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.

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