Saturday, July 8, 2006

Great San Diego GS Program today

The San Diego Genealogical Society program today was excellent - the speaker was Leland Fetzer, a retired college professor who has written several books about the San Diego area, including his latest - San Diego County Place Names A to Z (published by Sun Belt Publications, 2005).

Leland is a great speaker - no notes, no overheads, no handouts - just a strong voice and a head full of knowledge about the special place I live.

He gave us a quiz at the start of his talk - 10 questions on place names we should know the answer to - very few people got many of them right.

Leland described the derivation of the names of San Diego County places as like a three-layered cake - the Indian names on the bottom, the Spanish/Mexican names in the middle, and the American names at the top. He gave examples of each, and corrected many false impressions (Tijuana = Aunt Jane? La Jolla = The Jewel? El Monte = The Mountain? etc.) And why are Boulevard, Jesmond Dene, Olivenhain and other places named the way they are?

At the end of the talk, he opened it up for questions and fielded at least 30 requests for information about place names.

All in all, it was an excellent program. SDGS has had outstanding programs all year with a good variety of topics and new speakers.

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