Growing up in San Francisco, George Nonomura’s parents exposed all their children to fencing at an early age. One of the youngest in the large family, George learned fencing at Halberstadt Fencers Club, learning from the succession of coaches at the club. Starting with Hans, he took lessons from John McDougall, Charlie Selberg and Michael D’Asaro.
A successful junior and senior competitor, George was a consistent finalist at national events for nearly 10 years and earned him a place on the 1988 US Olympic Foil Team. For many years he was trained by Letterman Fencing instructor Dr. William O’Brien. George coached for a time after his competitive career, then worked for the San Francisco Fire Department until his retirement.
The Latin meaning of that, according to Google Translate, is “Wine of the Spirit”. As a philistine in the ways of Latin, I’ll have to accept it. No clue. Truly.
A number of people over the years have done impersonations of the inimitable Hans Halberstadt and they range wide in both style and substance. Charlie Selberg knew Hans well and would often quote him during fencing lectures or footwork drills.
I’ll say up front that I’m sick of my desk and computer. I still spend long parts of my day here, but motivation to string my thoughts together in a coherent way have been sparse.
A number of things have come my way recently through various paths. Taken individually, they add to the collection in nice ways, but don’t necessarily give me the grist to crank out a full story around them.
I’m not sure of the original source for the story, but it goes like this. In the early days of the AFLA, precursor to today’s USA Fencing, the East Coast was in charge.
The above picture has been assumed to be Hans Halberstadt for a very long time. I thought so myself, even after scanning it (thanks Kathy Krusen!) at high resolution and having every opportunity to review it with a critical eye.
One of my favorite subjects to write about it the famous foilist and Olympic champion, Helene Mayer. There are numerous photographs of her in the Archive collection and since she was based in California for many of her competitive years, her story fits my focus.
After spending the better part of this week running down stories that haven’t yet fully revealed themselves, I thought I’d revisit one of my many favorite subjects: Helene Mayer. There are a lot of photographs of Ms. Mayer out there, but several of the following are, I believe, unique to the interwebs until now.
A recent gift to the Archive has me dumbfounded. It’s existence was something I had speculated about in a vague way, but never dreamed of finding proof for. Much less, having the proof come directly to me as a donation to the Archive.
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