Pocket barber donates haircuts each Wednesday to the homeless, listens to their stories

Pocket barber Brian Wong donates free haircuts to the homeless every Wednesday at Union Gospel Church. Here, he is shown with client Danny Regalado who is on the path to recovery from a life of drug and alcohol addiction. Photo by Monica Stark

Pocket barber Brian Wong donates free haircuts to the homeless every Wednesday at Union Gospel Church. Here, he is shown with client Danny Regalado who is on the path to recovery from a life of drug and alcohol addiction. Photo by Monica Stark

Every Wednesday afternoon for the past two years, Pocket barber Brian Wong of Passion Hair salon in the Promenade Shopping Center takes his combs and clippers out to Union Gospel Mission, a homeless shelter in the Richards Boulevard area, which features a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program.
As Michael Jackson’s “Killer” booms from Brian’s iPhone, conversations aren’t of the typical small-talk, barber salon variety. Instead, Brian’s clients speak freely to him about their storied past lives and how the drug and alcohol rehabilitation program is writing a new chapter for them.
While styling one client named Danny Regalado, Brian spoke to the Pocket News about why he cuts hair at Union Gospel Mission and how he got started volunteering there. “I like just cutting hair for everybody. I just come here sometimes, just try to give back when I can. When I first came here, I had not cut hair before. I just got out of barber college. I stayed here, practiced, got better. I tell a lot of people, ‘Thanks, I wouldn’t be where I’m at if it wasn’t for you guys.’ Right now, I am just thankful. You never know what people have been through in their lives, and a haircut can change a person’s image, and I like making people look good, and they’re all cool people in here. We got cool people like Danny telling me stories,” Brian says on the afternoon of Wednesday, Dec. 3, as he continued on his client’s new hairdo.
In and out of prison for the most of his adult life with the longest stint being nine years for various convictions, including: robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, possession of weapons and narcotics, all of Danny’s crimes, he said, involved drugs somehow. “The longest sentence I ever had was nine years. I went to prison for a two-year bid and I did seven years for the homeless – for the cause –- you know, gang banging in prison. I joined the prison gang. I started stabbing guys, throwing bombs at people, (getting into) gang fights.”
If it wasn’t for his wife Anna Regalado’s insistence he check into rehab, Danny said he might still be on that path of crime. Anna was on the verge of leaving him and him attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings wasn’t going to satisfy her. “She wanted me to do a residential program and I feel like if I want to submit to me, I have to submit to her, too. So, I came and I asked the pastor to let me into the program and give it a try and I really like it here. I’m growing spiritually. I don’t know how to control my urges, so I am here to learn that.”
A structured rehab program, he said the members stick to a schedule and everybody has a job to do and they have to attend Bible classes twice a day. “With the way I am, that’s what I need. I need the structure.”
Growing up in “the projects” on Fifth Street and Broadway, Danny thought the “way out of the ghetto” was by learning how to box. He tells of a time when his childhood consisted of hanging out at Luigi’s Pizza Parlor on Stockton Boulevard, playing pinball and hanging out with friends nearby. Behind the restaurant, he picked up boxing first at the former Capitol Boxing Gym, getting his first taste in the sport at age 10.
“I used to go over there and watch the guys fight and the owner over there, Ernie Guevara, he asked me if I wanted a job. And I said, ‘what do you want me to do?’ He said, ‘I want you to sweep the rings, sweep the floors, take the towels home and let your mom wash them and then bring them back. And in return, I’ll teach you how to box.’ That’s how I learned. That’s how I started. I was the King of the Hill when I was boxing and I was pretty good. I still miss it. I had my own boxing gear. ”
An amateur boxer for four years, Danny said he boxed in every gym in Sacramento, depending on where he was living at the time. A member of the National Junior Golden Gloves at age 13, Danny dreamed of boxing one day at Madison Square Garden. He used to watch the old boxing matches on television, hoping to make it big one day. But, at age 14, he said he got shot in the leg by a drive-by shooter, which stopped his lateral movements in the ring. “I could still box, but I couldn’t do it competitively,” he recalls. Dependent on prescription drugs after his injury, Danny said that dependency was a gateway to the addiction of illicit drugs.
Speaking about the life changing event, he said: “I got hooked on the pain medication. I started hanging around these guys in my neighborhood. (One of them) was a heroin dealer. He had nine sons. I used to hang around his sons. They were selling dope for their dad and I got hooked on heroin. And I struggled with that from the age of 14 until I was 35. When I was 35, I decided I didn’t want that anymore. I tried to quit, but I kept relapsing and going back to it.”
Danny’s hopeful the drug and alcohol program will be his saving grace. The nine-month program is quite strict with general conduct requirements, mandatory attendance, assigned job duties, rules on when guests are welcome and more.
According to Union Gospel Mission’s website, as funding permits, the church tries to send graduates of their drug and alcohol program to receive vocational training at one of several centers around town. “Giving these men a valuable skill set that will help them set off on their new life as productive members of society is what this program is all about. Once one of our men graduate from the program, we do not push them out into the world as some sort of test of their hard-won sobriety. Typically they move out to the Eagle’s Nest Ranch where they learn additional skills that help them re-acclimate to a normal life or to Grace Haven Annex when they get a job or enrolled in school.”
Barber Brian Wong’s dedication of serving the homeless community is just one example of many that can help people like Danny get through the rehab program. Additionally, the church, according to its website, supplies food baskets to families that may be working, but still come up short at the end of the month. They have a women’s clothes closet that supplies the needs of homeless women and working poor. To give to the mission is to have the opportunity to be a part of the rehabilitation we provide to all men wanting to escape the endless cycle of drugs and alcohol. Monetary donations can be made at  www.ugmsac.com/#!ways-to-give/cacg. Also, the shelter is taking winter gear, jeans, pants, shirts, underwear, bras, sweatshirts, sweaters, gloves, hygiene items, towels, blankets, tarps, sleeping bags, purses, backpacks, duffel bags, shoes, socks, accessories, jewelry, and umbrellas. To fill Christmas food baskets, ham, canned vegetables and canned fruit are needed by Monday, Dec. 22. For more information on donations, call 447-3268.
Brian’s salon is located inside the Promenade Shopping Center at 7465 Rush River Dr. Ste. 810. To make an appointment with Brian, call 832-9949 or schedule it online at www.passionhairstyles.com/
Business hours are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (except closed on Wednesdays);
Saturdays are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (appointments only) and Sundays, noon to 4 p.m. The salon will be closed on Christmas, Dec. 26 and on Jan. 1-2.


East Sac resident turns 99 years young

East Sacramento resident Mary C. Caplis celebrated her 99th birthday this week. Photo by Lance Armstrong

East Sacramento resident Mary C. Caplis celebrated her 99th birthday this week. Photo by Lance Armstrong

East Sacramento resident Mary C. Caplis celebrated her 99th birthday this week. And although many people could test their luck at guessing her age, most of them would guess wrong.
Certainly, Mary has the appearance of a much younger woman, and just about anyone who has attempted to keep pace with her during one of her brisk walks knows that when it comes to moving her feet, she has not slowed with age.
Last week, while taking one of her speedy walks, Mary came to a halt for a couple of hours to share a few details about her long and eventful life.
Mary, who was born in Missoula, Mont. on Dec. 15, 1915, was one of the five children of John James and Marie (Hoffman) Caplis. Her father was of Irish descent and her mother emigrated from Germany when she was about 16 years old.
After being asked to describe her father, Mary said, “He was a typical Irish (person), easy going. He was on the lazy side. I don’t think my father ever picked up a shovel. I don’t think he ever did anything around the house. He was very intelligent. In fact, he read through ‘History of the World’ by (John Clark) Ridpath by the time he was 12. He was always considered as a graduate from Stanford (University) or something, but he finished two years of high school, if he did that. He was an extemporaneous speaker, and spoke for a lot of the politics.”
In discussing her father’s political side, Mary said, “He served two terms in the legislature in Montana. He was really for Democratic. I’m Republican. My father was head of the home loans in Los Angeles under (President Franklin D.) Roosevelt, and he was kind of buddy, buddy with Senator (William Gibb) McAdoo.”
Mary also spoke about her mother, saying, “My mother was a businesswoman. She came over and worked as a domestic until she learned the language. And then she moved to Montana and worked in a rooming house, and then she sold the rooming house and bought the hotel in Missoula. That’s where she met my father.
“My mother was all business. She was very strict, typically German, very family oriented. We were always taught that it was a hell of a cruel, cold world out there and that we all better stick together. And right or wrong, whatever it (was) a person did, you (would) back them. It’s your family and your kids and your brothers and sisters. So, we were all very loyal to one another. It was a different kind of era.”
Mary said that she was 6 years old when she moved from Montana to Los Angeles with her mother and her siblings.
“My mother didn’t like the climate in Montana,” Mary said. “She just couldn’t stand it, and she didn’t like the politics. She said, ‘In California, you can pick the oranges off the trees and it’s gorgeous country.’ She just took (her children to California). My father had to finish his (legislative) term, so he didn’t get to California for another year, or maybe six months. See, my mother was a businesswoman that was going to go where she wanted to go.”
Mary’s mother died at the age of 73 on March 29, 1950, and by 1953, Mary, her father and her sister, Anna May, were living together in a house they had purchased at 1414 40th St. in East Sacramento.
In recalling her discovery of that East Sacramento home, Mary said, ‘I spotted a house. I went down to see (an East Sacramento resident, who was related to her San Francisco friends, Milton and Frances Mecchi) and she said that the woman’s husband died and she’s anxious to move East and she’s ready and real hot to go. And I (told Anna May), ‘I think she’ll negotiate a deal and it’s three bedrooms in the right part of town.’ And I (added), ‘I don’t know about father.’ She said she would phone him and he would phone me, if he was interested. So he called me and I told him all about it and that I thought it was a good deal real estate-wise, and we could handle it (financially). So, we agreed (to live together). I moved in, two months later my sister makes it and six months later my father makes it.”
John James died at the age of 69 on Sept. 21, 1957 and Mary and Anna May continued to reside in their East Sacramento home until about 1964.
During the previous year, Mary and Ann May had a two-story, seven-unit apartment building constructed at 2517 U St. at a cost of $48,200. They resided in Apartment #1 and managed the apartments until 1970.
Mary said that she then moved with her sister to 1395 Los Padres Way, because they had grown “tired of people losing their keys and knocking on our door at 2 o’clock in the morning.”
Anna May, who continued to reside with her sister for the remainder of her life, died at the age of 100 on May 12, 2013, and Mary returned to live in East Sacramento on Nov. 13, 2013.
In continuing to discuss details about her life, Mary said that her employment years in Sacramento included working for about two weeks at the Joseph Magnin Co. women’s clothing store at 931 K St. and for 30 years at Setzer Forest Products at 2570 3rd St.
Mary recalled acquiring her job with Setzer through the unemployment agency.
“I went down to the unemployment (agency) and they went on and said (the Setzer job) wasn’t this and that, but if I didn’t mind (working) out in kind of the tules, there’s a lumber company and they want a person and they don’t care whether it’s a man or a woman. It sounded like kind a rough situation, because I think there’s a sawmill there. It’s a box factory down at 5th (Street) and (just south) of Broadway. So, I thought, ‘Well, maybe lumber might be a good thing, outdoors and everything. So, I just went out there and interviewed. Well, they wanted an invoice clerk. So, I talked with this man (at Setzer named Frederick M. Olmsted) and he was kind of enthusiastic.”
Mary was offered the job and she was allowed to take a week to decide whether she would accept the offer.
Left to right, Mary C. Caplis, Nancy Jo Plescia, Helen Smernes and Theresa Just participated as a team in a golf tournament at Rancho Murieta in 1985. Caplis enjoyed golfing with friends from the early 1960s until 2000. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Left to right, Mary C. Caplis, Nancy Jo Plescia, Helen Smernes and Theresa Just participated as a team in a golf tournament at Rancho Murieta in 1985. Caplis enjoyed golfing with friends from the early 1960s until 2000. Photo by Lance Armstrong

And in recalling her acceptance of that position, Mary said, “There were a lot of things about (the job) that suited me, so I called (Olmsted) and I went back (to Setzer). So, he said, ‘Can you start tomorrow?’ and I said, ‘A little soon. You’ve got to give me a few days. I’ve got to get organized.’ So, I rented a room in a house somewhere on V Street (and would later reside at 2330 Capitol Ave.). Anyhow, I (soon) went to work (for Setzer). I started as the invoice clerk and worked quite a few years under different sales managers.”
Mary said that she was eventually called into the Setzer office and presented with the opportunity to become the company’s first female sales manager.
“(During that meeting, Setzer Forest Products owners), Cal and Hardie Setzer said, ‘The Proud-foot company (which had then-recently evaluated Setzer) has chosen you as the sales manager (for Setzer).’ I said, ‘As a lady, I’m chosen as a sales manager?’ He said, ‘They’ve chosen you and they told us that you should be able to step right in.’ I thought, ‘Hell, this isn’t bad.’ So, I accepted (the offer), of course.”
Mary also later became president of Western Wooden Box Association.
In commenting about that position to The Sacramento Bee in the 1970s, she said, “The important thing is not that I was the person elected (to an otherwise all-male member trade organization), but that it shows a woman can advance in areas that once were considered the province of men. It might encourage other women.”
Long after Mary had retired from her position at Setzer, she attended the funeral of Hardie Setzer.
At the funeral, Mary was approached by Hardie’s son, Scott Setzer, who complimented her regarding her work at his family’s company.
In recalling that compliment, Mary said, “(Scott) said, ‘Mary, I want you to know that while you were sales manager, we were never in the red. We were always in the black.’”
Toward the end of her interview for this article, Mary, who for many years of her life enjoyed cooking, fishing and golfing, presented a flyer for a golf tournament that was held in honor of her 99th birthday at the Bing Maloney Golf Complex at 6801 Freeport Blvd. on Dec. 12 at 1 p.m.
After being asked to explain whether a healthy lifestyle attributed to her longevity, Mary responded with a comment that would cause many mothers to cover the ears of their children.
“I smoked for 82 years,” said Mary, who also had a brother, Frank, who lived to be 94 years old. “I got expelled from a Catholic high school for smoking. I started smoking at 12. My mother would give me a quarter for a good, hot lunch at school. It cost 10 cents for cigarettes and then I had 15 cents (remaining) and I could get an ice cream, and I had that for lunch.”
Mary also mentioned that there were also times in her youth when she “drank excessively.”
Since not all aspects of Mary’s approach to personal health during portions of her life would serve as a model for others seeking longevity in their own lives, she was then asked to discuss her overall philosophy on life.
“Do what you can with the tools that you’ve got,” Mary said. “I just feel that you have to have a principal. I think God gives you freewill and with your freewill you develop your principals. Unfortunately, a lot of this has to do with parenting for a few years, I think. But anyway, I think it’s within yourself. I believe that you love alone, you live alone and you die alone, (and) that you and God will eventually work it out. In the meantime, all you’re obliged to do is the best you can with the tools you have. I don’t know whether it’s essential to have a specific religion or not, but I do think you should believe in God and the hereafter. You’ve got to be honest with yourself, and as Shakespeare said and that way you can’t ‘be false to any man.’ (This) is true, if you’re honest to yourself.”


Valley Community Newspapers sales manager leaves legacy

Valley Community Newspapers sales manager Patricia (Patty) Colmer, of Sacramento, passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 2 after a tough, eight-month battle with cancer. Patty was a loving wife, aunt, great aunt, auntie, second mother, friend and sister. Born on Oct. 31, 1945, Patty has been very close to all her friends and relatives to the point where quite a few friends think of her more as a sister than a friend. She was the most giving person you could ever meet. She gave until she couldn’t anymore. As her husband of 23 years, Bruce Colmer said, she was, “Giving, giving, giving. You couldn’t give her something without knowing she was going to give you something in return.” Patty was the kind of person you could confide in; she was a true friend and a fun one at that. Patty had a zest for life. She was so entertaining herself and always brightened up your day. She and her husband Bruce spent every waking moment together on adventures big and small. They traveled to the ocean, the Yucatan, and spent a lot of time riding on his Harley Davidson together. Patty even had special clothing for the rides. Patty liked glider flying and she’s up there gliding around right now. She was an avid skier and enjoyed life to its fullest. She loved the golf tournaments up by Lake Tahoe.
Patty and her mother Lola Chan were as close as sisters. Patty would visit her mother every Friday. They’d go to lunch and go sight-seeing together. Until the past year, Patty would do all the driving. With Bruce, they drove down to Long Beach, stopping to visit Patty’s great-nieces Silk and Quinn, and her great-nephew Bode, whom she adored tremendously.
On the many trips together, Patty photographed landscapes, plants and animals, and from her photographs, she created many gifts for people, including beautiful cards, pendants, photo canvasses and even glass cutting boards. Patty was well known throughout the area for her photography and art works. She showed some of her work at local craft fairs, such as the Holiday Craft Fair and Book Sale at the Maidu Community Center in Roseville and the annual Christmas craft fair at the Elks Lodge, No. 6, where she was a long-time member.
Patty once wrote, “My passion is using color, texture and lighting to capture the simple, often overlooked finer things that life has to offer.”
Her adventurous and giving spirit lives on in those she is survived by, including, of course, Bruce, mother Lola Chan, and brothers Sam Chan Jr. (Nachi) and Dan Chan (DeeAnn). Patricia was aunt to Aki Chan, Kenji Chan, Lyle Chan, Katie Chan, Russell Colmer, Alyssa Trebil, Maura Hanrahan and Gordy Hanrahan.
Patty graduated from C.K. McClatchy High School in 1964 where she was a cheerleader and from where she won an art scholarship. She became a graphic artist for Pacific Bell in the late 1960s. During her long career in the magazine and newspaper business, she published and co-owned Sacramento Magazine, worked for the Sacramento Union, the Press Tribune, the Washington Post and the Sacramento Bee, where she became the publications manager for Discover Magazine. Patty was the sales manager for Valley Community Newspapers for the past 12 years.
Per Patty’s wishes, she will be buried under an oak tree because she loved oak trees. Funeral services will be held on Friday, Dec. 19 at 2 p.m. at Sylvan Cemetery, 7401 Auburn Blvd., in Citrus Heights, 95610. If you would like to make a donation in honor of Patty, please make it to the charity of your choice.

“Wee People”
Editor’s note: What follows is a poem written by Patty Colmer, found recently by her husband Bruce Colmer.

I have a guardian angel, his name is
Henry O’Hare
He watches my every move – He’s
oh-so aware.
One night he came to me, a Ouija Board
He was even with me on my Bunji cord
Everything I do; I just can’t shake him away
In the pubs a singin’ – He kneels and a prays.
What am I to do with this wee man of a person.
He always leaves me a cussin’ & a cursin’
He does bring me friendships beyond compare
and luck in love, this Henry O’Hare
I guess I’ll keep this wee little man
For he makes me know for who I am
To Henry O’Hare, the best to you always for you give me so much in many, many small ways

Janey Way Memories #133: You Can’t Go Back

They say you can’t go back, and I believe that is true. My wife Barbara and I recently returned from a 10-day whirlwind trip to Europe.
We spent three days in Budapest, Hungary, and five days in Prague, Czech Republic, We also took a 2-day side trip to Gunzburg, Germany, my U.S. Army duty station more than 40 years ago. Wow, what blast from the past. The side-trip turned into quite an adventure.
We took the train from Prague to Regensburg, Germany, near the Czech border. Unfortunately, our train was late so we missed our connection, causing a one-hour delay. So, we wandered into the station to have a coffee. Unfortunately, we had no euro’s so we asked a waitress where we could find an ATM. She shook her head no. So, we sat out to find a machine. Fortunately, a nice fellow who had been sitting at the counter followed us, and pointed us down stairs. So we went down, acquired some cash, then had coffee. Overall, our experience in the Regensburg train station was not friendly.
Finally our train came, and we headed off to Gunzburg. What a trip. We caught one of those trains that stop frequently. We must have hit 15 stops between Regensburg and Gunzburg. By the time we arrived, night had fallen.
There, we disembarked at the station, and headed into town. Even in the dark, I could see how much Gunzburg had changed. When I lived there in 1969, Gunzburg was a farm town with a train station (Banhof) on one side, farms on the other side and the Markplatz, or central plaza, in the middle. At the end of the Markplatz, stood a hundreds-year-old clock tower with an arch through its middle where cars drove through. The clock tower still stands proudly at the end of the square, but not much else remains, as it was 40 years ago.
The Markplatz has seemingly been re-constructed, turned into an out-door mall, smaller, but not unlike our K Street. Virtually all the businesses that once stood there have been replaced by up-scale shops, even a cell-phone store. None of that existed in 1969. Worse, my old haunt, the Lowenbrau Steube (a sort of bar and grill) has long since disappeared. Even the street it stood on had been replaced by walkways covered with paving stones.
Fortunately, we found our hotel located right on the Markplatz, then walked right up the street to have a wonderful, traditional German dinner with wiener schnitzel, kartofel salad (potato salad), and a hearty German beer.
We left Gunzburg the next day, after taking a picture of me standing in the Markplatz. I doubt that I will ever return there again.
It is true, you can’t go back. Things will never be the same, not even in little Gunzburg, Germany.

Faces and Places: Inaugural East Sac Light Up Bike Parade

Holiday revelers got their bicycles tuned up, decorated and lit up for the Inaugural East Sac Light Up Bike Parade on Saturday, Dec. 13. Starting at Clubhouse 56, the group headed out to enjoy East Sac’s holiday lights along M Street and the Fabulous Forties and a jolly time was had on that wintry evening.


Carmichael Rotary gears up for annual crab feed

Every year, the Rotary Club of Carmichael participates in a number of projects for people in need. Every December, the club provides nearly a week’s worth of food-sand a big turkey for Christmas dinner to 100 families within the San Juan School District. Every October, they feed more than 500 Special Olympic athletes and coaches during the Northern California tournament. As students graduate from high school, the club provides thousands of dollars in scholarships. Every June, the club generates more than $25,000 for Easter Seals through our golf tournament at Ancil Hoffman. The list goes on and on.
How does the club do that? The biggest fundraiser of the year is coming up and this one event generates nearly 75 percent of the necessary funding. On Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, the club will hold its annual crab feed and fundraiser at La Sierra Community Center.
One of the projects the Carmichael Rotary participated in this year included the procuring of 140 boxes for 140 needy families. Volunteers took them to a water tower garage, and spread them out and then filled them with canned goods and soft staples, marking phase one of the Christmas Baskets project for 2013 complete.
About 40 people, consisting of Carmichael Rotarians, their children and grandchildren, friends and their children participated in the effort and there was plenty of food contributed by elementary schools in the area. Past District Governor Jim Thompson supervised the undertaking, which reportedly went swimmingly and they finished the task in about two hours.
Then on Friday, Dec. 20, at 6 p.m., the volunteers topped off the boxes with perishables, including turkeys. The finale of the project and the most fun, was the delivery of the filled baskets to the needy families, which occurred on the next morning, Saturday, Dec. 21 at 8:30 a.m. Volunteers backed up their SUVs, vans, and trucks to the garage for loading and off they went to the homes of more than 100 families and dropped them off right at their doorstep. All was accomplished pretty much by noon. The needy families were most appreciative of the food and the Rotarians were happy for what they had accomplished.
Source: The Nugget, The Carmichael Rotary’s newsletter

Airport was once proposed for Fulton Avenue, Cottage Way site

Paul Blanco’s Good Car Co. at 2200 Fulton Ave. is among the businesses that sit on a site that was once proposed for a small plane airport, complete with two runways, hangars and other structures. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Paul Blanco’s Good Car Co. at 2200 Fulton Ave. is among the businesses that sit on a site that was once proposed for a small plane airport, complete with two runways, hangars and other structures. Photo by Lance Armstrong

It may be difficult for many people today to imagine, but an airport for small planes was once envisioned for a 100-acre site east of Fulton Avenue, between Cottage Way and El Camino Avenue.
The post-World War II, north area airport plans included a 2,000-foot runway, an 800-foot runway, hangars and other structures.
According to a brief announcement in the Nov. 28, 1945 edition of The Sacramento Bee, a permit was granted for the establishment of the airport by the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors.
It was also mentioned that the permit was “subject to approval of the site by the Civil Aeronautics Authority,” which was based in Santa Monica. That approval process was based on the proposed air landing site’s size, location, physical characteristics and specific uses.
On the evening of Dec. 10, 1945, while that permit was pending with the CAA and the California State Aviation Project Committee was holding a session at the Hotel Senator at 1125 L St., a public meeting about the possibility of establishing an airport in the Arden area was held at Arden School at 3500 Arden Way.
In attendance at the meeting was North Sacramento resident James K. Bullock, an attorney who spoke against the project, claiming that the construction of an airport at the Fulton Avenue site would cause a decrease in property values in that area. He cited possible falling planes and aircraft noise as reasons for opposing the building of an aviation facility at that location.
During the same meeting, a vote was held in which a majority of Arden area residents opposed the plans for the establishment of the airport.
The final vote tally, which was 42 to 21, was announced by Arden District Improvement Club President Steve Williams and eventually sent to the CAA.
Only a day after the meeting at Arden School, Sacramento hosted the Western Aviation Conference at the Hotel Senator. At that event, Gov. Earl Warren gave a speech entitled, “What Aviation Means to the West.”
Sacramento had previously hosted the conference on one other occasion, from Sept. 23 to 25, 1937.
On Dec. 15, 1945, The Bee reported a story out of the nation’s capital that legislation was pending before Congress on a $1 billion national airport program, which included $24 million that would be contributed toward the construction and improvements of airports in California.
Although local and state governments would be required to match federal funding, it was expected that California would need to contribute a little more than half of the final cost – an estimated $26 million.
The overall program featured a plan for 3,000 new airports and improvements to 1,600 existing airports.
According to the article, legislation on the long range project had already been passed “in different forms” by the Senate and the House of Representatives, and conference committees were “ironing out the differences” on various topics, including specific details about the application of funds and the speed in which the program would move forward.
Another aviation related article accompanied the article regarding the pending national airport program.
The other article presented details about local plans for landing fields, and specifically mentioned the proposed airport east of Fulton Avenue.
It was also noted in the article that request had been made for an airport in the Colonial Acres area and a small, seaplane-type landing area at Bryte Bend on the Sacramento River.
An example of the drive to increase postwar civilian flying in Sacramento County was the county’s effort at that time to create a master plan showing airport locations and places where other airports could be built without traffic hazards. The purpose of having that master plan was to aid future planning commission decisions pertaining to landing field applications.
The areas recognized on the map as having been determined to be fitting locations for then future airports were Carmichael, Fair Oaks, Elk Grove, Franklin, Galt, Freeport, Glannvale, Twin Cities, Elverta, Elkhorn, Manlove, Swanston and the district adjacent to the Sacramento Signal Depot (later known as the Sacramento Army Depot).
Also shown on the map were the then-existing airports at Mather Field, McClellan Field and Municipal Airport (today’s Executive Airport), as well as landing fields in Florin, Natomas and Rio Linda.
North Sacramento resident Robert O. Bowman expressed his views regarding the Fulton Avenue airport plan in a letter to the editor that was published in The Bee on Dec. 18, 1945.
In commenting about the aforementioned majority vote against having an airport constructed at Fulton Avenue and Cottage Way, Bowman wrote: “Apparently, the Arden-Arcade folks don’t believe in postwar planning or employment.”
Bowman then quoted a few words from the Nov. 15, 1945 issue of the CAA bulletin, as follows: “A total of 901,300 jobs in or created by aviation is predicted for 1955. This one business can provide about 6 per cent (sic) of all the new jobs required to achieve substantially full employment.
“In 1955, there will be 2,800,000 families who can afford both an airplane and an automobile.”
On Jan. 28, 1946, The Bee reported that sponsors of the Arden area airport had requested that the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors make an early ruling regarding their county permit application for the airport.
The board responded by ordering a Jan. 30, 1946 hearing on the matter.
It was mentioned in the Jan. 28, 1946 article that Bullock had told the board that he was representing 90 Arden-Arcade residents who were opponents of the airport projects.
Those residents’ dream of not having an airport constructed in the area came true, as the project was eventually abandoned.
Today, the site is part of the well-known Fulton Avenue auto row, as well as several different types of businesses and residential housing.


Neighbors discuss favorite Christmas memories at holiday tree lighting event in Carmichael

With Christmas just a few days away, the timing is right to share fond memories of this popular holiday. And at the Holiday Tree Lighting event at Carmichael Park, which included a performance by the River City Concert Band, activities for children, food trucks, a short magic show and photos with Santa Claus on Thursday, Dec. 4, the Arden-Carmichael News found several locals who were willing to share such memories.
Among these people was Steve Kelley, the Scout Master for Troop 55 (which presented the colors for the flag salute earlier that evening). He shared his most memorable experience as follows: “I would have to say one that really sticks out in my mind a long time ago (was when) I had been out of work, wondering how we were going to get presents to the kids. And, yes, there is a Santa Claus. One night, I hear some noise, I open the door and there is an envelope with money (about a couple hundred dollars) in it. I never have figured out where it came from, so there has to be a Santa Claus.”
Shannon Bladow spoke of growing up in El Dorado Hills when the fire department used to come down the streets and the Grinch would follow behind. “Santa and all the elves would give out candy canes and the Grinch would come behind and steal all kids’ candy canes. I lived there for 18 years.”
Hearing Shannon tell the story, Brian Bladow interjected, joking: “I would have loved to have been the Grinch.”
“That’s my husband,” Shannon quipped.
Asked if he liked candy, Brian said, “No, I like taking candy from babies.”
“He’s like the Grinch,” Shannon said.
But, on a more serious note, Brian said “Every year (Christmas) is great. The first years when my kids realized what Christmas was all about — those are my best memories.”
Similarly, Jason Gedney spoke highly of quality family time over the holidays. Growing up, he spent every Christmas Eve at his grandmother’s house. “The whole family got together with the cousins. It only happened a handful of times a year, when you got together with all your cousins.”
Brett Gadd, who was at the Carmichael tree lighting with his wife Ashlee and two children, said among his most memorable Christmas experiences was just last year in East Sacramento. “Last year, our friends did a hay ride. He hooked a trailer up to his truck and decorated it with lights and we drove around the East Sacramento area, Midtown, looking at people’s lights and had big things of hot chocolate and stuff. We do it every year. Our trailer was jam packed. Not another person could fit inside.”
River City Concert Band trumpet player Dave Harbert spoke about the joys of Christmas surrounding the traditions of his family. “Waking up Christmas morning when I was a little kid, finding that Santa had come and all the presents were out. And just that excitement in the morning, especially we had breakfast and we had to wait until breakfast was all done before we could go open the presents. Also, it is fun now as a parent, watching Christmas through their eyes. That’s very special.”
During the evening’s musical program, Keaton Reilly from Congressman Ami Bera’s office, thanked the Carmichael Recreation and Park District for throwing an amazing event. “It’s really events like this that make California 7th District and Carmichael, in particular, such a great place to live, or for me such a great place to visit. You have not only great food and entertainment, but great people, and I think this shows a sense of community that not all places have and it makes us really lucky.”
Similarly, County Supervisor Susan Peters was grateful for the night’s event as well as the good weather. “It’s amazing we got a rain free event tonight. I knew that all the parks people were probably laying awake, worrying about this. Carmichael Park is the center of activity as it should be. Tonight with the food trucks here. It’s an ongoing event that the park district does and it just makes it really festive and draws more people. So we’re just really happy you’re here. Enjoy it all.”

Carmichael magician to perform benefit show on Saturday for La Sierra Community Center
Magician Dale Lorzo will be at the La Sierra Community Center on Saturday, Dec. 13 at 1:30 p.m. It will be a fundraiser for the park district, which he said at the community center includes the improvement of a new stage. The cost is $10 per person. Call 485-5322 to reserve tickets. From Carmichael, Dale and his wife Elaine travel all over California, performing various types of magic. Professionally, he’s been a magician since 1970 starting as a fun hobby as a youth. “It was just a fun hobby as a kid. It was just a fun thing to learn to share with other people and add smiles. Seeing their smiles makes it all worthwhile.”
Dale has performed various acts, including floating people in the air. The one he said his wife remembers the most is the basket of sweets, which they’ll be doing on Saturday. “It’s where we have a big basket she goes in. We put sweet treats in the basket with her and big giant candy canes penetrate through her body until she finally disappears.”


Can Horsepower and Slow Food Supercharge The Boulevard?

Photo by Anthony Catafi

Photo by Anthony Catafi

Just last week, Dan and I met with a contractor who expressed his frustration that many of his tools had been stolen from a work site the week prior. Dan jokingly replied, “It wasn’t on Del Paso Blvd. was it?” I instantly understood his quip as we had just spoken earlier about how so many people in Sacramento are reluctant to put negative perceptions and the past of The Boulevard to rest. In reality, positive energy is beginning to flow up and down this forgotten landscape. In particular, a humble little farmers market held every Saturday morning at 1409 Del Paso Blvd.
What was just a vision for over 10 years, The Arden Garden Market (AGM) is now open and slowly making progress. Against all odds, the market’s founder and visionary, Dan Friedlander, has been determined to make this community market a reality. Future plans include 7-day a week permanent retail of produce, meat, cheese, bread, and other goods. The proposed site also hosts a produce distribution hub, community garden, ethnic center, and room for 200 vendors. With that in mind, my focus has been building the farmers market and creating community events that give our guests a glimpse of that future.
Growing up, I had always envisioned myself in a position to make a difference. Serving people came naturally to me as my family hosted major holidays and entertained frequently. After seven years and two degrees at San Jose State University, I still hadn’t found my way. I decided to feed my hospitality bug and flew to New York to attend The Culinary Institute of America. While I quickly realized the professional kitchen was not for me, my sense of fulfillment in serving others took me to fast casual restaurants. The work was fun for a while but it was work. In August of this year, Dan and I were introduced and I took a leap of faith naive of the challenges ahead. From seasons changing, to reluctant farmers, to not having a budget for marketing, I found myself forced to think out of the box.
This past September I was alone in the dark in my living room at 3 a.m. when “Fast Cars, Slow Food” came to me. My hands rose in the air the way they did when San Francisco took the World Series. And while hot rods and fresh produce are not your typical peas and carrots combination, perhaps it just might work to get people out to The Boulevard. The event featured our Certified Farmers Market, our Third Saturday’s Vintage Market, food, live music, and of course cool cars.
While the event brought hundreds to The Boulevard, an average market day is much quieter and foot traffic is light. Some question the markets sustainability given its location, and high saturation of lower income households. To those I say great things don’t come easy. In addition to providing North Sacramento residents with much needed access to fresh fruits and vegetables, this market may just be the next piece of the puzzle in bringing Del Paso Blvd. back to its feet.
Anthony Catafi is the market manager for the Arden Garden Market.

Photo by Anthony Catafi

Photo by Anthony Catafi

Arden Garden Market is a weekly market for 9 to 1 .m. at 1409 Del Paso Blvd. This Saturday, Dec. 13, there will be a special Christmas-themed market with a breakfast with Santa. Sponsored by the Del Paso Boulevard Partnership and Bergstrom Realty, the event is a fundraiser for volunteer firefighters. Additionally at ther market, there will be arts and crafts for children free of charge. The breakast is $7 is is prepared by the volunteer firefighters. For more information, check out Arden Garden Market on Facebook.

Faces and Places: Land Park Farmers’ Market

Now underway, the Land Park Farmers’ Market in William Land Park is held every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the corner of Sutterville Road and Freeport Boulevard. The market is full of great, local produce and many vendors currently are on hand selling great holiday gifts. Shown here is a collection of photographs from the Sunday, Nov. 30 market. For more information, call 484-7000.