On Thursday, August 23rd, the Men’s Club visited the National Weather Service in Oxnard. We meet our tour guide, John Dumas, upon arrival. John is an ex Navy Meteorologist and served 20 plus years for Uncle Sam. He has been with the National Weather Service for just over 5 years.more»
On Saturday, October 27th, The Men’s Club visited what is now known as Oakridge Estates. Some 80 years ago Barbara Stanwyck purchased a piece of property in the San Fernando Valley. The property bordered on the north by Devonshire Blvd, on the east by Reseda Blvd, on the south by what is now Lassen, and on the west by what is now Wilbur. On this property Ms. Stanwyck and Zeppo Marx, her agent and one of the Marx Brothers, built separate homes. Additionally, a thoroughbred training track and ranch were added. During this time period, Barbara and Zeppo called this the Marwych Ranch.more»
On Saturday, February 17, 2018, The Men’s Club visited the Santa Susan Depot Museum and Model Railroad display in Simi Valley. Our docent, Curt, was very outgoing and added so much to the tour. We were limited in time to two hours, but, I’m sure Curt could have gone all-day with the history and stories about the depot.more»
The VJCC Men’s Club was organized to provide a positive setting for active men (55+). A place to meet and socialize and to provide programs that will entertain, inform and enlighten our members in a friendly, comfortable atmosphere.
The Men’s Club meets the first Monday night of every month at 7 PM for fellowship and activity planning. Recent activities have included a day at the Santa Anita Park, tour of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Dodger Games and a tour of the “Propaganda” exhibit at the Getty Museum.
If you would like to attend the Men’s Club meetings, feel free to drop by. Please send us your email address to receive upcoming events info: Abby@Valleyjcc.org
Men’s Club at Oakridge Estate submitted by Chas Phillips
On Saturday, October 27th, The Men’s Club visited what is now known as Oakridge Estates. Some 80 years ago Barbara Stanwyck purchased a piece of property in the San Fernando Valley. The property bordered on the north by Devonshire Blvd, on the east by Reseda Blvd, on the south by what is now Lassen, and on the west by what is now Wilbur. On this property Ms. Stanwyck and Zeppo Marx, her agent and one of the Marx Brothers, built separate homes. Additionally, a thoroughbred training track and ranch were added. During this time period, Barbara and Zeppo called this the Marwych Ranch.
Barbara lived there for only 3 years and sold her home to Jack and Victoria Oakie, who changed the name to Oakie Estate. Over the next several decades the parcel has shrunk to its current size and location. Zeppo’s house has been removed, but Ms. Stanwyck’s house remains atop the hill on Devonshire Blvd. adjacent to the Chevrolet dealership. The pool and tennis court also remain. Ownership has shifted over the years and is currently cared for by Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Los Angeles. It is now know as the Oakridge Estate.
Our tour was conducted by Deborah Donnelly who is a member of Friends of Oakridge. Unfortunately, the house has fallen into disrepair and is in desperate need of restoration. The Friends of Oakridge are working tirelessly to raise funds for the needed restoration. As part of the tour, the organization has secured and display photos of the house and surrounding area from different periods of time. I’ve lived in the Valley my entire life and can remember when Reseda Blvd. was the end of the valley going west, so some of these pictures brought back memories of times forgotten.
Men’s Club Visits National Weather Service submitted by Chas Phillips
On Thursday, August 23rd, the Men’s Club visited the National Weather Service in Oxnard. We meet our tour guide, John Dumas, upon arrival. John is an ex Navy Meteorologist and served 20 plus years for Uncle Sam. He has been with the National Weather Service for just over 5 years.
This location is 1 of 122 weather sites throughout the United States. This Station covers Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. The Weather Service is tasked with collecting, analyzing, and reporting the weather. There are 26 scientists, meteorologists and administrative staff assigned to this station. There are never fewer than 4 scientists/meteorologist working in the Operations room, which houses several different computers, all handling various functions relating to weather gathering. The reporting is put out there for use by any number of radio and TV stations.
Each Station has a back up and each Station is a back up to another Station. The Station is San Francisco is the back for the Station in Hawaii and the Oxnard Station is the backup for the San Francisco Station. Since Hurricane Lane was days away from Hawaii, the Operations Center was very busy readying themselves to back up San Francisco.
The outside patio is a collection of early weather info collection equipment. It is laid out in a circle and was built and maintained by volunteers.
After the tour, we had a bite to eat at the Good Morning Café, a nice eatery in Downtown Oxnard.
The Men’s Club meets the first Monday of the month and generally has an outing each month which is coordinated by one of our members. If you have any interest, e-mail Burt Kaminsky at firstname.lastname@example.org or all the Center @ 818 360 2211 and speak to Abby or Jerry.
Santa Susana Depot Museum and Model Railroad submitted by Chas Phillips
On Saturday, February 17, 2018, The Men’s Club visited the Santa Susan Depot Museum and Model Railroad display in Simi Valley. Our docent, Curt, was very outgoing and added so much to the tour. We were limited in time to two hours, but, I’m sure Curt could have gone all-day with the history and stories about the depot. It was built in 1903 by the Southern Pacific railroad and operated until 1974. The building was moved to its current site in 1975, adjacent to the Southern Pacific main line between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Within the building are a multitude of pictures and memorabilia depicting the days of operation of the Depot. Additionally, Curt added so much history of the depot and surrounding area. Mannequins were in strategic places helping to depict the operations. The Mannequins had names of the actual people that worked the depot.
In addition to the depot, a Model Train Club has built an extensive display with multiple tracks, towns, and mountains. The trains and scenes transport you back to the simpler days of life and the beauty our country. The lighting will take you from
daylight to nightfall, through the night with moonlight, and then to the sunrise of the area. Quite an experience.
Of course, no Jewish outing would be complete without food. We had a marvelous lunch at the Old Susana Café, just down the street from the Depot. I can assure you nobody left hungry.
Good food and plenty of it.
Target Shooting submitted by Chas Phillips
On Thursday, 8/24, the Men’s Club went target shooting at The Target Range in Van Nuys, next to the airport. For those that have not done any shooting in the past, the Range conducts a training class before you handle any weapons. A couple of us had our own guns, so we starting shooting immediately. After the class, the instructor takes you onto the range with a variety of hand guns and you begin shooting. The Target Range is a gun (hand and rifle) and accessories sales outfit in addition to the target range. I was able to fire my hand gun in addition to my 22 rifle. All the guys had a blast and we have vowed to return to shoot some more targets.
The VJCC Men’s Club meets the first Monday of the Month, either at a local restaurant or at the Center, to plan future events and smooze. Some of the future events include a visit to the USS Iowa at the Long Beach Harbor and a Hanukkah Potluck. If you have any questions, contact Burt Kaminsky at email@example.com.
Men’s Club Visits “The Big Stick” Contributed by Chas Phillips
On Saturday, Oct 21, the Men’s Club toured the USS Iowa, nicked named “The Big Stick”. It is permanently anchored near the entrance to the L.A. Harbor, near the cruise ship dock. We took a self guided tour of this magnificent ship. As Veterans arrive on the ship, the Crew welcomes them aboard with an announcement over the public address system…a very nice touch. We started on the bow (front) of the ship, which puts you under six of the nine 16” cannons that adorn this vessel as a part the total armament aboard. Although you do not enter the turret, a video explains the complexity of loading and firing these big guns. A sample of the powder and projectile are on display. It was amazing how many crew members were needed to operate these cannons. The self tour takes you throughout the vessel, enabling you the see how the crew lived, worked and relaxed aboard ship. It was evident by the size of living quarters, the higher your rank, the better the living. Additionally, you see examples the remaining armament: smaller cannons, several types of machine guns and different types of missiles. There is an excellent museum style area near the ships store. One of the displays is dedicated to the terrible accident when one of the 16” cannons exploded and 41 crew members were lost. The video brought tears to my eyes, as well as most of the other people viewing it. The exit brings you up to the stern (rear) of the ships. This very large area was used to land and launch helicopters. We all enjoyed the tour very much and agreed that it demonstrates that our freedom is not free. We had lunch at a local bistro after the tour.
Men’s Club visits Murphy Auto Museum Submitted by Chas Phillips
On Saturday, July 22, The Men’s Club took a field trip to the Murphy Auto Museum in Oxnard. Not the largest collect of older vehicles, but what a variety of well maintained and perfectly restored rolling stock. The collection of miscellaneous garage items was extensive; signs, 3D pictures and statues, go-carts, bikes, tools, motors and old Sun Tune-up rolling equipment. The collection included trailers for the campers and motorcycles for the daredevils.
In the middle of all this was an H O train layout the size of which was truly amazing. It was built and maintained by a club of true train enthusiasts. The detail of the entire display was unbelievable to say the least. If you enjoy cars and would like to see a massive H O train layout, this is the place to go. The group enjoyed a seafood lunch at Andria’s on the Ventura Harbor. The view of the harbor form the outside patio was spectacular. The cool weather and slight breeze made for a nice break from our triple digit temps.
Men’s Club at Tour of HexLab MakerSpace by Chas Phillips
On Thursday, June 29th, The Men’s Club took a tour of a unique, to be sure, 3D Printing Lab. HexLab MakerSpace produces a wide range of 3D items in several mediums, but, the majority of the items produced at this lab are created by the common man. For a monthly membership, you or I, can create and produce an object using one of the several 3D Printers available at the lab. The creation can be plastic, medal or wood.
We were introduced to several of the items produced at this lab, including a Big Bang Theory whistle. The 3D printers range in price from $400 – $500 to $35,000. One of the huge printers runs in the millions if purchased new. One of the originators, who started at the age of 12, showed us the whole process, from designing on computer to sending it to the printer for production….quite fascinating to a non geek like me. We were able to watch a couple of items being produced; even though the process may take several hours, we certainly got the idea.
After the tour, several of us met at the California Chicken Café for a, you guessed it, a chicken lunch. Fun was had by all.
For information regarding the Men’s Club, e-mail Burt Kaminsky, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Men’s Club at Museum of Flight by Chas Phillips
On Sunday, 3/26, the Men’s Club traveled to Santa Monica Airport to visit the Museum of Flight. Our group was warmly welcomed and Linda, our docent, was a very outgoing and knowledgeable person to say the least. We started with the Wright Brothers, proceeded through the early war planes and ended with the most current aircraft. The museum presents the history of flight in a very orderly fashion with several life sized displays and an abundance of models, small and large. A cut-away 727 cockpit was available to sit in the pilot/co-pilot seats and get a feel of real aircraft command. An Air Force pilot was available to explain the many dials and displays….lots of fun. A video of “Thursday”….the story of a WWII P-51 Mustang and its pilot from the war to the present, was a marvelous story of the Pilot and the Aircraft. Cary’s grandkids took a Fighter Jet on a mission in the Flight Simulator….a true simulator that did barrel rolls (actually turned the kids upside down) and executed all the commands of the pilots….a truly exciting experience for the kids. We had lunch at the Spitfire Grill. As you can imagine, the restaurant was decked out in aircraft parts, pictures and murals. A variety of meals were ordered and all enjoyed themselves. A fun day was had by all!
Keep watching for more exciting events sponsored by the Men’s Club via the e-mail blasts….not on the list, contact Abby at the center (email@example.com)
Men’s Club Visits Beverly Hill Police Department by Chas Phillips
On Thursday, 1/19, the Men’s Club toured the Beverly Hill Police Department. It was amazing to learn the Beverly Hills Police Department is a fully equipped and independently functioning PD. Our tour guide was a Detective Sgt George Demarios who was extremely knowledgeable regarding the operations of all the different departments with the PD. Having a tour guide with several years of service with his many stories added a great deal to the enjoyment of the tour. I think the tour of the Armory and the SWAT trucks were the highlights of the tour. We all met at Factor’s Deli for lunch after the tour and discussed how much fun we had. Upcoming functions include a couple of High School Basketball games, dinner meeting and a speaker from the California Highway Patrol at Marie Callender’s (2/6), visit to the Nethercutt Museum in February and a visit to the Museum of Flying in March.
The Valley JCC Men's Club at Edwards Air Force Base (photo by Burt Kaminsky)
Men’s Club at 911 Center by Chas Phillips
On Thursday, 8/11, the Men’s Club toured the LAPD Dispatch Center in West Hills. As stated by the tour guide, the tours are not only informative but also educational. We learned and saw the history of the Call Center and the progression of the equipment, very interesting. We moved to a conference room and learned how this center and the second center in Los Angeles cover the entire County of L. A. From the conference room we were able to observe the call center in action. A huge room with over 50 desks, each desk having 6 computer screens to help the dispatcher determine how to handle the call. We also learned that over half the calls received by the 911 operators are not emergency calls and should have used the non-emergency phone number: 1-844-ASK-LAPD (1-877-275-5273).
Men’s Club at Edwards AFB by Chas Phillips
On Friday, 8/12, the Men’s Club took a tour of Edwards Air Force Base. An absolutely amazing and wonderful tour. Out Tour Guide was a retired Air Force camera man who rode in the backseat of aircraft and took pictures of test aircraft in flight during a test session. It was easy to see he enjoyed his job and embraced the chance to depart his knowledge and experience to the group. If you are an aircraft or flight enthusiast, this is a must tour. Starting in the flight and aircraft museum, we saw an example of every aircraft tested at Edwards…amazing. With pictures and examples of some the more famous accomplishment of the Test Pilots, the museum is a must see. We then took a bus tour of the Administration buildings and then onto the flight line. We saw F-16s, F22s, F-35s, KC-135s, C-17s, B-1, and a Global Hawk drone and several other less famous aircraft. At the Tourist Center, all of the F-100 series aircraft are on display. The base and the history are truly an experience to cherish.
Men’s Club at Santa Anita Race Track
The Men’s Club visited Santa Anita Racetrack on Sunday, May 22 for the second time. The location of the track is awesome for it’s beauty and peacefulness. The weather could not have been better. It was great to have Sam in attendance and see him looking so well. It was a relaxing and fun filled day for all. I don’t think we had any big winners, but did not leave too much at the track.
The Men’s Club meets the first Monday of the Month at the Center at 7 PM. If you are looking to have some fun and companionship, join us for the next meeting.
Photos by Marty Kaplan.
Men’s Club at Dodger Stadium
The VJCC Men’s Club visited Dodger Stadium for a tour on Thursday, 4/14. We met at the Top of the Park and enjoyed a 360 degree view which included downtown Los Angeles, The Hollywood sign and the beautiful San Gabriel Mountains. The view from the Vin Scully Pressbox was enjoyed by all. After a walk through the Dodger Awards Hallway, we went on the field for an unbelievable view of the Stadium and the chance to take a few photos. The tour concluded in the Stadium Club behind home plate…what a way to have dinner.
The Men’s Club meets the 1st Monday of the month at the Center at 7:00 PM for event planning and shmoozing…come and join the fun.