3/23/17 Thursday in Acton, CA (Soledad Canyon-TT)
We spent a wonderful time visiting the Nethercutt Museum and Nethercutt Collection with Len/Gloria today. Wow. These are located outside of LA in Sylmar, CA. The Museum is where you park and get to browse among many antique cars and see the trail. If you reserved a spot to see the Collection then you are directed across the street to that building. (Mr. Nethercutt, whose aunt was Merle Norman, was a Chemistry major. After attending CIT, he joined his aunt in her cosmetic business. It is completely American, with the product and the containers all made in the US. They’ve been very successful. Though Merle died in 1972 and JB Nethercutt died in 2004, this is still a family run business. It seems to be a family with a generous heart, when their employees receive dental care for 10% of 1960 prices ($2.70 for X rays and exam) and 3 chef prepared meals and snacks each day for $.25. JB and Dorothy loved to entertain in their Louis XIV room and give gifts to their guests. Built just like the original it includes a crystal chandelier with mirrors where you see it repeated to infinity. Clicking on images will show their caption.
They also loved to collect “functional fine art”, beginning with luxury antique cars, continuing with very old musical machines, many from the 1800’s. JB once said: “The recognition and preservation of beauty has been a major focus of my life. It would suit me well if what people remembered of me was, ‘Where he went, he left beauty behind’.”
Thus all these gorgeous machines are available to us for free. Plus we could get as close as we wanted to them all, with the firm reminder not to touch and to put away any hanging keys, to put purses in front of bodies. Not only that, they played those really old music machines. I was thrilled hearing that lovely music all the while we looked at the care, then overwhelmed when we listened to the Mighty Wurlitzer Theater Pipe Organ (made to accompany silent movies) play (due to modern retrofitting so it will play back what was played on it once) music from “Phantom of the Opera”. Such rich sound – it was incredible. Remember those antique cars (many pre 1940) are taken out onto the city streets (and freeways to run at 110 mph like the Duesenberg) yearly. They even drove one to a Del Taco fast food drive thru. Needless to say John and I would love to return. I’d especially love to see when they show silent movies and accompany them with the Wurlitzer Organ. The 5,000 pipes on that machine are amazing.
The luxury antique cars, many of which have one Best of Show (1st place) in world renowned restoration contests, some of which are shown below. By 1992 his cars have won the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance 6 times, more than any other individual. Most of the parts needed are built here near the “Collection”, by employees.
The musical instrument machines:
Then we got to walk through a 1937 Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson Locomotive and 1912 Pullman private car:
Late afternoon we watched “our” basketball team, Gonzaga win a hard fought battle with West Virginia Mountaineers. You can’t believe how excited we were when they won (61-58). Even though Gonzaga has made it to the NCAA for 18 years straight, it’s been a long time since they made it to the Elite Eight.
PS: For lunch one of the restaurant suggestions given us at the Nethercutt Museum was Cas Torres (Mexican). It’s closed.