Ed Mauricio recalls life in Riverside-Pocket area in the 1920s, beyond

Photo Caption: Ed Mauricio grew up in the Riverside-Pocket area in the 1920s and 1930s. Photo by Lance Armstrong
Photo Caption: Ed Mauricio grew up in the Riverside-Pocket area in the 1920s and 1930s. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Editor’s Note: This is the first article in a series about Riverside-Pocket area native Ed Mauricio.

At 92 years old, Riverside-Pocket area native Ed Mauricio is a rarity, as he is one of the few people who can tell firsthand stories about life in that area during the 1920s and 1930s.
It was because of that point that he was asked to share some of his memories of his life with readers of the Pocket News.
During his interview with this publication last week, Ed said that there is a possibility that he was born at a roadhouse that was located a short distance north of the old bar, which is known today as The Trap.
“I could have been born at home (at the roadhouse on the old Riverside Road),” Ed said. “I don’t know. I know the doctor used to make home calls.”
Ed was the youngest of the children of Manuel Mauricio and Carrie (Nevis) Mauricio.
His siblings, in order of their births, were Beatrice “Bea”, Isabel, Manuel and Herman.
Ed, who is the last survivor of these featured Mauricio family members, experienced hardship in the early part of his life, as his father died when he was 5 years old and his mother died five years later.
After being asked to speak about his parents, Ed said, “I don’t remember that much about my parents. It was pretty hard on my mother taking care of us. I figure we were on welfare. And I think the (St. Maria) Church – the old church down there on (today’s) Pocket Road – helped us out.
“We lived (in the roadhouse) until my dad passed, then we moved to the home there across the street (at 5890 Riverside Blvd. on the west side of the road near the levee), where Wesley Silva lives. We moved to that house when I was about 5 or 6.”
Ed said that his father operated a 33-acre ranch that was located on the east side of the roadhouse, and that his father’s ranch was one-third of a once larger property.
“It was (formerly one property) and they split it three ways,” Ed said. “I don’t remember who (originally owned the property). There was a man we used to call Black John. He was one of (the ranch owners). Then there was my father. I don’t know who the other person was (who owned the third ranch). And I don’t know who bought the acreage, but they split it three ways. (The ranches) were all about the same size. They were all Portuguese who owned the properties.”
The Mauricio ranch had wheat, grapes, alfalfa, and some orchards, which included peach trees.
Following his father’s death, Ed moved with his aunt and uncle, Tony and Lena Silva, and their children, Wayne, Arlene and Harlan, into the house where Wesley Silva now resides.
During his grammar school years, Ed was a student at the old Sutter School, which is now home to Cabrillo Civic Club #5 at 4605 Karbet Way.
Ed said that he lived in that house until he was about 11 years old, at which time he moved to (the Merced County city of) Gustine, where he worked on a dairy farm milking cows.
“I went to a dairy and that was a bad time in my life,” Ed said. “I felt like maybe (his aunt and uncle) didn’t want me anymore. I went to work for the Souzas in Gustine. I don’t remember their first names. I was milking cows. I would get up in the morning and go to school and then when I was 13, I got sick and I was still milking cows. I got to where I was milking 13 cows a day. I got down to one cow, and my uncle who happened to come by, he brought me to Sacramento and took me to the doctor and they put me on medication.
“What I remember was I thought the doctor said I had Asian flu. I know I was sicker than a dog. I lost a lot of weight. It took me about six months for me to get my weight back. When my uncle brought me back, I went to my grandma’s house in the Pocket and I stayed with my grandma (Mary Nevis) for a while. My oldest sister, Bea, got married (to King Silva) and then I moved in with her in the old house there where Wesley lives. I was still about 13 then. I stayed there until I went and joined the Navy (in August 1942).”
Ed, who also attended California Junior High School and was one of the earlier students at C.K. McClatchy High School, spoke about some of his neighbors, saying, “One of the neighbors was Dolores and Marvin (Silva), and Victor, their father, and Mamie, their mother, and then (Dolores and Marvin’s) grandparents (John Joseph and Clara Perry Machado) were next door. The DaRosas were down the street. That was my uncle (Antone Garcia DaRosa, who was married to Maria Filomena Simas DaRosa). Elmer and Francis were the sons. Alice and Marie were their daughters. And then there were the Rosas. Manuel (Garcia) Rosa was the one who married Mary Dutra, who was one of the daughters (of Antone Perry and Louise Florence Lewis Dutra of the old Dutra House at the present day address of 8144 Pocket Road). (Manuel) had the box factory (Florin Box and Lumber Co.). And they had a couple of kids. And then we had Japanese neighbors (the Masuharas, near) us. There were a lot of Japanese in the area.”
In responding to a request to describe the distances between houses in the area at that time, Ed said, “Where I was born and raised, maybe it was 200 or 300 feet between the Silvas’ house and maybe 200 or 300 feet to where the Japanese (neighbors) lived. Maybe it was further than that. The houses in those days really weren’t that close. The next house after the Machados was maybe a couple of blocks, maybe three blocks from the next house, and I don’t remember who used to live there.”
With a smile on his face, Ed continued to describe his memories of the area during his meeting with the Pocket News.
More of those memories will be presented in the next edition this paper.

Lance@valcomnews.com

New documentary highlights historic Sacramento film footage

History Film Photo
History Film Photo

Matías Bombal, who has been entertaining readers of this paper with his movie reviews under the heading of “Matías Bombal’s Hollywood” since last July, is presently enjoying the success of his major contributions to a local, historical film documentary project.
The documentary is a combination of the blending of news and other film footage from various eras of Sacramento’s history and modern day recordings of locals speaking about different aspects of the city’s history.
During an interview with this publication last week, Bombal, 47, recalled being asked to become involved with the project – an hour and 39-minute documentary, called “The Sacramento Picture!,” which was completed on March 20, after about seven months of work.
“I was approached by the Center for Sacramento History, in the persons of Dylan McDonald and Rebecca Crowther, who were familiar with my movie review work and knew that I had an interest in Sacramento history for many years, being involved in bringing old theaters back to life and knowing about movies,” said Bombal, whose theater experiences include working as an usher at the Tower Theatre and managing the Crest Theatre. “They have, at the Center for Sacramento History, one of the largest regional film collections in the nation. There’s over 9 million feet of movie film. I mean, it’s hard for me to even wrap my brain around 9 million feet of movie film. To put that into prospective, if you watched 24 hours a day, every day of the week without stopping for eating or anything, it would take you at least 11 years before you could really see a good portion of it.
“So, that film for the last several years has just sat there on shelves and (was) only accessible to the (center’s) film archivist, Mahlon Picht.
“The purpose, of course, is the city wants to use this footage to license to people doing productions or documentaries, because there’s a lot of great news footage there.”
The largest portion of that news footage collection, Bombal notes, was filmed by the legendary local television news photographer Harry Sweet (1920-2014), who had maintained a vast collection of news footage that would later be donated to local archives.
“(Sweet’s donated collection includes) all of the daily news films for each day of the week from 1957 to 1979, when (KCRA) Channel 3 stopped shooting movie film for news stories,” Bombal said. “It’s just a remarkable collection of the life of this community and the state to a certain degree.”
Bombal also commented that the center’s film collection includes films dating back to 1910.
And in speaking about the center’s local films, in general, Bombal said, “It’s a fascinating look at the movie images of our past. So, it brings a fabulous prospective of how our city looked and moved. And it somehow brings to life the past a little bit more than a still photograph might, and with rich detail.”
In further explaining the center’s interest in contacting him to work on the project, Bombal mentioned that McDonald and Crowther had attended his presentation of a free, public showing of a color film called, “Life in Sacramento 1950,” at the Central Library on May 26, 2014.
McDonald and Crowther approached Bombal at that event and expressed their interest in having him assist the center in making the public aware of the center’s film resources.
Since that time, the California Audiovisual Preservation Project began to provide grant funding for film collections throughout the state for the purpose of digitizing films to make them available through the Internet.
Bombal said that about 150 of the center’s film reels have been digitized. But that is a very small number of the center’s reels, considering that Bombal estimates that the center has about 1 million film reels in its collection.
It was at the point when the center had 50 of those reels digitized when Bombal was contacted by the center.
In recalling that moment, Bombal said, “They said, ‘Matías, we have 50 reels that are now digitized. Can you come look through all of this film and put together a speaker series lecture for us where you select what you think is the most germane and interesting films of what we have digitized?’ I said I would do that, and I had a meeting with them, and they said, ‘Well, we want to involve local experts. We want to get William Burg and various local historians to comment in addition to you on this footage. We want to have a stage show and there will be some PowerPoint projection, we’ll run the film and then we’ll have a discussion.”
And in reflecting upon one of his thoughts on that approach, Bombal said, “It occurred to me that the trouble that people have at these historical events is you will get some expert that will talk about some bit of minutia and go on and on (with that topic) forever, while half the audience falls asleep.”
Bombal made the suggestion of simply making a documentary using portions of the digitized films and brief comments by spokespersons selected to be recorded for such a documentary. Those comments could thus be used by the project’s producers at appropriate points in the documentary.
“(That approach) economizes the time, and then you can get more footage and more talk in and control it to the point where if something starts to get boring or dull, we can make it tighter and a more valuable experience for the audience,” Bombal said. “And having the theatrical sense, because I’ve shown movies my whole life, I have an idea of what people’s tolerance level is. To talk about the inside of buttons on coats for 45 minutes, you’ll lose some people.”
An agreement was made for a documentary to be made, and Bombal spent three months reviewing the digitized film.
In regard to his approach to creating the documentary, Bombal had to develop a concept as to its direction. And one of the decisions in that concept, Bombal said, was “to avoid politics completely.”
However, Bombal said that he eventually included brief political footage in the documentary.
“I start with Ronald Reagan and end with Cesar Chavez, so that I can please both the liberally minded and the conservatively minded at the same time,” Bombal said.
Bombal further shared details about the approach to the documentary, saying, “I wanted to take the most interesting pieces of film from 1910 to 1970 of what’s been digitized and tell the story of our city and people. So, it was important for me to be centric to the downtown. So, I didn’t do stories about Roseville or West Sacramento or south Sacramento. Primarily, it was the city core over that period of time.”
Bombal expressed much appreciation for Chad E. Williams, who was the editor of “The Sacramento Picture!”
“We worked hand-in-hand for six (to) seven months to make this movie,” said Bombal, who also provides voice-over narration for the documentary.
HYPERLINK “https://www.facebook.com/william.burg” \n _blankIn addition to Burg, other locals appearing as spokespersons in the documentary include Picht, Stan Atkinson, Alan O’Connor, Kevin Wildie, Marcia Eymann, Mark Pollock,  HYPERLINK “https://www.facebook.com/GretchenSteinberg” \n _blankGretchen Steinberg,  HYPERLINK “https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000691465024″ \n _blankAnnette Kassis and Ginger Rutland.
Thus far, the first two showings of the documentary have sold out.
The premier showing was held at the Crocker Art Museum on March 25, and the second showing will be presented tonight, April 9 at the Center for Sacramento History.
Tickets are available for the third and last scheduled showing of the film in the upstairs theater at the Tower Theatre at 2508 Land Park Drive on Wednesday, April 29 at 7 p.m. An additional three-minute introduction featuring historic footage of the Tower Theatre will be added to the evening’s program.
For ticket information for the April 29 showing, visit the website, HYPERLINK “http://www.mabhollywood.com/” \n _blankwww.mabhollywood.com.

Lance@valcomnews.com

Capt. Sutter’s descendants visit Sutter’s Fort

Descendants of Capt. John Sutter – Ron Sutter, right, and Connor Glasgow – were shown during their visit to the fort last week. Photo by Lance Armstrong
Descendants of Capt. John Sutter – Ron Sutter, right, and Connor Glasgow – were shown during their visit to the fort last week. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Among the most common questions that state employees and docents at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park at 2701 L St. regularly receive from visitors of this historic site pertain to whether there are still any Sutter family members in existence and if any Sutter relatives are living in California today. The answers to such questions are an affirmative, “yes.”
But better than the knowledge that there are still living, breathing, walking, talking Sutter family members residing in the Golden State today is the fact that two descendants of the German-born, Swiss immigrant John Augustus Sutter, Sr. (1803-1880) were roaming inside the walls of the fort just last Tuesday, March 24.
The first of those descendants to be discovered by this publication on the grounds of the fort last week was 9-year-old Connor Glasgow, who was dressed in clothing reminiscent to those that were worn by his great-great-great-great-grandfather, the aforementioned John Sutter, Sr. – aka Capt. John Sutter.
John Sutter, Sr. immigrated to California during its Mexican period of 1821 to 1848, and during the summer of 1839, he made his way to the shore of the American River in an area near today’s 28th and C streets, where the river flowed during that time.
Eventually, John Sutter, Sr. obtained a Mexican land grant, which was named Nueva Helvetia (New Switzerland). That grant included the area of today’s Sacramento.
John Sutter, Sr. established an agricultural empire in Nueva Helvetia that would come to an end with the emergence of vast numbers of gold seekers during the great California Gold Rush.
Connor’s recent presence at the fort came by way of the Environmental Living Program, which presents California fourth grade students with opportunities to “live history” at the fort through a 24-hour, educational experience, which simulates life at the fort during the 1840s. The program is additionally beneficial, since it is integrated into the students’ curriculum.
Accompanied by their teachers and trained parent assistants, the schoolchildren participate in such activities as cooking in the period kitchen and in the yard’s fire pits, trading, basket, rope, candle and corn husk doll making, riding in covered wagons, entertainment and other activities related to the era.
A major element of the program is the students’ involvement in taking on the roles of particular characters of the era, including John Sutter, Sr., James Marshall, John Bidwell, Patty Reed and Elizabeth Patton Elliot.
And that part of ELP is the precise reason that Connor was found at the fort portraying Capt. Sutter last week.
After the arrival of the East Sacramento News at the fort, Connor left a group of 4th graders, who were participating in an activity, to dedicate time to sharing a few details about himself, his family and his visit to the fort.
Connor, who was born in Walnut Creek and resides in Pleasant Hill, said that because of his ancestry, he received a special invitation to attend this year’s ELP.
“I go to Valhalla (Elementary School in Pleasant Hill),” said Connor, whose ELP experience also included giving a welcome speech. “I just got to go (with students from Pleasant Hill’s Strandwood Elementary School), because I’m related (to both John Sutters).”
In speaking about his family, Connor said that he has four other members in his family, his father, Jack, his mother, Amber, and his sisters, Addison and Kate.
Connor, who enjoys playing baseball and swimming, added that his mother, who was born Amber Lynn Sutter, changed her middle name from Lynn to Sutter after she was married, so that she could maintain the Sutter name.
After being asked what he enjoys about Sutter’s Fort, Connor said, “I like how everything is like old. Like you don’t see (electric) signs that say like, ‘open,’ that are flashing.”
A few minutes following Connor’s interview with this paper, a meeting of the Friends of Sutter’s Fort ended on the grounds of the fort.
Connor’s grandfather, Ron J. Sutter, who, until recently, had served as chairman of that organization during the past four years, was among those who emerged from that meeting.
Ron, who was born in San Francisco and graduated from San Francisco Polytechnic High School in 1966, had also arranged to be interviewed for this article.
During that interview, Ron spoke for a while about his Sutter family history.
“I come from John Sutter, Jr. (and his second wife, Nicolasa Solis Sutter),” Ron said. “John Sutter (Sr.) had four children, and (John, Jr.) was the one that came to California and developed the city of Sacramento. He (made) plans for the streets and the parks and so on.
“And, of course, everything changed (with the Gold Rush). People were coming in and taking what belonged to (John, Sr.), and so on. So, he went to Congress to fight it and try to get his grant back.
“John Sutter (Sr.) and his wife, Anna, (eventually permanently) moved back to Pennsylvania.
“John Sutter, Jr., (who had various children, including Reginald Sutter, Sr.), became the U.S. consulate from Mexico and went to Acapulco. That’s the Mexican side of our family.
“My father was heavily involved with Sutter’s Fort. His name was Reginald Sutter, (Jr.). When I came to the fort as a little child, I got involved in all the functions and the parties and so on.
“My father and his sister, (Gloria), had to leave (Acapulco), Mexico during the revolution. They had to leave the country. Otherwise they would have been killed. So, they came over here and they had children. And my (grandmother, Guadalupe Sutter) took care of them, and that’s how they got to the Bay Area. And most of our family is from the Bay Area right now. I live in Rio Vista right now.”
Ron, after being asked to describe the pride he has for being a descendant of the two John Sutters, said, “I’m a little proud of being this way, being a Sutter. There are a lot of stories that come with it, and then you hear different sides and you read different types of books. But it is unbelievable how a man could travel from Switzerland and come all the way over here, and make a settlement. I just find that unbelievable. You know, we complain today about a six-hour plane flight, and he took five years to get here.”
In further speaking about the Sutter family, Ron said, “There are people who can’t believe that there is still a Sutter around or Sutters. We have a very large family. I would say (there are) at least 200 Sutter (relatives) in California. There are quite a few cousins and so forth. There are also some back East, some in Germany and some in Mexico.”
And for at least some time last week, there were also two at Sutter’s Fort.

Lance@valcomnews.com

Locals share April Fools’ Day memories

 Edwin Hintz, right, could not recall any April Fools’ Day pranks that he was involved in during his life. However, he mentioned that his son, Sir Edwin Hintz, also pictured, was born on April Fools’ Day, April 1, 2013. /  Photo by Lance Armstrong
Edwin Hintz, right, could not recall any April Fools’ Day pranks that he was involved in during his life. However, he mentioned that his son, Sir Edwin Hintz, also pictured, was born on April Fools’ Day, April 1, 2013. / Photo by Lance Armstrong

With April Fools’ Day approaching, the time is right for sharing a few of the community’s favorite memories from that longtime popular day dedicated to playing practical jokes on others.
The Encyclopedia Britannica mentions that the true origins of the day, which annually occurs on April 1 in the United States, are unknown.
Among the possible origins presented in that encyclopedia entry is that April Fools’ Day dates back to the 16th century.
That portion of the entry reads: “Some have proposed that the modern custom originated in France, officially with the Edict of Roussillon (promulgated in August 1564), in which Charles IX decreed that the new year would no longer begin on Easter, as had been common throughout Christendom, but rather January 1. Because Easter was a lunar and therefore moveable date, those who clung to the old ways were ‘April Fools.’”
Furthermore, the same entry notes: “(April Fools’ Day) received its name from the custom of playing practical jokes on this day – for example, telling friends that their shoelaces are untied or sending them on so-called fools’ errands.
Last week, the Land Park News made its way around its coverage area to speak with people in that area, collect their April Fools’ Day memories and then share them with readers of this publication.
In a twist of coincidental fortune, among those interviewed for this article were a homeless woman who identified herself simply as April, and a man named Edwin Hintz, who mentioned that his son, whose birth name is Sir Edwin Hintz, was born on April 1, 2013.
Some of the comments of those sharing April Fools’ Day memories for this article are presented, as follows:

Rhonda Shield

“When I was a (business) manager, me and a bunch of the staff people I worked with hid when we went to work, and then we called our boss and we all left different messages about not being able to come to work that day,” said Rhonda Shield, who is a resident of Land Park. “One of them said they couldn’t find their car in the parking lot. We just gave ridiculous excuses. So, then we waited like 15 minutes and we listened to him on the phone, with all of us calling in sick (or with other reasons). And then we said, ‘Surprise,’ to him.”

Shoab Siddique

Another Land Park resident, Shoab Siddique, grew up in Virginia and Illinois, and moved to Sacramento in 2000.
After being asked if he had any April Fools’ Day memories to share with Land Park News readers, Siddique said, “Not really anything serious. Just things like (telling his children), ‘You forgot to do this, you’re in big trouble now and you’re going to be grounded.’ I get them worried. They’re easy to worry. They’re 7 and 11 years old. But they turned the age where they kind of recognize it now.
“My parents didn’t (play April Fools’ Day pranks). They were immigrants, so they didn’t really know about April Fools’ (Day).”

Glenn Vanderplaats

“There was a time (one April Fools’ Day that) my son (John) told me my tractor was stolen,” said Davis resident Glenn Vanderplaats, a former Sacramento resident who was visiting the Land Park area. “And I’ll tell you one that my son pulled on me. We had a horseradish plant growing in the backyard. My wife and the kids dug up the plant while I was at work, and I got home that night, and my son said, ‘You know, it’s horseradish all right, but the thing is, it’s not hot at all.’ I believed him on it, so I put a big old spoonful on my prime rib and it was the hottest horseradish that I ever tasted in my life. And he said, ‘April Fools.’”

Lis Maloney

“People usually get me on stupid ones, because I’m very oblivious to things sometimes,” Lis Maloney said. “I wear shoes without laces, so they’ll be like, ‘Your shoelace is untied.’ And I look down, but I’m not wearing shoelaces.”
A different sort of humor
Certainly, not all April Fools’ Day jokes are built alike, as is evident by the following memories of various locals:

Stephanie Walker

“She got me back from a prank I did on her,” said Stephanie Walker, regarding her sister. “She put my name in for all these magazines, and so I had like every magazine and newspaper coming to my house, and then the bills started coming (due). I had already previously done something to her, so that was her getting me back.”
And in describing her own April Fools’ Day prank, which lasted well more than one day, Walker, who graduated from Sacramento High School in 2002, said, “I added a (cell) phone to her account, and I put it in her purse and I kept calling the number and she kept wondering why her phone bill went up. The phone kept ringing and she said, ‘What is ringing? My phone is off. What’s going on?’ And she found it like a month later inside her purse pocket, because she never used that pocket. And she finally heard it buzzing. I would (occasionally) take it out of her purse and charge it.”

Isaac Cota

“Last year, I got fooled on April Fools’ Day,” said Isaac Cota, who is a native of West Sacramento. “My birthday is in late March. A friend of mine happened to be out of town and he came back in town around April Fools’ (Day). He gave me a birthday card with (California Lottery) Scratchers inside of it. I continued to scratch away. On the first ticket, I think I won a ticket or a couple dollars. He probably got me like 10 tickets and I got down to about the eighth one and I scratched it and it said that I won 10 grand. But it was a total joke ticket, and I had a houseful of people that day that happened to be watching basketball and I ran around giving everybody high fives thinking I won 10 grand.
“I need to get him back this year (for April Fools’ Day). I think it’s definitely better to wait a year to see if they maybe forget about it.”

Nadia Joy

“I’m sure I told a few people in elementary school that they were expelled,” said Nadia Joy, a transplant from Los Angeles who was walking her young schipperke dog. “But one that I did use was that I told my brother that he was adopted. I like to really mess with people’s psyches.”

Jonathan Becima

“I glued my friend to the couch once,” Jonathan Becima said. “I took like 36 of those little, tiny, dollar store superglues and I glued him to a couch. It ended up ripping off a lot of his arm skin. We did that kind of stuff all the time. I fell asleep once and he had like 10 people come over and draw stuff all over me. He took pictures of it and showed it around school. It really (irritated him), so I got him back on April Fools’ Day, and I glued him to the couch.”
After being asked if he was also an initial instigator of April Fools’ Day pranks, Becima said, “I wouldn’t say so, but if an opportunity presents itself. If it was going to be a great joke that everybody is going to love, maybe not now, but later, I would probably take action and do it.”

Roman Hull

Roman Hull, a 2013 graduate of Sacramento New Technology High School, recalled a moment in which his friends tampered with an office chair, where he would eventually sit.
“I went to sit down and my friends kept laughing,” said Roman Hull, who is presently studying to become a computer hardware engineer. “And I said, ‘What’s so funny?’ And they’re like, ‘Oh, nothing, nothing.’ What they did was they loosened the wheels (on the chair). As soon as I sat down, I fell out of my chair. I was mad at first, but then I thought about it and I just laughed it off. It was funny. But I’m easy going.”

Safe and sane April Fools’ Day

As shown in this article, there are different types and levels of April Fools’ Day pranks, some of which are not condoned by this publication. But pranks of a good-hearted, non-cruel nature are part of a long, cherished tradition that has made April Fools’ Day a time that can be enjoyed by all involved.

Lance@valcomnews.com

Farmers Market supermarkets experienced much success

The original Farmers Market building at 3810 Marysville Blvd. has housed Rainbow Market since about 1964. / Photo by Lance Armstrong
The original Farmers Market building at 3810 Marysville Blvd. has housed Rainbow Market since about 1964. / Photo by Lance Armstrong

Editor’s Note: This is part two of a two-part series about the history of the Farmers Market independent supermarket chain.

Among the most successful supermarket chains to have had a presence in the north area of the city was the Farmers Market chain, which was founded by the late Chinese immigrant Walter Fong.
As mentioned in the previous article of this two-part series, Fong, who immigrated to the United States in the early 1900s, began operating a grocery store in downtown Sacramento in the late 1930s.
The first Farmers Market opened at 3810 Marysville Road (now Marysville Boulevard), at Grand Avenue in Del Paso Heights in 1949.
That store, as well as the next four Farmers Market locations, was briefly summarized in the first article of this series.
Details about several other Farmers Market stores are presented, as follows:

Farmers Market No. 6

Farmers Market No. 6 opened at 6015 Watt Ave. in North Highlands in about 1961 and remained in operation until about 1982.
The first manager of the store was Albert C. Lew.
Jimmy Yee was another one of the store’s managers.
Presently, the North Highlands Community Health Center operates in the old grocery store building.

Farmers Market No. 7

The seventh store of the Farmers Market chain opened at 4911 47th Ave. in about 1961.
James Lim was an early manager of this store, which remained in business until about 1982. Johnny Fong and Stanley Yee were also among the store’s managers.
Today, the site is home to the Calvary Evangelism Center, which began its history as the Emmanuel Pentecostal Church at 1418 8th Ave. in 1940.

Farmers Market No. 8

A Farmers Market at 4200 Arden Way, at Eastern Avenue, first opened its doors to the public in 1961.
An early manager of the store was George Yee, who resided with his wife, Virginia, at 915 U St.
Farmers Market No. 8 remained in business until about 1965, when it was replaced by a store of the Holiday Market grocery store chain. The first manager of that Holiday Market store site was Kenneth G. Derryberry.
The Holiday Market on Arden Way was replaced by Pantry Market, and its accompanying Slim Trim Bakery, in about 1979.
Presently, the site is home to Walgreens Store #4170.

Farmers Market No. 9

The ninth store of the Farmers Market chain opened at 5920 Madison Ave., one block north of Marconi Avenue, in Carmichael in about 1963.
The first manager of that store was Leon A. Quinn. He was succeeded in that position about a year later by Paul Lee.
Earl Joe later served as the store’s manager.
Farmers Market Store No. 9 closed in about 1977, and the site has been home to Beck’s Furniture since 1978.

Farmers Market No. 11

Rancho Cordova received its own Farmers Market with the opening of Store No. 11 at 10665 Coloma Road in about 1966.
That store remained open until about 1982, and the site was home to the Rancho Cordova Neighborhood Center for many years.

Farmers Market No. 12

It was also in about 1966 when a Farmers Market opened at 1601 West Capitol Ave. in West Sacramento. The store remained in business until 1984.
Among that store’s managers were Ed Jong and James G. Louie.
The Sacramento Bee, in its Nov. 5, 1984 edition, notes: “Raley’s has opened a new superstore at 1601 West Capitol Ave. The 53,000-square-foot store represents a $1 million investment, the company said.”
That Raley’s store remains in business today, and its present store director is Sue Nelson.

Farmers Market No. 14

A Farmers Market was located at 2500 Meadowview Road from about 1970 to about 1981.
Albert C. Lew was that store’s first manager.
The site is presently home to the Sam and Bonnie Pannell Community Center.

Farmers Market No. 15

A Farmers Market opened at 10175 Folsom Blvd. in about 1970, and the store remained in business until about 1982.
On Oct. 7, 1984, The Bee reported: “Mike and Elaine Jackson have opened Canned Foods Grocery Outlet at 10175 Folsom Blvd. in Rancho Cordova. The Jacksons previously operated the Canned Foods Warehouse at 3015 W. Capitol Ave. in West Sacramento.”
In 2000, at the same site, Sang Chang and Yong Choe opened Total Outlet, which was once described in The Bee as a “small Kmart.”
A Hancock Fabrics store has also operated at the same address.

Farmers Market No. 19

It was also in about 1970 when Store No. 19 opened at 2730 Broadway.
Managers of that store included Benjamin Hom and Wing Chinn.
The store closed in about 1979.

Farmers Market No. 23

The 23rd store of the Farmers Market chain opened at 6645 Auburn Blvd. in Citrus Heights in the 1970s. The site was previously home to the grocery business, Food World.
This Farmers Market store remained in business until about 1982.
In its Aug. 14, 1988 edition, The Bee, under the heading of “leasing activity,” notes that Cal-State Investments was attempting to have a bingo parlor constructed inside the 13,000-square-foot retail space at 6645 Auburn Blvd.
An update on those efforts was mentioned in the Nov. 4, 1993 edition of The Bee, as follows: “Plans to put a bingo parlor in a dilapidated former shopping center at 6645 Auburn Blvd. in Citrus Heights have been dropped.”

2000 Howe Ave.

In 1971, a Kmart discount store was under construction at 2000 Howe Ave., at Cottage Way. The store, which during research for this article was not found to have received a store number, was in operation by the following year.
Suburban directories for the years 1974 through 1976 recognize the simultaneous existence of a Kmart store and a Farmers Market at 2000 Howe Ave.
Those directories also mention Frank Pence as the supermarket’s manager.
Farmers Warehouse Liquors made its debut with the opening of its first store in mid-1978.
Eventually, six of those stores were in operation, including a store at the Howe Avenue location.
The Howe Avenue store and three other Farmers Warehouse Liquors were sold to the Sacramento discount liquor chain, Liquor Mart, in April 1984.
In its June 12, 1985 edition, The Bee notes: “The independent super market (sic) chain, (Farmers Markets), grew to 35 stores before Fong sold it in 1977.”
The Farmers Markets chain entered into Chapter 11 reorganization proceedings in 1983, and the last of the stores were sold in the mid-1980s.

lance@valcomnews.com

California American Portuguese Veterans Memorial close to becoming a reality

Steve Kanelos installs the temporary sign for the future California American Portuguese Veterans Memorial at Capitol Park. Photo by Lance Armstrong
Steve Kanelos installs the temporary sign for the future California American Portuguese Veterans Memorial at Capitol Park. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Having a California American Portuguese Veterans Memorial placed at the southern end of Capitol Park is something that a group of local people have been striving to have become a reality for several years. And it appears that the group’s dedicated efforts are finally about to pay off.
On Monday morning, March 9, Steve Kanelos arrived at the park and installed a sign, which reads: “Proposed site: California American Portuguese Veterans Memorial.”
Steve’s father, Gus, had suggested the idea of such a memorial many years prior to the formation of a committee for the project.
After being asked to describe his feelings regarding having that sign placed at the park, Steve said, “Well, it’s been a long time coming, and we’ve been waiting a long time for this (moment). It’s a great accomplishment and we feel that it’s just the beginning of what’s next to come here.”
The group working to have the monument set in place at Capitol Park prefers the name American Portuguese, as opposed to Portuguese American, because they are dedicated to the notion that they are “Americans first and Portuguese second.”
In commenting about that point, Eddie Maria III, the chairman of the committee, said, “We never lose sight of the fact, of course, that we are Americans first that have a strong, rich (appreciation) of our Portuguese heritage.”
And part of that heritage is the service of “American Portuguese,” who served in the United States military.
During an interview with this publication following the installation of the sign, Maria said, “(Portuguese) came here from Portugal and without being required to do so, signed up and said, ‘I want to fight for this country. I’m from Portugal, but I’m an American citizen and I want to fight for the freedoms of America. And even if I’m not being asked to do so, I’m going to step up and fight for this country.’”
Maria, whose Portuguese grandparents came to America through Hawaii in the 1910s, also shared details about the project to have the memorial placed at the park.
“It all started at an American Portuguese Club meeting some years ago,” said Maria, who grew up in the Pocket and graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in 1987. And Gus Kanelos (who had a very Greek American upbringing and is also part Portuguese and part Italian) came in as a past president of the APC. He attended the meetings regularly, and at the meeting that I attended – one of my first meetings, actually – (Gus) talked to the group about the opportunity to honor American Portuguese that served for this country (from) California.
“There was quite a bit of excitement about the opportunity. It was something that I’m sure a lot of the people within the organization had not considered before. We knew about these monuments (on the grounds of) the state Capitol, but they always looked to be so expansive, in such that we never thought that a little group like the American Portuguese Club could do something like that. We saw hundreds of thousands of dollars into these incredible looking monuments, and thought, ‘What could we really accomplish?’ But we set forth to see.”
The group met with people who had previously worked on monument projects to obtain a better understanding of what it would take for the group to meet its goal of honoring “American Portuguese” military veterans from California through a special monument.
The first official meeting of the committee was held at Balshor Florist at 2661 Riverside Blvd. in May 2011, and later meetings were held at the Cabrillo Club at 4605 Karbet Way.
Maria acknowledged the ongoing efforts of the committee, saying, “I believe that the only reason we’re here today putting the temporary sign to let people know the future of this monument is because of the hard work and the passion and the dedication that the eight-member committee had to making this happen.”
Additionally, Maria praised the APC, noting that it “took (the monument project) by the horns and ran with it.”
APC presidents during that time have been Wes Silva, Phil Soto and Jack Cornelius.
In speaking about one of the obstacles of the lengthy process of reaching the present status of the monument project, Maria said, “Maybe 18 months or so ago, I didn’t even know if we would be able to put a temporary sign in this spot. There were a lot of concerns from different departments of the state Capitol. They just didn’t want this to be a situation where you had a bunch of monuments all over the place. And they termed it as looking like a graveyard.”
The group had originally planned for a much larger memorial, which was described in the Sept. 15, 2011 edition of this paper, as follows: “The arched-topped center piece of the green granite memorial, which will include American and Portuguese national flags and insignias of military service branches and the POW-MIA insignia, will stand 96 inches tall by 24 inches wide by 10 inches thick, and will be accompanied by two outside wing pieces, which will each measure 86 inches tall by 24 inches wide by 10 inches thick.
The base of the monument, which will be created by the Ruhkala Monument Co. of Sacramento, will be 10 inches tall by 96 inches wide by 16 inches deep.”
That large monument plan was eventually abandoned, and a compromise was agreed upon.
The committee mentioned that the project now calls for a granite memorial bench, which is anticipated to be installed as early as this summer, but no later than the end of this year.
The cost of the project is estimated at $80,000, a sum that includes an $8,500 state inspection fee. Thus far, about $43,000 of those needed funds has been raised.
In front of the bench, which will be about 7 feet long, will be four pavers, with the names of sponsors, donors and honored veterans.
Maria spoke about the bench, saying, “Over time, we got some responses back from the Department of General Services (and) the California Department of Veterans Affairs. And their point of view was that we needed to do something a little different than we initially anticipated. We needed to create something that could be useful in the park, and that’s where the bench idea came into play.”
A very significant day in the process of having the memorial placed in the park was Sept. 28, 2012, when the bill for the memorial was signed. The bill’s author was Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, of Modesto. There were also about 10 coauthors of the bill.
In speaking about Olsen, Maria said, “Without her support, we would not be here. There is no doubt about it. She’s been part of (the monument efforts) every step of the way.”
Maria also commended various members of the Department of General Services, and J.P. Tremblay, deputy secretary of the state Department of Veterans Affairs, who he described as “a huge supporter and somebody that we’ve counted on from the very beginning.”
But Maria’s highest praise was given to committee member Loretta (Petit) Kanelos, who was heavily supported in her efforts by her husband, Gus, who is also a member of the committee.
“It is amazing the amount of time that (Loretta) has put into (this project). She has never wavered in her desire to make this a reality. Her mindset has always been, ‘This will happen.’
“I can’t say enough of how much gratitude the American Portuguese community of California should have for Loretta Kanelos. And, of course, with her husband, Gus, as well, she is really the reason that all of this came about. They came up with an idea, they plugged people into place to make sure that idea came to fruition. And every step of the way, they’ve been there supporting us, not only from an emotional standpoint, but from just a work ethic that I’ve never seen before. It’s just amazing, and I’m very proud to have been able to work with them. I can assure you that we would not be here today without their efforts. And Loretta really is the backbone. There’s no doubt about it. But it has been a group effort.”
Loretta, who was present with her husband at Maria’s interview with this paper and at the sign installation, responded to Maria’s comment, saying, “No matter what I’ve done, I couldn’t have done it if (Maria) would not have led (the committee).”
Maria said that having the California American Portuguese Veterans Memorial placed at Capitol Park sets a precedent for future cultural veteran memorials at the park.
“(The state commented), ‘You’re really the guinea pigs in all of this, because you’re the first of a kind when it comes to a group coming together from an ethnic perspective or a nationality perspective, and placing something in (Capitol Park) as this bench,’” Maria said. “To have a bench here and to have the American Portuguese be honored in that way, it is the first of its kind and it will be the template for groups that want to do something similar in the future.”

Salute dinner to be held April 11

As a fundraiser for the California American Portuguese Veterans Memorial project at Capitol Park, a “Salute Dinner” will be held at the SPHSS Hall at 6676 Pocket Road on Saturday, April 11, beginning with a no-host bar at 4 p.m. and continuing through 8:30 p.m.
The event will include guest speakers, a “Portuguese in California” presentation, entertainment, a silent auction and appearances by Nuno Mathias, consul general of Portugal in San Francisco, and Assemblywoman Kristen Olsen.
The cost of the event is $50 per person.
Additional information about this fundraiser can be obtained by calling Rod Rosa at 916-924-3000 or by visiting the American Portuguese Club’s Facebook page.
Further donation information, including how to reserve a name on the memorial’s pavers or how to contribute items for the dinner’s silent auction, can be obtained by contacting Maria at 314-757-0474 or by email at Eddie.Maria@att.net.

Lance@valcomnews.com

Corti Bros. building has had multiple tenants

Corti Bros. has been the longest term tenant in this large structure at the southwest corner of 59th Street and Folsom Boulevard.
Corti Bros. has been the longest term tenant in this large structure at the southwest corner of 59th Street and Folsom Boulevard.

This summer, the 68-year-old Corti Bros. Italian grocery store will celebrate its 45th year of operating in a building at 5810 Folsom Blvd. in East Sacramento. But few people today realize that this structure had an existence prior to that time.
The building was constructed in 1951 to house a supermarket known as Grand View Market.
Associated with that building in its early days was a Grand View Market sign, which is mentioned in the May 19, 1951 edition of The Sacramento Bee as costing $1,500.
The structure was completed by the fall of that year.
A full-page advertisement for the Grand View Market was featured in The Bee on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 1951.
The advertisement mentions the store’s then-upcoming grand opening and opportunities for customers to win grand opening prizes. Those prizes included the grand prize of a 1951 model Westinghouse refrigerator and the second prize of a 1951 model Westinghouse washing machine.
Grand View Market opened the following day and offered specials throughout the weekend.
Among those specials were a 10-pound sack of Gold Medal flour for 89 cents, a one-pound can of MJB coffee for 79 cents, a dozen large, Grade B eggs for 64 cents, ground beef for 55 cents per pound, four pounds of Watsonville apples for 25 cents, two pounds of bananas for 25 cents, two medium size avocados for 23 cents, a bundle of broccoli for 17 cents and cucumbers for 2 cents each.
Grand View Market was founded by Joseph C. “Joe” Yee (1901-1979), and the store’s original manager was Delbert Mar.
At the time that Joe began operating Grand View Market, he had already established himself as a successful Sacramento grocer.
As early as 1939, Joe, who resided at 1501 W St. with his wife, Rose, was operating Independent Market at 1630 11th St., and another grocery store at 1600 G St.
His grocery experience also included running Grand Central Market at 701 16th St. and Grant Union Drive-In Market at 3700 Rio Linda Blvd. in Del Paso Heights.
Grand View Market’s grand opening was held during the week beginning with Sunday, Oct. 21, 1951. The store’s original hours of operation were 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day.
A week later, the store once again lowered many of its prices for its “Autumn Festival” sale.
Another feature of the store was its inclusion of Don & Lou’s Fountain eatery, where one could purchase a fresh strawberry sundae for 29 cents or a hamburger and milkshake for 55 cents.
Grand View Market made front page news on Nov. 26, 1951, when The Bee reported that 14 clerks and a salesman were locked in a walk-in refrigerator.
The holdup lasted about an hour, and the gun carrying intruder, who had entered the store through a skylight prior to the business’s opening, eventually escaped with $350 in petty cash.
In an update to that holdup, The Bee reported on Dec. 26, 1951 that the Sacramento Police Department had been notified that James M. Rudolph had admitted to robbing the Grand View Market, as well as Stop-N-Shop market at 6001 14th Ave. on Oct. 24, 1951 and the Fruitridge Manor Pharmacy at 5611 Stockton Blvd. on Nov. 27, 1951.
On Jan. 30, 1954, Grand View Market held a benefit breakfast as a fundraiser for the family of grocer Lawrence E. Hall, who was fatally shot inside his grocery store at 1828 East El Camino Ave. in North Sacramento on Dec. 1, 1953. The breakfast, which cost 50 cents per person and raised $125, was served by members of Sacramento Boy Scout Troop 1.
It was also in 1954, when Grand View Market offered its customers an opportunity to win a 21-inch Westinghouse deluxe model television set. The winner’s name was drawn on March 26, 1954.
The 59th Street and Folsom Boulevard building survived a fire during its early years, as was indicated in the minutes of the city council meeting of June 16, 1955. Included in those minutes were the words: “Communication from Don N. Yee, manager of the Grand View Market, expressing appreciation for the excellent work performed by Chief (Peter F. Mangan, Jr.) and his men during a recent fire at the market was received and ordered filed.”
By 1957, Simeon L. Pipkin (1897-1973) and Gladys I. Pipkin (1904-1972) were operating Roy and Gladys’ Fountain Lunch restaurant inside Grand View Market.
That eatery was still in business at that site in 1962 when George Quan, Sr. opened George’s Food Market.
That market evolved into a location of the Giant Foods chain, which operated during the 1960s and 1970s.
A city building inspector’s card, dated Nov. 30, 1962, documents a contract for the construction of a Giant Foods sign at 5810 Folsom Blvd. by Ad-Art Sign, Inc. (2417 Cormorant Way, Sacramento) at a cost of $2,500.
At its height, the Giant Foods chain had its East Sacramento location, as well as stores at 5341 Auburn Blvd. in the Foothill Farms area; 5747 Watt Ave. in North Highlands, and 223 D St. in Broderick (a former area of today’s West Sacramento).
During the summer of 1970, Corti Bros. moved to its present site, replacing the Giant Foods Market at 5810 Folsom Blvd.
The last existing Giant Foods supermarket – the Broderick store – closed in about 1979. And that store’s final owners were Richard H. Quan, George H. Quan, Jr. and Margie D. Quan.
Corti Bros., which began its history at 912-914 8th St. in 1947, relocated to 3195 Folsom Blvd., across the street from Spurgeon’s Cleaners and about a block west of Philipp’s Bakery, in 1952.
Corti Bros. eventually grew to become a chain of four stores. But today, Corti Bros. has only one location – its East Sacramento store.
In 2008, Corti Bros. was faced with a major dilemma when its building lease ran dry and the store was not offered a new lease.
Furthermore, the building’s landlord had made arrangements for the then former, now current Raley’s Chief Executive Officer Michael J. Teel to lease the structure.
Teel intended to open the start-up gourmet market, Good Eats, in the building.
But due to the community’s love for this popular, historic Italian grocery store, many people in the city rallied to save the store at this location, and Teel and his business partner, Michael Ashker, eventually terminated their plans for the site.
In commenting to The Sacramento Union in September 2008 regarding the large crowd that attended a Sept. 3, 2008 rally in support of his store, Darrell Corti said, “The turnout for our rally was quite heartening, so we must have been doing something well.”
As a result of the strong customer support of the store, Corti Bros. was able to renew its lease at its longtime site on March 19, 2009.
And today, the tradition of Corti Bros. lives on, as the store retains many longtime customers while attracting new customers, thus continuing the prosperity of this longtime popular Sacramento business.

Lance@valcomnews.com

Farmers Market supermarket chain had north area presence

The former Farmers Market No. 5 building still stands at the southwest corner of El Camino and Howe avenues. Photo by Lance Armstrong
The former Farmers Market No. 5 building still stands at the southwest corner of El Camino and Howe avenues. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Editor’s Note: This is part one of a two-part series about the history of the Farmers Market independent supermarket chain.

Among the early supermarket chains of the Sacramento area was Farmers Markets, which was founded by Walter Fong 65 years ago. Those markets included locations in the north area of the city.
Prior to opening the first of his Farmers Market, Walter (1903-1990) had already gained experience working in the local grocery industry.
Walter, who immigrated to the United States from China in the early 1900s, was residing in Sacramento by the early 1930s.
The 1932 city directory lists Walter as then working as a clerk at Chris’ Confectionary at 620 K St.
By the following year, Walter was managing the Capital Poultry Co. at 518 I St. in Sacramento’s Chinatown.
Walter spent at least two years managing that store, and, in about 1938, he began operating his own grocery store at 1600 F St.
Also assisting in that store was Stephen Fong, who was residing with Walter above that store at 1600 ½ F St.
The 1940 U.S. Census lists Walter as a 37-year-old grocery store manager.
Additionally, that census lists Walter’s then-27-year-old cousin, David Fong, as a grocery store cashier, and recognizes his then-36-year-old wife, Yee Shee Fong, and his then-13-year-old son, Ying Fong. Walter and Yee Shee were married in China in 1927 and their son was born in that country.
It was also in 1940 when Walter became the proprietor of a second grocery store at 1400 I St. That site was vacant two years later.
Among the other workers at the F Street market were William Jang of the fruit department, and Frank Yue of the meat department.
It was also in the 1940s when Walter Fong was an owner of the North 12th Street Market at 300 N. 12th St., with Kay Fong.
During the same era, Walter also owned the Del Paso Heights Market at Park and Grand avenues in Del Paso Heights. That market, which was managed by James Lai, was destroyed by fire on April 18, 1954.

Farmers Market No. 1

Walter, whose leadership roles also included serving as president of the California Food Dealers Association and the Sacramento Chinese Food Dealers Association, opened his first Farmers Market at 3810 Marysville Road (now Marysville Boulevard), at Grand Avenue in Del Paso Heights in 1949.
Managers at the first Farmers Market store, at separate times, included Chew Fong and Kenneth Wong.
The 1952 city directory recognizes Suey Ying as Walter’s business partner in the market.
Although Farmers Market may seem like a logical name for a grocery store, one can speculate that the store took its name from a hardware store – Farmers Hardware, which was located at 3736 Marysville Road, at Grand Avenue, prior to the opening of the neighboring Farmers Market.
In about 1964, Farmers Market No. 1 was replaced by Rainbow Market, which continues to operate in the original Farmers Market building.
The Farmers Market operations would eventually grow to include many stores, some of which are summarized, as follows:

Farmers Market No. 2

A second Farmers Market store opened at 1271 West Capitol Ave. in West Sacramento on July 9, 1953.
The officials for Farmers Markets during that era were Walter Fong, president; James Y. Lau, vice president; Mark Chin, secretary; and Jack B. Fong, treasurer.
A 1959 advertisement for Farmers Market Store No. 2 recognizes the store’s offerings as groceries, meats, vegetables, frozen foods and drugs.
This store remained in business until about 1966.

Farmers Market No. 3

The third Farmers Market made its debut at 5040 Franklin Blvd., at 26th Avenue, on March 28, 1957, and remained in business until as late as 1982.
Among the people who served as managers at this store, at separate times, were Jack B. Fong, Reven G. Louie and L.A. Amnigoni.
This market continued to operate until 1981, and was replaced by Century Market No. 1 by the following year.
Today, Harvest Foods grocery store is located at the old Farmers Market No. 3 site in the Century Shopping Center.

Farmers Market No. 4

A Farmers Market store opened in the former location of a Sav-A-Lot Market at 3022 Stockton Blvd., at Broadway, in 1958. But by 1961, the site was home to Karl’s Shoe Store.
Also located at this site during its post-Farmers Market years were the Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 6; Mung Sing Market; APNA Insurance Agency; and Boon Boon Café.

Farmers Market No. 5

Another Farmers Market made its debut in 1958, with the opening of Store No. 5 at 2120 El Camino Ave., at the southwest corner of El Camino and Howe avenues.
Among the managers to serve this store at different times were Kay Fong, Howie Wong, Peter Broumas and Ben Horn.
The store remained in business until about 1974.
In more recent years, the former El Camino Avenue market site was home to Sierra Copy and the present day Copier Clearance Center.

Lance@valcomnews.com

Vic’s IGA Market closes after 18-year run

Vic's Market

Vic's Market

Vic’s IGA Market in the South Hills Shopping Center in South Land Park has permanently closed.
The 40,000-square-foot market, which operated at 5820 South Land Park Drive, had opened its doors to the public in 1996. And those doors were closed for the final time on Sunday, March 1 in preparation of the business’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing.
During an interview with this publication on Sunday, March 8, bankruptcy attorney Pete Macaluso said that Vic’s would be filing for bankruptcy during the following day.
And in addressing the topic of the closure of the store, which is owned by A.L. Groups, Inc., Macaluso, a longtime local resident who graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in 1976, said, “They can’t go back (to operating the store). Look at the competition and the environment. Smart and Final (at 7205 Freeport Blvd.) was the last straw. (That store) opened a couple months ago within four miles (of Vic’s). You have the two Bel Airs and Nugget [Market, which] have historically been players in the game. You have down on South Land Park Drive, (by) the zoo, there’s that kind of upscale market, (Sprouts). Then you have Grocery Outlet (at 6419 Riverside Blvd.). So, this guy just cannot compete given the lease he has. This complex went through a series of (Americans with Disabilities Act) lawsuits four or five years ago, which caused a couple other of the people in the area to go bankrupt, as in Brick Oven Pizza. And coming out of that (situation), the leases haven’t been made any better for the tenants. And because of that (point), he just cannot keep losing money every month.
“Unfortunately given the economic competition and environment, and given the bad lease that he has, there’s no opportunity to renegotiate and reorganize. He’s just got to take his losses and go on and do a new job. He’s going to go on and find an employee job somewhere.
“It’s unfortunate. He didn’t want to do the bankruptcy. Sometimes you just can’t help. But given his age, at this point in time, people have to look at how old they are. Are they going to make their retirement or are they going to spend 10 more years paying off their bills and have no retirement? Sometimes bankruptcy is the only smart economic decision.”
Macaluso also mentioned that prior to the closure of the South Land Park Vic’s, the store’s employees were paid in full and all taxes were paid.
And he added, “(Good Eats), the barbecue place inside the store, (is) moving around the corner, (and Beijing Wok), the Chinese restaurant (which also operated inside the store), has two other locations.”
Vic’s was only the second business to operate at this South Land Park location.
The other business was also a grocery store – Jumbo Market.

Jumbo Markets

That South Land Park building opened in 1968 as the new location of Store No. 4 of the Jumbo Market chain, which eventually included 11 stores from Jackson to Dixon.
The first Jumbo Market was opened at 2355 Florin Road in 1961.
And heading the market at that time was Ben Mar, president; and Harry T. Wong, vice president.
Ben was not new to the grocery business, as he became the manager of State Fair Market at 3222 Stockton Blvd., near the old State Fair grounds, in 1951.
A 1954 advertisement for that market includes a photograph of Ben and the words: “Ben is just a little guy who runs a big market and does a very good job of it. Shop in the State Fair Market and see for yourself.”
After a decade of managing State Fair Market, Ben witnessed the opening of the first Jumbo Market, which had its large business sign placed at the Florin Road site in September 1961. The sign, which cost about $1,600, was created by the Ad-Art Sign Co. of Sacramento.
A second Jumbo Market opened at 7870 Florin Road in about 1964, and Jumbo Market Store No. 3 at 2711 El Camino Ave. made its debut about two years later.
Also involved in the early operations of Jumbo Market was Joe Mar, manager; Raymond Mar, clerk; and Thomas Mar, buyer.
The featured South Land Park Drive building was built to house Jumbo Market No. 4 in 1968.
The project’s architect was Sooky Lee and the contractor was John F. Otto, Inc.
A building inspector’s card, dated May 14, 1968, recognizes the construction cost of the two-story grocery store building as $419,000.
The building passed its final inspection on December 3, 1968.
In 1989, five of the last seven Jumbo Markets were sold, and with the 1996 sale of the business’s South Land Park Drive store, there were no more Jumbo Markets in operation.
As for the original Jumbo Market location at 2355 Florin Road, it was replaced by The Food Depot on Nov. 28, 1994. The store site is presently home to Mi Rancho supermarket.

Vic’s IGA Markets

The final Jumbo Market store on South Land Park Drive was purchased by Vic and LaReece DeStefani and operated as a Vic’s IGA Market. The couple already owned a Vic’s IGA Market at 1330 Fulton Ave.
IGA, which stands for Independent Grocers Alliance, is self described as an organization “founded in 1926, bringing together independent grocers across the United States to ensure that the trusted, family-owned local grocery store remained strong in the face of growing chain competition.” In addition to its American presence, IGA is also represented in more than 30 countries, commonwealths and territories.
The first Vic’s IGA Market opened at Florin and Power Inn roads in 1983, and the Fulton Avenue store opened at the former site of an Alpha Beta store two years later. The latter named Vic’s store remained open until 2007, when it was purchased by Jagtar Kandola, owner of the Zinfandel Grille restaurant, at 2384 Fair Oaks Blvd.
Another Vic’s store made its debut at 9249 Folsom Blvd. in 1986.
At their height, Vic’s IGA Markets were located at seven sites from south Sacramento to Folsom.
Vic, whose parents were immigrants from Italy, sold his last grocery store in the Village Shopping Center at 9580 Oak Ave. Parkway, Suite 4 in Folsom in 2010, but continued to work at that store for another year, at which time he finally retired at the age of 82.
That departure from the Folsom store concluded Vic’s 64 years of working in the grocery business.
Vic, who was raised on a farm near Stockton, began working in the produce side of a grocery establishment in Manteca following World War II, and he worked his way to the vice president role of grocery stores in Fairfield and Stockton.
Associated with the Vic’s on South Land Park Drive was the Vic’s Market Bakery, and a Chinese takeout, which was a carry over from the Jumbo Market at the same location.
And well known at the bakery was baker Charlie Wong’s coffee toffee crunch cake, which was topped with coffee-flavored whipped cream.
The DeStefani era of Vic’s IGA Market on South Land Park Drive ended in October 2007, when the store was sold to Jay Saini, who was making his first venture in the grocery vending world.
With the 2007 sale of that store, Vic then-owned only one store – the aforementioned Vic’s IGA Market in Folsom. That location of Vic’s was replaced by Boom Supermarket, which operated at that site from April to December 2014.
The closure of the South Land Park Vic’s store, which began operating under new ownership in 2013, will obviously leave a void in the South Hills Shopping Center.
Macaluso said that there is presently no plan for what business would fill the vacancy at the old supermarket site.

Lance@valcomnews.com

Former East Sacramento resident shares his early memories

Jim McFall, who grew up in East Sacramento, holds a copy of his senior year portrait. He graduated from Sacramento High School in February 1942. Photo by Lance Armstrong
Jim McFall, who grew up in East Sacramento, holds a copy of his senior year portrait. He graduated from Sacramento High School in February 1942. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Jim McFall served his country in both the Navy and the Army Air Corps during World War II. Photo by Lance Armstrong
Jim McFall served his country in both the Navy and the Army Air Corps during World War II. Photo by Lance Armstrong

At 90 years old, Jim McFall, who grew up in East Sacramento, enjoys reminiscing about the early years of his life. And it is because of that fact that he did not hesitate in accepting an offer to share some of those memories with readers of this publication.
Last week, while sitting alongside his wife, Patricia “Pat” (Lyons) McFall, who he married on Sept. 4, 1947, Jim flipped through his copy of Sacramento High School’s 1941 Review yearbook, as well as newspaper clipping and other mementos from his high school years.
He quickly became engrossed in the contents of those items, as he pointed to photographs of his former classmates and told stories about their activities during and after high school.
A few of his comments during that portion of his meeting with this paper were:
“Patty O’Connor, she was a pretty girl and pretty popular, too.
“There’s the Manana Club. That was the rich girls in East Sacramento. Martha Harrold (the daughter of automobile dealer Ellsworth Harrold). There was a heck of a lot of them. Well, the Breuners (of Breuner’s home furnishing store at 6th and K streets) had four girls. But it was that class of people who all formed the Del Paso Country Club.
“Phaedo was one of the boys’ clubs. They thought they were the best and were wrong.
Kerry Cutter was one of the officers in their boys’ club. The Cutter family (who resided in Curtis Park) was in (insurance) and real estate.
“The Butlers were pretty prominent in town, too. They lived on 41st Street, between J and L (streets). And they had a couple of kids, (including) Jean, who married Fred Carnie.
The Carnies, they opened up an awning, (tent and venetian blinds business at 515 L St.).”
After pointing to a photograph of a group of boys, Jim said, “This is the track team. Dr. Sutan wouldn’t pass me, because I had a fluttering heart and he wouldn’t give me the physical pass, and I couldn’t run in most of the events. I had been grounded, but I ran the 880 (yard)/half-mile on the same unit as (the future prominent California landscape artist) Greg Kondos.”
In speaking about his family, Jim said, “My father was (Winters, Calif. native) Walter Wyatt McFall and my mother was (Volcano, Calif. native) Vera Marie (Gilmore) McFall.
Connie Lou (who was four years older than Jim) was my sister and my brother was Bill. He was so much younger than me. When I went in the service, he was in the 5th grade or so.”
As far as his own schooling, Jim, prior to becoming a student at Sacramento High, attended David Lubin School at 3575 K St., Kit Carson Junior High School at 1300 54th St., and Sutter Junior High School at 1820 K St.
Although Jim was born in East Sacramento at the old Sutter Maternity Hospital – the original name of Sutter Memorial Hospital – he said that his first home was in Red Bluff.
“My father and two other men owned a (bus) stage line and lived in Red Bluff and had (stops in) Redding, Red Bluff, Marysville and Yuba City and Sacramento. Now when my mother was pregnant, she came down to Sacramento to stay with her sister-in-law, and the baby (Jim) was born in the old, wooden hospital. So, I was born in (East) Sacramento, but my parents’ actual residence was in Red Bluff.”
Jim mentioned that he has an early childhood recollection of his father driving a Packard automobile.
“My father’s car had the little vases in the windows and just about every weekend, we would go for a ride and pick flowers, and my job was to put them in the little vases of the car,” Jim recalled. “He never really took to cars, except the Packard. That to him was the car. Every (owner) of the bus line drove a Packard.”
Jim also shared a fond memory related to the other owner of the bus line.
“The other owner of the bus line was Wert Irwin, who had an ice creamery (called the Shasta Ice Cream Co.) on what would now be Broadway (and 28th Street). It had the best in the world ice cream. And as kids, with my dad, we would go in there on making of ice cream days when (Irwin) was whipping it up, and get whipped ice cream. It was the best thing you ever tasted. And he would take it out of the freezer and you would eat it. And I never will forget Wert’s ice cream.”
The McFalls, as Jim recalled, were living in Oakland in about 1928 and were residing in East Sacramento by the following year, when the family moved to 3921 N St.
Jim fondly spoke about a special feature of his former N Street home.
“That was one of the first places I ever remember my folks having a record player with flat records, and my mother had quite a few Enrico Caruso records,” Jim said.
It was also at that time that Walter was operating his own hardware store at 910 J St. He had previously run a hardware store in Oakland.
Regarding that business, Jim said, “His hardware store made what money they did off of contractors and he (provided supplies for) quite a few things for a contractor named Walter Campbell. And he and Walt Campbell got to be quite good friends, so much to the point that my sister and I went to swim in the Campbells’ swimming pool, which was really one of the few (swimming pools) around.”
From at least mid-April 1930 to about 1935, the McFalls resided at 1034 40th St.
And while living in that house, in about 1932, Walter closed his hardware store, and then spent many years working for the Diamond Match Co. at 2826 Q St.
Jim said that “the bank eventually took over the hardware store.” The store was replaced by the dental office of Dr. Paul Ehorn.
The McFalls resided at 2018 M St. (now Capitol Avenue) from about 1935 to 1938, but returned to live in East Sacramento in a home at 1035 40th St., across the street from their previous home in that area. Walter continued to own that home until the mid-1940s.
Research for this article revealed that Walter and Vera’s longtime residency in Sacramento dates back to before their time living in East Sacramento.
The 1920 U.S. Census recognizes Walter and Vera as residing in the capital city and notes that Walter was then a merchant in a hardware store.
Walter was residing in Sacramento by at least 1919 and operating Oakley’s hardware store at the aforementioned address of 910 J St., with Charles E. Trouse.
That store was established by Horace Lewis in about 1902, and named Oakley’s about four years later, when it was purchased by Paul Oakley.
Walter acquired his portion of the business directly from Oakley, who had partnered with Trouse, a former clerk and salesman with the Emigh-Winchell Hardware Co., in about 1918.
About six years later, Oakley’s became Trouse & Son hardware store and Walter began working as a clerk at Motor Carrier Terminals at 5th and I streets. And by April 1924, he was a resident of Red Bluff.
In returning to the topic of his schooling, Jim, who graduated from Sacramento High School in February 1942, spoke about one of his favorite topics – serving as the student body president of that school.
Among Jim’s old newspaper articles from his high school days is one, which, in part, reads: “By a sweeping majority, Jim Fall was elected president of the student body for the fall term (of the 1941-42 school year), last Friday. Jim McFall totaled 1,148 votes, winning from Nina Giordano and Don Yost.
“Other student body officers are Jac (sic) Stack, boys’ vice president; Janeth Calvert, girls’ vice president; Patty O’Connor, student body secretary; and Joe Goodwin, yell leader.”
Although it has been 73 years since he served as the school’s student body president, Jim said that position proved to be his greatest legacy.
“There are more people that remember me, not as a hero, but as the president of the (student body of the high) school than anything else I did,” Jim said.
Following high school years, Jim served his country during World War II.
Jim initially began serving in the Navy as a pilot, but he was eventually told by a doctor that he had an equilibrium issue that would permit him from flying at night.
Because of that situation, Jim made arrangements to join the Army Air Corps, and he began working on a bomber, but not as a pilot. His base was in the Galapagos Islands.
After the war ended, Jim returned to Sacramento, where he would eventually spend 35 years working for The Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Co./later known as AT&T California.
And with his wife, Pat, he began a family, and has two sons, Scott and Robert.
In concluding his meeting with this publication, Jim mentioned that he feels fortunate to have grown up as one of the kids of East Sacramento during the 1930s and 1940s.
“Everybody knew each other, and (the kids) didn’t really basically notice who you were and what you had or who your father was. It was fun.”

Lance@valcomnews.com