In comments on my first post about Earthside Nature Center, Karin the Altadena Hiker said some put their heart and soul in to the place. It's true. If you keep your eyes open you can see the evidence in small monuments on the property. This one says, "In memory of 'Pop Pop,' Shirley W. Owen, Pasadena, 1895-1983." At least I think it says 1983, it's kind of hard to tell.
The small plaque on this stone says "in memory of Marilyn Close Davis, 1989."
The kiosk (scroll down here for a look at it) is still in decent shape. A plaque lists names, presumably of donors. Marilyn Close Davis, 1989, appears here as well. There's also a Hazel M. Close, 1988. And look, Elna S. Bakker, the founder, 1995. And Virginia M. Connelly, 1995. I wonder if she was (is?) related to Kevin Connelly, the native plant advocate (see yesterday's post) who helped run Earthside. And lo and behold, there's Grace Gertmenian, 1985. I recognize her name. The Gertmenian family is one of the featured families in the fantastic Pasadena Museum of History Family Stories Exhibit that's running until January of 2010.
I'm a little amazed to find this connection. I shouldn't be. The Gertmenian family began arriving in Pasadena from Armenia in the 1920s. They're familiar to me because I'm curious about Pasadena history and they're part of the fabric of that history. The more I learn the more connected it all becomes for me.
I like my history like that--not that I don't like reading it in a book, but living with it is so much more rewarding. This is why preservation is so powerful. A book is history removed. Living with history is letting it touch you and affect you. Seeing Grace's name on the plaque is like finding a message she wrote in the past and left for me to read in the future.