Mr. Whitsett, Van Nuys Founder, 1934


“W.P. Whitsett recounts the tale of the founding of Van Nuys at the city’s 23rd birthday party. February 22nd, 1934.”
UCLA Library, Digital Collections.

If he could only see it now, the great progress Van Nuys has made, culturally, aesthetically, economically……

10 thoughts on “Mr. Whitsett, Van Nuys Founder, 1934

  1. Andrew,

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but your entire post is essentially an exercise in speculation. My use of such phrases as; “…in all likelihood” & “…in all probability” would appear to reflect that, a burden of proof being no more incumbent upon me than yourself.

    1. Except my comment is a hypothetical and completely based on make-believe. I would never have the temerity of pretending to know what Whitsett thought since I have not met him nor have I read anything he wrote. I only know he was the founder of Van Nuys, and that was the subject of my post.

      1. “Except my comment is a hypothetical”

        as is mine, again citing the use of such phrases as “probably”

        “…I only know he was the founder of Van Nuys,”

        and I know a bit more. Forgive me.

        “…I would never have the temerity”

        Temerity has nothing to do with it. You implied a question;

        “…If he could only see it now, the great progress Van Nuys has made, culturally, aesthetically, economically……”

        I implied an answer. Simple as that.

  2. “…There is nothing racist about imagining what Whitsett might think about Van Nuys.”

    Andrew,

    That’s not what I said. What I said was;

    “…Being a product of his times, he was in all likelihood, a racist, a misogynist and an anti-semite who probably envisioned a city (much like Glendale, Burbank et al) that would become a purview of white anglo-saxon interests in purpetuity.”

    In other words, as a contemporary of those who had developed places like Burbank and Glendale (both cities having been “restricted” at the time of their incorporation) I find it highly unlikely that Mr. Whitsett’s world view would’ve diverged from this track. Furthermore, Mr. Whitsett’s opinions about this or that, while interesting as an academic exercise, would in reality be useless as they would in all probability have to be filed under “Fruit of the Poisoned Tree”.

    1. “racist, a misogynist and an anti-semite…” those are strong words and strong accusations requiring proof.

  3. A product of our times is to declaim how great we are because we are tolerant of every type of person and behavior.

    There is nothing racist about imagining what Whitsett might think about Van Nuys. Maybe he would think great things have happened here since 1911. Maybe he would wax poetic on the airport, the freeways, the many nice houses, the little personal computers everyone carries around. He would most likely love air-conditioning, Costco, Target and the new LA Fitness.

  4. I think he would be a bit displeased at the disrespect of the neighborhoods and the lack of public meeting spaces. To see row after row of bails bondsmen and car dealerships to this once industrious city would most likely bring an outcry and a drive to change Van Nuys for the betterment of its citizens….. um PS why is a Spanish advertisement for ICE AGE posted on your blog/.?////

    1. “Spanish advertisement for ICE AGE posted on your blog/.?” Not my doing. I don’t see any advertising on my blog. Must be your server.

  5. Andrew,
    While the sad state of Van Nuys cannot be denied, who really cares what Mr. Whitsett’s opinions would’ve been upon the subject? Being a product of his times, he was in all likelihood, a racist, a misogynist and an anti-semite who probably envisioned a city (much like Glendale, Burbank et al) that would become a purview of white anglo-saxon interests in purpetuity. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone’s opinion matters.

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