There’s an old saying that if you want something done you should ask a busy person to do it.
That certainly applies to a Glendale resident named Alice James, who in 1939 brought together a group of people who then went on to form the Foothill Service Club for the Blind.
James was a very involved community volunteer, donating her time to the local humane society and presenting animal-related programs in elementary schools. She also served as a driver for a Los Angeles club for the blind.
James often drove Walter Dorrance and his guide dog, Judy, to meetings.
Soon, she invited the duo to visit classrooms with her.
On the way home from one of these visits, James and Dorrance discussed forming a club for the blind in Glendale. Dorrance suggested they meet with Chester Parish, a Glendale osteopath who was also blind.
Parish offered to have a meeting in his home and invited Harry Hill and John Heitz, also blind, to attend. When James noted that they needed a secretary, Dorrance suggested asking Frances Brown, also blind, who could read Braille and type. (It was Brown who went on to compile this history of the club’s early years.) Within a week, James picked everyone up and drove them to Parish’s home.