I attended historian Esther Cramer's funeral today in La Habra. It was a very nice service, and the reception provided an opportunity for a lot of old friends to see each other and talk about Esther and all the topics she cared about. Other historical folks in attendance included County Archivist Susan Berumen, noted Orange County historians Phil Brigandi and Diann Marsh, and Esther's daughter, Cindy, who's involved in the O.C. Pioneer Council. Orange County Historical Commissioners in attendance included Steve Adamson, Pamela Harrell, Don Dobmeier, Lynne Yauger, and their longtime OC Parks staff liaison, Griselda Castillo. Also in attendance were former Commissioner Margaret Salisbury, historical exhibits guru Carlota Haider, and members of the La Habra Old Settlers Historical Society. (I'm sure I'm forgetting someone, for which I apologize in advance.)
After the reception, Brigandi and I visited the La Habra Historical Museum -- another product of Esther's hard work and community spirit. The museum had a special exhibit on Esther's life, which I'm sharing a bit of in today's photos. The image above comes from a document produced by Alpha Beta when she ran their Consumer Affairs office.
When you consider all Esther accomplished for local history, it seems like she must have spent every waking moment of her life on historical work. But clearly, it was just one among many facets of her very full life. That just makes her more remarkable in my eyes. You would be astonished to learn just how many of the worthwhile Orange County historical projects from the past 40 years bear her fingerprints.
The display included a number of the books Esther wrote, (shown above), and even some of her baby clothes. (She really did donate all kinds of stuff to the museum, didn't she?)
While we were there, Phil solved a mystery that's been vexing the docents. They had this gizmo (shown below) and had no idea what it was. Phil knew immediately, and soon the whole staff (and a number of others) were gathered around to hear him describe how this "walnut gatherer" was used to pick walnuts off the ground without stooping. It works on very much the same principle as the "shag bags" used to pick up golf balls on driving ranges.
I'll share more about our visit to the museum in a future post. For a new museum, they have a lot going for them. I look forward to seeing them grow and develop in the coming years.