Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, September 15, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:3


Mountain View News Saturday, September 15, 2018 

WALKING SIERRA MADRE... The Social Side By Deanne Davis

“Now the culture is made of old things. It’s a collage. Art 
made out of art is not art. 


You’re supposed to make art out of life.” Fran Lebowitz

“He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works 
with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works 
with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”

St. Francis of Assisi

Tom Tomlinson is definitely an artist, who works with 
not only his hands and his head, but his heart is drawn to 
things that others might not see as “art.” Starting as a kid 
commissioned to take out the trash, he took out what looked 
more like treasures to him than trash and began to create. 
I first saw Tom’s work at the Creative Arts Group show, 
“Re:Imagination. Art Uncommon,” which was last March 
23-April 27th. This show was a real eye-opener for me as it 
was a collection of works created with up-cycled materials. 
Think pieces of distressed wood - gnarled, worm-eaten, 
wire, nuts and bolts...all crying out Discarded! Unwanted! 
But it’s really true that one man’s trash is another man’s 

 Let me quote Tom on what his vision is for these treasures 
among the trash: “Collage and assemblage to re-new and re-
organize materials that have lost their original purpose or 

Things that have been tossed, lost, eroded by use, intent, 
indifference or accident. The wood, paper, metal and plastic 
pieces that constitute these constructions take on new 
meaning when introduced into different re-lationships, are 
re-surrected, and the parts meld into a completely different 
whole.” In short, beauty from what looked useless and 

 Tom, (pictured here in April of this year at an industrial 
museum in Germany with his Sierra Madre baseball cap 
ready to wear) and his wife, Corrine, have been residents 
of Sierra Madre since 1972 by way of Vienna, Austria, 
Monrovia and La Canada. Vienna, Austria? Yes! Tom was 
awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for a year in Vienna, while 
he was at USC, to write a dissertation involving being 
an historian in the world of the 1800’s to around 1930. 
Originally from Washington, DC, Tom’s interest in the 
world and how it got to be the way it is, is an undercurrent 
to what he is doing now. Speaking of the world and the way 
it is now, we got onto the topic of graffiti around the world. 
Tom informed me that graffiti is nothing new. He climbed 
the Great Pyramid of Giza in 1965 and found French names 
and the date – 1796 – carved into the top. Napoleon’s troops. 
In essence, we all have to leave our mark on the world one 
way or another. 

 Tom views the world through what people are throwing 
away. Things rust and wear out but Tom puts them into 
a different relationship. They are not leftovers, they are 
reassembled into a new life. One of Tom’s pieces especially 
touched me. The picture of an old-fashioned suffering saint, 
eyes cast up to heaven as tears streaked her face, a halo of 
stars ‘round her head. The piece, entitled “Lacrymosa,” has 
a tiny newspaper clipping attached to the upper corner, 
essentially where this sad woman’s eyes are focused. It’s an 
obituary clipped out of the Times detailing the death of 
someone’s 26 year old daughter from a drug overdose. It 
is filled with pain, unimaginable pain. Someone had given 
Tom the picture of the saint and he paired it with the legs 
from a 1950’s table, some shotgun shells, some empty drug 
vials. “Lacrymosa.”

 Asking Tom where he acquires his materials, he said he’s 
always on the lookout for something that catches his eye. 
There’s beach combing, a few special junkyards, people send 
him stuff. Cancelled stamps are featured on most of his art 
pieces as he’s been a collector since he was 7 or 8 years old 
and he has a stamp dealer friend who sends him pounds of 
the most destroyed, cancelled, used up stamps possible a 
couple of times a year. 

 In addition to the Creative Arts Group here in town, 
Tom has exhibited his work at the University of Redlands, 
Occidental College and you might have seen some of his 
pieces at Century Books on Green Street in Pasadena, which 
is a bookstore AND an art gallery.

 “In my kid mind and hands, paper met paste, metal 
and wood became parts for imagined machines, small 
constructions, forts... you know...stuff to play with. 70 years 
later, I’m still playing. Child-man meets detritus!” 

 If you see Tom Tomlinson’s name associated with an art 
showing, park the car, go in and take a look. His work is re-
purposeful, re-imagined and re-freshingly different.

My book page: Deanne Davis 

Kindle books of all sorts and hardcover “Tablespoon of 
Love” are on there, as is “Star of Wonder.”

Star of Wonder the CD is now on TuneCore! Take a look!


Follow me on Twitter, too!

KATIE Tse..........This and That


Happy Fall! My parents and I are 
getting ready to make our annual 
visit to Oak Glen. If you’ve never 
been, you must go. Nestled in the foothills of Yucaipa, 
Oak Glen is close enough for a day trip, and far away 
enough to get you out of the congestion of L.A. And, 
of course, there’s the apples. Not only are there all kinds 
of exotic varieties like Mutsu, Winesap, and Pippin, but 
there’s also an endless number of apple-inspired breads, 
pastries, jams, and adorable mini donuts. Last year I 
finally gave in and bought a bag of the freshly fried donuts 
from Snow Line, worth every calorie. But perhaps the 
most unusual thing at Oak Glen is its “museum.” We 
probably won’t go there this time. But the one and only 
time we went was memorable enough.

 A short walk up from the main thoroughfare, the front 
of the museum is essentially a pet shop. There are several 
parrots in cages, pet food, toys, and a box with large, 
unusual beetles on the counter (that should have been the 
first tip off). A nice lady who worked there talked with us 
for a while and then asked if we’d like to take a $3 tour of 
the museum in the back. “It has over 500 different species 
of animals” she said. As we paid she added, “Some are 
even live.” (That should’ve been the second tip off).

 The first thing I noticed on our self-guided “tour” 
was the abundance of textured plaster on the interior 
walls, reminiscent of the line for “Thunder Mountain” 
at Disney Land. We turned the corner and were met by 
a large polar bear and two small seals --all stuffed. The 
polar bear was fixed in a walking position, facing the 
viewer, teeth bared. The seals, on the other hand, were 
lying there stiff as bloated boards. This just isn’t the 
sort of thing one expects to see, especially in southern 
California. We must have lingered there for a moment 
with our mouths open. “So, I guess this isn’t the live 
portion” my dad remarked.

 The following displays included a bobcat, mountain 
goat, and a wolverine. It didn’t seem to matter whether 
or not these animals would have actually shared the same 
habitat in real life. In death they were all brought together 
in one big, stiff family. Eventually we came along to the 
live exhibits.

In most of the small enclosures the animals were either 
hiding or being attended to by a museum worker I 
supposed (more on that later). There wasn’t anything 
as dramatic as a giant polar bear, but they had some 
frogs, lizards, snakes, and spiders. Eventually we came 
to the rabbits, chickens, parakeets, and a large, energetic 
iguana. Most of them were roaming around in open-air 
pens. One of the rabbits was missing an ear. The iguana 
was by far the most lively of the bunch. It took a keen 
interest in my mom, and kept vigorously nodding its 
head and sticking out its tongue at her. When she moved 
to the other side it followed after her, and climbed up the 
cage walls to get closer. There were two huge “things” 
on its neck that looked like thick slices of zucchini. 
Maybe it had iguana goiter. Although it seemed bent 
on captivating Mom, we eventually pulled ourselves free 
from it and exited the museum.

 Driving home, we laughed about the odd displays and 
their unusual use of taxidermy. “You know, a lot of those 
cages weren’t secure” Dad said. “What do you mean?” 
we asked. “Well, a lot of them were closed, but not 
actually locked. That’s why I was real careful where I was 
stepping.” “Well, I guess it would be bad to squish one of 
their frogs or lizards,” I remarked. “No,” Dad replied, “I 
was more concerned about the scorpions. They appeared 
to be missing.” And so ended another exciting trip to 
Oak Glen. A little excitement is fine, but I prefer the kind 
that’s not poisonous...


Greetings Friends & Neighbors,

What a surprise when my letter to the editor ended up on the front page of the Mountain Views News, September 1st 
edition. That was exciting because it meant more of the community would be reached about what was going on with the 
Library, thank you Susan Henderson.

 In that letter I mentioned the importance of good communications and that I would try to get an email address that the 
community could be heard from. Happy to say that was managed and here it is. Information 
gathered here will all be added to the community options list so that hopefully all possibilities could be considered. Who 
knows what information could come from such an opportunity to be heard?

 The meeting at the YAC by City Council and the Library Board started all research for me. A good size turnout that 
night showed how interested the community is in our Library and what happens to it. After that night City Hall sent sent 
out a questionnaire that showed options that the residents could consider. Basically the results showed we wanted to keep 
the Library where it was and not sell off any city property. A lot of information was gathered and Council is planning a 
meeting soon, I think the 9th of oct CC meeting. My navigation of the City Site is not that good but I assume more options 
and costs would be discussed in a meeting soon.

 The following Information and Points for Discussion list was in the first report given to Council on February 13, 2018. 
After that date, that information was also given to the Library Board as well, with a list of possible funding. If any of you 
know a Council or Library member you could ask to review that 27 page report.

Ca. Water Grants & Loans *1

Competition, Collegiate Schools of Architecture *2

Digitizing, System/Room and Storage *3

Front View of SM Library and Sign *4 ‘cover page’

Germ Free Buildings

Geothermal Heating and Cooling

Huntington Library Geodesic Dome Greenhouse & Botanical Gardens *5

Hydroponic Climate Control

Hydroponic Greenhouse

Library Grant money from EBSCO as of 2-12-18 *6

Library installs Solar, may even make money *7

Rendering of SM Library as an Updated Design *8

Solar Heating ‘Wikipedia *9

Solar powered Buildings

SM Library STEAM for Adults *10

Virtual Reality Rooms

Virtual Reality Headsets *11

Why Geothermal *12

 With good communication between the Residents, City Hall, the Library Board and Friends, we could have a Library for 
the future that is mostly paid for without having to float a bond or vote on a parcel tax. Yes, this will take some work shops 
and research to accomplish, but the results could be so exciting and could even cover expenses for years to come. 

 With all the talent in our town I can’t wait to see what the community comes up with.

Respectfully, Gary Hood, Sierra Madre


Sierra Madre, CA. - September 12, 2018 -

Sierra Madre City Hall is excited to present a 
collection of work from artist and illustrator, Al 
Parker (1906 – 1985). The collection can be viewed 
at 232 West Sierra Madre boulevard during regular 
business hours in the main lobby at City Hall through 
November 26, 2018.

 A founder of the modern glamour aesthetic, Alfred 
Charles Parker defined the progressive look and feel 
of published imagery at a time of sweeping change.

 His innovative, modernist artworks created for 
women’s magazines and their advertisers in the 
mid-twentieth century captivated upwardly mobile 
readers, reflecting and profoundly influencing the 
values and aspirations of American families during 
the post-war era.

 This collection hanging in Sierra Madre provides 
a brief glimpse at the influential work of a Mid-20th 
century master of magazine illustration and we are 
excited to have it here.

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: