We will proudly be holding an Estate Sale for the family of
Palm Desert stalwart Bob Pitchford.
Bob's father was one of our nation's first postcard photographers, and young Bob and his sisters appeared in many of their dad's photographs - including this iconic 1947 Palm Springs postcard from the Tennis Club
In the early 1940's, the Pitchford family built a second home at Lake Arrowhead on Emerald Bay where Bob enjoyed sailing, power boating and waterskiing. A natural talent at waterskiing, Bob formed Lake Arrowhead's first ski club and began competing in local races to great success. He was a two-time winner of the 69-mile Catalina Ski Race, winner of the 100-mile Lake Mead race, and a world record holder in the ski jump. Bob retired from the sport as Pacific Coast Champion with more than 45 trophies.
During the Korean War, Bob served in combat as a master sergeant in the California National Guard's 40th Division. After the war, he attended Pasadena City College where he won a coveted Ford Scholarship to Art Center in Los Angeles. There, he specialized in automobile design and graduated with distinction before accepting a design job in Detroit in the Advanced Styling department at Ford Motor Company.
Upon Bob's graduation from Art Center in 1955, the newlyweds moved to Detroit and Bob went to work at Ford dreaming up futuristic cars with tailfins and bubble tops. But the two SoCal kids found the harsh Detroit winters unbearable, so they moved back to California in 1957, settling in Rancho Mirage, where Bob's father had recently built the Casbah Motor Inn along with several houses.
Bob set his sights on learning the art of building design and accepted a draftsman position for renowned desert architect Jack McCallum. As the desert communities took shape, Bob developed a keen interest in midcentury modern design and set out on his own - opening an office in Palm Desert next to Keedy's in the Patio Shops. He designed a midcentury modern spec house on Fairway Drive in Palm Desert and moved into it with his growing family.
Over his 60 years in the desert, Bob enjoyed great success as an architect, designing a home theater, bowling alley, bar, and expanded kitchen for Frank Sinatra; a new home for Elliott Roosevelt (FDR's son); a night club for jazz singer and pianist Buddy Greco; several restaurants and commercial buildings; and numerous modern, Spanish and California ranch homes. Bob also served on Palm Desert's Architectural Committee and volunteered for the Palm Desert Historical Society.
Original art work,
Mid Century furniture,
Vintage Cris-Craft boat,
Vintage Triumph Spitfire,
Vintage water skis,
Intro pics up next week.