Friday, December 24, 2010

Sun setting from Fairview Road
I wish you all dear Take 25 readers a very wonderful and wondrous holiday season. Merry Christmas! Happy Festivus! Joyful Boxing Day! and Happy Kwanzaa! And, for all you grumpys out there, may you have a Merry Bah, Humbug!

See ya next year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ding-a-Ling Jingle. . .

If you had a camera, could you resist taking this sign as you came out of Ace Hardware Store?

Okay, you ancient ones out there: Was Brown and Chappell a hardware store? And, before it moved to Cushman Street, where was it downtown?  No, I don't have the answers. I just want to know because I'm driving myself nuts trying to remember.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Shop Locally: Marich Confectionery

Christmas is a few days away. Still stumped about what to give as presents. How about chocolates and jelly beans that are made within our own county?

If you haven't tried any of Marich Confectionery's goodies yet, what are you waiting for? Truffles, yum. Malt balls, yum. Chocolate-dipped nuts, yum. Jelly beans, yum....Excuse me, for drooling.

You can buy online, but at this late date, you might want to go down to the factory. Marich has a small shop to the right of the lobby. It is located at 2101 Bert Drive, which is off of Fallon Road across from the Hollister Municipal Airport.

Here's a fascinating fact about the company, which was established in 1983. The founder was Marinus Van Dam, who was the creator of the Jelly Belly beans. Yes, I'm talking about the infamous jelly beans manufactured in Fairfield, California.  It was Mr. Van Dam, an employee of the Jelly Belly who had the know-how to come up with the why-to's, how-to's, and where-for's for mass producing the tasty, high quality jelly beans that are sold around the world.

Here are some links to learn more about Marich Confectionery.
And, no, dear Take 25 readers, I was not paid nor given freebies to write about Marich Confectionery.  Chocolates, yum. Drooooooool.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Saturday Nightlife

The Veterans Memorial Building in downtown Hollister is used for public and private events throughout the year. Last Saturday, for instance, the Filipino American Community of San Benito County held its annual Christmas Ball there. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mrs. Santa Claus in Hollister

Have you heard? Mrs. Santa Claus is coming to town.

She'll be reading Christmas stories and leading Christmas carols this Tuesday, December 21, at the Mars Hill Coffeehouse on San Benito and Sixth Streets. Story time begins at 11 a.m.  The event is free. Kids of all ages are invited.

Disclaimer: The real Mrs. Santa Claus will not be able to make it on Tuesday. She's very busy helping Mr. Claus get ready for his big trip this coming Saturday. To represent her is a very nice local helper by the name of Julie Engelhardt. For more on our own Hollister "Mrs. Santa Claus," please click here.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Lights in the City

Sparkle, sparkle. Sprinkle, sprinkle. Swissssh, swissssh.  Saturday evening in downtown Hollister.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Shop Locally: She's

Unfortunately, we don't have that many clothing stores in town. But, the few independent shops that are in town offer quality goods. She's on San Benito Street, across from the Veterans Memorial Building, is such a one. The shop sells women's clothing, jewelry, shoes, and other accessories. As the the sign says on the store awning, there is a men's corner, and it is just that.

She's resides in what was once Ladd Hardware. I'm sure many of you baby boomers and older folks who grew up in the area remember the store.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Traffic Lights on Main Street

No, you're not crazy. The Christmas decorations are still hanging over the main street of downtown Hollister. This photo was taken in April of this year.  Anyone  remember when the only traffic lights in town was at the intersection of Fourth and San Benito Streets?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sideshow Bob in Hollister?

Doesn't this palm tree on San Benito Street look like Sideshow Bob on the Simpsons?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Eastern Star Masonic Temple Building

Here's a different view of a familiar local site on San Benito Street.  This archway leads into the hall of the San Benito Lodge #12 of the Free and Accepted Masons (F. & A.M.).

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Shop Locally: Cinderella Dresses

Beautiful dress, don't you think?

Whether I'm driving, walking, or pedaling my bicycle, I like to peek in the windows of Novias La Princesa whenever I go by it. I'm bound to see new formal dresses which look like ones that Cinderella might wear to the Prince's Ball.

You can't miss this dress shop It's the store beneath the tower clock, at the corner of Fourth and San Benito Streets.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Shop Locally: Hollister Downtown Club

Do you like a discount on merchandise, service, or a meal?

Thought so.

Would you like exclusive discounts to Hollister shops, restaurants, and other businesses?

Well, then, apply for a  Downtown Club card, sponsored by the Hollister Downtown Association. Using the card allows you to get discounts from businesses that are members of the association. There are new discounts every month. For example, during the month of December you could get a 15 percent discount on your paint purchase at the Hollister Paint Store, 10 percent off your meal at Knife and Fork, and take a free trial dance or music class at the West Coast Music and Dance FX.

The Downtown Club card is free, and it is good for a year.  But, there is a catch. Only 1,000 cards are available.  It's first come, first served. So, don't be a procrastinator.

For further details, go to this page at the Hollister Downtown Association Web site.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

New Deal Art in Town

This wooden mural hangs in the Hollister Post Office near the counters. It is called the "History of San Juan Bautista Mission" and was created by Vladimir Nemkoff, along with his assistants Joseph Stone and Avis Zeigler, in 1936. The mural was commissioned for the old post office building on Fifth and East Streets.

I always thought the mural was done by artists working for the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Nope. The piece was part of the U.S. Post Office New Deal artwork, which was funded through the Section of Painting and Sculpture of the U.S. Department of Treasury. It's nice to learn something new.

For more about U.S. Post Office New Deal artwork, check out "Off the Wall: New Deal Post Office Murals" by Patricia Raynor.

A closer look at a segment of the mural. See the mission in the background.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Eat Locally: Cheap Seats Pub and Grub

This photo was taken from inside Cheap Seats Pub and Grub on San Benito Street back in November. A happy, friendly place to drink a beer and eat some jalapeño poppers. Check out the reviews of the establish at Yelp.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Mural of San Juan Valley

Hanging in the patio at Doña Esther, a Mexican restaurant in San Juan Bautista, is this beautiful mural that depicts how San Juan Valley looked during the mission days. Take a look at the mural, the next time you're in the mission city.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Shop Locally: Serendipity

Serendipity is a new gift shop in town. It is located at 616 San Benito Street, between She's and the coffee house. I took the photo of Serendipity's display window on the night of the Lights On Celebration parade.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Free Christmas Concert Tonight

The 2010 San Benito County Saddle Horse Show and Rodeo Parade
Tonight the Watsonville Band will be performing its annual Christmas concert at the Veterans Memorial Building on San Benito Street. It will start at 7:30 p.m. And, it will be free!

The Watsonville Band is composed of musicians from San Benito, Monterey, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clara counties. For more about the band, click here.

To read about a past Christmas concert of the band, please click here.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Santa Ana Mountain

Santa Ana Mountain from the corner of
Meridian Street and Memorial Drive.

Here's how the range looks from San Juan Valley.
The peak on the right is Santa Ana Mountain.

San Benito County is bordered to the east by the Diablo mountain range. The 3,000+ feet peak Santa Ana Mountain overlooks downtown Hollister. The views up there are awesome at anytime of the year, as is the drive on Lone Tree Road to get up there. Unfortunately, no public trails are available.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Birdhouse Display

This photo was taken on the night of Lights On Parade. I can't remember where, other than it was on San Benito Street. A cute display, don't you think?

If you're in the mood for some Jingle Bells as performed by Glenn Miller, click here.  If you're not in the mood for reading (though I don't see why not), just scroll on down to the bottom.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Community Garden

Did you know that there's a community garden up on Vista Park Hill in downtown Hollister?

The gardening plots are free and open to all. Bidding for plots usually takes place in January. Contact the Hollister City Hall for information. For more about the community garden, check out these two news articles that were written a few years ago.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

"Prosperity Grows Here"

I came across this video a few months ago at the Web site called San Benito Now. I think it is part of the local government's efforts to bring companies into the county. What do you think? Will it do the job?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Eat Locally: Best of Times Cafe

The Best of Times Cafe is on the east side of San Benito Street, between 6th and 7th Streets. It opened in 1996 as the Hard Times Cafe. The owner changed it in 1999 because a chili restaurant franchise on the east coast has a trademark on the name. Want to know more? Read "It's the Best of Times for the former Hard Times Cafe", by Kollin Kosmicki in The Weekend Pinnacle Online.

The cafe recently received second place in the Best Diner category of The 2010 Pinnacle Awards. For customer reviews, check out Yelp.  I'm not a minestrone fan, but at Best of Times Cafe, I'll order it!.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Vegetable Fields

San Juan Valley, a few miles northeast of the mission city.

My dad was an irrigator for various farmers in San Benito County for almost 30 years. When I was a child, my dad and the fields were my babysitters. I loved going with him every day to the best play grounds around. I still have a thing for fields.  

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Shop Locally: Holiday Marketplace

Are you looking for homemade crafts and food products to give as gifts this year? Especially items made by local craftspersons and foodies?

Check out the Holiday Market Place on the corner of San Benito and South Streets. Local artisans will be selling their wares to the public at the site every Friday, until Christmas.

This lovely quilt is by Juli Ann/Snuggly Babies.
Her work is also available at The Market Place
and the Last Stitch in San Juan Bautista.

The joint was open after the Lights On Celebration parade last weekend. It was jumping! Quilts, jams, chocolates, purses, jewelry, and knit scarves were among the various items that were on sale.

What items will be on sale each Friday will depend on the vendors. If their is a positive response to the venue, it may also be open on Saturdays. So, spread the word, folks!

For those of you who can't make it down to the Holiday Market Place, here are a few local businesses to check out for local goods:
You might also visit these web sites for more information about local businesses:

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Signs around Town

Nothing more to add. 

P.S.(several hours later) Uhm, would you say it's ironic that half way down the block on Seventh Street is a mortuary?

Monday, November 29, 2010

December 2010 Events

Two more days until December. Many activities and holiday events for which to look forward. Check out December 4, for instance! Take it slow and easy as you enjoy the holiday season.

Monday mornings: Toddler Story Time for ages 0 to 3, San Benito County Free Library, Fifth and West Streets, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Tuesday evenings: Sleepy-Time Story Time for ages 3 to 5, San Benito County Free Library, Fifth and West Streets, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Friday mornings: Newborn Story Time for ages 0 to 3, San Benito County Free Library, Fifth and West Streets, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Friday evenings: Bingo, Sacred Heart Church, Hollister. It starts 6:30 p.m. at the O'Reilly Hall (670 College Street).  You must be 18 years old to play.

Saturday mornings:
Sundays: Flea Market, Betabel Station and Outdoor Market, 9644 Betabel Road, San Juan Bautista, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For details, check the market's Facebook page.

December 3: Open Mic Night, Blak Sage Gallery, 727 San Benito Street.

December 10:  Pedro Card Party, San Juan Bautista. Sponsored by the Native Daughters of the Golden West, it will be held at 203 Fourth Street from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Beginners are welcome.

December 11: Gallery Walk, San Juan Bautista, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

December 1:
  • Ceramic Sale, Gavilan College Student Center, Gilroy, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Annual Winter Magic Christmas Bazaar and Luncheon, hosted by the Hazel Hawkins Hospital's Auxiliary, at the Veterans Memorial Building on San Benito and Seventh Streets, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Library Summit, San Benito County Free Library, Fifth and West Streets, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
  • Reception for the Sock Monkeys in the Wild Exhibit, by Shannon Grissom, Blak Sage Gallery, 727 San Benito Street, at 5:30 p.m.
  • Oriana Chorale Concert, Mission San Juan Bautista, 7:30 p.m.
December 2 to December 19 (Thursdays to Sundays): La Virgen del Tepeyac, El Teatro Campesino, San Juan Bautista. 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Sunday.

December 3: Grand Opening, San Benito County Visitor's Bureau, 115 Third Street, San Juan Bautista, from 4 to 6 p.m.  

December 3 to December 5: Holiday Open House, Pietra Santa Winery.

December 4 and 5: Holiday Open Studios, hosted by the Aromas Hills Artisans,  Aromas, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

December 4:
December 5:
December 7: Oriana Chorale Concert, Mission San Juan Bautista, 7:30 p.m.

December 8: Holiday Concert, Watsonville Community Band, Veterans Memorial Building on San Benito and Seventh Streets, 7:30 p.m.

December 10 to December 12: Mulan, Gavilan College Theater, Gilroy, Friday, 7 p.m.; Saturday, 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, 4 p.m. 

December 11:
  • 1st Annual Winter Wonderland, hosted by the Gabilan Hills Parents Club, Gabilan Hills School, 921 Santa Ana Road, Hollister, from 1 to 5 p.m.  
  • A Victorian Christmas, hosted by the San Benito Historical Society, at the Wapple House Museum, Fifth and West Streets, from 2 to 5 p.m. Free. An historic walking tour starts at 1 p.m. The tour cost is $5 per person and $8 per family. RSVP for tour by calling 524-2292. The Victorian costume contest is at 3:30 p.m.
December 13: Research Room Open, Wapple House Museum, Fifth and West Streets, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

December 16: Santa Visits the Library, San Benito County Free Library, Fifth and West Streets, from 5 to 7 p.m. 

December 18: Live Benefit Concert featuring Donald Elvis and the Hound Dogs, Granada Theater, Hollister, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

December 21, 22, and 23: A Christmas Carol, Limelight Productions, Gavilan College Theater, Gilroy, at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

December 23: Blood Drive, American Red Cross, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1670 Cienega Road, from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m.

December 25: Merry Christmas!!!

December 31: New Year's events at Casa de FrutaJohnny's Bar and Grill, and Leal Vineyards. Know about any other events in the area? 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The 2010 Lights On Celebration Parade

It rained almost all day yesterday. Would it stop before the parade started?

It sure did stop! 

It was a clear, but cold, night full of spirit and joy. Lots of people came out to watch the annual holiday parade. We ooh'd and ah'd, and waved and cheered as young dancers, baton twirlers, Cub Scouts, martial artists, derby gals, school kids, business folks, bands, and others marched or road floats through downtown Hollister.

It was such fun!

For more photos, head over to Take 25's Facebook page by clicking here.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Movie Filmed in the County

Can you name one movie, besides Vertigo, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, that was filmed in San Benito County?

How about La Bamba?

La Bamba is the movie about Ritchie Valens (aka Richard Valenzuela), an up-and-coming teenage rock and roller in the mid 1950s. One of his hits was a rocking version of the Mexican folk song called "La Bamba".  The movie of the short-lived singer was written and directed by Luis Valdez, the founder and artistic director of El Teatro Campesiño in San Juan Bautista. Released in 1987, some of the scenes were filmed in San Benito County.  Below is the trailer, after which you might want to check out these links:

Friday, November 26, 2010

Santa is Coming to Town

It's the 20th annual Lights On Celebration tomorrow, November 27, in downtown Hollister. The parade starts at 5:30 p.m. Hopefully, the rain that is expected tomorrow will not be falling during the festivities.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Eat Locally: Ella's Italian Restaurant

Within the last few months, Ella's Cafe on Airline Highway changed it's name to Ella's Italian Restaurant. The taste and the quality of the food, thankfully, has stayed the same—yummy, yum, yum!

Don't believe me. Check out the reviews at Yelp. Ella's was given 4.5 out of 5 stars.

The restaurant may be difficult to find. It's in the plaza on the southeast corner of Airline Highway and Sunnyslope Road. It's near Staples and across from McDonald's.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Which Way Should You Go?

It looks confusing, but it really isn't. The One Way sign applies to Fremont Way. The Exit Only sign refers to the traffic coming out of the Bank of America parking lot. Toot. Toot.

Monday, November 22, 2010

How Tall Are those Buildings?

So, did you think you were looking at buildings in the distance?

No. I didn't fool you at all. Look at the photo again. This time squint and imagine looking at a dirty parking lot in the distance.

There, I knew you'd see it.

I took the photo on Saturday at the Pinnacle Farm's produce stand in San Juan Valley. Here's what the scene actually looked like.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Heading South on 25

It's a beautiful Saturday morning on Highway 25, just past Sunset Drive. You wouldn't have thought that it rained heavily the night before or that it would be in several hours. 

A joyous, peaceful Sunday to you all!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Featured in East of Eden

In 1981, John Steinbeck's East of Eden was turned into a TV mini-series. It starred Jane Seymour, Timothy Bottoms, Sam Bottoms, and Karen Allen. Some of the scenes were filmed in and around Hollister, including Dr. Currie's house on the corner of Monterey and South Streets. Does anyone know if the movie guys filmed inside the house, too?

The mini-series followed the full story line of the novel, while the 1955 movie with James Dean focused on only part of the story. Both films are worth seeing. Here's a trailer for the mini-series.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sunset Over Muenzer's

This photo was taken back in June, after the  Saddle Horse Show and Rodeo Parade. You're looking at the back door of Muenzer's.

Anybody know what alley this is? And, what business's back door is across from Muenzer's?

Okay, for you young oldsters out there: Who remembers what used to be where Muenzer's is today?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Autumn in Hollister

Monterey Street is one of my favorite streets during the fall. I love the sound of crackling leaves as I walk over them. What do you like about autumn in Hollister?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rock Crushing Machinery

This monster towers over McCray Street, between Hillcrest Road and Gibbs Drive. It's kinda beautiful in its own way. I've never seen or heard it action. Has anyone?

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Pacific Brass Band

Want to talk about heavy metal bands? Okay, how about that Pacific Brass Band which performed yesterday afternoon in Hollister?

There was quite a lot of heavy metal in the form of cornets, trombones, flugelhorns, tenor horns, euphoniums, tubas, and percussion. And, their sound was so sweet! The band's rendition of Amazing Grace was just mind blowing. The man sitting behind me thought he was listening to bagpipes.

The Pacific Brass Band is composed of about 33 musicians from San Benito, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties. They perform around the area throughout the year. They usually play in Hollister around this time every year.  It's a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

For more information about the Pacific Brass Band, click  here to visit its Web site.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Buona Domenica

The spire peeking above the fence is that of Sacred Heart Church on Fifth Street. I took this back in May as the husband and I cut through a back alley to Sixth Street to watch the Portuguese Festival Parade.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Bird's Eye View of Hollister, California

Here's a cool video of Hollister that I discovered by chance. It's a view of Hollister that you might see if you were riding in a plane or falling through the sky, with a parachute, of course.

If anyone can tell me who produced it, I'd really like to know.

Friday, November 12, 2010

2010 Veterans Parade

It was a beautiful day for a parade through downtown Hollister to honor our military veterans!



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