Author Heather David to be Featured as Dome Talks March 28 Presenter at SBC Museum

By on March 17, 2019
Yucaipa's BOA free museum admission program

Baby Boomers and Gen Xers will be delighted to recall moments of their past when Author Heather David takes the “stage” at the San Bernardino County (SBC) Museum’s March 28 Dome Talk. David will be speaking about her most recent book, “Motel California”, a retrospective look at the era of the rapid rise and subsequent decline of the individually owned mom-and-pop motel in The Golden State.

Many of those over 35 years of age can remember and celebrate with David the sparkling blue pools, flashing neon signs, automatic ice machines, bleached white towels and even the motel’s pool slide. The economic prosperity of post-World War II drew people to America’s improving roads in record numbers. The sharp increase in American mobility fostered independently owned roadside motels for both business and recreational reasons. In an effort to attract business in a highly competitive market, many motel owners embraced exotic themes and offered an attempt at a unique, albeit locally-based, visit to places many people would never experience first-hand (think Hawaii, Alaska, France, the Greek Islands, etc.)

Over time, consolidation and corporatization drove mom-and-pop locations out of the motel business and standardization became more of the norm. Soon gone were the neon signs and the pools slide and interiors became not just standardize but bland, conservative and very utilitarian.

David’s “Motel California” is a pictorial history of the motel in the state. It is an exploration of theme-based marketing and a documentation o f American culture at perhaps what was the most prosperous time in United States history.

David, a California-based cultural historian and freelance writer is the author of “Mid-Century by the Bay”, and is an advocate for the preservation of mid-century architecture, art, and signage – with a focus on California Modernism. She has also written numerous articles on American popular culture and historic preservation.

The Thursday, March 28 presentation by David will be held at the San Bernardino County Museum at 2024 Orange Tree Lane. Tickets are $25 per person plus a $3.16 fee ($18 for Museum Members plus a $2.73 fee), per evening. Tickets can be purchased at the Museum’s welcome desk, by calling the Museum at 909-798-8608, or on-line at:

Advance ticket purchases are recommended for Dome Talks presentations as seating is limited. Parking is free and the museum is accessible to persons with disabilities.