Online Anthology of Lyrical Audio Poetry in Modern English, recorded by Walter Rufus Eagles ad majorem Dei gloriam


HAROLD CLIFTON FITHIAN [1905 - 1972]

Harold on the back lot of Universal Studios.  Click on image to enlarge.

As a gopher on the back lot of Universal Studios in Studio City in the 1920's, filming a war movie.  While there, he studied with Edna Ames in the drama department, with whom he faithfully kept in touch through the decades afterwards, driving up to Santa Barbara to visit her in her later years.

Harold in front of shrubs at his home in Sunland, California, in 1950s.  Click on image to enlarge.

In front of the shrubs at his home in Sunland, California, 1950s.  The house, which was rented, was eventually destroyed to make room for the current 210 Freeway.   

Harold with Will Geer, Herta Ware, Woodie Guthrie, and Gordon Orme, organizing the farm workers in the San Joaquin Valley during the 1940s.  Click on image to enlarge.

Harold with friends Will Geer, Woodie Guthrie, Herta Ware and Gordon Orme organizing farm workers in the San Joaquin Valley during the forties.

Harold with his convertible in the 1950s.  Click on image to enlarge.

Harold and his convertible in the 1950s, in which he took me on trips through Yosemite, Mammoth Lakes, Donner Pass, and many other stops on a circuit that started in Sun Valley, included a long stopover in San Francisco and Sausalito, then wound its way through the wine country on its way home to Sunland again.  He loved driving with the top down, especially in the rural areas.

Harold Fithian training an apprentice.  Click on image to enlarge.

Training a jewelry apprentice: he was an equal opportunity employer long before the concept was codified into law .  He was by this time working out of his home on Glenoaks Boulevard in Sun Valley near the Bradley Dump.  Later he moved out of the house and transformed in its entirety into his growing jewelry manufacturing plant.  

Harold at Mt. Wilson in 1941.  Click on image to enlarge.

Standing at a waterfall in the Angeles Crest National Forest of Los Angeles (Mt. Wilson Observatory).

Harold at punch press in his home jewelry shop.  Click on image to enlarge.

Operating the punch press, which would have stamped out simple round and elliptical disks out of sterling silver sheet.  The forms would then be hammered, textured with a grinder, then silver-soldered to a "finding" - a mechanical sterling (and sometimes stainless steel) attachment, and otherwise transformed by hand craftsmanship variously into silver men's cuff links, key chains, tie tacks, and appliques for tie bars.

Harold at washing tank in his home jewelry shop.  Click on image to enlarge.

At washing tank in his home jewelry shop, cleaning the jewelry after the hand-crafting operations.

Harold seated at work bench in his home jewelry shop.  Click on image to enlarge.

Seated at his jeweler's work bench.  There would have been there a hand-grinder, a jeweler's saw (similar to a coping saw), a wooden support block on which to rest objects being crafted, an oxygen-and-natural-gas torch, and many small tools.

Harold outside his aunt's house in Stockton, California in late 1950s.  Note the haircut.  Click to enlarge.

Outside his aunt's house in Stockton, California in late 1950s. By now he was wearing the hearing aid with which he was ever afterward associated.  He loved music, especially classical, theater and jazz, and so he fought hearing loss in all his mature years, with varying degrees of success.

Harold in 1923, fresh out of Hollywood High School.  Click on image to enlarge.

1923, fresh out of Hollywood High School.

Harold ready to cook a meal, with ebony and silver salad set he designed and hand-crafted.  He and I both enjoyed the record: Antigonae by Carl Orff.  Click on image to enlarge.

Ready to cook a meal, with ebony and silver salad set he designed and hand-crafted. He and I both enjoyed the recording, lower left: the opera Antigonae by Carl Orff.

The young actor during a production of the Planquette operetta, The Chimes of Normandy in the 1920s.  This was a Hollywood High School production, with Edna Ames (see top) as director.