On Friday, June 14, 2013, 100 people gathered at the Balboa Island Museum & Historical Society for the Museum’s Speaker Series event. Moderator Conrad Baumgartner led a lively discussion between the two local authors, Kate Houlihan and Jeff Delaney. Guests were captivated as Kate and Jeff shared their stories, and all learned more about the history of the area.
Kate, a fourth generation Californian, launched her photographic career under the tutelage of internationally renowned photographer, David Stoecklein. After co-founding and managing a stock photography agency in Santa Monica, she moved back to Newport Beach and got the idea of creating a series of books about the beach communities up and down the California Coast. Finding Newport Beach, A Photo Essay, is the first in her series and was published last year. Her beautiful photos certainly capture the essence of the special community. Kate said that her work is about…finding the real heart and soul of a town.” She Jeff is the author of three books published by Arcadia Publishing, known as the archivists for local history: Newport Beach’s Balboa & Balboa Island, Newport Beach Then & Now and Newport Beach (Postcard History Series). He grew up in Costa Mesa, and his family enjoyed spending time in Newport Beach. Born with a “collecting gene”, he assembled an impressive array of postcards featuring Balboa Island, Balboa Peninsula and Newport Beach, which became his first published work. Jeff became fascinated with the local history and began to assemble vintage images. Through his research he was able to write notations for each picture that captured the historical information, thus creating the content for his other publications.
A historian himself, Conrad was able to keep the dialogue rolling and interjected his own intriguing tales. All in attendance were engaged and many left wanting more!