As we reflect on the past year, Alta remembers the extraordinary contributions and personalities of West Coast trailblazers who passed away in 2019 (and in one case. late 2018.) We celebrate a conversation starter, a gentle retail giant, a passionate activist, a beloved historian, and three Californians who helped define the Golden State sound, among others.
Sydney Goldstein: Founder of San Francisco’s City Arts & Lectures
Sydney Goldstein forever changed the cultural landscape of San Francisco and beyond. Author Dave Eggers remembers this California pioneer. (Goldstein died in 2018. This article appeared in Alta‘s Winter 2019 issue.)
By Dave Eggers
Blake Nordstrom: Serving with a Smile
Blake Nordstrom, the late copresident of his family’s department store chain, had a passion for customer service—and a serious smile.
By Robert Spector
Raul Ruiz: To Be Chicano Was to Be an Activist
Raul Ruiz helped lead walkouts, edited La Raza, ran for office, and as a professor inspired generations of college students to pursue social justice.
By Mario T. Garcia
Robert Winter: The Man Who Saw the “There” There
Historian Robert Winter put Los Angeles on the map. An educator, writer, and community leader, Winter’s enthusiasm for California culture and architectural heritage will live on in his work.
By D.J. Waldie
Dick Dale, Hal Blaine, and Jeanie Patterson: The Beat of California Goes On
Dick Dale, Hal Blaine, and Jeanie Patterson contributed to the California soundtrack—and paved the way for new generations of Golden State music makers. A surf rock legend, a Wrecking Crew drummer, and a small-town music club owner, Dale, Blaine, and Patterson each contributed to the Golden State’s musical soul.
By Beth Spotswood