Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Prepping for the April A to Z Blogging Challenge

"Wednesday starts the April ABC blogging challenge," I said to the Husband late last night. "I've run out of juice. I have no ideas at all."

"What letter are you on?" he asked.



We both laughed at the same time.

Since 2010, the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge  has been an annual event in blogland. Every day, except Sunday, participants post something about a subject beginning with the letter of the day. April 1, naturally, would be any subject beginning with A.  

I did the challenge in 2013, entering both Take 25 to Hollister and my other blog. It was fun, but tough, so last year I decided to just enter The View from the Top of the Ladder, which then was called Don't be a Hippie. This year, since my goal is to post every day on the two blogs, I've entered both of them in the blogathon.

Each blog has a theme. I'm going simple with Take 25 to Hollister. The theme is Hollister. Go ahead and laugh. It's not as easy as I thought it would be. Think about it. I can't write about the Pinnacles, Fremont's Peak,  or other things outside of the city limits, unless I tie it into Hollister somehow. That's the challenge I've given myself. Of course, being that I'm the boss here, I can change my rules. Maybe then I can come up with a subject for the letter A.

For those curious, food is my theme for The View from Top of the Ladder. You're welcome to check me out there, too. I pretty much have a line-up of tales ready to go. As for Take 25 to Hollister. . . stay tuned for tomorrow, dear readers.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Wildflowers on the Anza Trail

Yesterday, the Husband and I walked a bit of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail (pshew, that's a mouthful) in San Juan Bautista.  Butterflies and grasshoppers escorted us throughout the walk, bees serenaded us, and wildflowers greeted us as well. The flowers showed up in all sorts of places along the trail.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Sunday Flashback: A Sign of the Past

I've always liked the sign "San Juan Gardens" that graces the side gate at Vertigo Coffee in San Juan Bautista. I like to imagine a donkey playing under the sign.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Morning, Mustard, Maze, and Musing

I took a short ride on the bicycle this morning, stopping on Hillcrest Road to take in the sweet view of the yellow mustard and the soon-to-be covered fields that were once-upon-a-time apricot orchards. When the trees came down, I was surprised to see Marguerite Maze Middle School from Hillcrest Road. I still am, for that matter. Another view that will be gone, too.

Wouldn't that be wonderful if the field on Hillcrest became a park instead? Now, that could be a perfect place for an outdoor public pool. Just a thought.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Memories of Bolado Park

Today's post is a memoir of Bolado Park, written by Robyn Detherage Asimus, who lived in Hollister once upon a time. Robyn wrote this piece several ago for our defunct 1971 Balers website. She kindly has allowed me to republish it here. All photos are courtesy of Robyn. Thank you, Robyn!

Bolado Park

 © Robyn Detherage Asimus 

I loved those summers at Bolado Park. I can still remember those magical summers in the 60s as if it were yesterday. . . .

Entrance to the Swimming Pool

Driving down the long hill from Tres Pinos, the golf course on the left, rounding the last corner to begin your first glimpse of Bolado Park. The long, long grassy area and the rodeo grandstands, pulling into the parking lot, walking up the stairs, through the main doors, and there on the right was the most beautiful sight in the whole world. The unbelievably big, beautiful, blue swimming pool. The water sparkled in the sun. WOW!! How I loved summers at Bolado.

Swimming, diving, synchronized swimming pageants. Doing front and back flips off the board, (wearing a tee shirt so that I wouldn’t sting my back), being on the swim team, and practicing until I thought that my legs would fall off.

The Dance Hall

And the most important event at Bolado Park………BOYS !! (Hello, Burgie Valenzuela, Greg Guerra, Joe and Bob Maddox, Doug Goularte, Tom Medeiros, just to name a few….)

Remember the upper deck sunbathing area down by the shallow end? Of course, us girls never went there. We all knew that the cute boys were at the deep end, swimming, diving, and just sitting on the bench looking good.

The smell of Coppertone and Sea & Ski suntan lotion, the baskets we used to put our clothes in and the pin with the number on it that went with it. (Remember those?) The huge dance floor, knotty pine wood everywhere and the juke box playing our favorite songs over and over again. Surfer Girl, Help me Rhonda, I Get Around, Dead Man’s Curve, and Do the Locomotion With Me. (Just to name a few.)


The Snacks at the Concession Stand

I loved the hamburgers at Bolado. I always ordered mine with just mayonnaise and pickles. What was I thinking?

Bazooka Bubble Gum that was shaped long—kind-of like a tootsie roll, cream soda, Big-Hunk candy bars, and those delicious milkshakes.

The Staff
I have lots of special memories of the employees there, too. Lovey ran the main cash register. (I was scared to death of her.)  Cleva Harlan and Vivian Kaiser, sisters, and the main cooks.

Martha Hatch, Dave Tomasini, (also a mailman in town; he rode a bike to deliver the mail, remember him?) and Dean and George Clevenger, super-hunk brothers from the Bay Area. (Okay I just threw that in—they are actually my cousins, but according to their wives, still super hunks.)

Frank and Julie Escover: Frank was the groundskeeper and drove the little cart around; Julie was his cutie-pie daughter. Tommy and Francine Medeiros. Did she not have the most perfect ponytail in the whole world?

Coach Hardin, Pete Maddox, and Pat McCone were the main lifeguards. Peggy Slater was the swimming teacher who gave private lessons. Not many people knew that Peggy had taught soldiers in World War II how to swim under the water and avoid the burning fuel on the surface when their ship was attacked. She was responsible for saving many lives.


Pop Burns

Of course, my grandfather “Pop” Burns, who by the way was also the best grandpa in the whole wide world. He always had a huge set of keys hanging from his side and a hug and a smile for me.

As great as my life has been I would give anything just to step back in time to the 60’s again and spend a day at Bolado Park swimming, laying in the sun and just living the good life again.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The California Welcome Center—Salinas

The other day, the Husband and I dropped into the California Welcome Center in Salinas so that I could get some brochures and such about Salinas and Monterey County to inspire me with future story ideas. Sure, I could research the Internet, and I shall, but I also like to read printed materials. Call me old, I don't mind it. Besides, I love going into visitors centers. It's like going into a library, which I also love to visit, and being welcomed by books full of knowledge and entertaining stories. The California Welcome Center in Salinas certainly lived up to that. 

It's a bright and cheery place with friendly, helpful staff. That morning, the Husband and I met Inez Don Carlos, Assistant Manager, who kindly kept pulling out brochures, pamphlets, and maps of some familiar and many not-so-familiar places to check out in Monterey County. She also gave us tips of places to visit in Salinas, such as the windmill at the Harden Foundation (which I'll write about another day), and when are the best times to visit the area. For instance, in the summer, you might plan your trips around the various festivals that take place in Monterey County. 

State welcome centers are located throughout California, each covering a particular region. The California Welcome Center in Salinas is one of three centers in the California Central Coast, and it covers the Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz counties. Although designated by the state of California, the nonprofit welcome centers are not run by it. Some are connected with a city visitor's center or a chamber of commerce, while others, such as the Salinas center, are independent. 

The Salinas center has a plethora of brochures, pamphlets, maps, and gorgeous visitor guides to help you plan your adventures and tours for visiting families and friends, not just in our area, but also in other parts of California. You'll also find books, postcards, and souvenirs of our area for sale at the center. Be sure to check out the maps on the wall that show where visitors to the center have come. It's rather impressive. 

The center is located at 1213 North Davis Road, at the south end of the shopping complex that's on the west side of Highway 101, near the Laurel Street exit. It's open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Here is its Facebook page and website.

By the way, did you know that the artichoke has been our official state vegetable since 2013? Who knows how long I would've gone ignorant about that fact if we hadn't stepped into the California Welcome Center in Salinas the other morning. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Llamas in San Juan Bautista

Sure, everyone knows about the wild chickens roaming the streets of San Juan Bautista. But, who knows about the llamas?

Now, did I say they are live llamas?

But, there are live llamas in San Benito County. Oils of Paicines raises llamas on their ranch just north of the Pinnacles National Park. They shear the animals yearly and turn their wool into fiber which they sell.

Back to the llamas in San Juan. If you want to check them up close, here's where you'll find them.



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