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YESTERDAY’S SIMANAITISSAYS concluded with a rendering by architect Bill Ficker of R&T’s building at 1499 Monrovia Avenue, Newport Beach, California. Immediately below this rendering here is a photograph accompanying R&T’s September 1968 article celebrating its new home.
Here’s a collection of happy snaps from the 1968 housewarming party, plus two more recent ones.
Bill Ficker’s other architectural assignments included the home of John R. and Elaine Bond. John began as R&T’s technical editor back in the 1950s. He and Elaine were soon its owners and publishers.
The 1968 move took R&T from a one-story industrial block venue a few streets away to Ficker’s two-story building. A ladder in the telex room led to the rooftop, where a third floor could have been added. Instead, it quickly became a great place for overhead photo shoots. There was room for an elevator, never realized, next to the stairway to the second floor. For a long time, a Stan Mott Cyclops resided on the landing.
Dave Black was managing editor. A jazz trumpeter as well as wordsmith, he encouraged me to compose a limerick in his honor: “Give Dave a flat tire and he’ll pump it./ If it’s a dead battery, he’ll jump it./ He’s a talented man/ who helps when he can./ And on weekends, he’ll play with his trumpet.”
Dave was amused by the Shakespearean “strumpet” reference.
Dottie Clendenin was the editorial assistant at the time. Other staff members at the 1968 housewarming included Jon Thompson, who used to tell an hilarious Henry Ford anecdote, and Ron Wakefield, still a great friend and proud Hudson owner.
R&T resided at 1499 Monrovia until late 2012, through various ownerships including the Bonds, CBS, Peter Diamandis, Hachette, and Hearst. The building emptied when Hearst moved the brand to Ann Arbor, Michigan.
For a while [this updated after initial publication], the building was owned by basketball great and entrepreneur Kobe Bryant. I like to think that he’ll occupy my old office. Upstairs, at the northwest corner, it has the best view in the place.
This just in! I was checking on something else entirely and came upon an August 2017 announcement of Pacifica Christian High School acquiring property at, you guessed it!, 1499 Monrovia Avenue, Newport Beach, California. According to its press release, “What began as a dream is becoming a reality…. The building is located just 40 yards from our current campus and allows us to double our enrollment capacity–so Pacifica can educate even more students.”
If the walls could talk…. Then again, I hope they keep quiet. ds
© Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2018