Local author to host reminiscence

Local author to host reminiscenceThe Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert will host local author-historian Liz Babcock, who will present “Fond Memories of Work and Play at China Lake,” a photo-illustrated discussion of historical vignettes in honor of the Navy’s 75th anniversary celebration.

The program will be held Tuesday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. in the Historic USO Building.

“I expect that most of my audience will have already participated in many of this year’s anniversary events,” said Babcock.

“At the time I volunteered to give the November program, some commemorations had already taken place — months before the actual anniversary — and I wanted to make sure that the actual establishment date — Nov. 8, 1943 — would be celebrated.

“Happily, our valley had a full schedule of events on the weekend nearest to Nov. 8, but I am hopeful that people will still have an appetite on Nov. 20 for reminiscences about some of the special, fun people and events of China Lake’s early days.”

Babcock, who is the Historical Society’s newsletter editor, is also well-known locally as the author of “Magnificent Mavericks,” Vol. 3 of China Lake’s history series, the editor and designer of “Tales of the Upper Mojave Desert and the Eastern Sierras” by John Di Pol and author, editor and/or designer of numerous other books, most of them available in the HSUMD Gift Shop.

As she worked on China Lake’s history, she participated in nearly 100 oral-history interviews, and as she listened to her interview subjects, she developed an ever-increasing appreciation for the many fascinating people who have made China Lake so memorable.

Babcock left civil service in 1996 after a 24-year career in technical communication. She then worked several places in Ridgecrest, retiring a couple of years ago from more than a decade as the history curator for the Maturango Museum. Today she devotes several hours a week to copy editing the News Review.

“My presentation is a rather light-hearted, nontechnical look at the China Lakers, focusing on tales that have taken root there during the past 75 years. I’m hoping that what I have to say will inspire others to recount fond memories of their own,” said Babcock.

The Historical Society’s program meetings are on the third Tuesday of most months. For more information on this or future meetings, call 760-375-8456.

As always, the public is invited, and admission is free.

Story First Published: 2018-11-16