- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
by Save Our Heritage Organization
Sunday, May. 06, 2012 at 4:48 PM
firstname.lastname@example.org (619) 688-1886 P. O. Box 50134, San Diego, CA 92165
Pioneering San Diego-based Queer artist and photographer Robert Miles Parker also founded Save Our Heritage Organization (SOHO), dedicated to preserving San Diego's historic buildings and parks against redevelopment and gentrification. His recent passing in New York, where he had relocated, was memorialized by SOHO.
miles80s.jpg, image/jpeg, 350x527
In Memoriam: Robert Miles Parker, 1939-2012
by ANN JARMUSCH and DAN SODERBERG
A media release from Save Our Heritage Organization based on an interview Parker did with Jarmusch and Soderberg in 2009.
PHOTO: Robert Miles Parker in the 1980’s: self-portrait, courtesy Save Our Heritage Organization.
Save Our Heritage Organization (SOHO) was sad to receive word of the passing of our founder Robert Miles Parker from his longtime partner, David Vanleer. Miles spoke about his founding of SOHO with great pride: “I don’t think about pride much. I don’t think about that stuff...but I am prouder than I know how to define the word. It is pretty amazing to look at what SOHO is doing still.”
Miles was a colorful, charismatic, and outspoken man. A renowned artist, his drawings have been published in magazines and newspapers such as San Diego Magazine, Sacramento Magazine and the New York Times, and collected in the books Images of American Architecture (1982), L.A. (1984), and Upper West Side: New York (1988). His work garnered him national attention, including two appearances on the Today Show with Barbara Walters. Additionally, he taught art at both Adult Night School and at College level.
Miles began SOHO with a sign on a plain board that he put up at the Sherman-Gilbert House reading “Save This House” along with his phone number. “A billion people called,” he remembered. “I had no plans for that … evidently a whole lot of people felt the way I did.”
He saved all the money he earned teaching for travel. “My plan was to always travel,” he said. “I could never get a normal job; I just couldn’t be structured.” Miles had just returned from hitchhiking around Europe for a year when he heard about plans to tear down the Sherman-Gilbert House and replace it with a “two-story cement beast.”
Miles recalled the very first SOHO meeting: “I’d like to think it was about 50 people showing up at my house on a rainy dreary early January Sunday afternoon in 1969.” He told the gathering, “I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what WE’RE going to do. It was Carol Lindemulder who kicked me and said, ‘Well, you’re going to start an organization, and your life will forever be different.’ She was right, it was forever different, certainly in a better way.”
Robert Miles Parker credited his caring for his neighborhood and city to his Southern upbringing. “I was born in the South, of a billion generations of Southerners.” He spoke about being taught to respect country, society, and community, but to do things for the community. “I grew up believing, still, that we have an obligation to take care of our place. We have to make it better. We have to do that...I just think it is my duty to do my job. And SOHO was my job!”
He spoke about his love for the city, and it was his interpretation of San Diego history that shaped his views as a historic preservationist. “San Diego, I think, is a holy place. Madame Blavatsky (through the mission of Madame Tingley’s Theosophical Society in Point Loma) was here. The Rosicrucians were here. The Indians considered this holy land. The first settlers, I think appreciated that. I think the monied families, like the Klaubers, appreciated that, and built wonderful things. Jessop comes to mind. Walker Scott comes to mind. But then the next generation didn’t care and began to tear them down. And I don’t think anyone has cared since.”
“In the old days it was the ‘geranium growers’ vs. the developers. I came here in the 1940’s as a little boy. It was the ‘geranium growers’ who were in power, and it was such a neat place. It was just so comfy. I think it is interesting the city went from being a holy place to a place of destruction. So it is our battle to pull it back.”
Miles spoke about his role as SOHO founder. “I delegated like mad. There were Carol Lindemulder and Nick Fintzelberg who understood money and land, all the things that never interested me. All I had to do was to be outrageous, which is my nature, so I didn’t have to do anything! Except of course I really believed in what was happening. It became more than saving the Sherman-Gilbert House, it became about saving the city.”
“I discovered when I traveled around if there weren’t a little Miles Parker there, then the city was doomed. But there were Miles Parkers. I met one in St. Louis who saved his neighborhood. I met one in Washington. I met one in Northern California. But it didn’t happen if there wasn’t a rebel rouser. Most places didn’t have it, and most places are horrible looking. We were lucky. San Diego was lucky. We were all lucky.”
Miles eventually left San Diego to live in New York City. “I had super adventures as a San Diegan. But I spent all my years in San Diego battling, I think.”
Rest in peace, Miles. We’re proud to carry on the battle for you, the battle you so passionately fought. You inspired us all.
Report this post as:
Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A.
Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released
Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups
Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights
Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down
Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29
Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf
Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development
Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine
Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents
Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters
City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre
Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling
Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present
Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police
LA Times Homicide Report
Last of California's nuclear power plants is on its way out
Patrisse Khan-Cullors explains why Black Lives Matter
Women's March L.A., 2018
The case for US government sanctions on Israel
Women of LA Rise Again to Denounce Trump Photoset 4
Women of LA Rise Again to Denounce Trump Photoset 3
Women of LA Rise Again to Denounce Trump PhotoSet 2
Women of LA Rise Again to Denounce Trump PhotoSet 1
Women's Political Representation & Electoral Reform
Trial Starts for Woman with Erb’s Palsy Punched in Face Repeatedly by LAPD Officers
Dear District Attorney Jackie Lacey, Prosecute Killer Cops, Signed: Your Constituents
Great solidarity action today
More Local News...
Trump - Hard as Steel
Paraphysique de l'hologramme
Fbi crimes and cover-up by local authorities
what does a mexican driver's license look like?
One Way to Respond to Foreign Ops in Our Elections
Stratégie onirique du coup du monde
Tour Announcement: Whole Milk's California Cruising Tour 2018
50 years have passed since the Kerner & McCone Commissions
Crash on the Horizon
Caribbean Religious Leaders Call for Debt Relief in Face of Disasters
America's judiciary is in collapse
Under the Gun in Ireland
The Shortwave Report 03/16/18 Listen Globally!
Travail de l'idéologie
Crisis 2.0: A Policy for the 99%
How fbi corrupts cjs
When Will the Me Too Movement Take on the New Age?
La société du plagiat compilateur
12 Step Programs Free Me From Addiction
Règlements de comptes à O.K. Corral
Video: "How Democracies Die," 1 hr 12 min
Debt, Corruption and Tax Policies Impact Poverty, Says Vatican at United Nations
Séparatisme de l'abîme
The Shortwave Report 03/09/18 Listen Globally!
Over 35 Years of Work for Individuals in California with Brain Disorders [Metal]
February 2018 Honduras Coup Again update
“Animaniacs in Concert!” with Voice Artist Rob Paulsen, Fri. March 30th in Downey, CA
More Breaking News...