Sunday, August 1, 2010

Woman's Work

I wasn't sure what it was, exactly. I had never seen any members coming or going. Then, there was that name. I had been searching the internet for"Women's Club of South Pasadena" with few results. (Lessons for living in the now? Federation of Folk Dancing!) Then I looked more closely at the sign. Go ahead and click the picture yourself. I'll wait.

Woman's Club of South Pasadena.

Woman's?

Who is this woman and why does she have her own club?!

I immediately thought of a crazy billionaire heiress sitting alone at a long conference table wearing a tinsel crown and waving a gavel. "It's my organization!" She yells into the empty space. "Mine, all mine!" As it turns out, Woman's Clubs -- ones with informative websites (and many members) -- can be found in many cities across the country. These philanthropic groups have different missions, but all are dedicated to improving their local communities, often through the building of libraries and other forms of public service. You can read a brief Wikipedia entry about the history here.

I should have learned by now not to try and figure out mysterious organizations...

8 comments:

Judy Williams said...

I wonder why they kept it in the singular possessive tense. Hmmmm

I like all of the squares in that shot. Even the shrub and juniper (?) tree up to the roof, meet with a perfect right angle. The golden sun gives that building a sense of enlightenment. Aaaoooooooom.

Mister Earl said...

It appears that "Woman's" may have just been the way "women's" was referred to in an earlier time. I just noticed that the ladies' anti-drinking organization was called Woman's Christian Temperance Union.

I've been to several of these houses around the San Gabriel Valley: There's the Women's Twentieth Century Club (established 1903) on Colorado in Eagle Rock that a friend rented for his wife's birthday party. There's the Woman's Club in Pasadena that Pasadena Ballroom Dance used to rent for some of their classes. There's one in Sierra Madre where we assembled when we dance in their Fourth of July Parade years ago. Some friends of mine used to host a monthly Friday-night dance at the Temple City Woman's Club. I know that the South Pas one hosts several AA meetings.

They all have at least one large room and a kitchen. What else do you need?

The thing that interests me is how they've continued to be maintained over the years. They're all in good shape and have caretakers. Knowing how difficult it is to keep groups together over long periods of time, it would be interesting to know where the money comes from that keeps these buildings going. I've never heard that there are many actual Woman's Clubs that continue to meet and fund them, but maybe there are.

The way the light hits the building in your photo reminds me of being in the woods.

dbdubya said...

I've been to the Woman's Club several times. It's as Mr. Earl describes - a big meeting room with a large kitchen. There are some smaller rooms upstairs and I think a caretaker lives there. To keep it afloat they rent it out for parties.

I once spoke there as a guest of the club. Before going, I told the Chieftess not to worry. Even though I was going to be a guest of the Woman's Club, I expected the average age to be about 65. I was wrong. I underestimated the age by about 15-20 years. Lunch was a small portion of some type of casserole and coffee was served in little cups. I kept asking for a refill. Many of the women were wearing gloves and most of them dozed off when I spoke. They were very nice, but they never asked me back and their average age explains why they are always seeking new members.

Laurie would be a welcome addition. You'd liven them up. Bring along the Hiker and a few other bloggers and the Woman's Club could become the hottest spot in town.

Anonymous said...

And for the/some guys, there's this:

The MAN SHOW is an American comedy television show on Comedy Central. It was created in 1999 by its two original co-hosts, Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla, and their executive producer Daniel Kellison.
-wikipedia
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_Show

San Diego Farmgirl said...

Well if it's members they want, they should just stock the joint to the rafters with wine and give free pedicures. There would be a line out the door. Problem solved.

You're welcome, South Pasadena! ;o)

Mike said...

I always thought it was a typo!

Laurie said...

I knew I could count on you guys! DB and Earl for history -- Farmgirl for brilliant suggestions. :-) Anon, too funny to bring up The Man Show. I was thinking that if something was called Man's Club everyone would just assume it was a strip joint.

Thanks, everyone!

Kat said...

I prefer the original fantasy of one lone billionaire woman having a club to herself. Even though now I know the truth, I'm going to hold onto that picture.