OCThen reader Michelle submits her memories of Claude Bell's Artist Shack at Knott's Berry Farm...
Knotts Berry Farm! One of my favorite places to ride out a cold!If you had a portrait drawn at Knott's Berry Farm between 1955 and 1960, Michelle's mom probably drew it.
My Mom Moselle Townsend was one of the Pastel Artists there when I was young! Above Claude Bell's Artist Shack was a patio roof with umbrella chairs and a table and when I was sick Mom would take me there to relax and read while she worked!
For lunch I get to meander around and visit Motts Minatures, the gold panning area and some great old ladies in prairie bonnets. Being sick was a priviledge! I loved to eat at Mrs Knotts Kitchen, is that what was it called? Bosenberry Pie is still my favorite to this day, rubarb in syrup and the greatest fried chicken and gravy! Wasn't there a great little dish of bacon and cabbage too?
I still have the want ad mom cut from the newpaper. Claude Bell was looking for a pastel artist to do portraits and my mom thought she could do it so she drew my sister, brother, dad, me and our friends from Lakewood all in one week and then went down and applied for the job and got it. I am not sure how long she worked there but it helped buy her supplies while she got her MFA at Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles.
I have often wondered how many portraits she might have painted over the years she was there? I think she might have been there for about 4 years! Perhaps 1955 to 1960.
I went to High School in Whittier in the 60's and my dad use to drive us down to Retail Clerks, the Union Hall right past Knotts Berry Farm where we could dance for $1.00 with great groups like the Righteous Brothers! Growing up at that time was really fun. Michelle.