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“We pulled these from our collection of large, wide photos not usually on display,” said Dorothy Lazard, the librarian in charge of the history room. On my recent visit, I noticed some panoramic views of early downtown Oakland, which I found particularly interesting. Landmarks like City Hall and the Tribune Tower can be seen, and also displayed are views from earlier eras, before they were built. I liked the way the images were displayed side by side so that the rapid changes to the Oakland skyline post 1900 can clearly be seen.

Another panorama view on the wall of the second floor landing shows a big parade in 1911 held to honor President William Howard Taft when he came to Oakland for a visit, You can make out the throngs, dressed in their Sunday Edwardian-era best and feel their excitment, The location is identified as Fallon and 13th Streets, pointe shoes vs ballet shoes near Lake Merritt, The Alameda County Courthouse had not yet been built, but the Municipal Fire Alarm Building can be seen, decked out with bunting and American flags, One of my favorites in the exhibit is the wonderful view of the 1919 Children’s Christmas Pageant: Dozens of Oakland school children dressed as angels are clustered around the “Spirit of Christmas” herself, Miss Louise Jorgensen (1896-1995) seated on her holiday throne..

As many Oaklanders remember, for nearly seventy years, from 1919 to 1987, Jorgensen was involved in the production of the incredible annual holiday pageant (the name was changed in the 80s decade to reflect multicultural celebrations) for most of those years she was the director and choreographer. She had a lifelong passion for dance instruction which she pursued as a staff member of the Oakland Recreation Department, and as an instructor at the Oakland YWCA, according to History Room files. The pageant was held every year in the arena of the Henry J. Kaiser Center’s historic municipal auditorium. According to the files, “Jorgensen transformed thousands of Oakland children into angels, snowflakes, dancing toys, elves, and ballerinas for two performances during the first weekend of December.”.

The library’s collections include many items relating to the pageant, says Lazard, “all of her scrapbooks and programs.” There is also a history of the event documenting how this Oakland cultural treasure grew and evolved over the years, “We have links to film versions of the pageant, digitalized for online viewing as well,” said Lazard, Do you have a memory of the pageant? If you do pointe shoes vs ballet shoes I would love to hear from you, Post a message to me on Facebook, or send an email to ldmksldy@aol.com..

Now George Miller’s hair and mustache are white. Even his political foes attest to his principled passion, honesty and admirable record. And at 69, he has cast his last House vote, exiting as the Education and the Workforce Committee’s top Democrat, trading the House floor’s tumult and Capitol Hill’s buzzing corridors for his book-lined living room and the sound of rain dripping from redwoods in his Martinez backyard. Choosing not to seek a 21st term took a lot of soul-searching, Miller said, but he decided that if he couldn’t keep up the nonstop energy he promised voters in 1974, it wouldn’t be fair to keep the seat.

“I decided I’d run through the pointe shoes vs ballet shoes finish-line tape at full speed and that would be that,” he said, “I really wanted to come home.”, He chalked up some wins, of sorts, even on his last day, His second-to-last vote was for the big budget bill, which included a reform package he helped craft to give big unions’ struggling multiemployer pension plans new flexibility and tools to stay afloat, Critics say some retirees might see benefit cuts, but both sides of the aisle agreed it will protect many more from losses while shielding taxpayers from having to bail out those pension plans..

His final vote was on his own bill to let the National Park Service expand the John Muir National Historic Site, a stone’s throw from his home. Alas, the Senate didn’t vote on it before adjourning; perhaps his successor, Rep.-elect Mark DeSaulnier, will take it up next year. That’s “part of the game,” Miller said. “You never get everything you want … so you do the best you can at that moment and tomorrow you start working on what you didn’t get.”.

Miller bristles at any suggestion that DeSaulnier has big shoes to fill, or that he’ll be stymied by Congress’ deep ideological rifts, Things have changed a lot in 40 years, Miller allows, but the pointe shoes vs ballet shoes system can still work, Few have House careers as long and resonant as his, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, in a floor speech, lauded Miller – one of her top lieutenants — as “the model of a serious and substantive legislator, a champion for working people who has had his hand in some of the most innovative and important legislation of our time.” And Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline, R-Minn., said they haven’t “agreed on every issue, but we have always disagreed without being disagreeable.”..

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