Sylmar

For years Huell Howser was on the local PBS television station. Originally, he had a show called Videolog followed by a show called Visiting and finally a show called California’s Gold.

That's Huell. That's how I remember him. Everybody in the state of California must know who he is.

That’s Huell. Everybody in the state of California probably knows who he is and, I suspect, everyone in the state of California misses him. I never met him but I feel like I know him. R.I.P. Huell. (1945-2013).

Anyway, Huell would travel around California to different sites and basically ask people to show him around while he asked questions and then he acted flabbergasted or amazed at what he was seeing or hearing. He never seemed fake. He always seemed honestly interested. One of the sites Huell visited was the Nethercutt Museum in Sylmar. The only reason I know about this place is because of Huell’s show. The Nethercutt is out in Sylmar in two rather inconspicuous buildings.

This is the first building. It looks like a storage facility.

This is the first building. It looks like a storage facility.

The doors are rather nice though. They're bronze.

The doors are rather nice though. They’re bronze.

There are way too many to include but here are a few that I liked.

There are automobiles on the ground floor and on the first floor. This 1903 Peerless and the Orange Lincoln that follow were on the ground floor. (In the basement.)

The Peerless looks like something out of Oklahoma with that fringe on the top.

The Peerless looks like something out of OKLAHOMA! with that fringe on the top.

That is one cool car. The interior was orange too.

This orange Lincoln is really cool.

The 1979 Lincoln. The interior was orange too.

The interior was orange too. I would feel like a pimp driving it. If I owned it I would buy an orange hat with fur trim and wear it whenever I went for a ride.

It's supposed to resemble a car showroom from the 1920s.

This is the main floor. It’s supposed to resemble a car showroom from the 1920s.

Main floor. It's supposed to resemble an automobile showroom from the 1920s.

The main floor’s ceiling.

There were a number of great cars here but I often am drawn to the movie related ones.

There were so many great cars but I’m drawn to the movie related ones. C.B. (That’s what Norma Desmond called him) was in Sunset Boulevard.

Demille's car.

Demille’s car.

C.B.'s radiator cap.

Demille’s radiator cap.

Once again, in Sunset Boulevard, Gloria Swanson says she has an

Once again, in Sunset Boulevard, Gloria Swanson says she owns an Isotta-Fraschini.

Look at that grill. It would be near impossible to keep clean.

1928 Isotta-Fraschini. Look at that grill. It would be near impossible to keep clean.

Fatty is one of my favorites from the Silent era because of his scandal.

Fatty is one of my favorites from the silent film era because of his big sex scandal.

Fatty's car.

Fatty’s car.

Fatty's radiator cap. It looks like a chubby Atlas.

Fatty’s radiator cap. It looks like a chubby Atlas.

This is what I actually came to see. It's on the second floor of the building and it was made for the 1915 World's fair.

This is what I actually came to see. It’s the reason I drove all the way out to Sylmar. This figural group is on the second floor of the building and it was made for the P.P.I.E. in 1915.

I think it's really neat.

I think it’s really neat and it’s world’s fair related.

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This second floor was filled with items like this. It's one of those Llardo's.

This second floor was filled with a variety of items like this. It’s one of those Lladro’s.

On the 3rd floor they had a lot of big musical instruments like this organ.

On the 3rd floor they had a lot of big musical instruments like this old, movie theater, pipe organ.

Curtains that frame the room were lifted and these pipes were revealed and then the concert started. There were lots of songs that I don't remember but the finale was the theme from Star Wars.

These pipes were revealed when the curtains that circled the room parted. At which point, the concert began and the organ started churning out songs from its electronic memory. I don’t remember a lot of the songs (my memory isn’t as good as the organs) but the finale was the theme from Star Wars. That stuck in my head because, well, it’s the theme from Star Wars.

This guy, Kyle, oversaw this part of the tour. He reminded me of myself but I'm a bit more masculine.

This guy, Kyle, oversaw this part of the tour. He reminded me of myself but he may have been a bit more masculine than me if that’s possible.

There were other instruments on the 3rd floor. I think he said this was a Concertina. It's a whole orchestra in a box.

There were other big instruments on the 3rd floor. I think Kyle said this was an Orchestrion. It’s a whole orchestra in a box.

She's kind of cool but she doesn't move when the orchestra plays.

She’s cool but she doesn’t move or dance when the Orchestrion plays.

There were also watches and other gizmos on the 3rd floor.

There were also watches and other doodads on the 3rd floor…

...for example an old record player and Nipper.

…for example, an old record player and Nipper.

A big dinning room was on this floor too. The Nethercutts used it for entertaining. Their home was in Brentwood but they brought people here for dinner. This seemed odd to me but I guess this way they didn't have a bunch of people trapsing through their home and there is certainly a lot to look at here.

There was a dinning room too. The Nethercutts used it for entertaining. Their home was in Brentwood but they brought people here for dinner. That seemed odd, to me, but I guess this way they didn’t have people traipsing through their home.

This is the other building.

This is the other building.

In it, there were more cars.

In it, there were more cars.

That's real pretty.

That’s real pretty.

This is right near the entrance.

This is right near the entrance.

It looks like it is from outer space.

It looks like it is from outer space.

I

I like this car because of its compactness.

I like this car because of its compactness. I can see myself driving it.

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That's a strange looking car.

That’s a strange looking car.

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This 1937 Pierce-Arrow was pulling...

This 1937 Pierce-Arrow was pulling…

...this Pierce-Arrow Travelodge. It was super cool.

…this Pierce-Arrow Travelodge. It was super cool.

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This is the view walking through the front door.

The view if you're standing in the kitchen and looking toward the front of the travelodge.

The view if you’re standing in the kitchen and looking toward the front of the travelodge.

The view looking to the back of the Travelodge.

…looking to the back of the Travelodge.

The view if you're sitting at the kitchen table.

… if you’re sitting at the kitchen table.

The view from the other kitchen seat.

…view from the other kitchen table seat.

The view from one of the kitchen windows.

Looking out one of the kitchen windows.

Background on the Travelodge.

Background on the Travelodge.

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This is the second reason I drove out to Sylmar. I wanted to see this train car.

This is the second reason I drove out to Sylmar. I wanted to see this train car: the California.

The train car was owned by this woman. Evidently, her father made money in mining and real estate, hung on for a long time, finally died and left his daughter a large fortune. One of the things she did with the money was to purchase a private rail car for herself.

The train car was owned by this woman. Evidently, her father made money in mining and real estate, lived a very long time, finally died and left his daughter a large fortune. One of the things she did with the money was to purchase this private rail car for herself.

You enter the car through the rear door.

You enter the car through the rear door.

The sitting area was set up with a dinning table and this is what you see when you enter the car.

The parlor area was set up with a dinning table and this is what you see when you enter.

This is opposite the dinning table.

This is opposite the dinning table.

There are stained glass windows throughout the car.

There are stained glass windows throughout the car.

Like most of the items in the car the lighting fixtures are original.

Like most of the items in the car the lighting fixtures are original.

Clara's car sleeps two. This is one bed.

Clara’s bedroom slept two. This is one bed.

...and here's the other.

…and here’s the other.

This is Clara's bathroom. You can see the wood lid to the toliet at the bottom left.

This is Clara’s bathroom. You can see the toilet’s wood lid at the bottom left.

This is another sleeping compartment. Here is one side.

This is the 2nd sleeping compartment. Here is one side.

...and here is the other side.

…and here is the other side of this compartment.

Looking down the long narrow corridor.

Looking down the long narrow corridor of the car.

The 3rd sleeping compartment. This is one side of the room...

The 3rd sleeping compartment. This is one side of the room…

This is the other side of the room in the 3rd sleeping compartment.

…and this is the other side of the room.

There was a kitchen on board too with a black cast iron stove to the left of the sink.

There is a kitchen on board with a black cast iron stove to the left of the sink.

This is where the servants slept. There were three men (porters) who accompanied Clara and her guests.

This is where the servants slept. There were three men (porters) who accompanied Clara and her guests. The seats fold down to form a bed.

This is the engine and coal car that the museum possesses.

This is the engine and coal car that the museum has hitched up to the California.

You see this right before you enter the engine room.

You see this right before you enter the engine room.

I like the color.

I like the color.

The kind of engine it is.

The kind of engine it is.

Looking out the engine's windows.

Looking out the engine’s windows.

A couple of final things…

There is a large collection of radiator caps in both buildings.

There are large collections of radiator caps in both buildings.

Uh, I like Egyptian stuff but I'm not sure about this.

Uh, I like Egyptian stuff but I’m not sure about this. I don’t know if I would want that on the front of my truck.

I like this better.

I like this better.

I like him.

He’s great.

I don't know how these things didn't get broken. Nowadays, they would be stolen the first time the car was left on the street.

How did these things NOT get broken? Nowadays, they would be stolen the first time the car was left on the street. Am I too pessimistic?

Isn't there a name for lions with wings? There must be.

Isn’t there a name for lions with wings? There must be.

This is my favorite one. I've always had a thing for Felix the Cat.

This is my favorite one. I’ve always had a thing for Felix the Cat. I would want to attach him to that Orange Lincoln. I can see myself tooling around in that vehicle with Felix attached to the hood. I would be the envy of every Latino man who saw me.

 

Published in: on January 24, 2016 at 7:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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