San Marino Resident Jagels Advocates Preservation, Also Has Comedic Side
San Marino resident Shirley Jagels has a serious side fighting against the destruction of historical city structures, but also boasts a comedic persona acting as her alter ego – tennis pro “Rosy Mischief” – with plenty of interesting personal facts in between.
Many San Marinans may know Jagels as the president of San Marino Heritage who attends City Council, Planning Commission and Design Review Committee meetings promoting the preservation of San Marino’s homes and neighborhoods.
Jagels encourages other residents to update their current house without rebuilding at San Marino Council, Planning Commission and Design Review Committee meetings.
“I say that, ‘You can bring your house up to the 21st century,’” she said. “We don’t have to be demolishing our houses. It really disturbs the neighborhood.”
Formerly of Pasadena Glen, Jagels and her husband George purchased their 100-plus-year-old San Marino home along Wilson Avenue in 1999 and are only its second owners.
When I saw this house, I was like ‘jackpot,’” she said. “It’s exactly what I wanted. It had a huge lot. It was historical from 1908. It had leaded glass windows.”
Among other upgrades to the house, the Jagels added 360 square feet onto the back of the house.
“We matched it so it looked original,” she said.
They also restored the lily pond.
She explained, “We raised the depth and added these pedestals, which is an ode to the Gamble House where I was just trained to be a docent.”
Jagels and her husband recently purchased a 1924 duplex in Alhambra and she is directing the restoration of it.
“It’s a charming little place that would have been subject to demolition,”she said.
The couple also bought a 1915 historic board and batten settlement cottage in Laguna Beach in 2011 that Jagels has refurbished.
Jagels started San Marino Heritage in 2009 because she was concerned about all of the housing demolition going on around San Marino. She has more than 600 followers on Facebook, where she posts articles about historic structures in San Marino and beyond, alerts about notable structures in jeopardy of teardown and general San Marino news. San Marino Heritage also has a website at www.sanmarinoheritage.org. She’s working on rebuilding the website currently.
“Shirley Jagels does not just talk the talk,” resident Michele Lumley said. “She actually restores properties to their former glory. Her own home on Wilson is testament to that. She is knowledgeable about codes and requirements not just in San Marino, but in other cities where she has restored homes. Shirley’s love of our city is evident and she wants to make sure it remains the beautiful and historic city we are lucky enough to know and love.”
“Shirley has been very active in preservation work in San Marino,” resident Laurie Barlow said. “She’s in the forefront of community dialogue about proposed teardowns of homes with historic significance, particularly the Wallace Neff home on 1040 Oak Grove last year. She’s a vocal member of the community at City Council meetings on this issue, and has initiated a local recognition program for people who preserve and restore their homes in our city. In addition to all this, she also maintains an advocacy website for this issue as ‘San Marino Heritage.’”
San Marino Heritage along with local artist Leisa Collins presented resident and San
Marino Tribune Advertising Manager Joelle Conzonire Grossi and her husband Ben with the Historic Preservation Award last May for the “stellar restoration” of the Grossi’s 1928 Spanish house along LorainRoad.
The Lacy Park Rose Arbor and the Wallace Neff-designed home at 1040 Oak Grove Avenue are currently on top of Jagels’ list of concerns. She even began a petition to save the Wallace Neff house, garnering more than 100 signatures.
On top of Rosy Mischief’s priority list is trying to get The Tennis Channel to play “Rosy Mischief’s World Premiere: Bag Check,” which is available for viewing on YouTube, on April Fool’s Day this year.
Jagels got the name Rosy Mischief from a state champion Hereford cow that was owned by her husband’s grandfather.
“I loved her name so much that I’ve developed a comedy character using her name, and we even obtained the trademark for various products,” Jagels said.
She even was able to enter Rosy Mischief as a notable resident of the City of San Marino’s Wikipedia page. Rosy Mischief also has an Etsy store to sell shirts, tennis ball cookies, lime and oatmeal bars and bumper stickers. She does have a few jokes on there such as Rosy Mischief’s debut eau de parfum for $5,000.
Jagels has three children, Albert 22, Tim, 18, and Claire, 14. She lists her career on her business card as “Mother.”
More About Shirley Jagels…
• Jagels recently decorated her 1967 Austin Mini Moke with the colors of the Republic of San Marino represented by flowers, lanterns, emblems and ornaments. She drove it around the 127th Rose Parade area (not officially in the parade) on Jan. 1 as the unofficial City of San Marino float.
“I went around pretending that I was in it,” Jagels said. “Everybody loved it and people were waving.”
• Jagels has won awards from the Los Angeles County Fair and California State Fair for her lime bars and oatmeal bars.
She explains about her lime bars, “I won ribbons at the fair for them. They’re really flavorful. It’s like a lemon bar, but with limes instead. I designed the recipe myself. I thought to myself, ‘How come there aren’t any lime bars? There’s lemon bars.’”
• Her son Albert was ‘Editor for a Day’ with The Tribune’s Managing Editor Mitch Lehman in the early 2000s. Albert’s main objective was to add a cartoon page to The Tribune.
• An old wagon that used to be on the playground of Valentine Elementary during the late 1950s, early 1960s is now in Jagels’ yard. She won it at an auction and would like to one day donate it to Lacy Park.