Arden Hills was training place of swimming dynasty

Former Carmichael resident Mike Burton was once Arden Hills’ best known swimmer. / Photo courtesy of Arden Hills
Former Carmichael resident Mike Burton was once Arden Hills’ best known swimmer. / Photo courtesy of Arden Hills
Many Olympic swimmers were trained in competitive swimming at the Arden Hills Swimming and Tennis Club. The photograph above shows one of the many swimming meets that was held at the club. / Photo courtesy of Arden Hills
Many Olympic swimmers were trained in competitive swimming at the Arden Hills Swimming and Tennis Club. The photograph above shows one of the many swimming meets that was held at the club. / Photo courtesy of Arden Hills

Note: This is the fifth article in a series about the Arden Hills wellness resort.

During its lengthy history, Arden Hills has been the training place of many fine athletes, including 10 Olympic swimmers.
Certainly, when many people think of Arden Hills’ history, they first think of swimmers Mark Spitz and Debbie Meyer, who were featured in the last article of this series.
But the history of this facility, which is located near the northwest corner of Fair Oaks Boulevard and Mission Avenue, extends well beyond those famous Olympians.
Overshadowed by Spitz’s Olympic accomplishments is Mike Burton, another well-known, former Olympic swimmer, who trained at Arden Hills.
But those who are familiar with Burton’s success as a swimmer know that he was once Arden Hills’ best known swimmer.
In fact, former Arden Hills swim coach Sherman Chavoor at one point claimed that Burton was this community’s best all-time swimmer.
But Burton, who graduated from El Camino High School in 1965, was not an instant success as a swimmer.
When he was 13 years old, Burton was riding his bicycle when he was hit by a furniture delivery truck and had a tendon severed below one of his knees and the ball joint of one of his hips pushed into his ribs.
Burton spent a month in the hospital and was laid up for about four months.
A year after doctors determined that he would likely never be able to compete in sports again, Burton opted to become a competitive swimmer.
When he was 15 years old, Burton began working with Chavoor at Arden Hills.
Initially struggling as a competitive swimmer, Burton was then unable to win competitions against the club’s female swimmers.
Burton’s determination to win, led him to constant improvements and eventual Olympic qualifications.
Prior to becoming an Olympian, in 1966, the then-5-foot-10-inch, 155-pound Burton joined weightlifter Tommy Kono as the only other local athlete to set a world record.
Burton would end that year having set two world records and one national record and being named the United Press International’s Swimmer of the Year and The Sacramento Union’s Athlete of the Year.
Burton, who would set many swimming records, resided in Carmichael before attending the University of California, Los Angeles on a swimming scholarship.
An article in the Aug. 14, 1967 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle notes that Burton had broken the world 1,500-meter mark in successive Amateur Athletic Union meets.
Like Spitz and Meyer, Burton was also a multiple, Olympic gold medalist.
Burton won two gold medals in the 1968 Summer Olympics and another gold medal in the 1972 Summer Games in Munich, West Germany.
Another big name in Arden Hills swimming history is Sue Pedersen.
Pedersen, who was born in Sacramento, was already being considered as a possible future Olympic swimmer when she was 13 years old.
At that time in her life, Pedersen, who was then attending St. Ignatius School at 3245 Arden Way and was a member of the Arden Hills Swim Club, had already set nine AAU Junior Olympics records.
She also won three AAU titles and three silver medals at the Pan American Games in 1967.
At the age of 14, Pedersen was among the Arden Hills swimmers to earn a spot on the 1968 Chavoor-coached U.S. Olympic women’s swim team.
During the 1968 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Los Angeles, Pedersen won the 100-meter freestyle finals in 59 seconds. And at the same time, she set a new U.S. record in that event.
Prior to Pedersen’s record setting mark, only four women had ever completed the event under one minute. One of those women was Arden Hills’ swimmer Erika Bricker, who was the 1967 titlist of the Pan American Games.
And while competing in those Olympics, Pedersen, who was then a student at Rio Americano High School, earned four medals – two golds and two silvers.
Furthermore, the Chavoor-coached women’s team won 65 percent of the medals won by the U.S. at the 1968 Olympics.
A downtown celebration was held in honor of the returning Olympians, who were residents of the Sacramento area at that time. They were: Pedersen (double gold and single silver medalist), Meyer (triple gold medalist), Burton (double gold medalist), John Ferris (double bronze medalist) and Vicki King (1,500-meter alternate).
During the celebratory event, Vice Mayor Albert Talkin said, “You have brought glory to Sacramento. We haven’t had anything like this since the Gold Rush. If people don’t know where Sacramento is now, they’ll never know.”
Other local residents who participated in the 1968 Olympics were U.S. kayak team crew members Cleve and Mike Livingston.
In presenting this story of Arden Hills’ Olympic swimmers, it is certainly important to name John Nelson, the club’s first Olympic medalist.
Nelson, who attended Yale University, earned a silver medal in the 1,500-meter freestyle event at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
In the 1968 Summer Olympics, Nelson was a teammate of Spitz on the gold medal winning, 4-by-200-meter freestyle relay team. And Nelson also earned a bronze medal in the 200-meter freestyle.
Another former Arden Hills swimmer, Ellie Daniel, was a two-time Olympian and world record holder.
She competed in the 1968 Summer Games and earned a gold medal in the 4-by-100-medley relay, a silver medal in the 100-meter butterfly and a bronze medal in the 200-meter butterfly.
In 1972, Daniel competed in the Summer Olympics and received a bronze medal for her third place finish in the 200-meter butterfly.
Today, Daniel serves as a prosecutor with the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
Among the other Olympic swimmers who trained at Arden Hills were Sacramento natives John Ferris (two bronze medals at the 1968 Summer Olympics; former world record holder) and Dave Fairbank (two gold medals at the 1972 Summer Games; former world record holder).
Arden Hills had no Olympic qualifiers for the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, and only one for the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. That one qualifier was Jeff Float.
Although Float was denied an opportunity to compete in the Moscow Olympics due to the American boycott of those Games, he did qualify for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
During the latter named Olympics, Float, a former world champion swimmer, won a gold medal in the 4-by-200-meter freestyle relay.
Float, a graduate of Jesuit High School, has the notoriety of being the first legally deaf, American athlete to win an Olympic medal.
Another one of Float’s many accomplishments as a swimmer was winning a gold medal in all of the 10 events that he competed in at the 1977 World Games for the Deaf in Bucharest, Romania.
Altogether, Arden Hills-trained swimmers earned 32 Olympic medals, 22 of which were gold medals, and set more than 200 U.S. and world swimming records.

Quick Lunch sign is a reminder of earlier times on Broadway

 The old, neon “Quick Lunch” sign still exists above an old restaurant building at 513 Broadway. / Photo by Lance Armstrong
The old, neon “Quick Lunch” sign still exists above an old restaurant building at 513 Broadway. / Photo by Lance Armstrong

Many people who are familiar with the western end of Broadway recall seeing an old, small, neon sign above a building at 513 Broadway. And for those who enjoy local history, that sign, which reads, “Quick Lunch,” is a cherished part of the community.
Additionally, the small building, on which the post of the sign is affixed, also adds character to the area.
For those who have grown fond of seeing the Quick Lunch sign and building along Broadway, the following historical summary of the site should be of interest.
At different times during the history of this Broadway site, various restaurants have operated at 513 Broadway.
A city building inspector’s card, dated Jan. 23, 1929, notes that Louis A. Rouppet, Sr. (1881-1957), then-owner of a structure at Y Street (today’s Broadway), was granted a permit to have the building’s kitchen enlarged.
In about 1930, Louis, Sr. who was a native of Savoy, France, opened an eatery at that location.
Research into Louis, Sr.’s earlier work history revealed that he had prior experience in the restaurant industry.
Louis, Sr., who had a wife named Emilie Rouppet, a daughter named Aimee C. Rouppet and sons named Louis A. Rouppet, Jr., Paul Rouppet and John Rouppet began working as a cook in Sacramento as early as 1914. His places of employment included Peerless Café at 1117 9th St. and Hotel Sacramento at 1107 10th St.
From about 1922 to about 1924, Louis, Sr. operated his own restaurant at 1005 11th St., and in at least 1925, he owned an eatery at 929 2nd St.
As for the restaurant at 513 Broadway, the earliest discovered reference to the name Quick Lunch was found in a legal notice, which includes the following words: “July 31, 1941. To whom it may concern: Notice is hereby given that fifteen days after the date posted, the undersigned (Louis, Sr.) proposes to sell alcoholic beverages at these premises, described as follows: Quick Lunch, 513 Broadway, Sacramento.”
The notice also mentions that the proposed alcoholic beer license was for the sale for “beer only.”
Quick Lunch’s next proprietor was Dora M. Allen, who resided at 1114 Yale St., which is located between Broadway and X Street and 10th Street and Riverside Boulevard, near the old city cemetery. Allen, who purchased the business in 1946, advertised her restaurant as serving “home-cooked food.”
A building inspector’s card, dated Dec. 10, 1946, notes that Electric Sign Service, a neon products business at 1315 17th St., was hired to place the aforementioned “Quick Lunch” sign at 513 Broadway.
Although Louis Rouppet sold the eatery to Allen, he remained the building’s owner and retained his home at the rear of 513 Y St. Rouppet had those sleeping quarters added to the already existing structure in 1940.
Apparently, the building’s sleeping quarters were once also available to employees of the business, as is indicated in an advertisement, which appeared in the March 5, 1941 edition of The Sacramento Bee, as follows: “Inexperienced young girl to work in small lunch room. Board, small wages. 513 Broadway.”
By 1949, the restaurant was under the ownership of James Sisto, who resided with his wife, Elsie, at 805 F St.
During the Sisto era of Quick Lunch, the restaurant had the misfortune of being ransacked and burglarized of a watch valued at $105 and $30 from its vending machines.
Although it was reported in The Bee that a 22-year-old local parolee, who had served two years in prison for burglary, admitted to the robbery about a month later, it was not discovered during research for this article if the watch or money was returned.
On Nov. 22, 1950, a day prior to Thanksgiving, The Bee ran the following advertisement: “Turkey dinners, $1, with all the trimmings. We bake our own pies. Quick Lunch, 513 Broadway.”
The eatery’s next proprietor was Phyllis C. LeCastro, who acquired the business in about 1951.
From June 1 through Oct. 16, 1954, the restaurant site, with its 18 counter seats, was vacant and advertised for rent in The Bee.
Quick Lunch was purchased by Okla and Dana E. Wright in about November 1954.
About a year later, the old, 14-foot by 20-foot corrugated iron Quick Lunch building was torn down and its materials were placed for sale to the public.
A new, 16-foot by 40-foot building was constructed, and made available for lease in December 1955.
In about 1956, Bernard E. Swope, who resided with his wife, Barbara, at 1614 G St., Apt. 1, opened Bar-Bee Lunch restaurant at the 513 Broadway building.
A year later, John B. and Jeane Sells acquired the dining spot and began running their own restaurant, which they called The Quick Lunch.
In 1959, while The Quick Lunch was still in operation on Broadway, a Quick Lunch restaurant opened at the former site of Eugene I. Jensen’s business, Gene’s Coffee Shop, at 1413 21st St.
The 21st Street Quick Lunch, which was originally owned by Aldo and Joan Bellettini, who resided at 2019 I St., remained in business for an entire decade.
This 21st Street business was owned by Joan Achor in 1960 and Andrew and Helen Mackis from 1961 to at least 1965.
While under the management of Leo Tagawa in 1966 and 1967, the 21st Street eatery was known as Leo’s Quick Lunch.
Tagawa was replaced as manager in 1967 by Geraldine M. Budmark, as Tagawa became a chef at El Rancho Bowl at 900 West Capitol Ave. in West Sacramento.
The 21st Street Quick Lunch closed in 1969, and today, the 21st Street site is home to Jalapeño’s restaurant, which opened in 2001.
In continuing with the history of 513 Broadway, Lucille Satos became the proprietor of The Quick Lunch in 1966, and she remained the restaurant’s owner until 1969, when Budmark purchased the business.
Later proprietors of this eatery were Ruby D. Wendt, who purchased the business in 1973, and Dan Y. and Lilly Chan, who became the restaurant’s owners in 1979.
The Quick Lunch remained in business until about 1992.
During its latter Quick Lunch years, the eatery was known as Kim’s Quick Lunch Vietnamese Restaurant.
Other eateries that later operated at that site were Arandas (Mexican food), Edokko Japanese Noodle Restaurant & Kitchen, Sim’s Diner, Sim’s Soul Food and Curtis’s Hole in the Wall.

10th Street Japanese area established more than a half-century ago

These dolls are among the many Japanese items available at Sakura Gifts. / Photo by Lance Armstrong
These dolls are among the many Japanese items available at Sakura Gifts. / Photo by Lance Armstrong

Asian XII Photo 0 Pocket residents Chloe and Christine Chang hold a bowl of beef noodle soup at Taiwan Best Mart. The business, which opened in June 2012, operates in the former site of the Japanese run L & M Co. / Photo by Lance Armstrong
Asian XII Photo 0 Pocket residents Chloe and Christine Chang hold a bowl of beef noodle soup at Taiwan Best Mart. The business, which opened in June 2012, operates in the former site of the Japanese run L & M Co. / Photo by Lance Armstrong

Editor’s Note: This is part 12 in a series regarding historic Asian districts of Sacramento.

Japanese history in Sacramento includes a Japanese section that was established in the vicinity of 10th Street, between T and W streets, during the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Several of the businesses that have occupied addresses in that area were referred to in the previous article of this series.
The histories of various other addresses in that area are presented, as follows:

2219 10th St.

The L & M Co. relocated from Japantown to 2219 10th St. in 1959.
Originally known as L & M Cyclery, the store, which opened in about 1926, was later expanded to include other items such as electric appliances and sporting goods.
The 1927 city directory lists the Japanese-born Shuzo Nishijima (1889-1979) as the business’s owner, at 1215 4th St.
Following the internment, Shuzo reestablished his store in its previous location with the assistance of his son, Kanji Nishijima (1922-2008), who would later become the business’s sole owner.
L & M Co. remained in business on 10th Street until as late as 2002.
The present tenant at 2219 10th St. is Taiwan Best Mart.
The business, which is owned by Pocket area resident Luke Chang, carries frozen foods and offers a hot food menu that allows customers opportunities to try certain items before buying them from the store’s frozen foods section.
In speaking about her father’s business, Chloe Chang, who works in the store and attends C.K. McClatchy High School, said, “We’ve been open since June 2012 and before that we were having a private company, selling the same goods for over 12 years. And we sell the same stuff (and use) the same recipes. It’s just now we’re in an actual shop. We sell Taiwanese specialty food here. We have frozen food, as well as a hot menu and a deli.”
Another employee of the store is Chloe’s sister, Christine Chang, who graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in 2008.

2221 10th St

Another former Japantown business, Royal Florist, was relocated from 1316 4th St. in Japantown to 2221 10th St. in about 1958.
The roots of that florist date back to about 1925, when the City Floral Shop was established at 1209 3rd St.
T. Fujimoto operated a florist at that site from about 1928 to about 1929.
During research for this chapter, the earliest reference to the name, Royal Florist, was located in the 1930 city directory.
It was about that time when Kidio Nikaido began operating a florist at the same address.
Roy M. Nikaido was a partner in the business by the following year and was the business’s sole owner by 1936.
In about 1938, Royal Florist was relocated to 1316 4th St.
Although Roy M. Nakaido was evacuated from Sacramento, along with many other Japanese, in 1942, he returned to operate Royal Florist in its former 4th Street location following World War II.
In about 1956, Roy T. Higashino became the proprietor of Royal Florist.
And as previously mentioned, the florist was relocated to 2221 10th St. in about 1958.
Higashino sold Royal Florist to Ken Furuta in about 1979, and Furuta eventually sold the shop to Al Kakishiba, who owned the business for about six months.
Lynda Tanaka, whose great-grandparents were the first of her family to come to America from Japan, acquired the business from Kakishiba in 1992, and renamed it Royal Louis Florist, in partial tribute to Louis Florist, a now defunct Sacramento business that she also owned.

2223 10th St.

Prior to World War II, George K. Nishihara operated a grocery store at 3994 2nd St. And he returned from the internment to establish a variety store at the former location of A& J Liquor Store at 1319 4th St.
In about 1948, Nishihara relocated his business to 1217 4th St., where it was known as Lion 5 & 10 Cent Store.
Due to redevelopment in Japantown, Nishara moved his store to 2223 10th St. in 1959, and the business then became known as Lion Variety.
Nishihara’s store was replaced by Hiroko Arimoto’s business, Sakura Gifts, in about 1971.
Nobuko Saiki Pang, who is a native of Tokyo, began working in the store in 1984 and has owned the business since 2002.
This Japanese gift store’s offerings include tea sets, dishes, dolls, change purses, food boxes, origami, incense, candles, festival clothing and shoes.
In speaking about the festival clothing that her store offers, Pang said, “In the summertime, we have (the Japanese Food and Cultural Bazaar) at the Buddhist church (at 2401 Riverside Blvd.) with dancing, so they have to wear (festival clothing for performances).”
Another feature of Sakura Gifts is its Japanese language book rental service, which was established in 2001.

2224 10th St.

The address, 2224 10th St., dates back to the late 1950s.
A city building inspector’s card, dated Nov. 20, 1958, notes that the Pacific Neon Co. at 719 12th St. had been contracted to place a sign for the business, Miyakawa Real Estate, at 2224 10th St.
The 1959 through 1962-63 city directories recognize the building as then being home to Western Pioneer Insurance. And according to the 1963-64 city directory, the Ace Realty Company was then operating at the same location.
By 1965, the building was vacant.
In about 1966, Fred S. Tanihara opened the Kami Shop, a beauty shop at 2224 10th St.
Tanihara, who then living at 2011 10th St., was among the various Japanese residents of the area at that time.
Peggy K. Saika, who began operating the Kami Shop from its inception, was recognized in city directories as the business’s owner from 1967 to 1975.
Clarence R. Saika has been the proprietor of the Kami Shop since 1976, and Margie Fukushima is the business’s longtime manager.

2230 10th St.

The address of 2230 10th St. dates back to as early as 1896, when a Southern Pacific Co. employee named Wilhelm “William” Braunlin was residing in a home at that site.
In late 1958 or early 1959, the Japantown business, New Eagle Drug Co., relocated to a store space inside a then-new structure at the address of 2230 10th St.
A city building inspector’s card, dated Oct. 22, 1958, refers to the Pacific Neon Co.’s creation of a “New Eagle Drug” sign for 2230 10th St.
The predecessor of that business was the Eagle Drug Co., which was founded in about 1912 at 1215 4th St. (a then-future location of the L & M Company) in Japantown.
The company was owned by the Japanese-born T. Miyakawa, who then resided at 1210 3rd St.
The New Eagle Drug Co., which was last owned by Takuhei Iseri, remained in business until as late as 1962 and was replaced by the Japanese confectionery store, Osaka-Ya, in 1963.
In 2013, a long 50th anniversary banner was placed inside the store behind its sales counter.
However, that anniversary represents only the business’s 10th Street years.
Research for this article revealed that a business named Osakaya Confectionery was operating at 1217 3rd St. as early as 1927.
City directories for the years, 1929 and 1930, recognize Yasujiro Wakashino as the business’s proprietor.
Shizuma Shikasho was the owner of Osakaya Confectionery from about 1931 to about 1933, and Wakashino was the proprietor again from about 1934 to about 1942.
For at least the final year of the business, just prior to the internment, Shikasho was employed as a candy maker at Osakaya Confectionery.
Following World War II, in about 1947, Shikasho opened Osakaya Rice Cake bakery/food products business at 300 P St.
By 1949, Shikasho had moved his business to 1318 4th St. in Japantown.
Shikasho continued to operate Osakaya Rice Cake at that address until about 1962.
The business was acquired by the Sacramento-born Kenji (Sato) Nakatani (1929-2009) and his Japanese-born wife, Asako Nakatani (1925-1990), and relocated to 2230 10th St., where it became known simply as Osaka-Ya.
Kenji and Asako’s daughter, Linda Nakatani, said that Osaka-Ya was relocated to its present location of 2215 10th St. in 1997.
Like many people who are familiar with Osaka-Ya, Joey Loueks, one of the business’s employees, is quick to speak about the store’s popular handmade Japanese confections, mochi and manju.
“[Mochi and manju are] very popular,” Loueks said. “(Los Angeles) is another big place where they sell mochi and manju, and people come up here (to Osaka-Ya) from there and tell me like nobody can beat this place.”
Furthermore, the business’s continuously sends its products to various places in and outside of California.
Loueks said that in addition to Osaka-Ya’s Japanese pastries, the business also serves hot food on Saturdays and Sundays.
And Loueks added that the business is also a grocery store with “all different types of snacks imported from Japan.”
From April to the end of October or November each year, Osaka-Ya sells shaved ice, with homemade syrup. And because of the popularity of that treat, during summer months, long lines have been known to form from the business’s outdoor shaved ice window.
Linda Nakatani, a 1979 John F. Kennedy High School graduate who began helping at the store during her childhood, expressed her appreciation for her parents’ efforts with the business.
“I’m really proud of what’s going on at that store,” Linda said. “I’m really glad what my mom and dad left.”
As for the featured address of 2230 10th St., Wireless World, a MetroPCS prepaid wireless service business, has been operating at that site since about 2006.

More than 100 homes to be built at Sutter Memorial Hospital site

The Sutter Memorial Hospital site in East Sacramento is scheduled to become home to a residential area, which will include more than 100 homes. / Photo courtesy of Sutter Health

The Sutter Memorial Hospital site in East Sacramento is scheduled to become home to a residential area, which will include more than 100 homes. / Photo courtesy of Sutter Health

Editor’s Note: This is the second article in a series pertaining to East Sacramento’s Sutter Memorial Hospital, which is scheduled to close this spring.

East Sacramento’s Sutter Memorial Hospital, which was originally known as Sutter Maternity Hospital, is scheduled to move its services to midtown Sacramento this spring. And as a result, the old hospital site at 5151 F St. will no longer be home to a medical facility for the first time in 77 years.
The purpose of the closure of Sutter Memorial is to consolidate jobs and services in a single location in new, modernized facilities.
Considering that nearly 350,000 people have been born at Sutter Memorial, there are undoubtedly many people in the community who are saddened by the loss of this hospital for nostalgic reasons.
But beyond nostalgia and a departure from that hospital’s scenic campus, the closure of Sutter Memorial represents many positives.
For instance, prior to making plans for that closure, Sutter Health had the Anderson Lucchetti Women’s and Children’s Center built at 2825 Capitol Ave.
And as mentioned in the previous article of this series, that facility – which will offer “the highest level of neonatal and pediatric intensive care services, pediatric cardiac care, pediatric neurosurgery services, pediatric cancer services and high-risk and conventional maternity services” – was built to last for the entire 21st century.
Furthermore, with the relocation of Sutter Memorial services to the midtown campus, the process of establishing the Sutter Medical Center as one of the most advanced medical facilities in the country will be completed.
The upcoming closure of Sutter Memorial has spurred a variety of questions from the general public regarding the East Sacramento hospital’s 20-acre site.
Among those question is “What will the Sutter Memorial property be used for in the future?”
In commenting about that future, Keri Thomas, regional director of community and government relations for Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region, said, “The closure of Sutter Memorial presents a unique opportunity to redevelop the site in a manner which complements and reconnects the existing neighborhood.”
An approved project for the site is being called the Sutter Park Neighborhood plan. That plan features 100 to 125 homes.
The project received all discretionary entitlements in April 2014.
A Sutter Park Neighborhood document notes that the design plans include “a mixture of classic architectural styles, from traditional park homes to row homes, to cottages to mixed-use housing on top of retail,” as well as “secondary units over garages (to) provide opportunities for flexible, multigenerational living.”
The project is a partnership between Sutter Health and StoneBridge Properties, which is a subsidiary of the historic Sacramento family-owned firm, Teichert Land Co.
In being that both Sutter Health and Teichert have longtime traditions in the capital city, it was important to those businesses to study the history and neighborhoods of East Sacramento in the process of establishing a plan that was suitable and more widely accepted for the old Sutter Memorial site.
The aforementioned Sutter Park Neighborhood document notes: “These homes will have the charming, period look of their East Sac brethren – reflecting the diversity of architecture found throughout the community. Utilizing the latest advances in building technology and sustainable design, Sutter Park Neighborhood homes will be green, healthy and efficient, consuming just a fraction of the energy of older structures.”
Other features of the project include a plan to connect new streets with already existing streets in the area, and place a park at the heart of the project’s housing.
Thomas notes that Sutter Health is presently focusing on completing its expanded midtown campus and moving its services from Sutter Memorial.
And as for actual physical work on the future project at the Sutter Memorial site, Thomas added, “The demolition should take approximately six months (to complete), with about three to four months of external demolition – the type people notice and hear. Remediation is likely three to nine months, depending on what is needed.”
Thomas also commented that before the demolition of Sutter Memorial can commence, additional steps need to be taken.
“Sutter still needs to complete a Phase 2 environmental study to confirm remediation requirements, develop a remediation plan, and then remediate prior to demolition,” Thomas said.
Further updates regarding the Sutter Memorial site’s demolition and the establishment of the Sutter Park Neighborhood will be presented in various future editions of the East Sacramento News.

Mark Spitz, Debbie Meyer brought fame to Arden Hills

Debbie Meyer is shown with her three gold medals that she won at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. / Photo courtesy of Arden Hills

Debbie Meyer is shown with her three gold medals that she won at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. / Photo courtesy of Arden Hills

Note: This is the fourth article in a series about the Arden Hills wellness resort.

Mark Spitz and Debbie Meyer will forever be remembered as the swimmers who brought international recognition to Arden Hills through their success as record breaking, gold medal winning Olympic athletes.

A United Press International article, dated Dec. 2, 1968, notes that the then-17-year-old Spitz was credited with 10 world swimming records and 28 Amateur Athletic Union swimming championship records in 1967.

Spitz, who turned 65 years old earlier this week, would eventually set more than 30 world records, and win eight NCAA titles, five Pan American Games gold medals and 11 Olympic gold medals – nine gold, one silver and one bronze.

His greatest achievement in swimming occurred at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany, where he won seven gold medals, and at the same time set seven world records.

Spitz’s then-record of seven individual medals in a single Olympics was held until 2008, when swimmer Michael Phelps won eight individual medals at the Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.

In speaking about Spitz’s success in the Olympics, Brett Favero, co-owner of Arden Hills, said, “Mark was so famous not only because of his accomplishments, but because when he accomplished what he did, it was the first time that the Olympics were completely televised. Bits and pieces (of the Olympics) were previously (televised), but that was the first time it was completely televised.

“So, when (Spitz) got home, he had no idea what had happened. He certainly knew what he had accomplished, but he had no idea, because that hadn’t been that big of a deal before. And it wasn’t until he actually got here (to Sacramento) and got off the plane that he realized how big it was.

“In fact, his poster, his big poster, you know they took a picture of him and his seven gold medals was somewhat taken in such a way that he didn’t really get anything out of that, because he had no idea, and it was done right there while he was still in Munich.”

The aforementioned UPI article also mentions that in 1967, Meyer, as a 15-year-old swimmer, set 10 world records and 25 other American marks.

Meyer’s success in 1967 included winning two gold medals in the Pan American Games.

A year later, during the Summer Olympics in Mexico City, Meyer won three gold medals through her performances in the 200, 400 and 800-meter freestyle events. That feat marked the first time that a female athlete had won three individual gold medals at one Olympics.

The 5-foot-4-inch Meyer, who graduated from Rio Americano High School in 1970, also broke 24 national and 20 world records, and won 19 national championships.

Additionally, Meyer, who is now 62, once held five world records – 200, 400, 800 and 1,500-meter and 800-yard freestyle events – at the same time.

Many yellowed newspaper clippings from Spitz and Meyer’s years as popular and successful swimmers were observed during research for this chapter.

In an attempt to further celebrate these glory days of Arden Hills, the following details from those clippings are presented:

The Sacramento Bee, Jan. 21, 1967: Meyer broke the American women’s record in the 1,650-yard freestyle event at a meet in the Sacramento YMCA’s pool at 2228 21st St. during the previous night.

The Sacramento Union, July 28, 1967: In its following day coverage of the Pan-American Games, which were being held in Winnipeg, Canada, The Union reported that Meyer had smashed the world record for the women’s 400-meter freestyle event.

The Union, Aug. 21, 1967: The Associated Press reported that during the previous day, Meyer shattered the 1,500-meter world mark at the National Women’s AAU Swimming Championships in Philadelphia.

The Union, April 20, 1968: Meyer, while competing in the AAU Women’s Short Course Competition in Pittsburgh, broke the national records in the 200-yard (April 19) and 500-yard freestyle (April 18) events.

The Union, Aug. 21, 1968: While participating in the National AAU Swimming Championships, Spitz broke the men’s 200-meter butterfly mark for the second time. And during the same meet, he bested his own world record in the 100-meter butterfly.

At that time, Spitz also held world records in the 100 and 200-meter freestyle.

The Bee, Aug. 29, 1971: During the previous evening at the National AAU Swimming Championships in Houston, Spitz won a gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle, and set world records in the 100 and 200-meter butterfly.

The Bee, Sept. 5, 1971: In a meet in Leipzig, East Germany during the previous day, Spitz broke a world record in the 200-meter freestyle event.

The meet was also a historical event, as the article notes that the competition “marked the first time an American athletic squad competed inside East Germany.”

The U.S. team dominated the event, winning 24 of 28 events.

Spitz was also part of a world record breaking relay performance on the same day.

Certainly, Spitz and Meyer are best known for their Olympic achievements.

In addition to their Olympic successes and many world and national record breaking performances, Spitz and Meyer also won the prestigious Sullivan Award.

Meyer won the award in 1968 and Spitz achieved the same honor in 1972.

Brett Favero commented about the impression that Arden Hills has had on the lives of Spitz and Meyer, saying, “What the bigger impact is not only what (Spitz and Meyer) did then, which is truly phenomenal, but how a place like this can affect people’s lives ongoing.”

South Land Park magician traveled the world

Brenda Payne was Bob Brown’s longest term magic show assistant. Photo courtesy of Bob Brown

Brenda Payne was Bob Brown’s longest term magic show assistant. Photo courtesy of Bob Brown

Sacramento native Robert Forrester “Bob” Brown, Sr. is well versed in geography, having visited six continents of the world.

But he assures readers of this paper that his regular visits to many countries were not simply for leisure. Instead, Bob, 93, was a traveling, professional magician working in high-class venues in those countries.

In telling the story about how he became a magician, Bob, who resides in the vicinity of South Land Park, said, “My mother (Grace Elizabeth Brown, who was married to James A. Brown) gave me a Gilbert magic set for Christmas when I was 9 years old. I instantly became interested in magic and it sparked an inspiration in me.”

Because his mother recognized Bob’s love for magic, she gave him additional magic sets for the following two Christmases.

After continuing to learn more magic tricks and gaining further confidence, Bob began performing some of those tricks for his neighborhood friends when he was about 15 years old.

“I would have audiences of at least a dozen neighborhood kids,” Bob said. “The shows would be held at my house on 23rd Street.”

Bob’s other activities during his childhood included swimming at the YMCA at 505 J St., watching movies at the Alhambra and Tower theaters and participating in Boy Scout activities with Troop 1. He would eventually earn his Eagle Scout award, as well as one Eagle Palm.

Bob attended Fremont Elementary School, Sutter Junior High School and Sacramento High School. He graduated from the latter school in January 1939.

Although Bob became involved in many activities in life, he never abandoned one of his greatest loves of life – performing magic tricks.

In fact, during much of Bob’s life, he cherished learning new tricks and dedicated himself to perfecting his performances as a magician.

In addition to learning magic tricks on his own, Bob also learned tricks from the notable magicians, Dai Vernon (1894-1992), Channing Pollock (1926-2006) and Dr. Harlan Tarbell (1890-1960).

Bob reminisced about those men, saying, “Vernon was considered probably the greatest trainer in slight of hand. Channing, who was from Sacramento, was famous as a performer. And Tarbell, he wrote a course called the ‘Tarbell Course in Magic.’”

When Bob was about 30 years old, he became a professional magician.

Bob mentioned a few places where he performed locally, including at the aforementioned Alhambra and Tower theaters.

He also performed magic tricks at the Clunie Clubhouse on Aug. 19, 1940 during a celebration of his then-future wife’s 18th birthday.

Bob was married to Norma at the Fremont Presbyterian Church at 3600 J St. on Dec. 13, 1942, and has four sons, Robert, Jr. (“Rob”), Steven, David and Garrett.

Bob said that he was not married long before he joined the U.S. Army Air Forces.

“I went into the military in 1943.” Bob said. “I went back to Florida to basic training, and in about May of 1943, I went to Yale (University) and studied aircraft engineering, repair and so forth. At that point, I was an Air Force cadet. Then I graduated from there as a second lieutenant. I was in (the Army Air Forces) from 1943 to 1946.

“The funny thing was we all graduated in 1943 and I’ll never forget there were about 10 of us standing in line and the guy said, ‘Now, all those that want to go overseas right away, take one step forward.’ Nobody moved. Nobody wanted to be cannon fodder. He said, ‘Well, OK, we’re all going to go over there.’ So, all 10 of us had to go.

In 1946, I went back to work at Mather Field for two or three months and realized afterward that wasn’t what I wanted as a career.”

Bob said that he instead chose a career as an insurance salesman, spending most of his years with the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York, and retiring in about 1985.

During his interview for this article, Bob mainly spoke about his work as a magician outside of his native country.

In recalling his decision to become an international, traveling magician, Bob said, “I wanted to be able to book myself as a magician as part of my lifestyle. I still wanted to be a financial planner, which I was with Mutual of New York.

In addition to being a financial planner, I would like to be able to take time off and travel around the world performing. And with my background training in sales, I was able to do that.”

Bob, whose first magic show outside the U.S. was in Madrid, Spain, later commented, “If you can sell insurance, you can sell anything.”

During his days of performing magic shows in foreign countries, Bob continuously contacted newspapers in each city he traveled to around the world in order to build his portfolio with newspaper clippings. He would then use many of those clippings to better promote himself in attempts to obtain additional shows.

As part of his professional acts, Bob would always have a female assistant.

Bob’s longest term assistant was Brenda Payne, and he was also accompanied at times by Linda Jonason and Kathy Theire.

While traveling with Linda during one trip to Europe, Bob performed a magic show for Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace (Kelly) of Monaco.

Bob said that he continued to travel the world as a magician until 2000, when he performed his last professional show at a Hilton Hotel in Germany.

Bob’s skill and success as a magician inspired his now 68-year-old son, Rob, and his now 38-year-old grandson, Russell, to also spend time performing as magicians.

Like Bob, both Rob and Russell have performed magic shows in and outside of America.

In reminiscing about his years traveling the world as a magician, Bob said, “It was a great time staying in the finest hotels in the world, meeting unusual people, entertaining the public of the world. It was a great experience.”

Post-Japantown business section has long history

Shown here is a tall neon sign, which reads: “Wakano Ura, chop suey, sukiyaki.”  Shown here is a sign for local business, Osaka-Ya, which operates in the location of the old Senator Fish Market at 2215 10th St. / Photos by Monica Stark

Shown here is a tall neon sign, which reads: “Wakano Ura, chop suey, sukiyaki.” Shown here is a sign for local business, Osaka-Ya, which operates in the location of the old Senator Fish Market at 2215 10th St. / Photos by Monica Stark

The city of Sacramento is rich with cultural histories, including the story of Japantown, a community that once thrived in an area bordered by 3rd, 5th, L and O streets.

That community was lost twice in its history, with the first time being to the World War II internment, and the second time to redevelopment.

Although Japantown was eliminated for the final time through the redevelopment project that led to the establishment of Capitol Mall, a new Japanese section was established in the vicinity of 10th Street, between T and W streets.

More than a half-century has passed since that time, and the area has undergone many changes.

Nonetheless, several Japanese-American owned businesses can still be found in that area today.

The history of people and activities of various addresses within this area of 10th Street will be presented in this series. And the initial address summaries are presented, as follows:

2130 10th St.

On June 26, 1959, The Sacramento Bee ran an advertisement, which reads: “We’ve moved! Due to the redevelopment program, we’ve left our 4th and L (streets) addresss (sic). We wish to welcome our friends…both old and new. Complete prescription service, drug supplies, sundries and greeting cards. Always courteous service at Ouye’s Pharmacy. Free Delivery – Free parking. 2130 10th St. (northwest corner of 10th and V streets) HI 4-7370.”

Ouye’s Pharmacy, which was then owned by brothers, Fred M. Ouye (1911-2002) and Harold N. Ouye (1907-1991), opened at its original location at 400 L St. in 1947. Fred’s history as a pharmacist also included operating Nippon Drugs in Lodi in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

Ouye’s Pharmacy remained in business until about 2007.

The old, 10th Street pharmacy building, which was designed by George Muraki and constructed by Bob Guro, has been occupied by Aspire Strength and Wellness, a fitness coaching, workout facility, since 2013.

The address of 2130 10th St. dates back to about 1894, when an earlier built structure became the home of William Balsz, Jr. (about 1853-1936), who was the son of William Blasz, Sr. (1822-1894) and Mary Balsz (1825-1886), a native of Germany.

William Blasz, Jr., who had eight siblings, was then working as a teamster.

The home was the residence of William Lewis Balsz, a laborer at the Southern Pacific rail yard, just north of Japantown, from as early as 1904 until his death at the age of 75 on January 14, 1958.

2215 10th St.

Another business that was established in Sacramento’s Japantown and relocated to 10th Street was the Senator Fish Market.

Originally known as the Senator Bait & Fish Market, the business first operated at 1314 4th St. in 1946 under the proprietorship of Niro Sanada and Harry K. Masaki.

Harry became the sole owner of the business while it was still located in Japantown.

In 1962, Harry purchased a home at 2215 10th St. and had it demolished in June of that year. The home dated back to as early as 1912.

A commercial structure was built in its place, and Harry had his business moved into that structure.

Harry’s son, McClatchy High School and University of California, Berkeley graduate Akito Masaki, then became the store’s owner.

It was also at that time that the business, which specialized in fish and tofu, became known by its aforementioned shortened name of Senator Fish Market.

Among the longtime employees of the store were George Wada and John Enkoji.

Akito continued to operate the business until its closure on Jan. 21, 1995.

The vacancy created by the absence of Senator Fish Market was filled by Osaka-Ya, one of the area’s most popular businesses.

Osaka-Ya, which continues to operate in that location today, will be featured in the next article in this series.

2217 10th St.

One of the more iconic images along 10th Street is a tall neon sign, which reads: “Wakano Ura, chop suey, sukiyaki.”

Wakano Ura restaurant also had a previous existence in Japantown, as it was located at 1224 3rd St. prior to the internment and at 1219 ½ 4th St. following World War II.

Longtime owners of the business were Nobuichi Hanada (1901-1965) and his wife, Mary Hanada (1913-1977).

This eatery, which was the site of many banquets, meetings and wedding receptions, was moved to its final location in about 1959.

According to an article in the Dec. 28, 2005 edition of The Bee, one of the restaurant’s popular entrées was peanut duck – “pressed duck coated and cut into squares, with peanuts and sweet and sour sauce on top.”

Wakano Ura remained in operation until 2008.

As for the earlier history of 2217 10th St., another house dating back to as early as 1912 previously stood at that site. The longest term resident of that house was Edwin S. Trood, who lived in that structure for at least 25 years.

Today, the old Wakano Ura building also includes a sign advertising for that old business’s former menu of Japanese and Chinese food.

Sutter Memorial Hospital to close in May

East Sacramento's Sutter Memorial Hospital will soon no longer be used as a hospital.  /  Photo by Lance Armstrong

East Sacramento's Sutter Memorial Hospital will soon no longer be used as a hospital. / Photo by Lance Armstrong

Editor’s Note: This is the first article in a series pertaining to East Sacramento’s Sutter Memorial Hospital, which is scheduled to close this spring.

A chapter in local history will come to a close this spring when East Sacramento’s 77-year-old Sutter Memorial Hospital ceases operation.

But as is generally the case, as one door closes, another will open.

And that is certainly true in this instance, since the services of Sutter Memorial Hospital at 5151 F St. are set to be transferred to the new Anderson Lucchetti Women’s and Children’s Center at 2825 Capitol Ave., next to earlier built Sutter facilities.

Because it has been known for many years which “door” would open following the closure of Sutter Memorial, Sutter Health had plenty of time to place itself in a much better position for the future.

Its consolidation of its two campuses alone is a major improvement for Sutter Health, as the use of only a single location will increase its efficiency and production.

According to a Sutter Health document, the new, 10-story, 242-bed women’s and children’s center, which had its groundbreaking on Oct. 13, 2008, is an acute-care hospital that will feature “the highest level of neonatal and pediatric intensive care services, pediatric cardiac care, pediatric neurosurgery services, pediatric cancer services, and high-risk and conventional maternity services.”

In an interview with this publication last week, Gary Zavoral, public relations specialist for Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region, spoke about the upcoming relocation of Sutter Memorial.

“Right now they’re talking about the first part of May,” Zavoral said. “It will be all patients (moved in a single day).

“(At that time), we will be able to move from Sutter Memorial to the new campus in midtown, and all pieces will be moved in one day, basically. And at that point, Sutter Memorial will start being, for lack of a better word, decommissioned.”

Zavoral added that in working toward that “decommissioning,” some changes will be made in advance at Sutter Memorial.

“As things get closer, we’ll try to give fewer and fewer elective surgeries – elective C-sections and things like that,” Zavoral said. “Of course, all the emergency type procedures will need to be done. Remember all the cardiac service line is over there at Sutter Memorial. They’ll still be doing all the surgeries at that time for heart emergency situations and elective type things.

“So, we’ll have fewer patients and start (caring for) them over at the new campus. And we will be able to have most of the equipment over at the extended campus at that time on that day, and then there will still be some equipment that will need to be brought over.”

Because of Sutter Memorial Hospital’s reputation for providing a high level of service and care, it was important to Sutter Health to avoid certain unnecessary changes.

In explaining that point, Zavoral said, “A lot of what Sutter Memorial developed is about the wonderful services that the clinicians provide over there, and all that is being moved over there to the Anderson Luchetti Women’s and Children’s Center, as well as into Sutter General Hospital, which is going to house our cardiac services. So, all the great care that people received will continue in the new campus. It’s just it will be a newer hospital with the latest technologies, (and) mostly private rooms, the whole nine yards.

“It’s basically moving all the care team over to the new facility, so it’s not really adding employees. We’ve added a lot of employees, more for the construction phase and in planning and preparation of the move and things like that. But as far as everybody else, it’s really not adding new employees to it. It’s a hospital move.”

A misconception about the new hospital is that it is larger than the present East Sacramento hospital.

But there is actually more square footage at Sutter Memorial than there is at the new facility.

However, the new structure was built more efficiently, as it makes better use of space.

Still the closure of Sutter Memorial will mean a loss of its attractive real estate with trees, grass and flowers.

In discussing that topic, Zavoral said, “The one thing we’ll miss is all the lawn that’s over there at Sutter Memorial. It’s a lot of lawn. (But after moving into the new building), we could go over to (the lawns at) Sutter’s Fort. We (would) have to go across the street for it.”

Because there is much nostalgia associated with Sutter Memorial Hospital, Sutter Health will be inviting people to share their memories and photographs through the website,, Zavoral explained.

“What we’re planning on doing is trying to get the community involved, those who have been born or given birth over there at Sutter Memorial,” Zavoral said. “We’re planning on having a Facebook program. It’s basically to just have people post their baby photos of themselves or their children, that sort of thing.

“You’ve got to remember (certain) people just gave birth and the ones who are on Facebook are lots of the same people. A lot of the young mothers and stuff like that are on Facebook and, of course, that generation, they were born at Sutter Memorial and now they’re children are born at Sutter Memorial. So, it’s a great time to move, but it’s also going to be a little sad to move from a place that’s in the hearts and homes of so many Sacramentans.

“It’s been (Sacramento’s ‘baby hospital’) since 1937. Almost 350,000 people have been born there, so there are a lot of people who have fond memories of Sutter Memorial.

“It’s where the first open heart surgery happened, the first heart transplant, all these great firsts. And the heart service line also.

“Of course, there’s going to be some sadness there when we move out. But we’re moving to a facility that is for the 21st century, built for the 21st century. It’s built to last for the whole, entire 21st century. So, we’re pretty excited about that.”

Arden Hills owner speaks about history, legacy of local wellness resort

Children hunt for Easter eggs on the property, which would later become the site of Sherman Chavoor’s Arden Hills Swimming and Tennis Club. /Photo courtesy of Arden Hills

Children hunt for Easter eggs on the property, which would later become the site of Sherman Chavoor’s Arden Hills Swimming and Tennis Club. /Photo courtesy of Arden Hills

Note: This is the third article in a series about the Arden Hills wellness resort.

Brett Favero, who owns Arden Hills wellness resort with his father, Paul Favero, takes great pride in the longtime operation and philosophy of his family’s business.
During a recent interview with this publication, Brett spoke about that pride and philosophy and also reminisced about the history of Arden Hills, which will soon be celebrating its 60th anniversary.
Although Brett’s family did not acquire ownership of the business until 1985, the Faveros moved into a home just a short distance from Sherman Chavoor’s club in 1962 and became well acquainted with him during that decade.
Brett said that his brothers began swimming at Arden Hills “almost right then (in 1962),” and that he joined them at the club as a swimmer in 1965.
And as swimmers, the Favero brothers had the opportunity to receive training from Sherman, who founded Arden Hills Swimming and Tennis Club, as it was then known. The business dropped the “Swimming and Tennis Club” portion of its name under the Faveros’ ownership.
Sherman would eventually gain international acclaim as a women’s Olympic coach in 1968 and 1972.
Arden Hills also became well known in the 1960s and 1970s as the place where Sherman coached many swimming champions, including Mark Spitz, Debbie Meyer, Mike Burton and Jeff Float.
Altogether, during those decades, Arden Hills swimmers earned 31 Olympic medals – 20 of which were gold – and set about 100 U.S. and world records.
Sherman ended his coaching career in 1990 and died two years later at the age of 73. However, his legacy as a famous swimming coach, mentor and friend lives on.
In speaking about Sherman’s success as a swimming coach, Brett said, “He wasn’t Mr. Social with the kids by any means. He was very much a disciplinarian, very much an individual that commanded respect. And when you swam for him, you never in your mind believed that anything was impossible for you. I mean, you assumed that you could make the Olympics, you assumed you could do the best in the nation or in the world. You just assumed it just being around him, because he was just that kind of person.
“His philosophy was just whatever everybody else is doing, go even harder. So, whatever training someone else is doing, he’d go farther. That worked for a very long time, but eventually, of course, you’re going to reach a point of diminishing returns. And it happened, eventually.
“We hit all the way up to (swimming) 23,000 yards a day, which is about 13 some odd miles a day. That’s when people started breaking down and that was the end of that. But it started back in the 1960s with 4,000 yards a day, then 6,000 yards a day, then 8,000 yards a day. And it just kept going up and he kept staying ahead of everybody else, and it worked.
“(Sherman) obviously affected thousands of children. What was amazing to me about it was that it was mostly local kids, mostly kids from right around here, Carmichael, right in this area around here.
“Eventually, people started coming in from everywhere, because his reputation was so big. But still, you look at that list, the vast majority of those are all local kids. Mark Spitz, being the most famous, was an import from Santa Clara. But Debbie (Meyer) was just local. All of those people were local. Virtually all of them were just kids (from) up the street who eventually became world record holders and gold medalists. It was pretty phenomenal.”
Brett chuckled and then mentioned a trivial aspect about Sherman’s background with swimming.
“Nobody ever saw him swimming,” Brett said. “It was just a fact. I never saw him swimming. No one else that I know of ever saw him swimming.”
In regard to Sherman’s decision to establish Arden Hills near the northwest corner of Fair Oaks Boulevard and Mission Avenue during the 1950s, Brett said that Sherman was a bit of a risk taker considering that the area was so rural at that time.
“(The property) was out in the sticks,” Brett said. “It was good foresight. It really was. If you get a look at those early pictures, there was nothing out there, nothing. So, I mean, very, very sparse. At that time, you could get on your horse and ride your way all the way out to Folsom without ever hitting a fence.”
Brett added that the site was also used an Easter egg hunt location prior to the construction of Arden Hills.
As for the name Arden Hills, Brett explained that Sherman Chavoor’s wife, Joan Chavoor, named her husband’s country club.
“I know that Mrs. Chavoor used to tell me – and she’s long since passed also – that she and Sherman used to sit out under the oak trees (at today’s Arden Oaks) and just plan, try to figure out what they were going to do,” Brett said. “As a matter of fact, she told me that that’s where they came up with the name Arden Hills. She said she was just sitting out there, and Arden Way was already there. And she sat there on the hill and she thought, ‘Well, let’s just call it Arden Hills.’ And that was that.”
In describing the philosophy of Arden Hills, Brett said, “Our philosophy is to make people’s lives better. And that has a million different connotations. And not only to be able to have social interactions, etc., but also to be able to come here and experience. If you come here in the summertime, the beautiful florals, all the gorgeous natural surroundings, etc. (can be seen).
“To be able to get away from day to day (activities), but also when you think about that so-called journey to better, all of these athletes today have expanded from (Sherman). Sherman had some great tennis players in his time actually. The tennis program here is producing incredible athletes that are now beginning to rival what we had in swimming all those years ago. And there are many, many more to come. And so all of that is helping people be better whatever it is that they’re involved with. And from a fitness standpoint, you know, a quality of life, all of these things that help enhance people’s lives, that’s what we’re here for.”
And after being asked how proud his family is to continue the legacy of Arden Hills into its 60th year, Brett said, “It’s a big anniversary. Yeah, it is, but really to me it’s not about our family, it’s about the community and that this has been sustainable and growing and growing for all of those years.
“It’s a huge milestone. And what you have here, the real story is (the members and) their families. You know, there are generations here. So, we have people that are grandparents, their children and their children’s children are here. It’s remarkable, and to see that and to be able to be a part of having that effect on people’s lives is exactly what we came into this for in the beginning. Because we saw what Sherm had done. We didn’t just see it, we experienced it.”


Former Crest Theatre manager recalls previous management’s success, importance during 28-year run

The historic Crest Theatre is presently under new management. Photo courtesy of Matías Bombal

The historic Crest Theatre is presently under new management. Photo courtesy of Matías Bombal

Note: This is the third article in a series about Land Park resident Laura “Sid” Garcia-Heberger.

While sitting inside her Land Park home during a recent interview with this publication, Sid Garcia-Heberger reminisced a bit more about a place that she knows quite well: Sacramento’s historic Crest Theatre.
As previously mentioned in this series, the Crest emerged from a literally and figuratively dark period, which ended in 1986 when the venue was reopened by CSLM, Inc. That corporation ran the Crest for the following 28 years and Sid was a part of the theater’s operation for every one of those years.
Sid, who purchased stock in CSLM in 1988, fondly recalled the effect that the corporation’s dedication had on the theater, its patrons and the community.
“You know, it was a dark theater,” Sid said. “It had metal gates across the entrance. It was in disrepair. It hadn’t been opened in some years and it was in a very challenged part of Sacramento there on the K Street Mall. And I believe our work there at the Crest brought the theater back into the hearts and minds of Sacramentans, and secured its future as a showplace in Sacramento.”
Sid recalled that the Crest, under CSLM’s operation, brought nightlife to an area that had basically become sort of an entertainment ghost town.
“Really, particularly in the evening until the IMAX (at 1211 K St.) opened (on July 8, 1999), the Crest was the only thing open in the evening on K Street for years and years and years,” Sid said. “And it really wasn’t until the (now defunct) Cosmopolitan Cabaret (at 1000 K St. opened in 2008) and the club (Marilyn’s on K, which debuted on the K Street Mall in 1998 and closed late last year) opened that we really started to see some critical mass in the evening down in that area. And that was really only a few years ago, so there were easily 10 years where we were the only thing open on K Street for blocks and blocks and blocks in the evening.”
CSLM’s present absence from the Crest undoubtedly warrants the question, “Why did the longtime management discontinue their operation of the Crest?”
In responding to that question, Sid said, “Well, we just couldn’t come to what we felt was a fair deal for the lease terms and as much as we hated to go, sometimes you have to make decisions from the head and not the heart.”
And as for the future of CSLM, Sid said, “We exist as a corporation now, but the corporation has no plans to do any additional projects. We are in the process of winding that corporation down.”
With a desire to provide readers of this article an understanding of the Crest’s ownership and operation history during the past 28 years, Sid said, “The building was owned by the McClatchy Family Trust, and CSLM, Inc. leased the Crest from the McClatchy family trust from (October) 1986 until (February) 2011, when it was purchased (for about $2.8 million) by Robert Emerick, (a fifth generation Sacramentan). And then we leased the building from (Emerick) until such time when we couldn’t come to an agreement.
“When we exited, Mr. Emerick needed somebody to operate the theater, so his fiancée, Yulya Borrum, took over the operation of the theater. That was Nov. 1. Our company, CSLM, Inc., made its final exit on Oct. 31, 2014.”
Assuredly, the timing of CSLM’s departure from the Crest can be considered poor for that corporation when considering that the upcoming opening of the sports and entertainment arena at the old Downtown Plaza site is expected to infuse additional life into that area.
In commenting about the timing of that departure, Sid said, “Yeah, we’ve always lamented that our timing was off, that we were the early pioneers on K Street. But, you know, we can’t change what happened and we can’t second guess our decision. All we can really do is be proud of the work that we did and be confident that we did some very important work for not only the historic building itself, but for the culture of Sacramento.”
After being asked to give her opinion about the future of the Crest, Sid said, “Oh, I don’t think it’s for me to say.”
As for her own future, Sid said that she is presently seeking new employment.
“Well, I’m looking for something that will use my skills that I’ve honed over the decades at the Crest from venue management to ticketing, those sorts of things,” Sid said. “I don’t have anything on the horizon just yet. I’ve got a few (possibilities) that I’ve pursued, but so far, I’m still looking.”
Certainly, Sid and others who were involved with CSLM have found themselves in a period of their lives that has caused them to reminisce a bit more about their longtime dedication to the Crest.
Although Sid and other CSLM partners are working on moving on to other activities in their lives, Sid said that there is a certain pride that they will always maintain about their time operating the Crest.
“We can take great pride in all that we did at the Crest and for the Crest and for the culture of Sacramento and that doesn’t change even if we’re no longer day to day in the building,” Sid said.