DPS Newsletter-On-CD Project

In late 1967 DPS member Richard (Steve) Smith convinced his father Fran into applying for DPS membership. His membership was anounced in the December 1967 newsletter along with Norm Rohn, Dick Akawie and others. At that time he was one of ten new members. Fifteen years later his dedication to the DPS outings program would place him in a class by himself. In what would become known as Fran's Frolics, he led the DPS's hardest peak, Rabbit, 14 years in a row!

When the Smith family created the Fran Smith memorial fund, the DPS started looking for a purpose for that fund. One idea was to use some of the fund to electronically archive all the issues of the DPS Sage. When this was suggested to Steve, he seemed pleased with the idea.

Dean Acheson asked me to do a study of this project. The result was that it was very feasible but would take a long time. We decided to break the project into three parts. We took the large stack of newsletters sorted by date and split it into three equal sized stacks. This CD is comprised of the first of these stacks.

Phot from the Jerry Keating Collection
Fran Smith
September 3, 1977, DPS trip to Ruby Dome

The project has started resembling more of a history document than just archiving newsletters. I guess this was inevitable since the newsletter are the best historical records of the section. However, the newsletters are not complete in their printed history of the Section. Many articles were written assuming a knowledgeable audience. As a result, there were not written to be historical records. Many items and events are referred to without sufficient detail for a reader to understand 40-50 years later. All one can do is extract whatever information possible.

One of the first additions to the project (besides the newsletters) was a list of leaders and volunteers who played key roles in the time frame of this first release (1941-1974). Then at a DPS meeting, I met Bob Cates who was displaying some digitized photos of the early Sierra Club years from the Chapter Archives. After talking to Bob about his archives of DPS leaders, I realized that this list could be much more than I first envisioned.

Thanks to Bob and the rest of the Angeles Chapter History Committee I was able to include pictures and some short biographical comments about many of the early members of the Desert Peaks Section. I have also included some history of the DPS List of Qualifying Peaks. This is based on a project by Bill T. Russell.

History by definition is a work in progress. Further editions of this project are planned. Members who have material to contribute are urged to do so. We especially need more photos of our members. Those with photo or slide collections of the DPS or any part of the Angeles Chapter are urged to contact the History Committee. They are actively building an archive of this material for use by the various entities of the Chapter.

- Charlie Knapke