Monday, October 19, 2015

photo of the week: swimming the estuary

Not a great photo, but shows a nice slice of the estuary and Port of Oakland with the new Bay Bridge section in the background. What's interesting is the person swimming in the estuary at the lower right...definitely not something you see every day.

Being the Oakland history geek that I am, it reminded me of a story from 1903. Albert Olander, proprietor of Olander's Saloon in East Oakland, bet his barber that he could swim across the estuary. Olander bet his saloon and his barber, Daniel King, bet his barbershop. The selected location was about 1.25 miles across, and before a crowd of hundreds of people, Olander successfully swam across and won the barbershop.

The building that housed Olander's Saloon is still standing, at 1247 East 12th Street. It's no longer a saloon, but the interior still has the wooden bar and other details from the days when it was. Serious props to the guy in the photo above, who was swimming the length of the estuary, not just across.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Annual Delilah Beasley Tea

Last weekend was the 4th annual Delilah Beasley Tea. It's put on each year by POWER (Progressive Oakland Women Empowering Reform), "celebrating phenomenal women of Oakland". The honoree of this year's tea was Arabella Martinez, founder of the Unity Council.

Unfortunately Ms. Martinez couldn't be there in person, as her husband passed away recently, but her accomplishments were celebrated in her absence. Some of the people in attendance included Nancy Skinner, city council member Abel Guillen, city attorney Barbara Parker and Oakland Fire Department chief Teresa Deloach Reed. It was a lovely afternoon, with tea, some great food, and a mariachi band of mostly women. Acting as ushers were the excellent young men of Striving Black Brothers.

"Every life casts its shadow, my life plus others make a power to move the world. I, therefore, pledge my life to the living world of brotherhood and mutual understanding between the races."
- Delilah Beasley

If you don't know who Delilah Beasley was or want to learn more, read about her on the Oakland Wiki. She was a phenomenal woman of Oakland. (Yes, she'll be in Legendary Locals of Oakland).

More pictures from the tea: