Showing posts with label local nonprofit groups. Show all posts
Showing posts with label local nonprofit groups. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Book Browsing for Book Lovers

Once upon a time, when I was a much younger thing, Hollister had the best bookstore around. It was called Henry's. (Or was the bookstore called Henry or Henrys? That's how long ago it was.) It was on San Benito Street in an old storefront a couple shops to the south of Fisher's Restaurant. The bookshop was run by Mr. and Mrs. Henry, a sweet couple, who had no problem with a much younger me regularly roaming the aisles and checking out random titles, without buying a thing. Ah, the yearning.

Today, Hollister doesn't have a bookstore, independently owned or a well-known chain store. Still, there are places in town for book lovers to browse for a good book or two for fun reading.

I know for sure that Target sells a small selection of new titles for adult and children readers. You can also find a few new books at Nob Hill and Safeway. Maybe Save-Mor, KMart, Walgreen's, and Rite Aid does, too.

The Farmhouse Cafe (615 San Benito Street, Suite D) has a smattering of cookbooks and food-related books for sale. The other day I noticed The Farmhouse Cookbook by Susan Mayor and Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes on the shelves.

Next door at San Benito Bene (615 San Benito Street, Suite B) you can find a few books by local authors such as John Chadwell. The store also sells Hollister, a photo book about the history of our area by Joseph M. McMahon and Peter Sonne. While you're in the shop, be sure to check out the cute blank notebooks and journals for sale. A perfect gift for any writer of any age, novice or professional. (Hint, hint, you know who.)

As for used books, we have several sources in town for fiction and nonfiction books. Two places are nonprofit thrift shops. Forgiving Paws Thrift Shop (195 Meridian Street) is one such store. Another is Hazel's Thrift Shop (898 San Benito Street). It has a room called The Booknook in the back of the store. If you're into collectible publications, you can sometimes find some at Hazel's Treasures Boutique on Hawkins Street behind the thrift shop.

The Friends of the San Benito County Free Library resells used book donations. Often, you can find current titles among their offerings. This nonprofit group maintains sale shelves in the library next to the magazines. Hardbacks are $1 and paperbacks are 50 cents. You can't beat that price. 

This group also holds regular Saturday morning book sales behind the library on West Street. Currently their sales are monthly. The next one is Saturday. On March 11, 2017, from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact The Friends of the San Benito County Free Library for further details about future book sales.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Flamingos in Hollister!


Pink flamingos are perched at the corner of Fourth and San Benito Streets!

Soon, they and more of their friends will find their way to front yards around the county. Giggle.

Who are you going to call if it happens to you?

Call the Flamingo Busters, aka the Women's Club of Hollister!

By the way, if you'd like to have flamingos take over someone's front yard, the Women's Club of Hollister is at your service, too.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Christmas Tree Forest

Every year, the Hollister Downtown Association sponsors a Decorate-the-Tree contest, inviting local nonprofit groups to turn trees into beautiful Christmas trees. This year was no different.

The contest was part of the Lights On Celebration, which was last Saturday. The trees were donated by Bourdet Christmas Trees.

The 30 Christmas trees are on display at the corner of Fourth and San Benito Streets. Soon, they will be given away to families in need in our community.

I love your town.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


ARTspace, that's who. Okay, what, for all of you grammar experts who are shuddering right now. (grin)

ARTspace is the art gallery, 240 Fifth Street (east of San Benito Street), owned by the San Benito County Arts Council.  That's where you can find this cute white owl on display in the ARTspace window.

Starting this Saturday, November 28,  will be the 4th Annual Children's Art Exhibition, which will display art work by local schoolchildren. This year's theme is "The Art of Books!" The exhibit will run through December 12.

On Saturday, from 3 to 5 p.m., ARTspace will hold an open reception. For more information, check out the San Benito County Arts Council website or Facebook page.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

"Catch Me if You Can"

Catch Me if You Can, a Tony nominated Broadway musical, is now playing for the next two weekends at The Granada Theater in Downtown Hollister. It's presented by the San Benito Stage Company.

A very talented all-teen cast tells the story of real-life Frank Abagnale, Jr. in words, song, and dance. A con artist and check forger, Abagnale manages to stay two steps ahead of the FBI while impersonating a teacher, pilot, lawyer, or pediatrician. If the title and story sound familiar, then you probably saw the movie Catch Me if You Can, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, upon which the musical is based. So, you also know that Abagnale became an FBI instructor and consultant, helping the law enforcement agency investigate fraud and scam crimes.

To learn more about the play, check out this article, "Preview: Catch Me if You Can: The Musical", written by Lois Locci at Benitolink.

Catch Me if You Can performances are:
  • Friday, November 6, and Saturday, November 7, at 7:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 8, at 2:00 p.m.
  • Friday, November 13, and Saturday, November 14, at 7:00 p.m.

  • Tickets are available at the door, as well as at Postal Graphics and San Benito Bene. Admission for adults is $15, and $12 for children, students, and senior citizens.                            

    Monday, October 5, 2015

    Open House at the Luck Museum

    This Saturday, October 10, 2015, the San Juan Bautista Historical Society will be holding an open house at the Carl Luck Memorial Park on the corner of Third and Monterey Streets in San Juan Bautista. The free event will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    Here's the schedule for the day.

    Wednesday, August 12, 2015

    The Luck Museum and Jim Jack's Cabin

    The Luck Museum, more formally known as the San Juan Bautista Historical Society Luck Museum, stands at the corner of Monterey and Third Streets in San Juan Bautista. The museum is open by appointment. Check out the San Juan Bautista Historical Society website for contact information.

    The museum was originally a gas station owned by Carl Martin Luck. The building and the grounds, which is today the Carl Martin Luck Memorial Park was donated to San Juan Bautista by Franchesca Luck, his daughter, in 1974. The historical society plans to restore the building to its original 1930s design.

    For more about the museum, check out this article recently published in the Mission Village Voice.

    During the late 19th Century, a Chinese man named Jim Jack lived in the one-room cabin that stands behind the Luck Museum.  Its original location was on Mission Vineyard. Jim Jack was known as The Mustard King for his work of clearing wild mustard from the grain fields in San Juan Valley and selling the mustard seeds to French mustard manufacturers for big money.

    According to the stories I've read, Jim Jack was a generous man who bought flour, potatoes, and other provisions to give away to people in need in San Juan Bautista. He also bought many bags of candy that he gave to children.

    To learn more about the man, check out this article by Martin Cheek in The Gilroy Dispatch, as well as the story on page 2 in the September 2011 San Juan Bautista Historical newsletter.

    Jim Jack's Cabin in the Carl Martin Luck Memorial Park.

    Monday, March 9, 2015

    March – May 2015 Annual Events in San Benito County

    Who else wants to know when the annual events are happening in Hollister, San Juan Bautista, Aromas, and other places in San Benito County? Yup, me, too. Over the next few days, I'll post dates for upcoming events in 2015.  Today, check out what will be up in March, April and May. Click the following links to find out about events in other months:
    •  June - July 2015
    •  August - October 2015
    •  November - December 2015

    MARCH 2015

    March 20: Champagne Tea and Treasure Fundraiser for the Women's Club and Friends of the Library 

    APRIL 2015

    April 3 - 5: 25th Annual Arts, Crafts and Music Festival at Casa de Fruta

    April 11: Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

    April 18: Hollister Downtown Association Plant Sale and Garden Expo 

    April 18 - 19: Annual Cactus and Succulent Spring Show and Sale in San Juan Bautista, sponsored by the Monterey Bay Cactus & Succulent Society of America

    April 25 - 26: Open Studios Art Tour throughout San Benito County

    MAY 2015

    May 2: Downtown Wine and Beer Stroll 

    May 2 - 3: 31st Annual California Indian Market & Peace Pow Wow

    May 6 - September 30: Certified Farmers' Market — every Wednesday, from 3 to 7:30 p.m., in Downtown Hollister

    May 16 - 17:  Annual San Juan Bautista Rib Cook-Off

    Saturday, February 14, 2015

    Downtown Hollister Historic District: 829 San Benito Street

    The historic building at 829 San Benito Street is the southern point of the Downtown Hollister Historic District. Built around 1929, the edifice is an example of how owners may remodel a contributing building to a historic district. For many years, this was the location for Fortino's, a furniture and appliance store, which moved to Tres Pinos Road in the late 1990s or early 2000s. The front of the building had open windows so you could see the store products as you passed from the street. I don't recall it having an arched doorway and windows nor the the tiled roof above them. The remodel was handsomely done, don't you agree?

    Today, the building is home to Nino Real Estate, the Community Foundation for San Benito County, and one or more other nonprofit organizations.

    Friday, February 6, 2015

    Downtown Hollister Historic District: 357 Fifth Street

    This modest commercial building at 357 Fifth Street always makes me think of Carmel-by-the-Sea. I don't know why. Perhaps it's the quaint roof or  arched doorways. Or, maybe it the amazing details of the wood casings around the windows and doors. The downspouts are pretty cool, too.

    Built around 1940, this structure is another contributing historic building to the Downtown Hollister Historic District, which is part of the National Register of Historic Places. By the way, the local American Red Cross chapter occupies this location today.

    Tuesday, December 2, 2014

    The Yuletide Trees in Hollister

    Decorate a Tree was one of the wonderfully generous projects of the 2014 Lights on Celebration that took place last Saturday, November 29, 2014. More than two dozen trees were donated by Bourdet Christmas Trees and decorated by various non profit organizations, such as the Girls Scouts and the Friends of the San Benito County Library.

    The Christmas trees were on display in front of the Briggs Memorial Building at the corner of Fourth and San Benito Streets. They were recently distributed to families in need within the community.

    The 2014 Lights on Celebration is an annual event, sponsored by the Hollister Downtown Association.

    Today, I'm linking up at Our World Tuesday. To check out blogs from other parts of the world, please click here.

    Tuesday, October 7, 2014

    The Second Annual San Benito Olive Festival

    This Saturday, October 11, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., is the second annual San Benito Olive Festival, which celebrates the natural beauty and agricultural bounty of our county. I have no doubt that it will be another successful fun and joyful affair that will be attended by hundreds of people from near and far.

    San Benito Olive Festival is both the gourmet event and the not-for-profit organization that plans, organizes, and brings the event together. The group's mission is to promote awareness and appreciation of the region's world-class culinary agriculture and premier artisans who make award-winning olive oils, wines, chocolates, Blenheim apricot products, and more. All net profits made from the event are donated to service, educational, and other community groups in San Benito County.

    This year, the gourmet celebration is going to be at the gorgeous, historic Bolado Park, which is 8 miles south of Hollister. It's easy to find and reach on Highway 25, whether driving from the north or south.

    There will be lots to eat, to drink, to purchase, and to enjoy at the festival. General admission tickets -- $20/adults and $10/children, ages 5-12 -- include the cost of entry to the festival, parking, cooking demonstrations, and entertainment. The $35 VIP ticket grants guests access to the wine tasting tent and five tastings of wine and craft beer from wineries in San Benito, Monterey, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clara counties. I'm a beer drinker myself, but I would be tempted to taste samples from places with such great names as Alicats Winery, Wild Eye Winery, Lightheart Cellars, and Graveyard Vineyards.

    Six celebrity chefs are scheduled to conduct live cooking demonstrations of dishes using olives or olive oil. Starting off will be Chef Eric Carter, Director of the Culinary Arts at Cabrillo College in Aptos, at which the students run the popular Pino Alto Restaurant on campus. Following him will be Chef Dorothy McNett, the popular foodie legend of the California Central Coast, after which the chef duo Gene Sakahara and Sam Bozzo, also known as SakaBozzo, the twins separated at birth, from the Gilroy Garlic Festival will take the cooking stage. Next up will be Chef Mike Fisher, a Hollister native and local caterer who was trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, and ending the day will be Chef David Boswell who is the Chef de Cuisine at Yahoo!

    It's going to be a toss up for me -- watching the cooking demonstrations or listening to the live bands. I've heard three out of the four that will be performing Saturday, and just the music alone makes me realize what a bargain the festival tickets are for a great afternoon of fun. Festival guests will be hearing a range of music from jazz and big band by Mr. O's Jazz Band, doo-wop by The Flashbacks, and popular rock by Shiloh and The Retrospect.

    I could go on and on about the San Benito Olive Festival, but I shall stop here. To learn more, check out the festival's website and read this article that the festival posted at

    Today, I shall be hanging out at Our World Tuesday. Come join me by clicking here.

    Saturday, August 9, 2014

    San Juan Bautista Antique and Collectibles Fair

    Tomorrow, August 10, 2014, will be the 50th annual Antique and Collectibles Fair in San Juan Bautista. Sellers from all over will offer antiques, collectibles, and memorabilia that were produced before 1975. The event will run from 8 AM to 4 PM. Admission will be free.

    Steve Yvaska, antiques appraiser and San Jose Mercury columnist of "The Seasoned Collector" will offer free appraisals from 10 AM to 2 PM in front of the Union Bank Building, at Third and Mariposa Streets. Folks may bring one or two items for him to evaluate.

    The outdoor Antique and Collectibles Fair, a fundraising event, is sponsored by the Rotary Club of San Juan Bautista.

    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

    Saturday, June 14, 2014

    Coming Up: The 2014 San Benito Olive Festival

    Save the Date, Folks: Saturday, October 11, 2014!

    That's the day of the second annual San Benito Olive Festival, which will be held at the Bolado Park Fairgrounds. The festival's board members and planners invite food lovers, fans of hometown festivals, and outdoor enthusiasts locally as well as far and wide to celebrate the rich agricultural bounty and rural beauty of San Benito County. This gourmet celebration will feature many local olive oil producers, wineries, artisanal food makers, restaurants, artists, craftspeople,  community groups, and more.  

    Early bird tickets are already on sale online at Eventbrite. Here's the page link for ticket information.

    If you are interested in volunteering with the planning or becoming a vendor, query to

    For more information and updates about the San Benito Olive Festival, check out its website and Facebook page. And, if you'd like to see photos of last year's event, check out the photos stream at Facebook.

    Saturday, May 31, 2014

    A Night of Drumming and Dance

    The San Jose Taiko, from San Jose, celebrated its 40th anniversary this year.

    Last night, the Husband and I had the pleasure to watch the stage come alive at the San Benito High School Auditorium with joyful precision Japanese Taiko drumming by the San Jose Taiko and African, jazz, modern, and hip-hop inspired-dancing performed by the Dimensions Dance Theater. The duo bill was presented by the San Benito County Arts Council, as part of its fundraising efforts for the Artists in the Schools Program.

    Here are some links to learn more about last night's performers and the San Benito County Arts Council:

    The Dimensions Dance Theater, based in Oakland, is one of
    the oldest African-American dance troupes in the United States.

    Thursday, May 8, 2014

    Coming Up: Flower Tours in San Benito County

    April showers bring May flowers. Okay, we didn't get many April showers this year, but there are still many May flowers to behold. And, over the next two weekends, a couple of flower rambles are available for your pleasure.

    May 12 in Aromas

    Featuring Artists in the Gardens is the theme of the Aromas Country Garden Tour this Saturday, May 10, in Aromas, about 17 miles west of Hollister.  Sponsored by the Aromas Hills Artisans and the Arts Council for Monterey Council, this annual event will run from 10 AM to 4 PM. Participants will be able to take a self-guided tour through ten gardens, including cottage gardens. Master gardeners will be available to answer questions. In addition, artists will be showing and selling their paintings, pottery, sculpture, jewelry, and other art works along the garden paths.

    Tickets are $15 each or $25 for 2 persons.  Tickets are $10 for seniors, who are 65 years or older, and members of  the Aromas Hills Artisans. Both tickets and tour maps will be available on May 12 at the Aromas Community Grange on the corner of Rose and Bardue.  

    For for information, visit the Aromas Hill Artisans web site or read Aromas Country Garden Tour 2014 at the Times Publishing Group web site.

    May 17 in San Juan Bautista

    Did you know that San Juan Bautista has many heritage roses, some of which were planted in the mid-19th century?

    The opportunity to learn about the heritage roses at the San Juan Bautista District Cemetery will be available on Saturday, May 17 when the San Juan Bautista Heritage Rose Group offers a free Heritage Rose Tour and Propagation Workshop.  Leading the walking tour will be Jill Perry, the Curator of the Collection at the Heritage Rose Garden in San Jose. Also on hand to assist her will be Jeri Jennings, the National Convener for the Heritage Roses Group.

    The tour will include collecting rose cuttings for a propagation workshop to be held at the historic Marentis House on 45 Monterey Street.

    The tour will start at noon at the bottom of the cemetery at 70 Monterey Street. The propagation workshop at the Marentis House will be from 1:30 to 3 PM.

    Participants are requested to bring a hat, water, pencil, and paper. If interested, participants can also bring clippers and gloves. For more information or to sign up for the tour, email Wanda at wguibert (at) gmail (dot) com or call her at 831-623-1672. Preregistration for the tour is not required. 

    Thursday, January 9, 2014


    I took this photo from the bench on the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. A beautiful landscape, but so very dry. Rain, please!

    In January 2012 I wrote a post about the lack of rain we were having.  I can't recall last year at all. Maybe this dry season is a fluke. Maybe we're actually in a drought and the powers that be just don't want to tell us yet. Either way, it's time, if you haven't already, to start conservation practices. For water conservation tips, check out the Water Resources Association of San Benito County website.

    Wednesday, December 4, 2013

    Coming Up on Saturday, December 7

    Quite a lot of holiday things happening this Saturday in San Benito County. Who knows who you might meet on Saturday. (Hint: Ho! Ho! Ho!) Which events will you check out?

    Holiday Resource Fair
    10 AM to 2 PM
    Briggs Building, 365 Fourth Street, Hollister
    Sponsored by the Hollister Youth Alliance, the free event will feature local organizations that offer free or affordable health care, legal, education, and other services to individuals and families. A food and toy drive will also take place. Santa Claus will stop by the fair for photos.

    3rd Annual San Benito Holiday Cheer Shop Hop
    When you visit any of the participating shops, galleries, salons, restaurants, and more in Hollister, San Juan Bautista,  and Aromas on this day, you can enter a raffle to win one of 26 baskets of local goodies. For a list of participants, click here.

    B&R Farms Cozy Christmas Open House
    10 AM to 4 PM
    5280 Fairview Road, Hollister
    B&R Farms will also be having an open house on 12/14 and 12/21.

    Tasty Saturdays at San Benito Bene 
    615 B San Benito Street, Hollister
    San Benito Bene will also have samples of food pairings on 12/14 and 12/21.

    Living History Day 
    11 AM to 4 PM
    San Juan Bautista State Historic Park
    Adults $3; Children under 16, free

    Merchants Holiday Open House
    11 AM to 9 PM
    Shops, restaurants, and other businesses throughout San Juan Bautista start off the season of holiday cheer.

    Holiday Art Marketplace

    12 to 5 PM
    Blak Sage Gallery
    Prints, pottery, ornaments, wooden toys, cards, and more created by local artists and artisans are on sale Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday through 12/ 21.

    1 to 5 PM
    1220 Monterey Street, Rooms 301-316, Hollister
    This free event will feature art work of more that 175 San Benito High School artists, which will be available for sale.  Live entertainment, demonstrations, and workshops will also be part of the day. Free refreshments will be on hand. ARTS OUT LOUD will be on Sunday, 12/8, too.

    100 Years of Ice Cream Socials: Centennial Anniversary of the Women's Club of Hollister
    2 to 5 PM
    First Presbyterian Church, 2066 San Benito Street
    Mr. O's Academy Jazz band and Triple Creek will be performing.
    Tickets are $5/person and being pre-sold by members. For more info, call Cindy at 637-0362 or email her at

    Visions of San Juan, A Holiday Stroll Through Time
     4 to 8 PM
    A Victorian holiday celebration. To check out the schedule of activities, click here.

    San Juan Bautista 8th annual Holiday In Lights Parade
    5:30 PM
    The parade winds through downtown San Juan Bautista.



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