Alta’s Appreciations 2019

Alta remembers those whose bold ideas, hard work, and relentless enthusiasm helped shape the West.

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 on stage at her beloved Nourse Theater, which she transformed from a nearly derelict auditorium to the home of City Arts & Lectures in 2013.
Sydney Goldstein on stage at her beloved Nourse Theater, which she transformed from a nearly derelict auditorium to the home of City Arts & Lectures in 2013.
RUSSELL YIP/SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

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

For Blake Nordstrom, retail was detail. He once left a store manager a list of 59 items needing attention—including helping a store employee with transportation to and from work.
For Blake Nordstrom, retail was detail. He once left a store manager a list of 59 items needing attention—including helping a store employee with transportation to and from work.
SCOTT EKLUND

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 lays a Mexican flag atop the corpse of Gustav Montag, a bystander slain by ricochet ammunition during a 1971 protest in East Los Angeles.
Raul Ruiz was involved in nearly every aspect of the Chicano movement in Los Angeles and became a leader of a generation of Mexican Americans.
LUIS C. GARZA

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

Historian Robert Winter
Historian Robert Winter
CHRISTINA GANDOLFO

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 left major imprints on California's musical soul.
Dick Dale, Hal Blaine, and Jeanie Patterson left major imprints on California’s musical soul.

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

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