From Disney to gardening tips, resident led many lives

Lucy Taliaferro Yarick wore many hats during her lifetime. A resident of this city for some 75 years, she was a member of several civic organizations and lent her artistic talent to many causes.

She was a longtime Disney artist, hired by Walt Disney Studios in 1935 to work on such animation classics as “Pinocchio” and “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

Her husband, Alfred Taliaferro, also a Disney employee, worked on the Donald Duck comic strip and created Donald Duck’s nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, according to the Glendale News-Press, June 19, 2008.

Yarick lent her talents to Glendale’s first “Beautification Week” in 1968. As chair of the Community Beautification Committee, she designed the emblem, a little Spanish burro surrounded by the words “Keep Glendale Clean” and “The Verdugos Green,” according to the Los Angeles Times, February 19, 1968.

Yarick said at the time that the burro was selected to reflect the city’s Spanish heritage and that it was once part of a spacious ranchero. The burro emblem was to be attached to trash trucks, reproduced on awards presented to those cited for keeping Glendale beautiful and also printed on information cards that were included in billing statements sent to the city’s then 55,000 water and power customers.

Yarick’s husband, Alfred Taliaferro, passed away in 1969. In 1978 she married Burnell Yarick, a professor of botany at Glendale Community College. Together, they hosted “Yaricks’ Backyard,” a gardening show on KIEV that aired on weekends. The couple were on the air at 5 a.m. Sunday mornings with the greeting “Hiya neighbor! Welcome to our world of gardening.”

During the two-hour show, the couple discussed the weather, phases of the moon, snails, cooking tips, relatives and their vacation trips, as noted in the Times, August 6, 1994.

As Glendale neared its 75th anniversary in 1981, Yarick was asked to join the Diamond Jubilee Committee, which was formed to stage a year-long celebration.

To educate the community on its heritage, the committee sponsored a histograph that was created by a retired architect, Gene Burke. The histograph, printed on a large piece of parchment, combined historic facts with artwork.

“We wanted to do something special,” Yarick told the News-Press, July 9, 1981. “Instead of the usual commemorative plates, glasses and ashtrays, we thought we’d offer the people of Glendale something unique.”

The Glendale Historical Society shared the cost of printing 6,000 copies, which were distributed through the city’s major banking institutions and at other venues.

In 2000, Yarick received a lifetime achievement award for her years of service in helping beautify the city and improving the quality of life for its residents.

Four years later, she represented her first husband, Alfred Taliafierro, when Donald Duck was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Taliaferro was one of the artists who drew and inked Donald Duck’s first daily comic strips, according to the News-Press, August 7, 2004. Yarick passed away in June, 2008.

Readers Write:

“Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your recent GNP article on Whiting Woods. We will post a copy of it at the Doctors House kiosk. I've long been a fan of that neighborhood, and think it would certainly merit designation as a historic district, if the residents were so inclined. Such a shame that Mr. Whiting's house was destroyed. It looks magnificent from the photo on the W.W. website. Do you know if the large house that Mr. Whiting later built and wrote his life story from is still standing? Is it located in La Crescenta/Glendale?’’ Signed, Greg Grammer.

Note: Grammer is vice president of the Glendale Historical Society’s Board of Directors.

Copyright © 2019, Glendale News-Press
EDITION: California | U.S. & World