Publication: The Press-Enterprise
Article Title: Hal Durian’s Riverside Recollections
Author: Staff Writer
Two recent productions have added greatly to the history of Riverside, proving that history, like science, advances with new and newly organized information.
Judge John Gabbert is an amazing man who has lived all but three of his 99 years in Riverside except for time away at college and in military service during World War II.
Gabbert has written and narrated a fine DVD video program that describes many of the people and landmarks of Riverside through the many years of his life. The video was produced and edited by Molly Carpenter and Jerry Gordon. It is available for purchase through the Life Society of UCR Extension.
This video contains many photos from archives and museums that have never been seen before in this area.
Anyone who believes history is a dull subject or that Riverside has no interesting history should see this video. Long-term history buffs also will gain information and insights.
The video includes detailed recollections of Judge Gabbert whose mind is sharper in his 100th year than the minds of many people decades younger. His many interests have helped preserve that alertness. He raced autos, rode motorcycles, operated a ham radio, became a historian and a popular speaker, on top of being a lawyer and later an appeals court judge.
The second recent addition to local history is the well-illustrated book "Riverside's Camp Anza and Arlanza" by Frank Teurlay, who grew up in the area of the World War II Army camp that is today known as Arlanza.
More than a few of the old camp buildings survive and are used today as homes, businesses and social organizations. The camp chapel is still used as a church.
Teurlay has done an amazing amount of research into Camp Anza from conception to closing and on to its transition to a civilian community after World War II.
Camp Anza had a wide range of recreational facilities for the troops, such as sports teams, a gymnasium, a lake, a beer garden, and a bowling alley. Hollywood stars made frequent appearances to entertain the soldiers and the civilian employees of the camp. Some of the stars were Bob Hope, Jimmy Durante, Orson Welles, Shirley Temple, and Frances Langford.
Lest the reader get the idea that Camp Anza was all fun and games, the camp's purpose was to train and prepare the troops for transport to the Pacific for combat.
At the end of the war, Camp Anza's purpose was reversed. It was designed to prepare soldiers for discharge and return to civilian life.
The downtown Riverside Museum has a display of items from Camp Anza that will be shown until Jan. 31. The Camp Anza history is available for purchase at the museum.