angel Island-Tiburon Ferry for the quick trip to the island. Once there, we will hear a brief history of Angel Island and you will be free to explore at your leisure. While there is some walking involved, this trip will be suitable for children and grandchildren who wish to explore the jewel of the Bay

Filoli Historical House and Gardens March 8, 2003 Located on a stunning 654-acre property in the picturesque Town of Woodside, Filoli features a grand Georgian mansion nestled in sixteen acres of formal gardens. The estate was designed by prominent San Francisco architect Willis Polk and built in 1915 for the Bourn family. It is now a property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Please join us Saturday, March 8, 2003 at 1:00 p.m. for a special Phi Beta Kappa visit to Filoli. We will begin with a guided tour of the property and will have time after the tour for a visit to The Garden Shop at Filoli or, if you prefer, a snack at the Quail’s Nest Café, which is located on the property.

Chabot Space & Science Center Saturday, December 7, 2002 The Chabot Space & Science Center offers a wide variety of exhibits, shows and films exploring space and science at its state-of-the-art facility in the Oakland Hills. The Center offers a hands-on glimpse into the sights, sounds and sensations of space and science and its major attractions include the Center's Planetarium featuring laser technology and the MegaDome Theater which has the Bay Area's only 70 mm, 8-perf, projection system. Please join us on Saturday, December 7, 2002 at 1:00 p.m. for an afternoon of fun and learning at the Center. Our visit will begin with a brief welcome/orientation to the Center's exhibits and facilities and will include general admission to the Center. Also included in our visit will be admission to the Center's Planetarium and admission to a film at the MegaDome Theater. The Center has agreed to permit individual guests in our group to view the Center's exhibits, the Planetarium and MegaDome Theater in the sequence that they prefer and shows will be available throughout the afternoon. The Center's Celestial Cafe will be open and the Center also has a gift shop with fun and educational items.

COPIA November 2, 2002 Years in the making and located on the banks of the Napa river in downtown Napa, COPIA: The American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts opened to the public on November 18, 2001 and is already viewed as one of the world's leading cultural centers. COPIA was conceived of in 1988 by the legendary vintner Robert Mondavi and his wife Margrit Biever Mondavi together with other leaders in the wine-making community. Its trustees and honorary trustees include luminaries from the world of wine, food and art such as Julia Child, R.W. Apple, Jr., Eleanor Coppola, Hugh Johnson, Robert Parker, Jr., Martha Stewart, Alice Waters and Wayne Thiebaud. COPIA features demonstrations, exhibits and performances that integrate the arts with the pleasures of food and wines.

Please join us for a very special visit to COPIA on Saturday, November 2, 2002 at 10:00 a.m. The visit will begin with a one-hour, private, guided tour of COPIA which will include an overview of the facilities, the current exhibitions and the 16 different organic gardens that together comprise the 3.5 acres of gardens at COPIA. Our visit will include general admission to COPIA and, following the private tour, you will be free to explore the grounds and exhibits in more depth. Also open to the public is COPIA's special gift shop, Cornucopia, which offers autographed cookbooks, garden implements, and artwork. In addition to all of the dining options located in the surrounding Napa Valley, you also may choose to visit Julia's Kitchen or the American Market Cafe which are located on-site at COPIA.

Marine Mammal Center October 19, 2002 Located in lovely Sausalito, the Marine Mammal Center (MMC) is nationally recognized as a leading rescue and rehabilitation center for marine mammals. The MMC's specially-trained crews rescue more marine mammals in distress -- including seals, sea lions, whales, dolphins and sea otters -- than any other organization in the world. This experience places MMC at the forefront of marine mammal rehabilitation, scientific inquiry and education. Please join your fellow Phi Betes (and guests) at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 19, 2002 for an informative and educational hour-long lecture on the MMC's work and a tour of the MMC facility. Allow some extra time after the lecture to visit the MMC gift shop or to walk along the scenic Rodeo lagoon which is located across the road from the MMC.