Back in 1910, when he was just a lad of 16, Irving Tabor set out from his home in Louisiana to make a life in California. Tabor found his way to the then-brand-new resort town of Venice, where he landed a job as a janitor on the Venice pier. Here, the African-American teen caught the attention of the seaside town’s developer, Abbot Kinney, who hired him to be his driver and personal assistant. The two men became close friends—so close that the Kinney family bequeathed Tabor their residence on the Venice canals.

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