A year after the world didn’t end, a look at the prophecies of Harold Camping

Through a nationwide marketing campaign and the Family Radio media platform, Oakland-based preacher Harold Camping convinced thousands of people that the world would end on May 21, 2011. As we approach the one-year anniversary of his failed prediction, reporter Megan Molteni takes look at the psychology of Camping’s doomsaying and why so many people fell for it.

1927: Rockridge scandalized by pagan love cult

The sleepy Rockridge district was an unlikely home for scandal. But in 1927, it came to light that a small Rockridge bungalow had become the international headquarters of a mystical society called the “Great White Brotherhood.”

Voices from Rockridge’s early days

In 1954, local historian Frank X. Flood interviewed many of Rockridge’s first settlers about what it was like back in the “good old days.” These are their reminiscences in their own words.

Music with the power to heal

What if you could use something as simple as music to help people dealing with everything from traumatic brain injuries and strokes to neurological disorders and depression?

Growing up in the Golden Gate

Charles Porter, 68, has lived his most of his life in the Golden Gate district of Oakland.

Porter grew up in a two-story Victorian at San Pablo Avenue and 63rd Street that his parents purchased for $7,500 in 1949. He spent much of his youth at the Golden Gate rec center and the public library, playing games and reading books. He remembers San Pablo Avenue during the 1950s and 60s as a a commercial corridor—department stores, grocers, barber shops, car mechanics, five and dime stores, donut shops, even a movie theater. Back then, Porter remembers, it was one of the first Oakland neighborhoods to open up for African Americans.

Over the past 60 years, he has watched the neighborhood go through a number of changes, and seen the community change with it. For Porter, the changes are just part of the natural life cycle of the neighborhood.

Temescal’s own amusement park

One of Temescal’s oldest subdivisions was once of the state’s grandest amusement parks. On the blocks of what are now Spanish stucco-styled homes bordered by Shattuck and Telegraph Avenues to the east and west and between 56th and 58th Streets, Oakland’s Idora Park at one time brought thousands of visitors from near and far for its myriad attractions. Built in 1903 by railroad baron and borax king Rodney Ingersoll, the park was open about 30 weeks a year and boasted…

I’ll see you down at the club

For nearly 100 years, the Colombo Club has been the heart and soul of Temescal’s historic Italian community. With almost 1,000 members today, the Columbo Club is the largest private Italian social club west of the Mississippi River. Oakland North reporter Megan Molteni goes down to the club to learn about its long and storied history.