Painting the Town: The Work of Rey Giese
History San Jose, 1661 Senter Road, San Jose
Free to the public except during paid events
For the next few months, History San Jose highlights acclaimed local sign painter Rey Giese, shown below.
Born in San Jose, Giese created his own sign painting business from the ground up starting in 1935. Over the course of his career he hand-painted more than 20,000 signs in the Bay Area. Among his early jobs was painting this sign in Milpitas!
His clients were local businesses, public organizations and political campaigns. His career spanned more than 75 years and this large collection of his work represents some of this area’s long-forgotten businesses and activities.
We hope you can spare an hour or so to revisit the past through the work of this previously unsung artist of communications!
The Milpitas Historical Society held its annual dinner to celebrate the installation of its new officers and board of directors on Thursday evening, February 16, at the Summitpointe Golf Club Restaurant.
Board President Mark Tiernan welcomed the guests, including our new mayor, Richard Tran, Vice-Mayor Marsha Grilli, Recreation Service Manager Rene Lorentzen, former City Council member Debbie Indihar Giordano, Water District Chairman Richard Santos and of course, a good group of our regular members.
Our special guests were Kelly and Diane Silva, who were honored and thanked for their kindness and help to the Society in opening their Apricot Ranch to us for the Community Tour for many years.
Also, Home Depot Managers David Webster and Jessika Talaugon, were presented with Certificates of Appreciation for their generosity in donating to the Society materials for repairing and upgrading the historic Frontier Days Rolling Jail.
The new board (see photo below) includes (left to right) Historian Joanne Souza, Hospitality Chair Marilyn Simpkins, Membership Chair Mary Ann Udoutch, Vice President and Newsletter Editor Catherine Pelizzari, Archives and Landmarks Chairs Kraig Bunnell, Public Relations and Special Events Chairs Harriett McGuire, Secretary Linda Arbaugh, President Mark Tiernan, Treasurer Joseph Ehardt and Mayor Richard Tran. Due to family obligations, Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Commission Liaison Representative Steve Munzel could not be present.
The evening was topped off by a presentation about “Brave Local Pioneer Women” by Rose Marie Beebe, Professor of Spanish at Santa Clara University and Richard Senkewicz, Professor of History at Santa Clara University, who are joint authors of several books about early California history. They told us about the lives of several early California women whose stories had been collected in the 19th century at the request of Hubert Howe Bancroft, founder of U.C. Berkeley’s distinguished library, who commissioned writers who spoke Spanish to interview early California settlers, both men and women, in order to record a history of the state as told by the people who were there to see it. These stories were fascinating and well told and were deeply appreciated by all the guests.
Official Website of the Milpitas Historical Society