Harold Hayes of The Pacific Fencing Club on Alameda Island, Oakland, CA has been a generous contributor of cool things for the Archive. Among other things, he transferred possession of two long boxes of material he received from Mary “Demi” Huddleson, past editor of American Fencing magazine. Demi was an abiding fixture in Nor Cal fencing for many years and donated a great deal of time and energy into promoting fencing, locally and nationally.
As a firm believer in ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, I searched through the boxes for photos that might be interesting – not that I let any escape my clutches, mind. The below group caught my eye, not because of any particular significance of the tournament they document, but because the photographer was clearly more interested in the people over the action. There is only one action shot; the rest are of the participants and spectators. That’s the kind of thing I love best, especially in older photos. I’ve become much more intrigued by ‘who’ over ‘where’ or ‘when’. (Although as an Archivist, I also like ‘when’ a great deal…) These, fortunately, were dated. Only one picture, but “1964 Letterman Open Foil” in pencil on the back of one was enough to date and place the group of images.
The Letterman Gymnasium was located in the San Francisco Presidio, very close to the southern end of the Golden Gate Bridge. Long the home of the Letterman Fencers Club where Dr. Bill O’Brien taught, it was the sight of many, many fencing tournaments over the years.
There are a few folks in these pictures I have yet to identify. If you see someone you recognize, drop me a note!
The one ‘action’ shot.
Demi Huddleson with a stylish plaid fencing bag.
Jim Green overlooking the efforts of Maxine Mitchell. The third person is unknown.
Jack Baker, fencer and administrator of the Nor Cal division for many years.
Unknown on the left, then Ferenc Marki and Jim Green
Unknown on the left (possibly Severo Pasol) and Jim Green in the shades.
Gerard Biagini getting a handshake from a Presidio officer.
Jim Green relaxing in the kids play area.
An unknown photographer. Presumably not the one who took these photos. She is the same person who is noted above with Jim Green and Maxine Mitchell.