Trump departs early from a tense G-7 summit after rattling allies with trade threats

“En garde Madame LaGarde!”

America’s allies plan to confront Trump over his trade and climate policies at the G7 summit, which Trump now plans to leave early. Other leaders warned if he refuses to sign onto the goals the group hatches, they will proceed without the U.S., further isolating the country from longtime partners.
— Read on www.latimes.com/business/la-na-pol-trump-g7-summit-20180609-story.html

Venice Beach, 1940

As I’ve mentioned before, one can spend quite a bit of time lost in the digitized photography archives hosted by the digital library at the University of Southern California. It’s the single best resource I’ve found for large- and medium- format Los Angeles photography.

1940 - People frolic on the beach near the roller coaster in the amusement park at Venice Beach
1940 – People frolic on the beach near the roller coaster in the amusement park at Venice Beach

Wherever possible, I try to look for ways to group photographs together. I recently found this same same beach scene is represented in a series of three images from the LA Examiner collection, forming a series of photos spanning three years.

The first photo is from 1940. It shows a healthy broad sand-covered beach. A year later, the beach is gone; not just underwater, but completely washed away.

1941 - Shore line looking north from 25th avenue, Venice, showing damage to beach done by high tides
1941 – Shore line looking north from 25th avenue, Venice, showing damage to beach done by high tides

When viewed together, they illustrate the extent of the erosion that once afflicted the stretch of sand between Windward Avenue and Venice Boulevard. This area, located to the south of the tract owned by the Abbot Kinney Company, was originally known as Short Line Beach. It took its name from the railway that once occupied the center of Venice Boulevard, the “Venice Short Line.”

By 1941, civil engineering blunders had created an ocean current that threatened to strip away the soil from the shore.

1942 - Scene of the tidal damage at Venice
1942 – Scene of the tidal damage at Venice

The final photo shows the tidal erosion had crept all the way to Ocean Front Walk, taking with it at least one of the umbrella-shaped sun shades that once lined the pedestrian thoroughfare. I’m sure the war effort – and civil defense planning – hindered attention to this disaster. It’s still something to see it in action.

Surfing Venice Beach in 1939

Wayne “Dick” Whittington is one of my favorite photographers. With his large format Kodak he captured classic Southern California imagery like few others.

1939 - People crowd the beach next to an amusement park
People crowd the beach next to an amusement park

Whittington was an early pioneer of commercial photography in Los Angeles and owned one of the largest commercial photography studios in the city.

1939 - Surfers at a beach in Venice
“Surfers at a beach in Venice”

I was astonished to see the size of the surfboards used back then!

1939 - Surfers ride waves at a crowded beach
Surfers ride waves at the Venice Pier.

They look like canoes — some look like they’re six inches thick in the middle!

1939 - Venice - People relax on the beach in the sun and under umbrellas 2
People relax on the beach in the sun and under umbrellas.
1939 - People relax on the beach in the sun and under umbrellas
People relax on the beach in the sun and under umbrellas.

USC has digitized thousands of his photos and posted them online.

1939 - People ride surf boards and paddle boards in front of an amusement park
People ride surf boards and paddle boards in front of the Venice Pier.
1939 - People swimming at a beach await the arrival of a large wave
People swimming at Venice beach await the arrival of a large wave

This last one is my favorite. How the hell did he get that huge camera out there?!? If I recall correctly, there may have been another adjacent pier at around the time this photo was taken. I think it might have been called “Meier Pier” or something, but I have to check. Otherwise, I don’t know how he got this angle of the beach. Still, it’s a fantastic shot!