Thursday, July 31, 2014

Remembering the Tres Pinos Hotel

Standing at the corner of Fifth Street and Highway 25 in Tres Pinos is an E Clampus Vitis plaque commemorating the Tres Pinos Hotel that was there from 1873 to 1958. The hotel was originally known as the Southern Pacific Hotel, which Southern Pacific built when it brought the railroad to Tres Pinos. If I understand the various references correctly, Juan Etcheverry, who owned 1,400 acres of land in and around Tres Pinos, took over the hotel and it became known as the Etcheverry Hotel.

What was the hotel like? Here's what Marjorie Pierce wrote on page 129 in East of the Gabilans:
". . .the hotel was a bustling place. It was to Tres Pinos what the Plaza Hotel was to San Juan. Hay and grain buyers and stockmen would come and stay. The train would stop overnight before going back so the railroad men also were guests. The station was across from the hotel and the turntable was a short distance away. In the kitchen there were three Chinese cooks to handle the busy dining room. There was a pool room, a public room with a fireplace and poker tables, and a bar which was probably called a saloon in those days. . . ."

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fairhaven Orchards

Just after you pass Flynn Road while driving south on Highway 25, you can see the agricultural sign for Fairhaven Orchards on the right side of the highway. It's another sign put up by the Ag in the Classroom project sponsored by the San Benito County Farm Bureau. If you'd like to see a few others signs, check out this post.

Fairhaven Orchards produces cherries and Blenheim apricots. Located on Bolsa Road (aka Highway 25), the orchards have been owned and run by the Rajkovich Family since 1958. To learn more about Fairhaven Orchards, check out its website and Facebook page.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Another View

Yes, yet another view of the Old Elk's Lodge from me.  This one is so much better than the one from the other day.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Coming Up 104!

On August 4, Muenzer's will have been in business 104 years. Owned by siblings Jerry Muenzer and Jan Holthouse, the establishment is formally known today as Muenzer's Keys and Teez. It offers locksmith services and sells Haybaler sweatshirts and other apparel.

The business was opened in 1910 by the siblings' grandfather, Joseph Muenzer, who purchased a second-hand store,  got rid of everything but the bicycles, and added locksmith services. Over the years, Muenzer's evolved and adapted with the community's needs and the economic times.

Muenzer's is located at 217 Fifth Street.

Happy Anniversary, Muenzer's!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The View from Los Viboras Road

Los Viboras Road is another country lane off Fairview Road. Near the end of Los Viboras, the road is lined on both sides with old eucalyptus trees. And, it is from there, that I took this photo earlier this year. In the distance is the mountain called Three Sisters and Santa Ana Peak.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Park Appreciation Day

Today, the San Benito County Historical Park is having a Park Appreciation Day. The free event starts at 11 AM with the Early Day Gas Engine & Tractor Association Show, which ends at 3 PM.  There will be a rededication of the Fire House at 2 PM and a rededication of the Dance Hall at 3 PM. 

People are invited to bring a picnic lunch. Food and drinks are available for purchase.

Friday, July 25, 2014

La Catrina

There's a new restaurant in town. It's called La Catrina. I have yet to go, but I've heard some good reviews by folks who have given thumbs up on the quality of the food and customer service.

"La Catrina is the feeling, the energy, and the authentic taste of the Mexican Grill," states the owners on the restaurant's Facebook page. The restaurant is located at 449 San Benito Street, near the corner of Fifth Street.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

On Display at the Car Show

I get a kick out of the things that folks display inside their automobiles at car shows. Did you happen to see this snake and these figurines at the Hollister Street Festival & Car Show last Saturday?

The Cobra

The Cool Dudes

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Budding Puppeteers

The puppet booth at the Hollister Street Festival and Car Show last Saturday was hopping with cute furry animals.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Soul Sweets

Paress Randolph, of Soul Sweets, at the Gilroy Farmers Market

I first learned about Soul Sweets at last year's San Benito Olive Festival when I followed the delightful baking aroma of something mighty delicious to its booth. I didn't get a chance to eat one of their berry cobblers, but the Husband did and he still ooohs when he talks about it. I'll finally get the opportunity now that Soul Sweets will be at the Hollister Farmers Market, starting tomorrow, Wednesday, July 23.

Soul Sweets is based in Morgan Hill. Check out this article about Dawn and Anthony Randolph, the owners, in the Morgan Hill Times. Besides the Hollister Farmers Market, you can find their baked goods at the Gilroy and Morgan Hills Farmers Markets. To learn more about Soul Sweets, head over to their website at, or their Facebook page.

Monday, July 21, 2014

2014 Gilroy Garlic Festival

I love the smell and taste of garlic. If you were to ask me to make garlic bread with fresh garlic, do not be surprised when I put a whole bulb's worth of garlic on the buttered french bread. Yum!

So, yup, the Husband and I are ready for the Gilroy Garlic Festival this Friday. The annual event will be Friday to Sunday, July 25 to 27, from 10 AM to 7 PM, at Christmas Hill Park in Gilroy. For all the details, click over to the official Gilroy Garlic Festival website.

By the way, Friday, July 25, is Local's Day. Residents of Hollister, San Juan Bautista, Aromas, Gilroy, San Martin, and Morgan Hill get $5 off the price of tickets. At the gate, locals can purchase adult general admission tickets for $15; senior (60+) tickets, $5; and children (6 to 12) tickets, $5. Also on sale that day for local residents is a 3-day pass for $30. Be ready to show a valid ID with your local address when you buy your tickets.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

How's the Weather?

We've been having some interesting weather lately. Strong winds whooshing through. Mugginess in the air. And amazing cloud formations.  I saw this glorious cloud pattern above downtown Hollister yesterday at the street festival. Maybe rain is on its way.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Hysterical San Juan Bautista

This sign in San Juan Bautista always cracks me up. But, I wouldn't be surprised if something did happen on that particular spot on Third Street.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Old Elks Lodge -- Another Angle

It just happens all of a sudden. You notice a completely different view of something so familiar.

That's what happened to me at the Farmers Market this week. While talking with someone, I glanced up the street and noticed that the beautiful piece at the top of the old Elks Lodge Building (on the southeast corner of Fifth and San Benito Streets) does not extend to its south side. I wonder why.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Agricultural Signs in San Benito County

Back in January, I began noticing the beautiful agricultural signs popping up around San Benito County. They showcased both the products and the growers. The signs are part of Ag in the Classroom project sponsored by the San Benito County Farm Bureau. They deserve a big round of  applause for their work!

So far, I've taken photos of three of the agricultural signs. You can find this sign at the southwest corner of Union and Southside Roads.  It's like a scavenger hunt for me. As I take photo of the different signs, I'll post them. To see the other two agricultural signs, click here and here.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cooking Demos at the Farmers Market

This year, the Hollister Farmers Market has added cooking demonstrations, which are given across from the Veterans Memorial Building. Every week is a different theme. So far, local farmers and agricultural organizations have presented ways to prepare artichokes, mushrooms, cherries, stone fruits, corn, and Blenheim apricots. Yum!

The demonstrations are given at 5:30 PM and 6:45 PM every Wednesday during the Farmers Market, which runs from 3 to 7:30 PM. For more info about the Farmers Market, visit this page at the Hollister Downtown Association website.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Peeking above the Mist

That's Santa Ana Peak. Beautiful, isn't it? I caught it peeking above the mist this morning, as I was bicycling up Santa Ana Road. I can just imagine how even more gorgeous the sight must've been on Santa Ana Valley Road.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Fun in the Sun

It's nearly time for the 2014 Hollister Street Festival and Car Show. Whooo-hooo! It's this Saturday, July 19, 2014, from 10 AM to 4 PM. So, mark it on your calendar if you haven't already. This annual free affair in historical downtown Hollister is organized by the Hollister Downtown Association.

San Benito Street will be closed between Fourth and South Streets, as well as Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Streets between San Benito and Monterey Streets. More than 150 vintage and new automobiles will be on display throughout the area. There will be a Kids Zone, a beer and wine garden, and two stages for bands and live entertainment, as well as various vendors and food booths lining the streets. The event will also feature an automotive swap meet.

For more details, check out this page at the Hollister Downtown Association website. And, if you'd like to see photos from last year's event, head over to this Take 25 to Hollister album on Facebook.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Summer Fun

The Wednesday's Farmers Market in downtown Hollister is great for people watching. I enjoyed listening to the band play as I watched these two boys work out a routine of walking in step, turn, run, then jump up and off a bench.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Pedaling Around Town

It's really nice to see the recent surge of people—young and old—pedaling bicycles from cruisers to ten speeds on the streets of Hollister. 

When I was growing up in Hollister 500 years ago, kids on bicycles were all over the place. At least on my street, they were. The first time I pedaled a bicycle on my own, I felt a wonderful sense of fun, freedom, and independence. I still do.

If you're thinking about purchasing bicycles or looking for group bike rides in the countryside, check out Off the Chain Bikes, an independent bicycle shop owned by a very helpful Brian Lucas.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Looking North on East Street

We've got a lot of old gorgeous commercial buildings in downtown Hollister. How often do we pass them by without noting their beauty? For instance, look up at the building at the corner of East and Fourth Streets. You get a better view of the building's design at the top as you approach it from the south on East Street.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Bulldozers in a Row

It looks like construction of the Santana Ranch development on Fairview Road, between Hillcrest Road and Sunnyslope Road, has begun. Hello, houses. Good-bye, open space. It was nice seeing you.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Coming Up: Class of 1971 Scholarship Fundraiser

A local judge, a school superintendent, and an organic chicken and walnut farm couple. What do they have in common?

They are all alumni of the Hollister High Class of 1971. Ha. I bet you thought I was going to tell you a bar joke. Well, there is a bar if you happen to go to the Class of 1971 Scholarship fundraiser this Saturday, July 12, 2014, at the Bolado Park Golf Club.

For the last seven years, the 1971 Balers have held an annual luncheon and silent auction as their major fundraising event for its scholarship fund. Since 2009, they have given $12,000 in scholarships to 10  Haybalers who have continued their studies at a college, university, technical school, or vocational school. To learn more about the scholarship, check out the Class of 1971 Scholarship blog or this article at

The Class of 1971 Scholarship fundraiser is from 12 noon to 4 PM this coming Saturday. The cost of tickets is $25 per person. Tickets can be purchased at the door, but a heads-up would be appreciated by writing to Rudy Bermudes at rudyb50 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

The Bolado Park Golf Club is located at 7777 Airline Highway, about a mile south of Tres Pinos.

So that the FCC doesn't get on my case, I must disclose that I'm an alumnus of the Hollister High Class of 1971. Go Balers!

Monday, July 7, 2014

18th Annual Storytelling and Indigenous Gathering

This Saturday, July 12, 2014, from 1 to 5 PM, the 18th Annual Storytelling and Indigenous Gathering will be held at Indian Canyon in Hollister. Story tellers and artists of the Ohlone, Chumash, Aztec, and other indigenous communities who will entertain and educate the audience with traditional and new tales of their culture and heritage in words, music, and dance.

The annual gathering is a fundraiser for Costoanoan Research, Inc., a non-profit group based at Indian Canyon. Admission to the event is by donation. Amounts suggested are $20 for adults and $10 for students. Children under 12 are free. A tri-tip lunch will be available. A donation of $5 to $10 per plate is appreciated.

Indian Canyon is recognized as "Indian Country" by the federal government, and is under the stewardship of Ann-Marie Sayers, Tribal Chairwoman of Indian Canyon – Costanoan Ohlone People.  The venue is about a 20 minute drive south of Hollister via Cienega Road.

For more information about Indian Canyon and the Storytelling and Indigenous Gathering, please head over to this link.  If you'd like to read about my experience at last year's event, please click here.

Ann-Marie Sayers,
Tribal Chairwoman of Indian Canyon – Costanoan Ohlone People

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Final Day of Hollister Rally

Tens of thousands of bikers, non-bikers, families, locals, and out-of-town visitors have been having a ball these past three days at the Hollister Rally.

Today, the three-day motorcycle and music street festival will end at 3 PM. And the downtown streets are expected to open around 6 PM.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Uncle Sam, Betsy Ross, and Cutie Ballerina

The Summer Band Camp performed "God Bless America" while marching behind Uncle Sam, Betsy Ross, and a Cutie Ballerina at the Fourth of July Kiddie Parade. This annual parade doesn't get much notice, but it does get bigger and more organized. Kids of all ages are welcome to participate. Be sure to put it on your calendar for the 2015 Independence Day.

If you'd like to see more photos of the parade, check out this Take 25 to Hollister album at Facebook. You don't need to be a member or sign on to view it. Please drop me a note if the link is broken.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Fourth of July!

Driving through downtown Hollister yesterday evening, the Husband and I noticed motorcycles already lining San Benito Street. The fun has started.

Have a joyful, peaceful, and safe Fourth of July weekend celebration, one and all!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Hollister, CA -- a Beautywood

Remember Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. Looking at this photo of downtown Hollister reminds me of the song. "It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood. . . "

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

2014 Hollister Rally: Things to Know

Many thousands of bikers are expected to visit Hollister over the Fourth of July weekend for the Hollister Rally. The free event will be open on Friday and Saturday, from 9 AM to 9 PM, and on Sunday, from 9 AM to 3 PM. 

San Benito Street will be an amazing sight with motorcycles of all sizes and types parked on both sides of the street throughout downtown. Various bands will be playing on three stages—East Street, 4th Street, and 7th Street—throughout the event. Lots of good food will be available at the Food Court on Sixth and East Streets, and two beer gardens will be open at Fifth Street and Seventh Street, both off  San Benito Street.

For more information about the schedule and vendors, go to the Official Hollister Rally website

July 3 Street Closures

Tomorrow, the town will be setting up for the rally. The following downtown streets will be closed from 6 AM to midnight.
  • East Street, from 4th Street to South Street
  • 5th Street, from Monterey Street to Sally Street
  • 6th Street, from Monterey Street to Sally Street
  • 7th Street, from Monterey Street to Sally Street
Update: San Benito Street will close to traffic at 8 PM.

July 4 Weekend Street Closures

The following downtown streets will be closed from 6 AM on July 4 to 9 PM on July 6:
  • San Benito Street, from 4th Street to South Street
  • Sally Street, from 5th Street to South Street
The city parking lots downtown will be closed as well. For specific details, click here

First Aid Station

A first aid station will be available at the Fire Station on the corner of Fifth Street and Sally Street.

Security and Safety

Police Chief David Westrick has it all covered. If you want to know specifics, read this article "Police Prepared for Biker Rally Crowds" by Adam Breen at

Fourth of July Fireworks

The official Fourth of July fireworks display will be at the Marguerite Maze School on Meridian Street, about a mile east of downtown Hollister. Fourth Street turns into Meridian Street at the intersection after the railroad tracks. The fireworks show will start at 9:15 PM.

Church Fundraisers

The Hollister United Methodist Church, at the corner of 5th and Monterey Streets, will have an All-You-Can-Eat Breakfast from 8 AM to 12 noon on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The breakfast includes pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage patties, orange juice, and coffee. Admission: $12 for adults and $6 for children (12 and under).

St. Luke's Episcopal Church, at 720 Monterey Street (by 7th Street) will be selling lunch, featuring linguica, for $6 from 10 AM to 3 PM on Friday and Saturday. They will also be offering bike parking on those dates for $5.

Enjoy yourselves, everyone!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Sweetest Parade of Hollister

Around ten in the morning of July 4, 2014,  while bikers begin rumbling into Hollister and parking their metal steeds on main street, the most adoringly sweetest, and shortest, parade of Hollister shall march along Memorial Drive, from Hillcrest Road to Meridian Street.

The annual Fourth of July Kiddie Parade is my favorite of all the parades that we have in Hollister. What's not to like! It's all about the younger children. Bicycles, scooters, wagons, and strollers, as well as many of the kids, are dressed in 4th of July glory. The boys and girls follow Uncle Sam and an all-kids band, as they walk, scoot, roll, and pedal the few short blocks to Marguerite Maze School. Many of them have their parents, grandparents, older siblings, and other adult relatives alongside them.

Everyone—of all ages—is welcome to march in the parade. If you and/or your kids are interested, you need to line up at the Veterans Memorial Park parking lot (corner of Memorial Drive and Hillcrest Road) by 10 AM.

Spectators: It's truly a short parade. So, if you want to see it all, be sure to get to Memorial Drive, between Hillcrest Road and Meridian Street, by 10 AM, too.

For photos of last year's sweetest parade, please click here.



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