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Mom at the Barker Hotel, 1936-1938

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Nov. 28th, 2009 | 04:13 pm

In 1934, at the age of 16, Mother graduated high school and moved to Los Angeles to attend Woodbury College, where she would study to become an executive secretary. While attending school, she lived with her mother and sister at 1434 Bond Street near downtown. After Mother got her B.S.S. in 1936, she and sister Lorraine got an apartment of their own. The Barker Hotel, at 2000 Miramar Street in Los Angeles, was the first place Mom lived after leaving the parental nest.



click image to enlarge


Here's Mother in the parlor of her rooms at the Barker. Interestingly, I still have both of those art deco reverse-painted picture frames (one can be seen here), and the little cedar chest at left is the twin of the one that belonged to my mom, which was featured in this post (both sisters were given identical chests as a high school graduation present).



click image to enlarge


Apparently, back in the day, it was expected that the residents of "SRO" hotels like the Barker would openly socialize with each other. Nothing like today where people keep to themselves in their own little cubicles and don't even know most others in the building. Anyway, the two sisters can be seen sitting next to each other in the left row: Mother is ninth from the front, and Lorraine is eighth. (I've made these enlargements higher-res than usual so you can better see the faces.)



click image for SUPER-enlarged version


Mother is the young lady with the pearl necklace (Lorraine is not in this photo). I have to chuckle at that stereotyped view of Mission San Juan Capistrano on the wall. How many thousand times have we all seen this painting?



click image for SUPER-enlarged version


Lory and Mom both got married in 1938, so that was it for the Barker Hotel. Probably fair to assume they looked back fondly on their time there. Most of us remember our first apartment with some measure of nostalgia, I think.



A big thank you to Nathan Marsak for locating the Barker Hotel for me! As long as I've known about it, I've wondered where it was. Mother never said boo about it, just like almost everything else in her past...

 

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Comments {5}

the residents of "SRO" hotels like the Barker

from: anonymous
date: Dec. 19th, 2010 09:46 pm (UTC)
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Hey there, interesting post. Such a different way of life, huh? But can you tell me what "SRO hotels" means? What does "SRO" stand for?

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J Scott Shannon

Re: the residents of "SRO" hotels like the Barker

from: ashetlandpony
date: Dec. 20th, 2010 12:04 am (UTC)
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Sure, "SRO" means "single resident occupancy." It basically means a hotel where one person lives in a room and pays rent by the week or month – like a boarding house – rather than a typical hotel where a series of travelers pay for a room on a night-by-night basis. Sorry about not defining that in my post!

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(no subject)

from: anonymous
date: Jul. 5th, 2012 02:58 am (UTC)
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Very cool to read this as my relative owned the Barker Hotel;-)

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Barker Hotel

from: anonymous
date: Jul. 14th, 2014 06:36 am (UTC)
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This is so interesting to me because I found that in the 1930 census, a distant Barker cousin, Albert Edward Barker, and his wife, Sue Virginia Bozeman Barker were proprietors of the Barker Hotel. The pictures in this site are wonderful. Is anybody identified, hopefully the Barkers? Would love to communicate. I have the postcard that is pictured.
Carole Barker

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J Scott Shannon

Re: Barker Hotel

from: ashetlandpony
date: Jul. 14th, 2014 07:11 am (UTC)
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Hi Carole. Your family connection is very interesting! I'm afraid I don't have IDs for anyone in the pictures other than my mom and her sister, though. It would be quite something if your relatives were to be found in the pictures, too. Or maybe one of them actually took these photos! It's fun to think about, anyway. Thanks for commenting! -Scott

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