Accomplished artists chose Sacramento as destination place to expand their notoriety

Margo K. Nahas and her husband, Jay Vigon, recently moved to Sacramento to present their artistic talents to a broader audience. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Margo K. Nahas and her husband, Jay Vigon, recently moved to Sacramento to present their artistic talents to a broader audience. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Editor’s note: This is part two of a two-part series about 1967 C.K. McClatchy High School alumna and artist Margo Z. Nahas. This article also includes details about her husband, graphic designer Jay Vigon.

Margo Z. Nahas, the local artist who was recognized in the last edition of this paper for the 30th anniversary of her creation of the cover art for the rock band Van Halen’s famous album, “MCMLXXXIV”, has had a lifelong love of art.

During a recent interview for this article, Margo shared various details about her life history, which included her unusual birth in the capital city.

“I was born en route to Sutter (Maternity Hospital/later known as Sutter Memorial Hospital at 52nd and F streets),” Margo said. “I was born in front of the (Sacramento) County Hospital (at 2315 Stockton Blvd.), but we were on our way to the Sutter (Maternity Hospital).”

Margo grew up with her father, Alfred, her mother, Myrle, and her older sister, Kay Nahas (now Kay Cunningham), who like Margo graduated from C.K. McClatchy High School.

After being asked to cite her first memory of art, Margo said, “Our neighbor, Eva ‘Baba’ Parker, who, interestingly enough, was in the car when I was born and even delivered me, used to take care of us when we were little kids. In order to keep us busy, she used to set us down and have us draw pictures. She put a vase of flowers in the middle of the table and we would have to draw it, my sister and I. And then we got another caregiver, Dorothy ‘Dot’ Parks, another lady who we also adored, and she would draw women’s faces, profiles for us. I became totally obsessed with drawing faces to a point that I couldn’t fully concentrate in school. I eventually became a full-time professional artist.”

In the fall of 1954, Margo began her schooling years at Fruitridge Elementary School at 4625 44th St., and she transferred four years later to Sutterville School at 4967 Monterey Way.

Margo’s next stop in her educational voyage began in 1961 at Joaquin Miller Junior High School at 4701 Joaquin Way.

While attending that school, Margo had an art teacher who she said brought her much inspiration.

“Randy Wilson, my instructor at Joaquin Miller, introduced mediums that were new to me, especially oil paints,” Margo said.

She also recalled that it was during her time at that school that she began taking private art lessons.

Margo added that she was fortunate to have had a mother who supported her artistic aspirations and invested in art supplies from the professional art store, Flax of Sacramento, at 1016 14th St.

During Margo’s years at McClatchy High from 1964 to 1967, her ability as an artist continued to increase.

Margo noted that she was among the school’s top artists and was recognized by her art teacher, Joy Fox, as a very versatile art student.

After high school, Margo attended Stephens College, a liberal arts college in Columbia, Mo.

While in her second year at that college, one of her good friends from high school sent her a very small advertisement about Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles (now located in Pasadena).

Margo, who decided to attend Art College, said that she met her future husband, Jay Vigon, at that institution.

“Lucky for me, Jay turned into one of the more notable, international graphic designers,” Margo said. “I met him in 1972 and we were married in Topanga Canyon on Feb. 14, 1976.”

Margo said that she obtained her first job while she was still attending Art Center.

“In the midst of going to Art Center, I got my first job doing an album cover for (the soft rock duo) Seals and Croft,” Margo said. “It was in 1973 and the album was released the following the year. The album was called, ‘Unborn Child,’ and it was a major introduction into the record business for me.”

Shortly after completing that project, Margo, Jay and Jay’s twin brother, Larry, opened their own design firm, Vigon Nahas Vigon, which was located at 6420 Wilshire Blvd. in a high rise building, right on the cusp of Beverly Hills.

In recalling that business, Margo said, “We became one of the most popular design/illustration studios in L.A. Most of our work came from the myriad of record companies in the area. We did mostly music-related graphics, but we also did complete album covers and worked in advertising and worked for magazines, including Hustler, Oui, Playgirl, Bon Appétit and In Flight. Among the album packages we created at that time were Stevie Wonder’s ‘Journey through the Secret Life of Plants,’ Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Tusk,’ and four albums for J.J. Cale. We also created the ever popular Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers original logo.”

After five years on Wilshire Boulevard, the business moved to 717 N. La Cienega Blvd. in Los Angeles, and soon afterward, Larry left the company.

Shortly thereafter, the partnership dissolved and Margo and Jay began working in their home studio.

Margo then focused primarily on advertising illustrations and some album art, including artwork for albums by Stevie Ray Vaughn, Toto, Autograph, and ultimately Van Halen.

Another one of her notable creations was her artwork for the film, “Fright Night Part II.”

In a brief interview for this article, Jay said that he created one of his most famous designs at his home studio.

“I created the logo for the original working title of (Star Wars) ‘Revenge of the Jedi,’ which I later had to augment to the final title of ‘Return of the Jedi,’” Jay said.

Jay also created the graphics for the Prince and The Revolution film and soundtrack album, “Purple Rain.”

Additionally, Jay said, “I was the first American designer to be invited to create two Swatch watches. One was called ‘Fishbone’ and the other one was called ‘You Don’t Live in a Nine to Five World.’”

In 1984, Jay created the business, Vigon Seireeni, with Warner Bros. art director Rick Seireeni.

And in recalling that time in his career, Jay said, “We kept on doing music (related projects) and also branched out into fashion and advertising, and we began working on international projects.”

Vigon Seireeni remained in business for five years, at which point Jay returned to his home studio, where he pioneered moving graphics over live action for national television commercials.

Jay and Margo opened Made on Earth retail store in Studio City in the early 1990s. The store focused on Jay’s character designs on products such as T-shirts, bowling shirts, watches, custom Zippo lighters and artistic chairs.

In that partnership, Margo designed the products and Jay designed the products’ characters.

Assisting Jay and Margo in the store were their daughters, Morgan and Jordan.

In 2004, after three decades of creating for other companies and individuals, Jay and Margo decided to search for their own acreage and move to the country.

They literally, by chance, found 34 acres, with a quarter mile stretch along the Raccoon River by Adel, Iowa.

There they focused on their personal artistic interests, with Jay doing fine art work, along with his graphic design, and Margo completely devoting herself to jewelry design.

Margo said that after 10 years in Iowa, she decided to move with Jay back to her hometown of Sacramento for both business reasons and to spend time with other members of her family.

And in commenting about the business portion of that decision to head west, Margo said, “After a winter of minus 36 degree wind chill, we decided to pull up stakes and move to sunny California. We essentially said, ‘Nobody sees are art here.’ We really need to reintroduce ourselves and our talents to a broader audience.”

lance@valcomnews.com

Sacramento’s first commercial radio station established in 1922

Editor’s Note: This is the first article in a series about the history of broadcasting in the Sacramento area. This series was inspired by readers’ positive responses to previous articles about local television history in this publication and several requests to feature histories of local radio stations.

KVQ, Sacramento’s first commercial radio station, made its debut in this building at 711-715 7th St. in 1922. Photo courtesy of the Lance Armstrong Collection

KVQ, Sacramento’s first commercial radio station, made its debut in this building at 711-715 7th St. in 1922. Photo courtesy of the Lance Armstrong Collection

For many years prior to the widespread introduction of television, Sacramentans were very much in the practice of utilizing their own blank canvases to paint mental pictures through the sound of radio.

Although there are still many locals who love listening to the radio today, pre-television days in the capital city were obviously much different times when it comes to the topic of broadcasting.

An early reference to radio appeared in the Jan. 27, 1922 edition of The Sacramento Bee.

In that report, it was mentioned that the Sacramento Valley Radio Club would be presenting a free “wireless concert” that evening at the YMCA building at 5th and J streets.

The club, which then consisted of more than 600 amateur wireless operators from Sacramento and its vicinity, designed the event “for the benefit of all interested in the study of wireless and those wishing to join the club.”

On Feb. 2, 1922 – just 15 months after the Westinghouse Electric Co. became recognized as opening the world’s first permanent radio station, KDKA, of East Pittsburgh, Pa. – Sacramento’s first commercial radio station, KVQ 833 AM, with a power of only five watts, went on the air.

The station was originally co-owned by The Bee, making it the state’s first newspaper-owned radio station.

As the story goes, Carlos McClatchy (1891-1933) had been introduced to radio during the previous year through a friend on the East Coast and Carlos’ enthusiasm led him to convince his father, Bee editor Charles Kenny “C.K.” McClatchy, to contribute toward the establishment of KVQ.

Also co-owning KVQ was the local, German-born electrician Joseph Charles Hobrecht (1876-1953), who along with his brother, Philip J. Hobrecht, then-owned the lighting fixture business, J.C. Hobrecht Co., at 1014 6th St.

According to the 1913 book, “History of Sacramento County, California,” the Hobrecht brothers first opened their business at 1012 10th St. on Sept. 20, 1909. They relocated their establishment to its 6th Street location about four years later.

The book also notes that Joseph previously worked in Montana as an electrician, then came to California in 1900. He continued to work in the same profession and eventually spent at least four years employed with the Electrical Supply Co. at 815 J St.

Joseph’s interest in co-founding a commercial radio station in Sacramento was influenced by the fact that J.C. Hobrecht Co. had already gained experience as a radio parts dealer in the capital city.

The inaugural day’s program for KVQ included news and weather reports and music performed by eight Victor recording artists in an office on the second floor of The Bee building at 911-15 7th St.

In its following day report regarding KVQ’s debut, The Bee noted that the station’s inaugural concert was presented from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The station officially began when the following words were spoken into a microphone: “KVQ, KVQ, KVQ, Sacramento Bee calling. Hello, hello.”

It was also noted in The Bee’s Feb. 3, 1922 report that the aforementioned eight recording artists had their part in the concert shortened by 30 minutes due to the late arrival of their train from San Francisco.

The Victor singers who performed for KVQ’s first concert were Frank Banta, Henry Burr, Albert Campbell, Frank Croxton, Fred Van Eps, John Meyer, Billy Murray and Monroe Silver.

These artists, who were referred to in the article as the “Victor eight,” performed five numbers.

The program began with a piano piece by Banta, who was well-known for his abilities as a skillful jazz pianist.

The next number featured Billy Murray, who sang, “Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes.”

One of the more lively numbers was a banjo solo by Van Eps.

In a special Bee report from Roseville, it was noted: “All of the Victor artists could be heard plainly (in Roseville) and the banjo solo by Fred Van Eps was interesting, because every stroke that Van Eps used on his banjo could be heard and every trill and run of his masterful touch could be heard as if he were playing in the next room.”

Another one of the pieces of the evening highlighted the vocal talents of Burr, a tenor, who was accompanied by Banta at the piano.

In addition to KVQ’s inaugural radio performances, a concert featuring the same artists was held later that evening at the Clunie Theatre at 809 K St.

An advertisement in the aforementioned edition of The Bee noted that phonograph records featuring recordings of those artists could then be purchased at the John Breuner Co., the well-known general home furnishings business at 600-608 K St.

The initial venture of KVQ was considered a success, as The Bee estimated that about 1,000 wireless set operators in Central and Superior California tuned into that evening’s broadcast, and among the listeners of that program were hundreds of amateur wireless receiving set operators in Sacramento.

Furthermore, in taking into account that many neighbors and friends of those particular operators joined them in listening to that now-historic program, The Bee noted that “thousands of Bee readers” heard that first broadcast.

Following the station’s first day of operation, it continued with a program schedule of 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. each day, except for Sundays, and Wednesday and Saturday nights, when the station broadcast from 8 to 9 p.m.

Those programs included daily local and Superior California news, market exchanges, weather reports, music from phonograph records and occasional live music performances.

In order to attract additional listeners to its radio station, The Bee, in its Feb. 4, 1922 edition, ran an article and diagram directing its readers how to make a wireless receiving set.

It was mentioned in that edition that with such a set, KVQ’s broadcasts could be heard by those living in the city and residents of places within an eight to 12-mile radius of Sacramento.

The popularity of KVQ and radio, in general, continued to increase, as The Bee received hundreds of letters praising its decision to enter the radio broadcasting world.

It was also learned through those letters that thousands of receiving sets had been constructed in Sacramento since KVQ had gone on the air.

As radio was becoming one of the nation’s largest industries, KVQ made advancements of its own.

Its improvements included expanding to 50 watts in August 1922 and constructing a soundproof studio in The Bee building. And as a result of its wattage increase, the station could be heard as far away as Canada, Alaska, Pennsylvania and New York.

Despite its many successes, KVQ was discontinued following its evening program of Dec. 20, 1922 due to most local listeners’ preference to tune into stations from other areas.

The Bee, in its Dec. 20, 1922, edition noted that radio fans found “more pleasure and greater opportunity for development in increasing the efficiency of (their sets) to include the detection of waves from stations hundreds or thousands of miles away.”

Unfortunately for wireless operators who were continuously seeking a greater variety of listening options, during KVQ’s broadcast hours, the station drowned out the reception of all of the otherwise obtainable radio stations.

After explaining its desire to “enable those interested in radio to get the most out of their sets,” The Bee concluded its aforementioned Dec. 20, 1922 article with the following send off: “Hello, Hello! KVQ calling. The Sacramento Bee. Adieu, radio fans; KVQ gives way to your interests and a greater radio.”

lance@valcomnews.com

Retirement celebration held for the Rev. Dan Madigan

The Rev. Dan Madigan spent the last 25 years of his 50 years as a priest with the St. Joseph Parish of Clarksburg. Photo by Lance Armstrong

The Rev. Dan Madigan spent the last 25 years of his 50 years as a priest with the St. Joseph Parish of Clarksburg. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Editor’s Note: This is part one of a two-part series about the Rev. Dan Madigan.

In celebration of the Rev. Dan Madigan, who is retiring after dedicating nearly a half-century of his life to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, a special event was recently held in the Sacramento Delta town of Clarksburg at St. Joseph Church – a place of worship both historically and presently connected with the Pocket area.
The gathering, which included a hosted buffet, some words by Madigan and the singing of various songs, including “Danny Boy,” was held on Sunday, June 29, following the day’s Mass.
In addition to speaking to attendees of the event, Madigan dedicated time to being interviewed for this article.
And in presenting a summary of his life, Madigan began by saying that he was born near the village of Shanagolden in Limerick County, Ireland on March 9, 1938.
Madigan added that he grew up in a family, which included his father, Patrick, his mother, Eileen, and his siblings, Bridie, Kathleen, John, Maurice, Michael, Patrick and Mai.
Madigan also had a sister named Eileen, who died of meningitis shortly before her fifth birthday.
In regard to his upbringing, Madigan noted that he enjoyed his childhood.
“My childhood was great,” Madigan said. “It was in a rural area, a farm, a little village. Everybody was happy. We didn’t have an awful lot. Neither had anybody else, but we didn’t feel we were poor in any way. We grew our own little crops and raised our own meat and so forth. We lived a happy life.”
Among Madigan’s fondest memories of his youth was rabbit hunting with his black Labrador, Brutus. Madigan has also enjoyed hunting during his adult life with Monsignor Jim Church and his father, who was also named Jim Church.
And when it came to the topic of religion during his youth, Madigan noted that about 95 percent of the people in Ireland at that time were Catholic and nearly everyone in his hometown attended Mass.
The pastor in Shanagolden during that era was the Rev. James O’Byrne.
As part of the Madigan family’s dedication to their faith, they got on their knees each night to pray the rosary.
While growing up in a Catholic environment, Madigan decided at a very young age that he wanted to become a Catholic priest.
Madigan spoke about his early desire to take on such a religious role, saying, “It was there from grade school on, I’d say. I didn’t hear any voices calling or anything like that, but I always felt it was the right thing to do. It would be an opportunity to help people and I thought that would be a great vocation in life.”
And Madigan added that he also felt a desire to assist others as a priest in America.
“I was very, very clear that I wanted to come to the United States, because I always had tremendous respect for the United States,” Madigan said. “When we were little children, the United States was always presented to us very, very well. We studied that in school – the United States. We certainly knew all about Lady Liberty and we knew what was written on the statue.”

The Rev. Dan Madigan is pictured at center with his mother, father and siblings on the day of his ordination on June 7, 1964. Photo courtesy of the Rev. Dan Madigan

The Rev. Dan Madigan is pictured at center with his mother, father and siblings on the day of his ordination on June 7, 1964. Photo courtesy of the Rev. Dan Madigan

In 1952, Madigan began studying at St. Munchin’s College in Corbally, Limerick County. And he began his studies in the seminary at St. Kieran’s College in the Irish city of Kilkenny four years later.
On June 7, 1964, Madigan was ordained a priest at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Kilkenny.
After serving as a priest in Limerick County, Madigan fulfilled his dream of coming to the United States.
Having made arrangements to serve the Diocese of Sacramento, Madigan arrived in Sacramento in March 1966 and became the assistant pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish.
In speaking about his six years with that parish, Madigan said, “Our Lady of Lourdes in Del Paso Heights, we covered Rio Linda and Del Paso Heights. I felt quite challenged there, because people were in need and they were coming to the church a lot.”
Madigan said that while he was serving people in the Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, he had an experience that amazed him regarding a particular Sacramento area parish.
“I was at that point (of being) strung out, because I had used all of my volunteers,” Madigan recalled. “I said, ‘Where would I get more volunteers?’ Somebody said, ‘Well, go over to St. Ignatius on Arden Way.’ And I said, ‘Like heck the people of St. Ignatius are going to come down into Del Paso Heights and start feeding people.’ I had big reservations about going over there, (but) I went over there and made an appeal. And (God) opened my eyes. I saw something. There were people coming into Del Paso Heights, driving up in BMWs, Mercedes and so forth, getting out of there, coming in and washing old, dirty pots and everything. And you know what? Everyone was taking care of their own home. But it just showed the inner goodness of people and it was something very nice to see.”

Lance@valcomnews.com

Tuesday Club’s first clubhouse opened in 1912

The original clubhouse of the Tuesday Club of Sacramento opened at 2724 L St. in 1912. Photo courtesy of the Lance Armstrong Collection

The original clubhouse of the Tuesday Club of Sacramento opened at 2724 L St. in 1912. Photo courtesy of the Lance Armstrong Collection

Editor’s note: This is the third article in a series about the Tuesday Club of Sacramento.

The Tuesday Club of Sacramento, which operated in the capital city for more than a century, has a very rich history, which began in 1896.
In an official move to plan for and own a clubhouse for the housing of the Tuesday Club in the city of Sacramento, as well as for handling the club’s business affairs, a stock corporation known as the Tuesday Club House Association was established on April 7, 1903. The association evolved from a club committee that had been organized in 1900.
The original directors of the association were Sacramento residents and Tuesday Club members, Mrs. W.P. Coleman, Mrs. E.E. Earle, Mrs. F.A. Edinger, Mrs. L.C. Farrar, Mrs. Annie M. Gerber, W.H. Govan, Mrs. C.H. Pomeroy, Mrs. S.B. Slight and Mrs. G.A. Stoddard.
To aid in the financial endeavors of the association, 25,000 shares were made available at $1 each.
Among the association’s early subscribers and their number of shares purchased were: Mrs. W.P. Coleman, 200; Miss Jennie McConnell, 100; Mrs. F.A. Edinger, 50; Miss Annie M. Gerber, 25; Mrs. A.A. Goddard, 25; Mrs. C.H. Pomeroy, 25; Mrs. G.A. Stoddard, 50; Mrs. A.J. Johnston, 25; Mrs. S.B. Slight, 25; Mrs. H. Weinstock, 25; Mrs. E.E. Earle, 20; Miss Lillian Ebert, 20; Mrs. G. Gattman, 10; Mrs. W.H. Govan, 10; Mrs. C. Kaufman, 10; Mrs. C.J. Noack, 10; Mrs. S.E. Clayton, 5; Mrs. L.C. Ferrar, 5; Mrs. J.O. Hand, 5; Mrs. Julia Holl, 5; Mrs. C.F. Prentiss, 5; Mrs. J.C. Carly, 1; Mrs. G.C. Cotton, 1; Mrs. E.G. Hayford, 1; Mrs. T.W. Madeley, 1; J. Henry Miller, 1; and Mrs. J.G. Storch, 1.
An April 1904 financial report for the association showed that $2,150 had been raised by the organization.
It was also in 1904 that various Tuesday Club members assisted in the founding of the non-Tuesday Club affiliated Sacramento Women’s Council. That organization had the objective of becoming involved in civic affairs of the city and county.
With the inclusion of cookbook sales, the building fund was increased to $3,165.43 during the following year.
By May 1905, several lots for a future clubhouse had been offered to the Tuesday Club in the range of $3,100 to $8,000.
And of those lots, the association selected a 60-foot by 160-foot lot on J Street, between 15th and 16th streets. The lot had a sale price of $5,500.
With the assistance of a $1,500 loan from the People’s Bank, the association completed its purchase of that lot in August 1905, and fundraising continued for the construction of a clubhouse.
Among those fundraising efforts was a chrysanthemum and doll show at the Governor’s Mansion during the fall of 1906. The event netted the association $534.35.
A change in plans for the future clubhouse site occurred when the association accepted an $11,000 offer for their J Street property from the real estate firm, The Carmichael Co.
During the following month, the association made arrangements to purchase an 80-foot by 160-foot lot on the south side of L Street, between 27th and 28th streets, for $4,500.
In celebration of the completed purchase of the L Street lot, a jollification meeting was held at the lot and Lily Louise Beard, the club’s then-newly elected president, accepted the deed for the property.
In 1908, a resolution was adopted by the club in favor of an ordinance that had been submitted to local voters for the abolishment of saloons in residential districts of Sacramento.
A treasurer’s report from that same year showed that $9,000 had been raised toward the construction of a clubhouse.
In the fall of 1910, changes to the association’s constitution and by-laws were made in order to allow non-Tuesday Club members to own stock in the association.
However, a regulation of the association guaranteed that the majority of the stock would be held by Tuesday Club members.
In 1911, a contract for the construction of a clubhouse was signed following the acceptance of the Matthews Construction Co.’s low bid of $29,725.
The building of the clubhouse was a timely affair and by as early as February 1912, arrangements were being made to furnish the structure upon its completion.
Additionally, rental rates for the clubhouse were decided upon around that time.
The association’s board of directors first met in the clubhouse on March 29, 1912, and a formal opening for club members was held on April 30, 1912.

Lance@valcomnews.com

Riverview II social club established in Carmichael more than 60 years ago

Jackie (Leam) LaCornu holds a copy of the newly published book, “The History of Riverview: 1926 to 2014, and Counting.” Photo by Lance Armstrong

Jackie (Leam) LaCornu holds a copy of the newly published book, “The History of Riverview: 1926 to 2014, and Counting.” Photo by Lance Armstrong

Editor’s Note: This is the second of two articles about the Riverview and Riverview II social clubs.

Riverview II, a local, primarily social club that first met in the Riverview clubhouse along the American River in Carmichael, was established in 1953.
The group was founded as a result of the original Riverview organization’s desire to continue its history through the formation of a secondary club with younger members.
The senior club, which was officially founded as Riverview Lodge in May 1926, was recognized in its constitution and by-laws as a club that was organized “for social and benevolent purposes, and to encourage social activities among its members and their families.”
Original Riverview members Jack and Helen Conger wrote a creative, poetic story about that first Riverview club.
The beginning portion of that story reads:
“It happened like this, so the historians tell,
Many decades ago a bunch of – well,
Mighty nice people got itchy feet
And decided to depart from the street.
They thought if they could find a cozy nook
With trees and vines and a babbling brook,
They might get together every now and then
And enjoy themselves – both women and men.”
Twenty-seven years after the original club found that “cozy nook,” the Junior Riverview club – renamed Riverview II in 1985 – was established.
And since the one-time Junior Riverviewers have grown to become seniors themselves, Riverview II members decided to create a book to preserve memories of their cherished club. That 70-page, spiral-bound book, which also includes a brief history of Riverview Lodge, was published on March 1, 2014.
The book is divided into various sections, including a section entitled “Governance.”
In that section, it was noted that Riverview II’s constitution was written in 1954, and dealt mostly with the topics of club officers, elections, duties and membership.
Originally, membership in the club was limited to couples, and only men could serve as officers.
The book recognizes Jack Kemmler as acting chairman of Riverview II in 1953. That position was basically comparable to the position of president.
Virgil “Virg” LaCornu began serving as the club’s first president a year later.
It was not until 2009 that the club elected a female president – Bobby Kramer.
In a recent interview with this publication, Jackie (Leam) LaCornu, whose parents, Jack and Mildred Leam, were among the founding members of the first group, said that she played a large role in the creation of the new Riverview club’s history book.
The book’s committee met at least once a month for one year at Jackie’s house, and according to the book, the committee was fueled by plenty of coffee, tea, water and cookies.
It should come as no surprise that Jackie was able to provide much assistance with the book project, since she was a founding member of Riverview II, which emphasizes a “fun first” approach, which has included many parties and other social activities.
Jackie spoke with much enthusiasm about both Riverview Lodge and Riverview II.
And as she recalled both of those organization’s old clubhouse on the river, Jackie related information about that building’s absence, practically as if she was speaking about the death of a member of her family.
The old clubhouse was undoubtedly Riverview II’s most memorable meeting place.
In explaining why Riverview II lost its old clubhouse, Jackie said, “(In 1980), the senior Deterdings had passed, and the younger Deterdings – Russell Deterding and his wife – owned it. And they had decided to go ahead and turn (the property) over to the county. The county said that the (clubhouse) had to be up to code. It would have had to be completely rebuilt from the ground up, and even then we wouldn’t have owned the land. (The county) would have ended up taking whatever we built.
“The county tore it down, even though we thought it would be perfect for scouts and different county activities.”
The aforementioned Riverview book included the following words: “Riverview II has utilized a number of locations during their existence. However, none are more memorable than the original lodge by the river.
“We sadly said goodbye to the lodge on the river, but felt confident we would have wonderful times together no matter where we gathered.”
Following Riverview II’s departure from its lodge on the river, its members began meeting at the Sacramento Horsemen’s Association’s lodge at 3200 Longview Drive. The group continued meeting at that site until 2001.
Later meeting places of the club have included: the Ryde Hotel in Walnut Grove, the Arden Manor clubhouse, the Campus Commons clubhouse, Aviators Restaurant at the Sacramento Executive Airport, the Buggy Whip restaurant at 2737 Fulton Ave., Jackson Catering at 1120 Fulton Ave., a home for seniors and residences of members of the group.

Members of Riverview II are pictured at one of their gatherings at Aviators Restaurant at the Sacramento Executive Airport. Photo courtesy of Riverview II

Members of Riverview II are pictured at one of their gatherings at Aviators Restaurant at the Sacramento Executive Airport. Photo courtesy of Riverview II

One of the things that Jackie and other members of the club speak about the most is the many fun times they enjoyed as a group.
The largest section in the book is dedicated to fond club memories of Riverview II members.
A few of those memories are presented, as follows:
Milt Faig
“Those were the days, my friend. We thought they’d never end. We’d sing and dance forever and a day. We’d live the life we choose (sic). We’d fight and never loose (sic), for we were young and sure to have our way.”
Ora Wichmann
“(Ora’s husband) Don loved to make decorations for our parties. He made the room and table decorations for many parties: Hawaiian, beach, Italian, Mexican, cowboy-western, Chinese and Christmas. One year for Christmas, he made a 5-foot-long red Santa sleigh and a 6-foot-tall snowman with top hat and scarf (made from chicken wire and cotton balls).”
LeRoy “Pete” Peters
“(Pete’s wife) Arlene and I moved to Sacramento in 1964 and were very shortly thereafter, in 1964 or 1965, sponsored for membership into Junior Riverview, as it was then called, by Fred and Barbara Taylor. Fred and I were both working for the same consulting engineering firm.”
Dick Ryder
“Our relatively recent (five years) becoming part of Riverview II for (his wife) Irene and I has been a meaningful renewing (of friendships) with a number of people we’ve been associated with over the course of our lifetime, including connections from grade school, high school, college, scouting, work, skiing, fraternity and business. Riverview (II) is truly entwined with our background and with Sacramento history.”
Mary Lydon
“The Horseman’s (sic) hall was decorated (for a party) as though it was underwater. Walls were lined with plastic. There was (sic) a treasure chest and a mermaid, I believe. It was a very elaborate setting for the party.”
Other parties of the club included the Playboy club party in the 1950s and the Orient Express party in the 1960s.
The old Junior Riverview club even made the news on occasions.
For instance, The Sacramento Bee once published a photograph of the group, with a caption, which partially reads: “Songfest – Members of the Junior Riverview Lodge had an old-fashioned pajama party and campfire session Saturday evening at the clubhouse on the American River. The members slept in sleeping bags on the clubhouse lawn and were served breakfast (the next) morning in the lodge by the committee.”
Shown gathered around a bonfire in the photograph were Don and Ora Wichmann, Martin “Marty” and Myrna Luther, Charles “Chuck” and Barbara Wilke, Chalmers and Colleen West, Bob and Barbara Chadwick, Virg and Jackie LaCornu and William and Bobby Kramer.
Although the present day, remaining members of the club are not as active as they once were and have refrained from producing their once often elaborate decorations, they plan to continue to meet for as many more years as they will find possible.
Although it was once a movement of Riverview II to establish an active Riverview III club, that action proved to be a failed endeavor.
And since Riverview II consists of a group of senior members, the club’s existence, Jackie explained, will likely not continue with younger members in the future.
“I don’t think we (will continue with younger members),” Jackie said. “I think (the club) will just have to die like (Riverview Lodge) did. And it wouldn’t be the same (in the future), so I think I’m okay with it. It’s just going to have to die. That’s really why we wanted to do the book, because we were aware of the fact that we’re just getting to the point where we’re fading away.”
But in the meantime, Jackie said that Riverview II members are dedicated to meeting and enjoying each others’ company on a regular basis.

Sacramento Musical Dinner Theatre to make debut July 11-12

Steve Masone’s dream of once again establishing a musical dinner theater in Sacramento will become a reality with the July 11-12 opening of “Starry Evening” at the Red Lion Hotel. / Photo by Lance Armstrong

Steve Masone’s dream of once again establishing a musical dinner theater in Sacramento will become a reality with the July 11-12 opening of “Starry Evening” at the Red Lion Hotel. / Photo by Lance Armstrong

Note: This is part three of a three part series about 1970 John F. Kennedy High School graduate Steve Masone and his involvement with theatrical productions.

This month marks a very special time for Steve Masone, the 1970 John F. Kennedy High School graduate who was featured in the last two editions of this publication.

His dream of once again establishing a musical dinner theater in the capital city is about to become a reality.

For Masone, who was involved in opening a now defunct musical dinner theater at the old Sheraton Inn at 2600 Auburn Blvd. in the 1970s, he will experience a touch of déjà vu on July 11-12, when the Sacramento Musical Dinner Theatre opens in the grand ballroom of the Red Lion Inn at 500 Leisure Lane with a production of “Starry Evening.”

In speaking about the establishment of his new company, Masone said, “I just formed the Sacramento Musical Dinner Theatre, producing the Phoinix Players from Eugene, Ore., who are working with me right now. I am bringing them down. They are going to become Sacramento’s newest (theatrical attraction). This is another first. I remember a lot of theater companies leaving Sacramento, but I don’t remember any coming here. They’re known as a very talented (troupe). They’re internationally acclaimed. Last year, they went to the Czech Republic and Ireland and London. They’ve been together for many years, of course with players in and out.”

Masone fondly recalled his discovery of the Phoinix Players, and his involvement in arranging for this musical theater group to perform in Sacramento.

“I discovered (the Phoinix Players) only about a year ago,” Masone said. “I found them already doing The Red Cane Theatre (in Eugene), but they weren’t really doing the dinner part of the theater like they would like to do and that’s where we are going to merge and bring them down here. They would have to bring (the dinners) in (at The Red Cane Theatre). They didn’t have their own restaurant. They didn’t serve drinks or anything like that.

“I started talking with them and working with them. Now they’re contracted with me to come down here (to Sacramento), and start the business with me down here, and (to go on) tour down here and (have) their director – who is very talented and gifted, because she writes her own dialogues and her own shows and musicals – down here, and get them to help me audition and start another dinner theater down here. When I brought them down here, it turns out they feel they’ve ceilinged out in Eugene and they want to get to the next level and so they’re quitting their jobs and they’re coming down here to try to be a new resident company.”

Masone, who was also involved in the operation of a dinner theater in Santa Barbara, has certainly been very active in his work to establish a new musical dinner theater for Sacramento, and he describes his new company as launching something very special to fill a theatrical void in the capital city.

“It’s amazing,” Masone said. “There are 30 (musical) dinner theaters in the L.A. area. There are none in Sacramento and there are none in the Bay Area that are year-round musical dinner theaters. Now, when I say musical dinner theaters, what I mean (is) doing Broadway shows and doing musicals with dance and dialogue and an actual musical play. There are people claiming that they’re dinner theaters, because they’re doing the murder mystery, but that’s a murder mystery show. That’s not really dinner theater, if we’re going to go by definition.”

After being asked to share more details regarding the upcoming show and future shows of his company, Masone said, “The first production is called ‘Starry Evening,’ and it’s classic of Hollywood floor show song, romance and comedy. It’s all about Hollywood actors and actresses doing the shows and everything. It’s just a great musical. I can’t tell you any of the names right now of the songs we’re going to do, because we’re still getting the rights to them. You can’t advertise until you (acquire) the rights.
“We were going to do ‘Grease,’ but ‘Grease’ was too expensive. So, we’re not going to do ‘Grease’ yet. We may do ‘Grease’ (later). We’re going to do all the big ones. We’re thinking we’re going to probably be looking at a lot of the Broadway shows. But those are expensive to do. Some shows are like $7,000 they want upfront for royalties and everything. But once we build the audience and we know we’re going to be able to pencil it all out, those are the kind of shows we’ll do.”

In further praising the Phoinix Players, who he described as a “triple threat” due to their ability to sing, dance and act, Masone added, “This will be the only company in Sacramento – dinner theater or normal theater – that’s going to be able to mount seven or eight musicals a season. It’s really hard, but these guys can do musicals back to back. They’ll be juggling three shows at a time, and that’s just what they do. They do this full time. They’re not part time. They don’t go to their eight-hour a day (non-theatrical jobs). These kids do this full time and that’s what I fell in love with when I saw how dedicated they are to musical theater. It’s a lost art. I’m not talking about (all) Broadway shows’ musical theater. Some can be a musical and be on Broadway, but it doesn’t really represent musical theater. Musical theater would be the type of shows like ‘Kiss Me, Kate’ (and) ‘Damn Yankees.’ Some of the newer ones still fit the bill. And of course, I’d love to do ‘Fiddler on the Roof.’”

Masone emphasized the fact that all of his company’s musicals are family-friendly productions that are appropriate for any age.

“All of our shows that Sacramento Musical Dinner Theatre is doing are all G rated,” Masone said. “There are some shows that we just won’t do, because there is no need to do them. We’re doing the classics. We’re doing true musical theater. And there are young people in the troupe who are just great at it.”

Although the grand ballroom of the Red Lion Hotel is not a permanent location for Sacramento Musical Dinner Theatre productions, Masone does not count out that possibility.

“We’re barnstorming for the summer,” said Masone, whose artistic goals also include becoming involved in choreography and reestablishing his former blues band. “We’re going to be playing the Red Lion here July 11 and 12 for our opening nights here. That’s a Friday and Saturday night. We’ll add a Saturday matinee and a Sunday matinee, if the demand is there. And then the following (weekend), the 18th and 19th (of July), we’re going to go over to an outside amphitheater (at the Red Lion Hotel) through August (2). I’ve been negotiating an Old Sacramento location (The Coconut Grove at 106 J St.) of which we’re going to be doing Wednesday nights, and every Saturday and Sunday down there for the rest of the summer. And then I’m still looking for other venues right now to keep up barnstorming and working until we find a permanent (location). It might be here (at the Red Lion Hotel). The Red Lion has expressed interest, if we come to terms and everything. This would be my (preferred location), because of the grand ballroom. It’s got a beautiful stage. It’s a great room, and that’s been my dream is to come back and do it in that room.”

For additional information about the upcoming production of “Starry Evening” at the Red Lion Hotel, call (209) 418-7853 or (541) 287-1497, or write to stevemasone@gmail.com.

Lance@valcomnews.com

Tuesday Club of Sacramento: 1896-2014

McKinley Park’s water features are shown in this 1920s artist enhanced image. The Tuesday Club was involved in a project to have the site purchased and enhanced for the benefit of the community. / Photo courtesy of the Lance Armstrong Collection

McKinley Park’s water features are shown in this 1920s artist enhanced image. The Tuesday Club was involved in a project to have the site purchased and enhanced for the benefit of the community. / Photo courtesy of the Lance Armstrong Collection

Editor’s note: This is the second article in a series about the Tuesday Club of Sacramento.

With the news presented in the last edition of this publication that the Tuesday Club of Sacramento had disbanded after a 117-year run, it is timely to present a history of this historic women’s organization.

The club, which was originally known as the Tuesday Literary Club, was founded by Mrs. Findley R. Dray, the wife of a surveyor for Sacramento Bank at 431 J St., on Dec. 1, 1896.

Dray’s efforts to establish such an organization was an unusual endeavor at that time, as women’s clubs were then quite rare and only two states had extended the right for women to vote, California excluded.

According to an article in the Dec. 19, 1897 edition of The Sacramento Union, the club, which originally met on Tuesday afternoons, had a modest beginning.

Included in the article were the following words: “It was at first intended to be merely a gathering of a few students at the homes of one another, but so strong an interest was manifested, so much enthusiasm aroused, that it outgrew its original plan, and from that nucleus of a small beginning, it has evolved into its present scope of usefulness. Under the leadership of Mrs. E.B. Purnell, the first year’s life of the young club was devoted to the study of history, commencing with the period of Greek civilization, ranging through topics of Roman, English and American history up to and including the Civil War.”

Although Purnell did not serve as the club’s president in its first year, she did present lectures for the club during that time.

In addition to Dray, who was married at 16 years old and had eight children, and Purnell, a former second assistant (vice principal) of Sacramento High School, the charter members of the organization were Mrs. William Beckman, Mrs. J. Frank Clark, Mrs. Ben F. Crocker, Mrs. Mary Cushman, Mrs. E.I. Galvin, Mrs. A.A. Goddard, Mrs. Helen Hopkins, Mrs. Cy H. Hubbard, Mrs. Hugh M. LaRue, Mrs. Preston L. Lykins, Mrs. Samuel Pope, Mrs. T.A. Snider, Mrs. L. Tozer, Mrs. Albert C. Tufts and Mrs. Edward Twitchell.

Beckman, who was a writer and a painter, served as the club’s first president and Lykins was its first secretary.

The first mention of the club in The Union appeared in that publication’s Dec. 20, 1896 edition, and includes the following names of several other early members of the organization, who gathered together for a meeting at the Twitchell residence at 1414 H St. on Dec. 15, 1896.

Those additional members were Mrs. Fred Birdsall, Mrs. James Budd, Mrs. McMorry, Mrs. Charles A. Neale, Mrs. L.A. Terry, Mrs. Jessie Titus and Mrs. Orlando P. Willis.

On Feb. 9, 1897, the club met at new quarters in the state Exposition Building at the northwest corner of 15th and N streets.

The lecture topic for that evening was the political, religious and intellectual development of England from 1661 to 1714.

By the following month, the club had a new meeting place in the Foresters’ Building on I Street, between 7th and 8th streets.

In one of the club’s early meetings held at that location on March 23, 1897, a lecture was given on the topic of old colonial times, and the club’s vice president read a paper that she had written about witchcraft.

A week later, in another meeting of the club, Eliza Tupper Wilkes gave a lecture that was entitled, “Club Life and How It May Help Women.”

The popularity of the club was apparent during its first year by the number of its members alone.

After having officially met for the first time with 17 members in the parlors of the Beckman home on Dec. 1, 1896, the club, during its inaugural year, had expanded to include 53 members.

In celebration of the club’s first year in operation, and in recognition of Dray for founding the organization, a special reception was held on May 27, 1897.

The event included a review of the club’s inaugural year by Mrs. Galvin, and musical performances, among which were a piano, violin and cello trio presentation with pianist Laura (Dray) Perry, and a flute solo by Charles A. Neale.

Although the organization spent its first three years operating as the Tuesday Literary Club, it was noted in the May 23, 1897 edition of The Union that the club was already seeking to adopt a “more suitable name.” It was not until March 27, 1900 that the name was changed to the Tuesday Club of Sacramento.

A report on the club in the Nov. 21, 1897 edition of The Union noted that 22 additional women had then-recently joined the organization and that the membership included “some of our most prominent society leaders.”

Nine days following that report, the club moved into new quarters at 610 ½ J St.

After maintaining that meeting place until the following spring, the club returned to hold their meetings in the Foresters’ Building.

The club continued its progression as its first by-laws were presented to its members on Dec. 28, 1897.

In an article about the club’s first meeting of the 1898-99 season, The Union noted that the “aim of the Tuesday Club is to instruct and develop rather than to entertain and amuse.”

The club, which would reach a total of 129 members during its first two years, was more than an organization that limited its activities to simply conducting its own meetings.

Instead, it underwent philanthropic work, including the first of such work to provide equipment and maintenance for a free, cooking school for young girls.

The club’s first monetary donation was presented in May 1898, when the club made a $20 contribution to the Sanitary and Red Cross Society of Sacramento.

Undeniably, one of the greatest activities in the club’s history was its involvement in the negotiations of the property known today as McKinley Park.

Working with the land’s owner, Albert Gallatin, and the city government, the club persuaded Gallatin to sell the then-poorly maintained and swamp-filled property to the city for $12,500.

As previously mentioned, the club became known as the Tuesday Club of Sacramento in 1900, since the organization was no longer solely a literary club.

Under that new name, the club established its mission to “form a recognized center for social and mental culture; to further the education of women for the responsibilities of life; to encourage all movements for the betterment of society; and to foster a generous public spirit in the community.”

Lance@valcomnews.com

Riverview II social club has rich history in Carmichael

The old Riverview clubhouse is shown in the background of this early Riverview club photograph. Photo courtesy of Riverview II

The old Riverview clubhouse is shown in the background of this early Riverview club photograph. Photo courtesy of Riverview II

Editor’s Note: This is the first article in a series about the Riverview and Riverview II social clubs.

Riverview II, a social club, which has always maintained its main objective of having fun among friends, was founded in Carmichael in 1953.
Its roots, however, date back to the 1920s, with the establishment of the original Riverview social club.
In memoirs written in 1959 by Glenn W. Bowen, one of the earlier groups founding members, Bowen explained how the original Riverview club was organized.
Bowen, a real estate man who resided at 1032 37th St., recalled a time, in 1925, when he and another real estate man named Carl Klein were asked to sell a house at 1716 7th Street, near the old Sacramento Bee building.
“George (Hammond) said, ‘If you boys (Bowen and Klein) sell this house, I’ll give you a cash bonus and the best dinner in Sacramento,’” Bowen wrote. “I sold the house. We never got the dinner, but I kept reminding George of the same.
“One day, he came to the office and invited us to a 6:00 o’clock dinner at the yacht club – just a boat house (sic) on the Sacramento River. We didn’t know any of the members and they couldn’t see us – after the first half hour. We didn’t swim – had a good liquid dinner and steak, I think, at least so they told us.
“Carl and I went home early, when the card game began. On the way home, we decided the evening was wasted, except that we did get an idea. Why not find a place on the river and form a family club for ourselves and friends.”
After discussing their idea to form such a club, Bowen and Klein, who was a resident of North Sacramento, called a few of their friends to invite them to join them in that endeavor.
With a few of their recruits, Bowen and Klein began meeting to discuss their intentions of forming a club.
During one of those meetings, a suggestion was made that Bowen and a new group member, Byrl Babock, who lived at 1235 ½ V St., begin searching for a club site along the American River.
Bowen recalled that venture in his aforementioned memoirs, as follows:
“We spent several days walking the river bank between Fair Oaks and Sacramento. Late one evening, tired and discouraged, we climbed the hill at the end of Stanley Avenue and came to a bluff on the American River. Below us was a natural park. Beautiful oaks, green grass and the river, with a beach. All this and a view, too. Best of all, we met Mary Deterding, the (property’s) owner, and one of the best known and most respected women in Sacramento County.
“Byrl painted a picture of our group of outstanding young couples, most of who (sic) didn’t even have a yard nor a dollar, but with big ideas and the best intentions. Mrs. Deterding liked the idea – mostly she liked Byrl – and finally agreed to consider our proposition.”
The group’s next move was to visit the site, and after arriving to the area with their children and dogs, they left with a grand vision of establishing club grounds complete with a hotel, golf links, boating and swimming.
But the group soon realized they needed to downsize their plans due to financial reasons.
Although the group, which then consisted of 10 men and 10 women, would face various challenges in establishing their club grounds, they would not be discouraged.
It was quickly understood by the group that they would need to create a road on the hill and steps down to the site.
Additionally, Deterding told the group that they had selected a location that was situated in a flood zone.
Nonetheless, the group made an arrangement with Deterding to lease the site for five years at a cost of $10 per year.
The lease, which was drawn by Deterding’s attorney Evan Hughes, included the stipulation that the group was not to possess or serve liquor on the premises.

Riverview club members gather together along the American River. Photo courtesy of Riverview II

Riverview club members gather together along the American River. Photo courtesy of Riverview II

In May 1926, the group was officially established and named Riverview, due to the selection of its meeting place along the river.
Klein was named as the club’s first president, and many other men followed him in that role.
Other original officers included Babcock, vice president; Arthur S. Hackett, treasurer; Gordon Lilly, secretary; and directors, Bowen, Jack H. Leam, John H. McMahon and Emil N. Ott.
Although the club did not allow women to serve as presidents, women could hold the position of social chairman. Mildred Leam was the first person to hold that position in the club.
The club established its own constitution and by-laws.
An excerpt from the club’s original by-laws describes the organization’s purpose, as follows: “To encourage and cement friendship to the mutual benefit of all its members, to the end that each member and his family shall have a place to meet his friends, rest and enjoy himself and the outdoors at its best.”
With the founding of Riverview, work began on the construction of the group’s clubhouse.
The clubhouse was certainly completed in a short time, considering that Bowen’s memoirs included the following words:
“Next came the flood of 1926-27. Most everything along the river ended up in the ocean. Two noble oaks saved our beautiful clubhouse from floating away. Of course, we did not know this was the first of many floods to come. This was not serious. We worked out a system – 1) Levee an assessment; 2) Spend all spare time working on club; 3) Get new members with money and strong backs.”
Bowen also commented that following every flood, the clubhouse and its furnishings would be improved.
He also noted that the Depression nearly caused the club’s existence to come to an end.
According to Riverview’s records, at one point during that period of misfortune, 21 of the club’s 32 members had failed to pay their dues.
As for Riverview’s membership, the club was solely opened to married couples.
Efforts to increase Riverview’s membership total was a three-fold project, which featured random calls using numbers from a telephone book, door-to-door inquiries and on-street contacts.
Eventual improvements to the club’s grounds included a kitchen and croquet court.
In 1953, with their desire to have Riverview activities continue for many more years, senior members of the club met with some of the members’ children. That meeting led to the establishment of the “Junior Riverview” club, which is known today as Riverview II.

Lance@valcomnews.com

Prospecting through The Prospector: A look into early pages of McClatchy High’s student newspaper

C.K. McClatchy High School’s student-run newspaper, The Prospector, has been published since 1937. Photo by Lance Armstrong

C.K. McClatchy High School’s student-run newspaper, The Prospector, has been published since 1937. Photo by Lance Armstrong

The Prospector, C.K. McClatchy High School’s 76-year-old student-run newspaper, is as old as the school itself. And with a prospecting approach, this article delves into some of that paper’s early editions to pluck out a few of its nuggets – pun intended.

The Nugget

For those in the community who would have trouble figuring out that pun, it is best to review a bit about the school’s yearbook, The Nugget, which was first published in 1938.

The Dec. 15, 1937 edition of The Prospector includes a front page article about the school’s annual.
It was announced in that article that low senior student Spencer Burroughs was selected to serve as the first editor of The Nugget. High senior Katherine Hubbard was named as his assistant.

Another article about the annual appeared in The Prospector’s Jan. 14, 1938 edition, and notes that the book would be distributed on June 1, 1938. The annual was sold for $1.25 per copy.

The Jan. 26, 1938 edition of the paper includes a report about a Jan. 20 pep rally, which was held at the school to garner interest in the yearbook, and to inform students about a payment plan of 25 cents per week.

The making of a school

In continuing this prospecting within The Prospector’s pages, the earliest of the paper’s pages reveal many details regarding the then-developing school.

In the publication’s first edition, which is dated Oct. 8, 1937, it was noted that Bob Schwing, the school’s student body president, and June Lewis, vice president of the school’s student body, had announced the formation of naming, rally, finance and yell committees.

In the same edition, an article announced: “A tractor and water wagon have marked the first steps in the development of the new athletic field.”

It was stated in the article that once the work was finished on the athletic field, which would include a football field, two baseball diamonds, a track, a hockey field and tennis courts, the field would “become one of the most complete high school athletic grounds in the state.”

In the paper’s second edition, dated Oct. 22, 1937, it was mentioned that the first noon dance would be held later that day in the gymnasium, and four extracurricular clubs had been organized. Those clubs were chapters of the California Scholarship Federation and the national Hi-Y club, the Girls’ Riding Club and the Stamp Club.

The Nov. 5, 1937 edition of the paper refers to the naming of a constitution committee, the first senior play, “Rose of the Rancho,” and the school’s first variety show.

A tradition begins

The locally famous football match-up between the McClatchy High Lions and the Dragons of Sacramento High made its debut on Saturday, Nov. 13, 1937. Six days later, the school’s newspaper reported that the Lions had lost the game, 19-0.

Gold Dust

During the search for nuggets in the early pages of The Prospector, Gold Dust was often found. This cleverly named column presented collections of campus observations.

In one such column, the question was posed: “Why can’t Kenneth Hendren be as big hearted in the Lion’s Den as he was when paying (sic) the part of Padre Antonio in “Rose of the Rancho?”

A portion of a later published column reads: “Although Elwood ‘Daniel Boone’ Kattenhorn is quite a trapper, he’d better look to his laurels around here. The only game he’ll find is lions.”

War era headlines

With a review of the paper’s headlines of 1942, it is obvious that there was no hiding of the fact that the United States had become involved in World War II.

Among the headlines that year were: “Sophs enter as M’Clatchy war babies,” “Fifth company added by ROTC as war result,” “McClatchy gets cup for work in scrap drive” and “Shop doors open to all McClatchy girls who want to replace men in trades.”

Popular tunes of the day

It was also during 1942 that a music column, called “Jam Session,” regularly appeared in The Prospector.
The column presented information about “some of the latest solid disc hits.”

Among the songs mentioned in the column were “Juke Box Saturday Night” by Glenn Miller, “There Are Such Things” by Tommy Dorsey, The Humming-Bird” by The Andrew Sisters, and “After It’s Over” by Vaughn Monroe.

A perfect season

The June 2, 1943 edition of The Prospector includes an article dedicated to coach Jack Mauger’s 1942 Lions track team, which won the first varsity championship in the school’s history.

In accomplishing that milestone, the team went undefeated in its nine meets.
Committee heads for 1944-45

An early custom at McClatchy High was for the student body president to select new committee heads.
The Prospector reported on Oct. 4, 1944 that President Robert Johnson had appointed the following high seniors as committee leaders: Ellen Moll, general activities committee; Bill Ogden, rally committee; and Richard Alves, election committee.

Johnson also appointed Ruth Rippon, advertising manager, and Florence Pressey, historian.

Commencement at the Memorial

As it had many times before, the Memorial Auditorium served as the site of McClatchy’s graduation ceremonies in 1946.

The Prospector, in its Jan. 31, 1946 edition, announced that the 17th semiannual commencement would be held at the Memorial Auditorium on Feb. 7, 1946 at 8 p.m.

In representing the February class of 1946, Lorraine Masters gave a speech, entitled “Go North, Young Man,” and Loren Hov spoke on the topic of “Science, Our Endless Frontier.”

The evening also included the escort of colors by the ROTC color guard, band music under the direction of Leland Long, the singing of the school hymn and the presentation of the class by Principal Sam Pepper to Dr. John E. Kennedy, the Board of Education president, who awarded the diplomas.

Lions maul Dragons in ‘46

To the delight of the McClatchy Lions gridiron faithful, the McClatchy varsity squad romped over the rival Sacramento High Dragons football team, 33-0, in the annual Turkey Day match-up in 1946.
Stars of the game for McClatchy included quarterback Jack Higdon, fullback Dave Stone, left half Louis Pisani and left end Bob Hill.

McClatchy’s running game surpassed its passing game, and leading all Lions rushers on that day was Johnny “Jar” Pappa with 134 yards on eight carries.

Chuck “Horn” Marino, who was selected as the school’s athlete of the week following the game, rushed for 60 yards on nine carries.

The team was coached by George Bican, who had the tradition of wearing an old, brown hat.
Bican, who was known to compete against his own Lions’ players in the team’s practices, was formerly a standout tackle for the Sacramento High squad from 1926 through 1928. He was later a member of the undefeated Sacramento Junior College (today’s Sacramento City College) football team of 1930, and a top player on the Washington State College (now Washington State University) gridiron team from 1931 through 1933.

Going steady

Pairings between boys and girls of McClatchy High were occasional mentioned in issues of The Prospector.
In the April 18, 1947 edition of the paper, several students were mentioned as “going steady.” Among the couples referred to in the write-up were Dolores DeMassey and Bob Hardesty, and former Dragon Norman Santos and Kathleen Anderson.

More to come

While taking this ride down memory lane in search for golden kernels from times gone by, it became apparent that presenting selections of McClatchy High memories from the earlier years of The Prospect is a worthwhile endeavor that need not end with one article.

And with this understanding, readers of this publication should be on the lookout for similar articles in this paper in the future.

lance@valcomnews.com

Tony and Anne Muljat celebrate 65 years of marriage

Tony and Anne Muljat sit in the back of a Buick convertible following their wedding at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. Photo courtesy of Tony and Anne Muljat

Tony and Anne Muljat sit in the back of a Buick convertible following their wedding at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. Photo courtesy of Tony and Anne Muljat

Today is a very special day for one of the most notable Sacramento Elks Lodge No. 6 members, Anthony M. “Tony” Muljat, and his wife, Anne (Buljan) Muljat. The couple is celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary.
During an interview at the lodge’s building in the Pocket last week, the couple shared details about their lives and their wedding day of June 19, 1949.
The story about Tony and Anne is undoubtedly a very local story, as they were both born in Sacramento.
Tony grew up at 1314 Q St. with his parents, Croatian immigrants Richard “Dick” and Cora (Perich) Muljat, and his sister, Henrietta.
Dick, Tony noted, was a railroad worker in the Southern Pacific yard, north of I Street, for a while before becoming a commercial fisherman.
“When he first started the fishing, he worked on the Sacramento River,” Tony said. “They threw lines across with hooks during the salmon season.”
In about 1951, Dick joined his brother, Nick M. Muljat, in the proprietorship of the Lafayette Grill at 322 K St.
And in remembering his mother, Tony said that she worked at the California Packing Corp. Plant No. 12 at 1600 2nd St.
“She was a floor lady,” Tony said. “It was kind of a bossy job a little bit.”
Like many young Sacramento boys in his generation, Tony enjoyed playing baseball. He recalled playing in league games at William Land Park on Sunday mornings.
But his involvement in organized ball was short lived, as he began working part-time jobs while he was going to school. At separate times, he was employed at the old ballpark at Riverside Boulevard and Broadway, August Affleck’s pharmacy at 1008 10th St. and Julius Style Shop at 1023 K St.
Tony attended William Land Elementary School at 1116 U St., Holy Angels parochial school at 730 S St. and Christian Brothers High School, when it was located at the southeast corner of 21st Street and Broadway.
After graduating from Christian Brothers in 1942, Tony began studying commercial courses such as typing and bookkeeping at Sacramento Junior College (today’s Sacramento City College).
However, those studies were cut short when he was drafted to serve in the U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II.
During his 33 months of service, Tony was stationed in Sacramento, Monterey, Idaho, England, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Japan.
In speaking about that time in his life, Tony said, “I ended up as a senior clerk. I worked in the classified with secret documents. I was a staff officer in the Army (Air Forces). We were sailing from France and we were three days from Panama when the war was over in Japan. I was a clerk and I was doing reports on the ship, going to Japan, and then we got sidetracked into some place in Virginia and then rode the train back to California. I got a 30-day leave and then they sent me a 15-day extension and I went back to Camp Beale (later Beale Air Force Base) at that time and got discharged (then returned to college).”
Tony eventually worked in the Southern Pacific yard for 35 years.
After being asked to describe his employment for the Southern Pacific, Tony said, “I did a variety of things. We rebuilt boxcars and then we built new boxcars.”
Later in his life, Tony worked as a caterer, and he still enjoys preparing food for various gatherings.
In telling her own story, Anne said that she was one of the two children of Croatian immigrants Nick and Lucy (de Polo) Buljan, who were married in 1923.
Nick was working in Sacramento as a barber as early as 1919, when he was co-owner of a shop at 1018 ½ 4th St. He later operated a shop at 411 ½ K St.
Anne said that like Tony, she also attended William Land Elementary School.
She was later a student at California Junior High School (now California Middle School) at Land Park Drive and Vallejo Way, and C.K. McClatchy High School, where she graduated in 1943.
Although she explained that she remembers seeing Tony at William Land Elementary in the 1930s, Anne chuckled before sharing an even earlier story related to herself and Tony.
“My mother knew his mother,” said Anne, who grew up at 1911 18th St. “They came from the old country. She was pregnant with Tony, so she went to see him. She (later) said, ‘Little did I realize, I was seeing my (future) son-in-law for the first time.’ I wasn’t even thought of (at that time).”
Anne recalled that while she was growing up, she was not yet attracted to Tony, but did think of him as a “nice guy.”
She would see Tony at early 1940s gatherings at the Dante Club, which was then located at 1511 P St.
In recalling those times, Anne said, “The families, all the Croatian people, they would go to the Dante Club. They would have a program. My sister (Lucille, who graduated from McClatchy High in 1941) would play the piano and I would sing, ‘God Bless America,’ in Croatian. And everybody would start dancing, and all the parents were sitting around. The kids would go into one corner – the boys and the girls – and (Tony) would ask me to dance. We were just close that way, this whole group.”
While Tony was in the service, he sent Anne several letters, as well as a package.
Anne recalled a humorous story about that package.
“(Tony) sent me a lovely gift, and I was so excited,” Anne said. “I opened it up and it was a bottle of Chanel No. 5 from France. It was all wrapped with toilet paper, and (the bottle) was empty. (Its contents) evaporated. The funny part of it is our friend, Jean Grassi, he wrote to her also, and she said, ‘Tony sent me the most gorgeous gift. It was all wrapped in toilet paper and when I opened it, it was empty. Chanel No. 5. I laughed so hard.”
During the early post war years, young people would also congregate in the basement of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament for dances of the John Carroll Guild social club.
The dance’s attendees, including Tony and Anne, would often end their evenings at Hart’s restaurant at 919 K St.
Tony and Anne Muljat give a toast to their 65 years of marriage. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Tony and Anne Muljat give a toast to their 65 years of marriage. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Tony eventually began courting Anne and together they went on dates to several places, including dinner at a nice Italian restaurant in San Francisco.
On March 29, 1948, Tony and Anne attended the Easter Monday Ball, which was presented by the Young Men’s Institute at the Memorial Auditorium. That was also the night that they announced their engagement.
Like many young couples, Tony and Anne agreed to be married in the month of June, and they selected the aforementioned date of June 19, 1949.
On that day, Tony and Anne were married at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. The wedding was attended by about 1,000 people, including Frank M. Jordan, secretary of state, and Charles J. Hagerty, deputy secretary of state.
Following the ceremony, Tony and Anne were driven up and down K Street in a Buick convertible.
Anne said that when she arrived with Tony at their reception at the Sacramento Turn Verein building at 3349 J St., the Buster Peart Orchestra was playing the song, “I Must See Annie Tonight.”
Soon after the reception, which included sliced rump roast and a cake that was made by Channel Bakery at 3110 O St., the newlyweds spent their honeymoon in Los Angeles visiting with family and friends and spending time on Catalina Island.
An oddity of sort occurred while Tony and Anne were visiting a Catalina Island cocktail lounge. On that night, the venue featured music by a trio, which Tony and Anne had then-recently seen play at the Clayton Club at 1126 7th St.
Tony and Anne eventually raised five children – Pamela Anne, Michael Anthony, Nicholas Richard, Daniel Vincent and Jeffrey Mark – in their Tallac Village neighborhood home, where they continue to reside today.
As previously mentioned, Tony is one of the more notable members of Elks Lodge No. 6.
During his interview with this publication, Tony briefly explained his longevity with that organization.
“When I joined (the Elks lodge), it was 1942,” said Tony, who is also a longtime member of the Southside Improvement Club. “I became an active member and became an officer. I liked everybody and everybody liked me. I was an officer probably more than anybody else. I became (the exalted ruler) in 1983. I retired on my birthday in 1984 and I’ve been a continued officer for many, many years. I’m the longest (term) member of the lodge and I’m still the lodge treasurer, which I have a very good bookkeeper that does a lot of work for me. And here we are today after 71 years as a member. My sponsor was a local mortician (Nick Culjis) and we were neighbors at one time and I just continued on and became very active.”
Five years ago, Tony and Anne, who attend Sacred Heart Church in East Sacramento, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with about 200 friends at the local Elks lodge.
But after Tony was asked how he and his wife planned on celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary, he responded, “Very quietly.”
Tony and Anne remain active in a variety of local activities, as they continue to enjoy their lives together.
Toward the conclusion of Tony and Anne’s meeting with this publication, Anne demonstrated her good-natured sense of humor.
After being asked to summarize her 65-year marriage to Tony, Anne, who belongs to various organizations, including the Croatian Fraternal Union, referred to Tony as a “good man and a good father.” And then, in referring to their decision to be married, she paused and added, “He thought I could cook and I thought he had money, and we both got fooled.”

Lance@valcomnews.com