YEAR IN REVIEW

Appreciations 2018

Remembering some of the people whose inventions, ideas and sheer force of will have helped shape California and the West

Now that 2018 has drawn to a close, Alta celebrates the lives of people who quietly had an outsized impact in their chosen fields. Those we honored with an “Appreciation” during the year included an architect, editor, gardener, magician, racecar driver and screenwriter. 

Ruth Bancroft, just before her 100th birthday, in her cactus and succulent garden in Walnut Creek.ERIC LUSE/SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
Ruth Bancroft, just before her 100th birthday, in her cactus and succulent garden in Walnut Creek.
RUTH BANCROFT: GARDENER OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS

Ruth Bancroft’s carefully tended and much-admired cactus and succulent garden in Walnut Creek became the late 109-year-old’s legacy. By Johanna Silver


Auto racing legend Dan Gurney stands with one of the Eagle-Weslake Grand Prix racers that he designed and drove.GP LIBRARY/UIG VIA GETTY IMAGES
Auto racing legend Dan Gurney stands with one of the Eagle-Weslake Grand Prix racers that he designed and drove.

DAN GURNEY: LIFE IN THE FASTEST LANE

Remembering the late Riverside race driver Dan Gurney, who enjoyed great successes — both on and off the track. By Jean Jennings


Magician, actor, writer, Ricky Jay shot at his favorite bookstore in Los Angeles in 1994.AARON RAPOPORT/GETTY IMAGES
Ricky Jay at a Los Angeles bookstore in 1994.

RICKY JAY: THE PLEDGE. THE TURN. THE PRESTIGE.

Known professionally as Ricky Jay, Richard Jay Potash was a master of illusion and widely considered the world’s most gifted sleight of hand artist. By Tom Zito


Frank McCulloch, former top editor of the Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee and San Francisco Examiner, and Saigon bureau chief for Time magazine, calmly and firmly schooled a couple of generations of journalists on how to be better reporters, writers and editors.JOHN BURGESS/THE PRESS DEMOCRAT.
Frank McCulloch, former top editor of the Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee and San Francisco Examiner, and Saigon bureau chief for Time magazine, calmly and firmly schooled a couple of generations of journalists on how to be better reporters, writers and editors.

FRANK McCULLOCH: A JOURNALIST’S JOURNALIST

Frank McCulloch was a journalist’s journalist, editing most of the state’s biggest newspapers and training a couple of generations of journalists. by Mark Potts


Jeb Rosebrook on set of Junior Bonner.ROSEBROOK FAMILY COLLECTION
Jeb Rosebrook on the set of “Junior Bonner.”

JEB ROSEBROOK: 60 YEARS OF SCREENWRITING BEGAN WITH A RODEO WINNER

Jeb Rosebrook’s first script, “Junior Bonner,” was directed by Sam Peckinpah and starred Steve McQueen. It opened to lackluster reviews but is now considered a classic. By Paul Seydor


Los Angeles based architect Gin Wong and some of his works.TO-WEN TSENG/WORLD JOURNAL
Los Angeles-based architect Gin Wong and some of his works.

GIN WONG: MOD MILESTONES

Seminal California architect Gin Wong spent so long designing our idea of the future that it eventually became the past, but his buildings are all the better for it. By Adam L. Brinklow