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President's Message

April 2014

Tom Spellman
Tom Spellman

As we begin the second quarter of 2014, the Citrus Label Society has three successful meetings behind us. The January meeting at Sunkist headquarters was very well attended and the citrus fruit display and tasting was a big hit. More than 60 people attended and tasted the fruits of 40 different citrus varieties. I was able to obtain fruit from some
historical, early varieties such as Orange St. Micheles, Orange Malta Blood and an early Spanish Sweet Orange. These three varieties did very well in the overall evaluation, when sampled side by side with some of the newer, more recently developed orange, mandarin, grapefruit, pummelo, lemon, lime and selections of citrus hybrids.

The February meeting took place in Fullerton, California at a new location. The staff at the new Fullerton Community Center was very accommodating and friendly. The meeting room has great lighting and is well supplied with tables and comfortable chairs. This meeting was especially exciting for me, as one seller showed up with some rare, early citrus stock labels from the 1890s. I was able to buy and trade for some wonderful new additions to my collection!

Our March meeting in Riverside, California was well attended with good participation and fine camaraderie. Several people brought in pieces from their collection for show and tell. These monthly meetings are a highlight for me and I always look forward to participating in them. Many members live within 15 or 20 miles of a meeting location and seldom show up. Come on out and spend an hour or two with your friends. You never know who or what is going to show up at a meeting.

At the time of writing this message, it looks like we will be able to meet in April at the Sunkist headquarters in Sherman Oaks, California. Please check the website posting before attending just to be sure. The meeting is scheduled for Saturday April 19, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

We're very pleased with how our website is progressing. I really like the new look. I thought Gordon's article on the "Introduction of the Washington Navel Orange" was informative and a great read; full of historical information with some vintage photos of the folks who made it all happen. And you've got to love that image of the Griffin & Skelley Washington Navel label—early, rare, colorful and just super cool.

Old Baldy brand citrus label
Old Baldy brand citrus label

For those of you who don't know, a recent citrus related event is presently taking place here in Upland, California. The demolition of the 100-year-old packing house that was once home to the Old Baldy Citrus Association (and later the Cucamonga Mesa Growers) is under way. The site will be developed to residential, single family homes. Much of the lumber is old growth redwood and in great shape. The City of Upland is saving as much as possible for use in a new park project, which will be built at the site. As the crew was working, they uncovered a long forgotten Sunkist sign painted in the 1930s on concrete block. This historical sign will be re-located to another site within the city.

I've been documenting the demolition and will be working on an article for later this summer on the history of the house. But for now, here are a few photos of the activity. [See images below.]

The City of Upland is holding its annual Lemon Festival on April 25, 26 and 27, 2014. This is a wonderful community get together, incorporating Citrus history, music, food, drinks, dancing and fun into a three-day weekend, carnival-like atmosphere. So be sure to mark these dates on your calendar. And for information about this event, go to www.uplandlemonfestival.com.

Lastly, you won't want to miss the event on Sunday June 29, 2014 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the California State Citrus Historic Park in Riverside, California. They will be hosting a book signing, featuring Citrus Label Society member David Boule and his new book, entitled The Orange and the Dream of California. Also featured will be Richard Barker, President of the Citrus Roots Heritage Foundation, signing his books on the Citrus Industry and Southern California's Citriculture. Several other notable authors will also be on hand, signing their works as well. For more information go to www.citrusstatepark.org.

Please be sure to visit our website often, as updates are frequently being added.

Hope to see you at a meeting soon.

- Tom Spellman, CLS president

 
Old Baldy brand orange label Old Baldy Tested brand orange label Old Baldy Invader brand label Old Baldy Big U brand orange label
Citrus labels used by the Old Baldy Citrus Association
(click/tap each image to view it larger in a separate browser/tab)
Old Baldy box curtain Old Baldy house demolition Old Baldy house demolition Old Baldy house Big U brand label

Tom Spellman’s photos taken in March 2014 on the day he witnessed the demolition of the Old Baldy Citrus Association packing house on 19th St. in Upland, California. A few left over mementos shown here are a Sunkist Oranges box curtain (first image), and the only label found at the demolition site (last image).
(click/tap each image to view it larger in a separate browser/tab)

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