Cobery will conduct a lecture on the topic, "Flood History of California," at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Sunland-Tujunga Library, 7771 Foothill Blvd., Tujunga. Cobery makes the speech several times a year to environmental and educational groups, he said. The Crescenta Valley Sierra Club is sponsoring Tuesday's lecture.
"It's an interesting program that's related to the Sierra Club," said Marlene Plummer, publicity chair for the environmental group's Crescenta Valley chapter. "It's just an interesting historical phenomena that occurred in our area … and changed the lay of the land."
Large boulders rolled down with the flood between Dunsmore Avenue and Ocean View Boulevard that night, Cobery said. Some of the larger rocks can still be found around the area, he added.
Cobery first came to La Crescenta when he was 12, eight years after the flood. As he explored the neighborhood as a child, he noticed broken pieces of wood, large stones, and other hints of some event in the past. His inquiries to local residents yielded no results.
"It was amazing how little people knew about that flood," he said.
His curiosity about historical events lasted his whole life. He taught United States history at Burbank High School for more than 30 years before retiring in 1989.
In April 2002, the retired teacher triumphantly ended a decade-long quest to preserve copies of the Crescenta Valley Ledger, a newspaper that covered the area from 1922 to 1978. About 140 bound volumes of the paper were being stored at the Glendale Central Library's special collections.
He was not able to procure private donations to get the newspapers saved onto microfilm, but eventually the California Newspaper Project in Berkeley took on the project in April 2002 and finished the task within six months, Cobery said.