The Burbank Historical Society recently revived a tradition of having barbecues on the museum’s patio and at the same time made the event a thank-you celebration for its members.
Docents who give tours of the Gordon R. Howard Museum were rewarded with snacks, lunch and opportunity prizes during the Volunteer Appreciation Day.
Back 30 years ago when the final addition was just a gleam in the eyes of founders, the late Mary Jane and Harry Strickland, there was a lot more room for the outdoor party. So space was limited this time, which wasn’t a problem because the lingering heat called for bringing volunteers inside the museum complex anyway.
The patio was the perfect size for people to pick up their hot dogs served by employees out of the Wienerschnitzel’s food truck. To add to the nostalgia, board member Gary Sutliff brought his old-fashioned popcorn cart, snow cone machine and cotton candy maker.
Reviving the tradition was a priority that President Dave Filson talked about after he was installed and he said it’s a practice he wants to continue.
“I think we used to do it once a year and everybody liked it, and even though this is on a smaller scale, I think this is something we should do for the members and also see if we can attract new people at the same time,” he said. “It’s kind of a small gesture but it’s something to show the members that the board of directors appreciates them being there.”
Dancers of the Ballet Folklorico Mexico Azteca were dressed in colorful costumes and entertained in the Cunningham Auditorium.
It was the first time Esperanza Whitehead had ever been to the museum. She came to watch her daughter, Patricia, dance with the ballet.
“I’ve been in Burbank for 30 years and have never been here,” she said. “I have two more children and I’ll be bringing them here. It’s awesome!”
Stephanie Llewelyn of Burbank brought her friend, Deborah Richman, of Northridge.
Llewelyn’s favorite exhibit is the Lockheed Aircraft memorabilia, she said, because her father worked there.
Volunteer JoAnn Franklin enjoys giving tours and meeting the people who take the tours — especially the children.
“They ask me how old I am and how much the items cost in the museum,” she said.
Charles Zembillas, who has been a volunteer since 1998, said it’s nice to see the public’s appreciation for the history of Burbank.
His favorite exhibit is the World War II American flag display, he said. The flag was presented to the Burbank Junior Chamber of Commerce from the Burbank servicemen they sponsored.
“The flag was placed on the beach of Iwo Jima when the American servicemen landed,” he said.
The museum is open from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. It is located next door to the Creative Arts Center, 1100 W. Clark Ave.