The Rev. Dan Madigan recalls longtime devotion to local parishes

The Rev. Dan Madigan served as a pastor in parishes of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento for nearly a half-century. Photo by Lance Armstrong

The Rev. Dan Madigan served as a pastor in parishes of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento for nearly a half-century. Photo by Lance Armstrong

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

After nearly a half-century of serving the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, Dan Madigan, as noted in the previous article of this series was celebrated for his longtime devotion to the ministry, on Sunday, June 29. He officially retired the following day.
During his recent, exclusive interview with this publication, Madigan, 76, shared details about various experiences in his life.
Among those experiences, he noted, was serving as assistant pastor of the Sacred Heart Parish.
“I got promoted (from Our Lady of Lourdes Parish) – well, I feel it was a promotion over to Sacred Heart over at 39th and J (streets in East Sacramento),” Madigan said. “Governor (Ronald) Reagan was up the road there at that time, so it was totally, completely different (then at Our Lady of Lourdes). When I came from Ireland and went into Our Lady of Lourdes, I thought, ‘Well, that’s the United States.’ But (at) Sacred Heart, I didn’t feel as needed there, but the people are very nice there.”
In 1976, Madigan became the pastor of the Immaculate Conception Parish.
And in discussing his service with that parish, Madigan said, “Immaculate Conception came up as a pastor. I applied and got it, and I started the (Sacramento) Food Bank. These people came through very, very well. When I started the food bank, I started going out to other churches and making appeals, because we had to get some money to get going and get the thing off the ground. Those were wonderful years.”
In many ways, Madigan became synonymous with the St. Joseph Church of Clarksburg. And his longevity in that position alone certainly draws one’s attention.
Madigan, who began serving as St. Joseph’s pastor in 1989, explained that during his time as pastor of that parish, he gained a knowledge and appreciation for the history of the area.
“I knew very little about the background of this beautiful parish church, or even the Delta in which it sits,” Madigan said. “Neither did I know about the great number of Portuguese people who once lived on both sides of the Sacramento River, namely in the Pocket district, Freeport and also on the Yolo side of the river.
Additionally, Madigan spoke about the longtime Portuguese connection to St. Joseph Church.
“On learning the (the parish’s original, wooden) church was built by Portuguese immigrants, I immediately assumed all these folks came from Portugual,” Madigan said. “How wrong I was. Hearing about the Azores Islands, I decided to do some research. My quest led me down some beautiful pathways, discovering as I went, a people I have certainly fallen in love with. Their grit, their religious beliefs, their quiet and noble characters, coupled with their willingness to embrace the grueling work necessary to improve life for their families, made them my true heroes.”
The history of St. Joseph Church dates back to October 1892, when John Soto donated the Yolo County land for the sole purpose of building a Catholic church for the Portuguese farming community.
The baptismal book at St. Joseph Church reveals that between the years of 1893 to 1951, 591 Portuguese children were baptized at that church.
Madigan, continued his work as the director of the Sacramento Food Bank until December 2007.
He had opted to spend more time with the people of the growing St. Joseph Parish and to continuing to discover ways that he could help those in need.
Two years prior to leaving the food bank, Madigan established the St. Joseph’s Mobile Mall, which distributes household goods and clothing to many sites in south Sacramento.
And in 2012, Madigan founded the Mobile Food Locker ministry, which distributes food on a weekly basis to those in need at St. Anne Catholic Church at 7724 24th St., St. Paul Catholic Church at 8720 Florin Road, St. Anthony’s Catholic Church at 14012 Walnut Ave. in Walnut Grove and Bishop Gallegos Maternity Home at 6423 Lang Ave. in south Sacramento.
Those who know Madigan well know that his love of animals did not end with his dog, Brutis, who was referred to in the initial article of this series.
Madigan also grew up around donkeys and has had various other animals during his life, including his Great Danes, Seamus, Molly and Nellie.
Madigan said that he has retired to another residence in Clarksburg with the last survivor of those dogs, Nellie.
In explaining his decision to retire, Madigan said, “I’m certainly of the age – 76. Most priests retire at 70 and even some retire at 65. So, the next one would be 75, and I even went an extra year. I had contemplated maybe spending another couple of years (as St. Joseph’s pastor), but I am the youngest of the family in Ireland, so I have four brothers in Ireland and a sister and they’re all moving on in life. They’re 84 to 90 years of age. That’s definitely something I gave a lot of thought to, and I feel that they’re getting frail and so forth and I should be available to go back and see them. So, that was definitely a big factor.”
And after being asked how often he plans to return to Ireland, Madigan said, “When necessary.”
Madigan also said at the time of his interview for this series that he was planning to depart for a month-long trip to Ireland on July 16.
In addition to taking occasional trips to Ireland, Madigan has planned to utilize his retirement years to work on his writings.
Madigan, whose education includes earning a master’s degree in social work at Sacramento State University in 1976 and a doctorate’s degree in philosophy from the Union Institute & University of Cincinnati in 1979, is presently working on a book.
Despite his retirement, Madigan said that he will be available to assist any priest in need.
“I’ll always be willing to help out if some priest wants a little help here and there,” Madigan said. “It’s just that I’m not tied down to the commitment to work.”

Meet the candidates: Political forum at John F. Kennedy High School set for Monday, April 28

Candidates for Sacramento City Council District 7 and California Assembly District 9 have confirmed their presence at the political forum at John F. Kennedy High School, which is set for Monday, April 28 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the large, 465-seat, state-of-the-art theater. Moderated by Sacramento City College communications instructor Jared Anderson, and hosted by the Pocket News, Nextdoor Greenhaven, JFK High School, and Access Sacramento, the event is an informational, community building political forum. It is not a debate.

Students at Kennedy and City College have been invited to attend and ask questions – some instructors are offering students extra credit for attending, and volunteers from the League of Women Voters will have a table for voter registration. Candidates will be given two minutes to provide a biography before questions are asked. City council candidates will go first at 6:30 p.m. and assembly candidates will go second. We will also do a plug for Measure B.

If you have any questions you’d like me to save for the forum, email them to me at What follows is some information on Measure B and biographies along with top issues our candidates will be addressing at the forum.

Vote YES on Measure B – For the Libraries

The following measure is approved for the June 3, 2014 ballot. Measure B—Pertaining to a Parcel Tax for Core Library Services:
“Should library services for all City residents including children, teens, adults and seniors, be preserved, including after-school reading programs, homework assistance, library operating hours, 24/7 online access, programs for seniors, and other services, by enacting a new $12 per year single-family residential parcel tax for 12 years, and specified amounts for other uses, adjusted for inflation, that the State cannot take, with independent financial audits to ensure funds are spent only on City of Sacramento libraries?” No argument against was submitted.

The following is taken from “ Measure B augments the existing city parcel tax by just one dollar per month and requires independent yearly audits to protect tax payers. Measure B requires that all funds be spent exclusively for local library services within the City of Sacramento.

Measure B is needed to:
Keep three new libraries operating, provide for the increased demand for online services, ensure that all libraries stay open evenings and weekends so people can actually use our libraries, maintain the library’s after-school homework and reading programs for our school children and story time for preschoolers, provide quality books, library materials, and free children’s programs, protect library operating hours and 24/7 online access to library resources, preserve library services for seniors and families who are trying to improve their lives, allow people who don’t have computers at home access to the internet, continue to make quality library materials, programs, and services available at all libraries.

City Council District 7 candidates

Julius Cherry
Julius Cherry retired from the Sacramento Fire Department at the rank of Fire Chief in 2007 after more than 30 years of service. Prior to becoming Chief, he held the ranks of firefighter, captain, battalion chief, assistant chief, and Deputy Chief of Support Services. Julius has also been a practicing attorney for 22 years, handling a variety of civil matters. He is the CEO of The Cherry Consulting Group, which provides advisory services to fire protection organizations.

Julius chairs the Community Advisory Board for Dignity Health (formerly Catholic Healthcare West). He is past chair and current board member of Goodwill Industries of Sacramento Valley and Northern California. In 2011, he chaired the Sacramento Redistricting Citizens Advisory Committee, charged with advising the city government on reshaping the eight council districts after the 2010 census. From 1994 to 2001, Julius served and chaired the Sacramento County Project Planning Commission, assisting the commission in making entitlement decisions. He is a past board member of the Sacramento County Fair Board as a governor appointee.

A veteran of the United States Air Force, Julius attended night school to earn a Juris Doctorate from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law and a bachelor of science in public administration from California State University, Sacramento. Julius is married with three daughters, one son, and four grandchildren.

Rick Jennings
Why I’m running for City Council? I love this district and this city, where I’ve lived and raised my family since 1986. I believe I have the skills, experience and drive to make this district and city the best they can be.

Running for this office is a natural progression of what I’ve done over the last 28 years in this community. In 1996, I was recruited by then-Mayor Joe Serna to run for the Sacramento Unified School Board and to restore the community’s trust in the school district. I was proud to serve our kids for 12 years, focusing on rebuilding our neighborhood schools and improving student achievement.

I have also been the Executive Director of the Center for Fathers and Families, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening families and building communities in Sacramento, for nearly 20 years. The Center currently serves over 1,700 young people daily in before and after school programs and 400 adults with parenting classes and other comprehensive services.

Through the years I have volunteered as a coach for youth sports, served on various boards and commissions and been involved with many neighborhood groups. From the relationships I’ve developed, I am proud to be endorsed by neighborhood leaders like Supervisor Jimmie Yee, May O. Lee, Kathi Windheim, Shane Singh, Lee Dumas, Willie Caston, Didion Elementary School Principal Norm Policar, and the Sacramento Police Officers Association.

It is my commitment to this community and its continued prosperity that has always been my impetus to be involved and I can think of no better manifestation of my experience than to serve on the City Council.

My Priorities in Office: A Strong Economy & Strong Neighborhoods

The City needs to improve its service delivery. From 2007 to 2012, the City cut staff, reduced services, and laid off Police Officers to deal with continued budget deficits. This has hurt our neighborhoods.

As our economy recovers and more resources are available, we must restore city services to their pre-2007 levels and ensure that revenues generated from Downtown revitalization are returned for neighborhood services.

Specifically I will:
Promote public safety by fully staffing police, increasing neighborhood patrols, and supporting and re-establishing initiatives like Cops and Clergy and the Gang Task Force;
Expand neighborhood watch programs and make sure every neighborhood has the support it needs to keep our streets safe;
Encourage small business expansion and job creation by creating local business incubators and ensuring that Delta Shores is built responsibly with jobs for our community and opportunities for small businesses;
Partner with schools and libraries to expand community programs through grants, partnerships and private sector fundraising to provide new opportunities for youth and seniors.

Abe Snobar
I have been a longtime resident of Sacramento and spent all of my formative years being raised in, and by, District 7. As a youth I attended Sam Brannan Middle School in the Pocket Area and later graduated from Valley High School in the Valley Hi area. From Valley High, I went on to earn my bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from California State University, Sacramento. In short, I truly am a “Sacramentan.”

I spent my early professional career as a Special Education teacher and a high school and college football coach. As an employee of the Elk Grove Unified School District for 14 years, I was involved with the district’s success in raising the API scores from the mid-500s to 744, where they sit currently. My passion for teaching is paralleled with my passion for leading. Today, I am part of the Delta Ducks Minor League football team as an assistant coach, a voice in the Entertainment Sports Complex, and I am a member of the Sacramento Metro Chamber as a small business entrepreneur.

My passion for leading, listening, and learning comes second only to raising my two lovely daughters, Sophie and Ella. Vote for Abe.

CA Assembly District 9 candidates

Jim Cooper
Jim Cooper has served his community for more than 29 years – as a highly decorated law enforcement officer, a mayor, a city councilmember, and volunteer working with at-risk youth.

Cooper is currently a captain in the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, where he commands the Court Security Division. As a former commander of the Sacramento Valley High Tech Crimes Task Force, focusing on apprehension of child predators and identity thieves, he oversaw dramatic increases in prosecution and arrests of child predators.

His law enforcement career includes nine years working undercover to fight gang violence and drug trafficking. He has earned numerous awards, including the Bronze Star Bravery for heroic actions during the 1991 “Good Guys” hostage crisis. He also served two years as the Sheriff’s Department’s spokesperson.

Cooper is a lifetime member of the California Narcotics Officers Association and is well-regarded for his youth drug prevention teaching curriculum, to teach students about the dangers of narcotics and educate parents about the warning signs of drug use. He has also taught Criminal Justice at local community colleges and universities.

Cooper has spent the past 13 years serving the people of Elk Grove, as the city’s first mayor, with a total of two terms as mayor and four terms on the city council.

As the city’s first mayor, Cooper helped establish the governing values of fiscal responsibility, transparency, accessibility and regional partnership that the city still tries to live by. The fiscal foundation laid by his administration as mayor was critical to achieving 10 consecutive balanced budgets, building a healthy reserve, and avoiding the police layoffs that have plagued neighboring communities.

Cooper also worked to make Elk Grove one of the region’s greenest cities, and has prioritized balancing growth and preserving the community’s quality of life by tackling issues like traffic, housing, and job creation.

At the same time, he was critical in setting up the city’s first gang/narcotics unit and a local 9-11 Communications Center, and put more police officers on the street.

Cooper has had a lifelong passion for community service and young people, and has served on the boards of the Boys & Girls Club, Big Brothers & Big Sisters, WIND Youth Services, and the Sacramento Children’s Receiving Home.

Cooper grew up in Sacramento, is a graduate of the West Point Leadership Academy and FBI National Academy and earned a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from St. Mary’s College.

Darrell Fong
Darrell Fong was born and raised in Sacramento, California and has lived in the Pocket Greenhaven area for nearly 30 years. Darrell attended C.K. McClatchy High School, Sacramento City College, and Sacramento State University.

Darrell was elected to the Sacramento City Council, representing the 7th District, in 2010. Darrell has been a vocal advocate on finding a comprehensive statewide water policy and opposing the delta tunnels, creating jobs through economic development, and keeping neighborhoods safe in the City of Sacramento. Darrell started a community discussion to begin connecting the Sacramento River Parkway to the 119-mile American River Parkway. A strong supporter of working families, Darrell has provided representation to previously underserved communities in the district, providing after-school sports programs for kids.

Darrell, retired in 2009 from the Sacramento Police Department. Where he worked his way up the ranks, retiring as a captain. Darrell held various positions in the police department including, gang detective, patrol sergeant, narcotics and vice sergeant, Internal Affairs sergeant, lieutenant, Watch Commander, Metro Executive Lieutenant, Special Ops lieutenant (K-9, SWAT, EOD). As captain, Darrell served as Captain of the Special Investigations Detail, which includes the gang and narcotics units.

Darrell’s focus on alternative policing methods with kids began while he was supervising the School Resources Officers that provide security for the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) and Natomas School District. He noticed that if kids were given alternatives options and positive direction, they performed better in school and stayed out of trouble. Darrell was the first officer from the Sacramento Police Department to attend and graduate from the Los Angeles Police Department West Point Leadership Program. Darrell has been recognized with resolutions from the California State Senate and Assembly for his work on investigating and suppressing Asian gangs in Sacramento.

A firm believer in community engagement leading to positive outcomes, Darrell has worked to organize monthly community food truck events, which have engaged thousands of constituents. An advocate for Sacramento’s food culture, he worked with members of the Sacramento food community to proclaim Sacramento America’s Farm to Fork Capital.

In addition to his distinguished service to the community as a Council Member and police captain, Darrell has spent innumerable personal house supporting organizations including the Council of Asian Pacific Islanders Together for Advocacy and Leadership (CAPITAL), My Sister’s House Domestic Violence Shelter, Sacramento District Attorney Citizen Academy, and the Organization of Chinese Americans.

Darrell is married to his wife Joy, who works for the State of California, and has three children that have attended local schools. Darrell’s twin brother, Derrick, is a prominent local restaurateur.
As a candidate for Assembly, I committed myself to expand college opportunity by stopping tuition increases. I committed myself to protecting the Delta and the water supplies farmers in our region need. I remain clear on my commitment to closing tax loopholes that result in misery for those who rely on public services and harsh cuts to the public servants who provide those services.

Tim Gorsulowsky
Tim Gorsulowsky was raised in Shreveport, Louisiana where he learned, and continues to live with, the highest level of moral character. While in Louisiana, Tim graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business from East Texas Baptist University with continuing education in the MBA program.

In 1987, after graduating from college, Tim moved to California to assist his brother with organizing a new dermatology surgical practice. While in California, the opportunity arose to open a security services company in San Jose. This company started in 1994 ultimately expanded into a 165-employee operation with more than $4 million in annual revenue.

Tim’s philosophy offered in the business sector was to always treat the employees with high regard, while continually giving the client personal attention to detail. It was unusual to maintain an employee and contract base for an extended five to 10 years, but Tim’s philosophy and business technique proved this longevity could actually be accomplished.

Tim moved to the City of Saratoga, California in 1997 until transitioning to the beautiful City of Elk Grove in 2012.

If entrusted with your vote, Tim will provide a sincere effort to address all issues and concerns, regardless of political party, within the district.

He said, “political party agendas are not my concerns, but the issues and needs of the people I represent are my number one priority. It is my duty to handle these matters with a fair and honest approach, and work diligently for the betterment of all citizens within California.”

Tim’s primary goal is to exceed your expectations during the term by increasing the current socio-economic status in California. This will be accomplished by offering a five- and 10-year tax incentive plans to major companies that will successfully promote new business in California. The reduced business tax revenue will be offset by the revenue received from employment taxes.

Education is a major concern in District 9 that must be addressed by the Legislature. Promoting the longevity of our educators will be accomplished with improving the level of compensation. The plan will require a third party auditing of California school district budgets that will focus on reducing unnecessary expenses, then apportion the funds as a designated increase to our educators.

Many Californians have noticed the increase in DMV fee structure over the last few years. The programs offered by DMV should continue to be automated. This process will be promoted under Tim’s plan for the purpose of reducing the fees charged to residents.

Manuel Martin
My name is Manuel Martin and I am running for the 9th State Assembly district because I want Californians to prosper. For too long we have been voting for the same politicians to go to Sacramento. Year after year the people of California feel as though nothing changes. The truth is the difference between California’s 8 percent unemployment rate and North Dakota’s 2.6 percent unemployment rate is not Washington DC, it’s Sacramento.

I decided to run for office because I’m tired of the same old politicians who get elected just to make friends and cozy up to the lobbyists. While the politicians are in Sacramento networking and dining with special interest lobbyists, it’s the people who suffer. The people of the 9th district deserve a hard working representative.

That’s why I pledge to my constituents, when elected I will have monthly town hall meetings to meet as many people as possible. It’s time we elect representatives who actually want to meet the people and find out what the people need. Your representative should be meeting you, not the lobbyists.

Each Assembly representative receives an annual allowance worth about $30,000 on top of their annual salary. Since I live locally, I don’t need the allowance. I am going to use it to help students achieve a quality education by using my allowance for college scholarships. Education is very sacred to me, and I want to help as many kids prosper as possible. Education is the cornerstone of the American way of life; I will fight to preserve equal opportunity to a quality education for all students. That’s why I am offended by SCA-5, a bill presented by the Democrats in the State Senate which would have allowed California universities to deny students admittance based of the color of their skin. My friends, we should never judge someone according to the color of their skin, yet Democrat Senators wanted to legalize discrimination. It’s horrendous to think we have elected representatives who are living in the Jim Crow era and legislating racial discrimination.

I decided to run for office to preserve the American dream that my family immigrated to the United States for. I am a first generation American whose family came here from the Azores Islands. Like many first generation Americans, English was not my first language I was raised speaking Portuguese. I grew up on my grandfather’s dairy farm and started working at the age of 12. I started a jelly company when I was 19 and was in about 15 stores with my product. I shut down the company to go back to school. I earned an A.S. degree in Business Management from Delta College. I was going to further my education with a degree in economics when I got hired by Hewlett Packard.

“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer,” as John F. Kennedy once said. I’m here to be your representative not your politician. Feel free to call me 572-9241, or email

Diana Rodriguez-Suruki
Diana Rodriguez-Suruki has a long record of proven leadership at all levels of government. She has served as a manager for both county and state government. In 2008 she was overwhelmingly elected to serve as a Trustee for the Sacramento City Unified School District with over 66% of the vote.

Diana has been a leading advocate against harmful school closures. She has fought for transparency, accountability and proper spending of the school district’s $480 million budget. While serving as president of the school board, she uncovered wasteful spending and worked to redirect those funds into the classroom. She has advocated for the best teachers in our classrooms and closing the achievement gap.

Diana also has a long record of community service including serving in the following capacities:

• Distinguished member of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson’s Transition Advisory Team
• Past Board Member and Secretary for the nationwide Parent/Teacher Home Visit Program
• Chair, Sacramento 2010 US Census Latino Complete Count Committee
• Delegate Assembly Member, California School Boards Association (CSBA)

Diana has also participated in the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, President Obama’s White House Hispanic Policy Summit, and as a guest commentator on National Public Radio. She is a long-time public servant with a combined 15 years of work experience in the public sector. She has worked in all branches of local government – school, city, county and state.

In her experience, Diana has adopted spending priorities and managed county budgets. She has provided oversight and direction for various projects including multi-million dollar health care service contracts and computerized system upgrades. She has analyzed and built state department budgets and has experience identifying potential budget misappropriations. She has also analyzed and researched collective bargaining agreements that ensure public workers are fairly compensated and taxpayers’ money is spent responsibly.

Diana completed the National Economic Policy Institute from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and has a degree in finance from DeVry University. She lives in Sacramento and has three daughters – Ezra, Taja, and Alana. She enjoys cheering for her two youngest daughters at their weekend swim meets where they compete for the Parkway Dolphins swim team.

Three main issues she’ll be focusing on:
1) Strengthening Public Education
2) Improving government efficiency and accountability
3) Cracking down on the influence of big money and special interest groups in politics

New Brookfield School site is a place of much history

Pimentel’s Ingleside Café – now known as The Trap – is shown in this c. 1912 photograph. Part of the original Pimentel family home is shown on the left hand side of the photograph. The people standing in front of the bar and grocery business building are, left to right: Anna Savoie, Ernest Garcia (child), Joe Prady, Mamie Koch (child) and Ernest “Alvin” Savoie. Photo courtesy of PHCS

Pimentel’s Ingleside Café – now known as The Trap – is shown in this c. 1912 photograph. Part of the original Pimentel family home is shown on the left hand side of the photograph. The people standing in front of the bar and grocery business building are, left to right: Anna Savoie, Ernest Garcia (child), Joe Prady, Mamie Koch (child) and Ernest “Alvin” Savoie. Photo courtesy of PHCS

As the dust continues to take flight on the 5-acre, future Brookfield School site behind The Trap bar at Riverside Boulevard and 43rd Avenue, the topic of history is also in the air.
For instance, until Friday, March 21, the 90-year-old concrete stairs and foundation of a building could be seen a few hundred feet north of the bar.
Many Riverside-Pocket area residents recall when a house was once located on that foundation.
Although many people might imagine that the house was demolished, it was actually moved in two sections in 2004 by the Fisher Bros. House Moving Co. of Manteca, Calif.
According to the Portuguese Historical and Cultural Society, the structure was transported to a lot somewhere on T Street in Sacramento.
A request by this publication for additional details regarding that move from the Manteca company were not yet fulfilled upon the deadline for this article.
The house was built in 1924 for Tony Pimentel, then-owner of the bar, which would later become known as The Trap.
Tony resided in that home with his wife, Margaret “Maggie” (Valine) Pimentel, who he married on Jan. 21, 1916, and their children, Lloyd, Kathryn and Geraldine.
All three of the Pimentel children attended Sutter School on Riverside Boulevard, about a half-mile south of Sutterville Road. The old schoolhouse still stands at 4605 Karbet Way and is presently home to Cabrillo Civic Club No. 5.
Although many people today would identify the 5-acre site that includes The Trap as being located in the Pocket, the site is actually part of the historic Riverside area.
The northern boundary of the Pocket is located at the sharp “S” turn of Riverside Boulevard at 43rd Avenue.
The Pocket lies on the south side of the boulevard, while the Riverside area (which includes the 5-acre site where The Trap sits) is located on the north side of the boulevard.
Incidentally, historic school districts in those areas used the same boundaries.
Schoolchildren residing in the Pocket area attended schools of the Lisbon School District. Those schools were the Upper Lisbon School and the Lower Lisbon School.
The aforementioned Sutter School was attended by children of the Riverside area, thus coinciding with the previous trivia that the Pimentel children attended that school.
The left hand side of a c. 1912 photograph accompanying this article shows a portion of the Pimentels’ original house on the property, which has become the future site of Brookfield School.
Although the house had a rural, county address during its early years, it would later acquire the address of 6115 Riverside Blvd.
Tony and Maggie resided in their Riverside Boulevard home until about 1960, when they moved into a 1935 Tudor-style house at 2622 14th St. in Land Park.
After Tony died at the age of 74 on Aug. 26, 1968, Maggie continued to live in the 14th Street house, which still stands about two blocks south of Broadway.
Maggie continued to reside in Sacramento until her death at the age of 97 on Sept. 3, 1991.
As for the Pimentels’ former Riverside Boulevard home, Tony and Maggie sold the house to Don E. Garwood (1907-1980) and his wife, Edith E. (Noland) Garwood (1914-1996), in 1968. The Garwoods were the original proprietors of The Pocket Club at 5043 Freeport Blvd.
The more dominant structure shown on the right hand side of the aforementioned c. 1912 photograph is the building that would become The Trap, and was then known as Ingleside Inn.
Despite its misleading name, the business was not a place designated for offering overnight accommodations for guests.
Eventually, the name of the business was changed to Pimentel’s Ingleside Café and was unofficially known by many locals as Pimentel’s Saloon.
Tony and Maggie Pimentel are shown in their wedding photograph on Jan. 21, 1916. Photo courtesy of PHCS

Tony and Maggie Pimentel are shown in their wedding photograph on Jan. 21, 1916. Photo courtesy of PHCS

In addition to the building’s use as a bar, which was located on the larger, north side of the structure during its early years, groceries were displayed in the building’s smaller, southern section.
There were two entrances to the building, so that women and children did not have to walk through the bar.
Originally, the bar and grocery store in the building was owned by a single, Italian man.
Estimated by some people to have been built in the 1860s but at least before 1885, the building, like most other early historic sites of the area, was associated with the Portuguese.
The bar and grocery business became a Portuguese-owned place in 1912.
It was then that Tony’s mother, Anna Leonora Garcia Pimentel, who was then a widow for the second time, bought the bar and liquor license, so Tony could have a business of his own.
Since Tony was 19 years old at that time, and thus too young to legally work in a bar, he established a partnership with his non-Portuguese brother-in-law, Ernest “Alvin” Savoie, who was married to Tony’s half-sister, Ana “Annie” Garcia.
Tony supervised the grocery area in the building, while Alvin worked as the bartender.
Two years later, when he was of legal age to work in the bar, Tony became the business’ bartender.
During that era, the bar had an area with tables and chairs for relaxing or playing cards.
Because of the high concentration of Portuguese who were residing in the area at that time, the bar was mainly a place of socialization for Portuguese men of the area.
When the old bar and grocery store building was relocated to its present location, it was placed in an easterly to westerly position, as opposed to its former northerly to southerly position.
It was also at that point in the structure’s history that the smaller grocery area became the bar, and groceries were no longer sold in the building.
As for the greater sized area of the structure, it began to be used as an even larger sitting area, and occasionally on Saturday nights, it was used for dancing the Portuguese chamarrita with two musicians playing their string instruments.
Sometime after the bar building was moved, it was altered when a bedding space and kitchenette was added to the structure.
Eventually, Alvin became ill, at which time Tony purchased his interest in the bar. Alvin died at the age of 67 on Aug. 15, 1954.
Tony and Maggie later purchased an additional 15 acres adjacent to the bar and their home, and Tony began farming on that site.
As Tony’s interest in farming increased, he hired two of the Barsanti brothers, who lived in the Riverside area, to run the bar. And in 1930, Tony sold the bar.
In speaking about the operation of the bar during the years of Prohibition, Pocket historian Dolores (Silva) Greenslate said that This house, shown in its original location on Riverside Boulevard in March 1998, was constructed for the Pimentel family in 1924. Photo courtesy of PHCSProhibition had little affect on the bar.
“(The bar) was way out here in the Riverside-Pocket area with all the farmers and no inspectors came around here,” Greenslate said. “They had bigger fish to catch, plus this was just a beer and wine bar. (Inspectors) were more concerned about people bootlegging whiskey and things like that.”
Since Tony’s ownership of the bar, which was eventually known as the Ingleside Club, the business has changed proprietors several times.
One of those owners was Eileen Strange, who renamed the bar, The Trap.
As the story goes, in 1964, Strange decided to rename the bar after she had invited her friends to visit “the trap” that she acquired.
Strange, who was a former West Sacramento resident, lived at 4221 South Land Park Dr. during her proprietorship of The Trap.
The last owners of the bar, while it was operating under the name Ingleside Club, were Manuel and Ernie Simas, who were relatives from an old Pocket Portuguese family.
Manuel Simas, who resided at 7594 Pocket Road, and Ernie Simas, who lived at 7572 Pocket Road, purchased the bar in about 1959 from the bar’s previous owner, Jerry Andrews, who made his home in the upper level of the bar building.
In about 1967, Martin L. and Iona Kroeker, who were residents of the nearby town of Freeport, became the new proprietors of The Trap.
Other later owners of the bar were Glen Kelly (1968-69), Don M. Redmond and Donald Hart (1970-72), Jack L. Pugh (1973-77), West Yeargin (1978-79) and Mousa Tayyeb (1980-83).
Many longtime patrons of The Trap fondly remember Kathi Acquah, who owned the bar from about 1984 until her death in about 2005.
A later owner of The Trap, Rich Crudo (1947-2010), was the father of the establishment’s present owners, Jen (Crudo) Kelly, Veronica Crudo, Matt Crudo and Melissa (Crudo) Jimenez.
As presented in the last edition of this publication, Veronica Crudo expressed her concern regarding the future existence of The Trap in relation to its proximity to the soon-to-be-constructed school.
Although people directly associated with the bar and the school have stated that they intend for both places to coexist, of course, only time will tell if The Trap, which is one of the few pioneer structures in the area, will become a longtime neighbor of the school.
And whether future generations will have the opportunity to view the possibly 150-plus-year-old bar, one thing remains indisputable: it is obvious that the new Brookfield School site is a place of much history.

‘A Sacramento Burlesque’: Sacramento County Historical Society honored achievements related to local history with awards and dance performance

A new generation nostalgic for the revival of the burlesque emerged with a live performance in front of former dignitaries and regional historians at the Sacramento County Historical Society’s 2014 awards dinner and fundraiser held at the Dante Club on Tuesday, March 25.

From the preservation of historic buildings, to the documentation of history in the written word, to live reenactments, the annual event recognizes Sacramentans who have worked tirelessly to keep history alive. In attendance were history makers, including former mayors Anne Rudin and R. Burnett Miller, as well as former burlesque dancer Patty Russell.

Awarded this year, in the category of education, was the Sacramento History Museum Gold Rush program; for preservation, local business owner Chris Pendarvis for restoring the former Primo’s Swiss Club to its historical glory with its reincarnation as Arthur Henry’s Supper Club and Ruby Room; for publications, Valley Community Newspapers’ writer Lance Armstrong for his ongoing history series; and the special achievement award went to Thom Lewis, president of the West Sacramento Historical Society for demonstrating his passion of history of West Sacramento by co-authoring two books, published by Arcadia Press, titled West Sacramento and the Port of Sacramento, as well as curating the Museum and Visitor Center, the first museum in West Sacramento, which was established on Feb. 20, 2005.

The Bodacious Bombshells Burlesque Revue ended the annual dinner, titled “A Sacramento Burlesque”, with dance styles seen in Sacramento in the 1920s, 1940s and 1960s. Bombshells performer Bella Blue Eyes provided the first performance, set to 1920s jazz rhythms. Performer Chapelle interpreted the 1940s and 1950s, featuring big-band jazz music of the sort heard in West End jazz clubs, and Sugar Cheeks provided the third performance to the music of the 1960s.

Through out the night, members of the Bodacious Bombshells visited with Russell (stage name Patty O’Farrell), former professional burlesque dancer, who complimented Chappelle’s performance of staying true to the art form with her focus on “the tease.”

“She told me that I did wonderfully, that she loved my glove work and that I had captured the essence of classic burlesque. Coming from a legend it made my night. She shared with me a little about her history and current goals. We didn’t get to talk as much as I would have liked. We are going to have lunch once I’m back in town and free,” Chapelle said.

Batty Brulée, the marketing director for the Bombacious Bombshells, said she has loved burlesque since she was a young child, and is excited about her upcoming debut at ‘We’re All Bad Here—An Alice in Wonderland Burlesque Adventure’ on Saturday, April 12 at 8:30 p.m. at the Colonial Theatre. “I have loved burlesque since I was 5 years old. The (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) cartoons – the ones with the wolf and the dog and the girl. I wanted to be that girl and now I am,” she said.

Miller said when he was younger, he frequented a local parlor at 4th and K streets. In a short interview with this publication, he recalled his time spent there: “It ran for a long time. I went in the army, and when I came out, it was, to my amazement, still going. I had a good friend whose father owned it. I always wished I could own a burlesque parlor.” Miller said he was never terribly active with the historical society. “I had a lot of friends who were very active. They dragged me. I just come to the events.”

A member of the Sacramento County Historical Society since “forever,” Rudin was the first woman to be directly elected as mayor by Sacramento voters, a position she held from 1983 to 1992. “I figured (the Sacramento County Historical Society) was something I should be a part of, since I was a big part of history. I didn’t think I had that colorful of a life, but now that I’ve been through so much, I’ve been writing down my experiences for myself and my family (in the form of essays.) I never kept a diary. That’s something I regretted–that I didn’t write down things that happened to me from day to day, especially after I was in office. Now that I am distanced from it, I have begun thinking about it and I am now writing essays to myself, for myself, about things that have happened to me, people I’ve met – the things that made me enjoy my work on the city council and as mayor.”

Upon introducing the honorees, Sacramento County Historical Society president Greg Voelm, said: “Because history is our story, we’ve been telling it for 60 years here in Sacramento, and now, two to three generations of people have carried on the tradition. That’s how our kids know. People will defend what they love but they can’t love something they don’t know. So tonight we’re going to thank some of the people that have carried on the tradition to tell people the exciting story of the city that brought you the Gold Rush.”

The first award of the night for the category, education, went to the Sacramento History Museum Gold Rush program, which engages fourth grade students from the greater Sacramento area. Accepting on behalf of the program were volunteers Becci Hanna, Debbie Sockolov, and Kathy Brunetti.

Sockolov said she believes one’s love of history is an innate trait. “I think it’s something you’re born with.” From Sacramento, with a degree in history from Sacramento State University, Sockolov said it was a no-brainer to volunteer with the program. “I just like giving back to the kids. I want the kids to experience going back in history and to look at the Sacramento River and imagine what it was like, whether there were goats coming down or walk around the buildings. Most of us make it very fun, so even if they don’t like history, it’s a very interactive. They get to pan for gold. But you can tell your little history nerds immediately in a group of kids. Within 30 seconds, you can tell which are enthralled and that was me. I was the history nerd.”

On the flip-side, Hanna said she didn’t know she cared about history until she actually went to the opening of the Sacramento History Museum. “Having lived here all my life, I thought, well, this is wonderful. So I got involved. I went to the opening and then I got involved many years later doing Gold Rush Days because a fellow I knew needed people to come. So I started with volunteerism and I got to liking it a lot. And then I realized I really like history. I like it now because you don’t just have to remember dates. You get to interpret. You get to talk about the people, make them real.”

Like Hanna, Brunetti’s love for local history is a relatively new endeavor. A former Agriculture Program Supervisor for the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, Brunetti said she tells the children today why she volunteers. “I had a student ask me, how much do you get paid to do this? You do it as a volunteer because you couldn’t get paid to have so much fun. I am a little bit of a ham and I like acting out in front of the kids.”

William Burg, past president of the Sacramento County Historical Society and current president of the Old City Association, said last year there was pretty amazing progress in the city of Sacramento. There was the third floor of the Governor’s Mansion, the renovation of the library at the courts building, but the selection for the excellence in preservation award was for a little more of a “mundane” project. “It’s a relatively typical business building on a relatively typical business street that has been crying for attention for a long time,” Burg said.

Once a dilapidated, abandoned building in Oak Park on Broadway, Pendarvis took the former Primo’s Swiss Club and restored it to its historical glory. Arthur Henry’s Supper Club and Ruby Room, 3406 Broadway, with a full bar, a lounge with nightly music, and upscale restaurant. “(Pendarvis) restored the upstairs apartments, which represents a change in the weather in that neighborhood. Instead of an abandoned, decaying building with a vacant lot next to it, it’s a thriving local business with residents with opportunities nearby for investment in the community. And we’re seeing new buildings going up across the street, which is called the Broadway Triangle project. This is just the sort of idea the Sacramento Old City Association wants to represent is the grand buildings of Sacramento coming back together and being open to the public. It’s fantastic and it’s a wonderful accomplishment…Also they serve a pretty good steak.”

Lana Palhaumas, a West Sacramento resident and member of the Sacramento County Historical Society, said she nominated Lewis for the special achievement award because she “felt it was time to show some appreciation” for his exhibits in the history gallery, located in the West Sacramento Community Center, 1075 West Capitol Ave. “(Lewis) has a real skill and appreciation for California history and local history and he works with the Yolo County Historical Society at the Gibson House in Woodland. He featured our journey series with the first families of East Yolo. The exhibits focused on early Portuguese and Hispanic communities of West Sacramento,” Palhaumas said.

As it has been discussed at length, The Sacramento County Historical Society members share a love of history in a variety of ways – bringing it to life and making it happen. They welcome your participation. To get involved, visit

Brookfield School project underway behind The Trap bar

This artist’s rendering shows how the future Brookfield School is scheduled to appear. The school site is located at Riverside Boulevard and 43rd Avenue. Photo courtesy of Brookfield School

This artist’s rendering shows how the future Brookfield School is scheduled to appear. The school site is located at Riverside Boulevard and 43rd Avenue. Photo courtesy of Brookfield School

For many years, a 5-acre piece of property has lied vacant behind The Trap, a historic bar at 6125 Riverside Blvd. But that status is about to change.
Work crews arrived on Thursday, March 20 to begin the preliminary work for the construction of the first school-owned facility of Brookfield School, a local, private institution, which was founded in 1962 and has been leasing classrooms of the Congregation B’nai Israel at 3600 Riverside Blvd. in Land Park for several decades.
Many Riverside-Pocket area residents recall a large, wooden sign that once stood a short distance from the bar on the south side of the property.
The sign featured the words, “Brookfield School, pre-K-8th grade, opening fall 2013.”
But as the months passed by and there was no evidence that the school project would even begin by the fall of 2013, the sign was removed from the site.
In speaking about the project’s delay, Dr. Jo Gonsalves, principal of Brookfield School, said, “It was a financing delay. It was typical things that happen when you’re trying to pull together a big project. There were some finance glitches and finally things have been worked out and are moving forward.”
And after that long delay in preparing the property for the construction of the new location of the Brookfield School, work crews finally arrived.
The project is being performed by DesCor Builders, a $40 million general contractor and construction company based in Rancho Cordova. The company was named after its founders, Brad Des Jardin and Neal Cordeiro.
Among the notable projects completed by DesCor are the Natomas Gateway Corporate Center, the College Square Shopping Center, the historic Folsom streetscapes revitalization project, the Coca-Cola Bottling Co.’s 102,000-square-foot warehouse expansion and the IHOP Arden Center’s 3,310-square-foot tenant improvement.
Last week, Dwayne Taylor, project superintendent for the Brookfield School project, shared details about the status of the project, which he said was planned about two years ago.
“The plan is to have (the project) completed by the start of the school year,” Taylor said. “Ideally, the owners want it done by Sept.1, but there are always delays and there are always issues, and that’s what we’re arm wrestling with now. We’re just cleaning up (the site). We haven’t done any grading or anything.”
During the recent work to prepare the property for the construction of the school, a significant number of trees were saved.
A temporary fence, which was installed on March 21, currently surrounds the project area.
Taylor explained that important details of the project are not yet in place.
“The project directory hasn’t even been issued yet,” Taylor said. “I think there have only been three or four subs actually contracted for the job. Although the drawings have been submitted to the building department and we’re awaiting permits, there have been changes up until the 11th hour. So, we don’t even know what we’re dealing with until we get all the final documents.”
The new school structures will be built in two phases.
The first phase will feature seven individual classroom buildings with multiple classrooms in each building.
Phase two will consist of a preschool and a main building structure.
In speaking about Brookfield School, which has about 150 students, Gonsalves said, “We are a K through 8th (grade) school. We will be opening a preschool as part of an addition feeder to our school. It is essentially an accelerated (learning), private school. It’s a nondenominational, independent school. We’re not affiliated with any church.”
The school’s mission statement reads: “Brookfield provides a challenging academic foundation grounded in a rigorous basic curriculum with the objective of developing independent, young people of courage, integrity and compassion.”
With an enthusiastic tone to her voice, Gonsalves said, “(Relocating the school) is a big change for us. I think it will be very positive. It will be very nice to have a very modern, energy conscious facility with a nice playing field for our students and a blacktop area, and better security and so forth. I think it will be a real plus for our school and for the kids.
“This is a stellar program. We have the best teachers, the best students, the best parents, and the thing that we lacked was a facility that would really match the program and the people that it served. It’s very exciting to have a first-rate facility.”
Pocket resident Veronica Crudo, a former school teacher in Modesto and a former training specialist for the Sacramento City Unified School District, became a partial owner of The Trap with her three siblings following the death of their father in 2010.
Tractors are shown on the property behind The Trap on March 20. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Tractors are shown on the property behind The Trap on March 20. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Early last week, Crudo shared her feelings about the efforts to establish a school next to the landmark bar, which dates back to the 19th century, when the Riverside-Pocket area was rich with Portuguese-owned and operated farmlands.
“I’m a little bit worried what’s going to happen later on down the line,” Crudo said. “I’m afraid that restrictions will be put on us at some point, because I think everybody can agree that a bar and a school cannot mix. It’s an odd combination. (The Trap has) always been a bar of some sort. I’d like to hold onto that, too. I like the idea that (the school does not) find us threatening, because this is not a threatening place at all. But there has to be that worry (about losing the bar due to its vicinity to the future school site). It’s silly not to worry about it. I spoke those words to the owner (of Brookfield School) yesterday (March 24) and he said he maintains that he has no intentions of closing our business down. And I said, ‘I hear what you’re saying, but I have to keep that in the back of my mind.’”
Crudo explained that she was disappointed with the lack of communication that she experienced in regard to the project’s recent developments.
“I thought the school was a no-go,” Crudo said. “I was told by the owner that it was (a no-go), and he had what he called a last attempt, Hail Mary, and it went through for him. So, he told us two weeks ago, Sunday (March 9). So, when the sign went down and the rest of the Pocket thought the school was a no-go, so did we. I specifically asked the owner of Brookfield, when we met, what was going up and I wanted to share the community’s concern, because, of course, I’m here at the bar every day and people are asking (questions about the site) and I don’t have answers. And I asked him what was happening with the school. He told us at that time that (the school project) was not happening, but he was planning on developing the land. We were happy about that because, of course, we want it developed, too, and apartment or businesses would be good right alongside the bar, I think. But I was happy to hear that a school was not going through. On Sunday, the 16th (of March) at a meeting with our siblings and a lawyer, he said, in fact, the school was going to go through. Then on Monday, (March 17), the surveyors were out here. I was here Monday morning and I saw them marking spots, and I saw (workers) out here on Tuesday.”
Crudo added that she and many people in the Pocket were never notified about a recent community meeting, which detailed the school project.
In commenting about the school’s proximity to The Trap, Taylor said, “There’s no intention of getting rid of the bar, and that’s probably the underlying blessing in the whole thing is because it’s a private school. If (the school) was public, there can’t be a drinking establishment within 1,000 feet. Then you get into historical landmark and grandfathering in and all these definitions of the actual ordinance. Whether there’s an ordinance or a code, all that plays into it, and you just don’t know until you know. The city officials could step up and say, ‘You know what? It’s fine,’ or they may say, ‘It’s time for it to go.’ We have no control over that, not because we’re building a school or a city park or a jungle gym or a gymnasium or another bar next to it. If the city says they’ve got to go, then they’ve got to go.”
Taylor added that he regularly speaks to Crudo in an attempt to accommodate The Trap the best he can during the school project.
Despite having her concerns with the soon-to-be-built school, in terms of being able to continue the operations of The Trap in the future, Crudo intends to establish quality relations with the school at its future Pocket area site.
“I can’t predict what kind of neighbors we will be, but everyone’s intention is to get along,” Crudo said.
Gonsalves speaks with a greater deal of confidence that the Brookfield School and The Trap will be able to coexist.
“We expect to be good neighbors and we hope and anticipate that they will (be good neighbors), as well,” Gonsalves said. “The way the school is configured, we have a fairly significant barrier between the little bar and where the children will actually be. There’s parking (and) there’s quite a lot of non-classroom, non-student populated space that serves as a pretty big buffer between us and the little bar. We’ve been very careful in designing the school with (the bar) in mind. Once the school is actually completed, I think it will make sense.”

Congratulations to our very own: Lance Armstrong

The Sacramento County Historical Society will recognize Valley Community Newspapers’s very own historical writer, Lance Armstrong, at its annual dinner, to be held Tuesday, March 25 at 6 p.m. at the Dante Club, 2330 Fair Oaks Blvd.

Lance Armstrong was born at Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento and has had a lifelong interest in the rich history of his native city and region.

At a very young age, Lance excelled in English courses and writing proficiency and creativity, and as a teenager, he was awarded a special medal for his excellence in creative writing by the San Juan Unified School District.

It was also during his teenage years that he created his own single-page newspaper, which he distributed to friends in various states. And because of this fact, occasionally Lance has humorously told people that by the time he was 16 years old, he was the editor of a national newspaper.

Lance’s early interest in history led to his many years of researching local histories and preserving historical documents, photographs and other historical items from throughout Sacramento County and other areas of the Golden State in his vast personal collection, which is recognized as the Lance Armstrong Collection.

After graduating from California State University, Sacramento with degrees in journalism and music, Lance began his professional writing career, which includes his work for local newspapers such as the East Sacramento News, Land Park News, Arden-Carmichael News, Pocket News, Elk Grove Citizen, The Sacramento Union, Capitol Weekly, Sacramento Downtown News, Sacramento Midtown News, Old Sacramento News, Natomas Journal, The Folsom Telegraph and the Sacramento News and Review.

Lance, who is presently employed by Valley Community Newspapers in Sacramento, has used his knowledge, researching abilities and personal archives in the process of producing local history articles for each of these publications.

These informative and entertaining articles provide a valuable resource for the present and future understanding of the area’s rich history.

The majority of Lance’s local history articles include oral history quotations from his interviews with people from various levels of society.

His local history articles have been positively recognized by various newspapers and organizations.

For instance, in a review of local newspapers in the Jan. 8, 2009 edition of the Sacramento News and Review, one of that publication’s writers, Cosmo Garvin, wrote: “Lance Armstrong’s writing on Sacramento history is always interesting.”

In 2006, the Elk Grove Historical Society presented Lance with an honorary lifetime membership for his continuous articles and other efforts in preserving the 150-year history of the Sacramento County city of Elk Grove.

Lance, who is also a member of the Sacramento County Historical Society, received another honorary lifetime membership six years later from the Portuguese Historical and Cultural Society (PHCS) for “his work in documenting the lives and contributions of the many Portuguese and Portuguese descended persons who were instrumental in developing the Riverside-Pocket area of Sacramento.”

In commenting about the latter honor, PHCS President Mary Ann Marshall said, “We are very appreciative of the many Portuguese-related articles that (Lance) has written for the Pocket News and we are pleased with the opportunity we have to archive them for future generations to have access to them. Lance did a wonderful job in making these stories come to life.”

In another honor, Lance received national recognition from the Grand Lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, in 2011, for his article, “Elks Lodge No. 6 has extensive history in Sacramento.”

The article, which was first published in the January 7, 2010 edition of the Pocket News, was selected as the country’s best newspaper article written about the Elks that year.

In addition to his hundreds of local history newspaper articles, Lance is the author of Echoes of Yesterday: Elk Grove – the first book in his Echoes of Yesterday history book series.

In 2007, Echoes of Yesterday: Elk Grove was recognized as the nation’s top regional history book for that year by the American Authors Association.

Lance is presently nearing the completion of several comprehensive history books about Sacramento from the times of Captain John Augustus Sutter to present.

His other endeavors include his regular contributions as a professional newspaper photographer and volunteering as a judge at the annual Camellia Society of Sacramento Camellia Show Photography Contest. He is also a public speaker, a musician and an avid music memorabilia collector with an emphasis on collecting concert posters and LP records, ranging in genres from rock and blues to jazz and country.

St. Joseph’s Cemetery: A place of memories

St. Joseph’s Cemetery is located at 2615 21st St. Photo by Lance Armstrong

St. Joseph’s Cemetery is located at 2615 21st St. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Editor’s Note: This is part six in a series regarding Sacramento area cemeteries.

The 149-year-old St. Joseph’s Cemetery on 21st Street, just south of Broadway, is one of the city’s oldest existing cemeteries.
Regarding that cemetery and an earlier established Catholic cemetery, on Sept. 8, 1864, The Sacramento Union published the following words: “Several years ago, a tract of land was purchased on the Lower Stockton Road, four miles from the city, by the St. Rose Church for burial purposes, which was afterward known as St. Rose Cemetery. On account of the distance from the city, it was finally determined to abandon that locality as a cemetery and purchase a new one, more conveniently situated. A week or two ago, a tract of land was purchased, and yesterday the first interment in it took place. It is located south of Poverty Ridge and embraces about twenty acres. The ground was formerly known as Russell’s ranch, but was recently purchased of L. Stanford and others. No name has yet been adopted for the new cemetery.”
The first interment at St. Rose Cemetery was that of former Sacramento County Hospital steward Martin Kennedy, who was buried on November 18, 1860. The cemetery grounds were consecrated on May 12, 1861.
As part of the establishment of the new Catholic cemetery, which would become known as St. Joseph’s Cemetery, arrangements were made for the remains of those who were buried at St. Rose Cemetery to be transferred and reinterred at the newly acquired site.
A reference to the Catholic cemetery on today’s 21st Street appeared in an article in the April 21, 1893 edition of The Union.
It was noted in the article that the rails for a 21st Street branch of the electric railroad, which would extend south to St. Joseph’s, were in transit by ship and that the branch would be constructed as soon as the rails arrived.
Another 19th century article provides evidence that vandalism and thievery are far from new topics when it comes to cemeteries.
On Nov. 22, 1898, The Union ran an article, entitled “Graveyard raids.”
It was noted in that article that the headboard from the gravesite of the Silva children, who burned to death three years earlier, had been stolen during the night of Nov. 20, 1898 and then discarded in Capitol Park, where it was later discovered.
Also mentioned in the article were occurrences of the thievery of flowers from multiple Sacramento cemeteries.
Among the gravestones at the cemetery are those of priests and nuns, Civil War veterans and athletes.
One of the great tragedies on the Sacramento River involved the steamer Washoe.
While the Washoe was traveling about 35 miles below Sacramento on Sept. 5, 1864, about half of its 175 passengers were killed as a result of a boiler explosion on this vessel, and about half of the survivors were severely injured.
Among those who were killed by the explosion were Irishmen James O’Hara and John Cluney.
Two days following the Washoe explosion, O’Hara and Cluney became the first people to be buried at today’s St. Joseph’s Cemetery.
In another local tragedy, an automobile carrying four men was struck by a train on Feb. 1, 1925.
The collision proved fatal for the car’s passengers, Marian Sabich, 41, his cousin Mate Sabich, 29, John Puljiz, 41, and Marijan Bitanga, 28.

Lisa (Vierra) Turrentine places flowers at the grave of her great-grandmother, Maria Silveira Fuzila, at St. Joseph’s Cemetery. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Lisa (Vierra) Turrentine places flowers at the grave of her great-grandmother, Maria Silveira Fuzila, at St. Joseph’s Cemetery. Photo by Lance Armstrong

The resting places of these men, who were all local railroad workers, are located side by side at St. Joseph’s and include nearly identical gravestones.
Another person to be interred at St. Joseph’s was Antone Rodrigues Perry, who was born as Antone Rodrigues Pereira in Faial in the Azores islands on March 26, 1831.
In the early 1850s, Perry became one of the earliest, if not the earliest of the Portuguese to settle in today’s Pocket area.
Perry farmed in the upper Pocket area and during his early days as a farmer, he operated a freight produce business, in which he delivered fruits and vegetables to miners in mining communities northeast of Sacramento.
At the age of 34, Antone married Maria Gloria Silva and together, they eventually had 10 children.
In 1868 and 1869, Maria’s godfather, Manuel Da Rosa, and Antone purchased about a 44-acre parcel, which included the site of today’s Lewis Park at 6570 Park Riviera Way in the Pocket area.
Antone passed away on May 2, 1917, and in honoring him, as well as Maria, who died on Jan. 30, 1909, and five deceased infants and children of their family, during the late 1990s, several of his descendents worked on a project to have new markers placed at the Perry plot in the old section of the cemetery. The markers were installed on Dec. 9, 1999.
Sacramento native Lisa (Vierra) Turrentine, who has her own Portuguese heritage, is quite familiar with St. Joseph’s Cemetery.
In continuing the former work of her mother, Billie (McKinney) Vierra (1923-2006), Turrentine delivers flowers to the gravesites of her deceased ancestors at St. Joseph’s, St. Mary’s and East Lawn Memorial Park about nine days per year.
“My grandmother [Uva (White) McKinney] went to pay homage to her ancestors and relatives at East Lawn, because they contributed so much to our family. I know she took flowers there. Following in her footsteps, my mother would take flowers to East Lawn, as well as St. Joseph’s. I started going with my mother to the cemeteries after my father (John Vierra) passed away in 2002. I go to visit all of the different gravesites, because I just don’t think that those people should be forgotten. My daughter (Katie Roberts) occasionally goes to the cemeteries with me and I hope that she will (one day) take the torch and carry on the tradition.”
Turrentine, who graduated from Burbank High School in 1973, said that her cemetery visits eventually led her to the discovery of her great-grandmother’s gravesite at St. Joseph’s.
“When I was taking flowers to my grandmother’s (Maria Silveira Vierra) grave, there was a large tombstone next to her (gravesite) that had the name Maria Silveira Fuzila on it. I asked my uncle about it and he had never heard the name, Fuzila, before. The more I looked at it, the more curious I became. I always had an interest in my family history. I suspected that it could have been an aunt of my grandmother’s. I knew that her parents had both died when she was very young and she was raised by one of her aunts. So, I finally went downtown to the recorder’s office and requested a death certificate for Maria Silveira Fuzila. They asked me if it was a relative and I told them that I didn’t know and it could possibly be my great-grandmother. The clerk pulled up the death certificate and when she handed it to me and I saw the names on the death certificate, I knew that it was my great-grandmother. And I just literally got chills.”
Turrentine added that the confusion with the name on the tombstone was she knew of her great-grandmother solely as Mary Perry. Maria Silveira Fuzila was the daughter of Jose “Joseph” Pereira Beirao, who immigrated from Sao Jorge in the Azores islands to the United States in about 1854 and commonly used the Anglicized surname Perry.
With her initial success in discovering the burial site of her great-grandmother, Turrentine continues to expand her genealogical research and has also discovered that her aforementioned great-grandfather is buried in an unmarked grave next to her great-grandmother.
In regard to the latter years leading up to the opening of St. Mary’s Cemetery, The Sacramento Bee reported on Oct. 5, 1917, that during the previous night, the Curtis Oaks Improvement Club had made a decision to request that the city commission close St. Joseph’s Cemetery.
The article noted that Alfred J. Argall, the club’s president and a resident of 2208 2nd Ave., near the cemetery, would name a committee to appear before the city commission to present its opinions that the Catholic Cemetery Association should find other grounds for burials somewhere out in the country, and that further burials at St. Joseph’s should be discontinued.
Additionally, the article noted that the poor condition of a section of the old Freeport Boulevard, including the cemetery’s frontage area, was “retarding the development of the West Curtis Oaks and Curtis Oaks communities.”
The article mentioned that that section of the road, which was a main artery into the city, had been declared as one of Sacramento’s worst streets.
About 11 years would pass before a new Catholic cemetery site “out in the country” would be acquired and developed. That cemetery – St. Mary’s Cemetery – had its first burial in 1929.
St. Joseph’s Cemetery, which still has occasional burials, presents many opportunities for people to learn about Sacramento’s past. The cemetery is open daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Riverside-Pocket area native Marvin Silva remembered

Marvin Silva was a member of the 1939 McClatchy High School football team, which became the first McClatchy gridiron squad to beat the Sacramento High School football team. Photo courtesy of Silva family

Marvin Silva was a member of the 1939 McClatchy High School football team, which became the first McClatchy gridiron squad to beat the Sacramento High School football team. Photo courtesy of Silva family

Editor’s Note: This is part one in a series about the late Riverside-Pocket area native Marvin Silva.

Marvin Silva, who passed away last October, less than two weeks shy of his 90th birthday, lived a very eventful life.
His connection to the Riverside-Pocket area is undoubtedly rich, as he was literally born in the area.
On Oct. 28, 1923, a doctor arrived by horse and buggy to assist in his birth at the Silva house on the ranch of Marvin’s grandparents, John and Clara Machado.
The Silva family home was located at the postal delivery address of Route 8, Box 752, directly across the street from Manuel “Pachtude” and Carrie Mauricio’s home at Route 8, Box 737.
Although the old Mauricio home still stands on the river levee at the present day address of 5890 Riverside Blvd., the Silva home was demolished in preparation for the construction of Interstate 5 in that area.
Marvin’s parents, Victor D. and Mamie (Machado) Silva, had moved into their home off the old Riverside Road following their January 1923 marriage at St. Elizabeth Portuguese National Church at the northeast corner of 12th and S streets.
Because Marvin had a greater weight and length than an average baby, the men of his family proudly spoke about how they believed he would grow to be a “big man.”
Additionally, Marvin’s family took an even deeper pride in his birth, as he represented the fourth generation of his family to reside in the Riverside-Pocket area.
Marvin’s great-grandfather, Antone Rodrigues Perry, who was born as Antone Rodrigues Pereira in the island of Faial in the Azores islands on March 26, 1831, was one of the earliest, if not the earliest of the Portuguese to settle in today’s Pocket area. He became a resident of the area in the early 1850s.
The Riverside-Pocket area was very rural during Marvin’s youth.
For instance, his grandparents’ ranch had cows for milk and cheese and rabbits for food.
The Machado ranch also included alfalfa, row crops, fruit trees, two large barns and a tool shed.
Fortunately for Marvin, the Mauricio family included Edward and Herman Mauricio, who were both around his age and were thus suitable to become his childhood playmates.
Marvin’s sister, Dolores, who was a year younger than him, became a tomboy, as she tagged along with these three boys.
These children and other children in the area attended the old Sutter School, which is the present site of Cabrillo Civic Club #5 at 4605 Karbet Way. The boundaries of the school, which educated first through eighth grade students, were from Pimentel’s Ingleside Café – presently The Trap bar – north to Sutterville Road.
A short distance north of the Silva home was the home and grocery store of Manuel Da Rosa.
After graduating from Sutter School, Manuel’s oldest son, Elmer, learned to fly a plane and become a crop duster.
In being fascinated by aviation, Marvin idolized Elmer, and Elmer became his hero.
Furthermore, the Municipal Airport – now known as the Executive Airport – was located on Freeport Boulevard, about a mile away from Marvin’s home.

Marvin Silva is shown at the age of 1. Photo courtesy of Silva family

Marvin Silva is shown at the age of 1. Photo courtesy of Silva family

Planes from that airport would frequently fly near the ranch and Marvin would pester his father to take him to the airport to watch planes take off and land and to possibly see Elmer.
When Marvin was in the fifth grade, he moved with his family to a different home at 2932 Freeport Blvd., near the then-future site of C.K. McClatchy High School, which would receive the address of 3066 Freeport Blvd.
At that time, Sacramento was home to only one high school, Sacramento High School, which was established in 1856.
Following his family’s relocation to Freeport Boulevard, Marvin began attending the old Crocker School at 1740 Vallejo Way. The school eventually combined with the later established Riverside School at 2970 Riverside Blvd. to create today’s Crocker/Riverside Elementary School at the latter named address.
After completing his education at Crocker School, Marvin attended the old California Junior High School at Land Park Drive and Vallejo Way for grades seven, eight and nine, and McClatchy High for grades 10, 11 and 12.
Marvin, who began to be recognized as “Marv” at McClatchy High, developed leadership skills at that school.
He became involved in many high school activities and he served as his class’s president during his sophomore and junior years and McClatchy’s student body president for his senior year of 1940-41.
Additionally, Marvin edited the sports page for McClatchy High’s weekly newspaper, The Prospector, and was the business manager of the staff for the school’s yearbook, The Nugget.
Each year, he sold the most yearbooks, including 112 in 1941. His sister was the runner-up yearbook salesperson to Marvin, and she would eventually surpass her brother’s record sales figures following his graduation.
Marvin also had an interest in sports, beyond his school newspaper work, and his favorite sport was football.
During his junior and senior years, Marvin was a member of McClatchy’s varsity football teams, which included standouts Freddie Wristen, Ernie Busch, Gene Geremia, Ted La Tona and George Stathos.
Marvin, who was the team’s right halfback, contributed to one of the most notable games in McClatchy sports history – a gridiron contest against the Lions’ archrival, the Sacramento High School Dragons football team, on Nov. 17, 1939.
Following McClatchy’s 13-6 victory against Sacramento High – a game that marked the team’s first victory in their annual rivalry game against the Dragons – many McClatchy students walked or drove cars between Sacramento Stadium (today’s Hughes Stadium) and McClatchy High.
The students yelled and honked their horns for nearly an hour and would have likely continued their celebration had they not been ushered from the area and told to return to their homes.

Southside Improvement Club celebrates 100th anniversary

The gathering was attended by members of the club and their female guests. / Photo by Lance Armstrong

The gathering was attended by members of the club and their female guests. / Photo by Lance Armstrong

Members of the Southside Improvement Club gathered in the Monsignor Val Fagundes Hall of the historic St. Elizabeth Portuguese National Church at 1817 12th St. on Dec. 5 to celebrate a very special occasion – the 100th anniversary of the organization’s incorporation.
The milestone was actually achieved on Nov. 10, a century after more than 125 local citizens met at the O.D.E.S. Hall on W Street, between 5th and 6th streets, to officially work as a unit in securing needed improvements for the “South Side” section of the city, which was then described as being located from Front to 15th streets and from R to Y streets.
Although historic newspaper accounts recognize the Southside Improvement Club as operating for about a decade prior to its Nov. 10, 1913 anniversary date, the organization had not yet been incorporated during those earlier years.
On Tuesday, Nov. 11, 1913, The Sacramento Star published an article entitled “New improvement club is formed.”
The article noted that the objective of the club was to clean up and improve the south side of the city.
The Sacramento Bee’s Nov. 11, 1913 report on the same topic noted: “It was agreed that any person owning property on the south side (of the city was) eligible to membership” and that “the club (would) fight for desired public improvements.”
Charter members of the organization included Ben Adams, J.V. Azevedo, F. Butler, Daniel H. Carroll, William A. Carroll, J.T. Connor, Cornelius C. Conrad, William A. Durant, Joe Enos, William S. Gloria, R. Arthur Leiva, John B. Martin, Joseph McDermott, Peter J. Nusbaum, Charles S. Ralph, William L. Rose, Elwood Santos, J.G. Thomas, Elmer O. Walker and Charles W. Walser.
During the aforementioned Nov. 10, 1913 club meeting, the following officers were elected: Ralph, president; Rose, vice president; Nusbaum, treasurer; and Walser, secretary.
The club’s constitution was read and approved during the organization’s following meeting, which was held on Nov. 24, 1913.
Early activities and improvements instituted or supported by the club included the development of Southside and William Land parks, the repairing and removal of levees, the construction of the Robert E. Callahan Memorial and improvements to local streets.
The club was also influential in the efforts to have the current swimming pool constructed at Southside Park 60 years ago.
The 100th anniversary gathering began with an installation of officers presented by the club’s President Joe Waters.
These incoming officers are Larry Budney, president; Manny Perry, vice president; Steve Silva, second vice president; Robert Salerno; secretary; Michael Budney, treasurer; and Judge Jerry Bakarich, sergeant at arms. These men will officially begin working in these positions in January.
In discussing his upcoming role with the club with the Land Park News, Larry said, “We have basically come from a political lobbying type of club (with) concerned citizens that were looking to improve and beautify the city, and certainly that probably still exists in people’s hearts here. But the reality is we’re getting older and politics is really complicated nowadays, and I’d rather just focus on doing something that’s a little more practical and focusing on how we can be helpful to the community. In that way, we can work with individuals, like if you know a kid who needs scholarship money or if we’re going to help a family and improve their life maybe by giving them some extra money for Christmas gifts or whatever. In that way, we would be more philanthropic. It’s also going to require that we think about it. I’m going to throw it out there to the guys in my first meeting (as president) and say, ‘Okay, we’re called the improvement club, so in reality, what are we really improving? What is it that you really want this club to do that would be meaningful?’”
The next portion of the Dec. 5 gathering was a historical review of the club by Judge Jerry Bakarich.
Bakarich then introduced the club’s historian, William Burg, who presented a slide show featuring historic photographs of the club, the south side area and other scenes of Sacramento.
The event, which was the club’s second ladies’ night of the year, also included a brief speech by Larry Budney and comments by Dr. Herbert Yee, a rib-eye steak and chicken dinner prepared by Joe Semon and his crew and a raffle for prizes that were donated by club members. The raffle was conducted by Jerry Balshor.
The club also had a collection area for donated coats for the News10 Coats for Kids drive.
In celebration of last week’s special gathering, several members of the club shared details about the organization and their memories about the club and its anniversary.
Portions of the comments of these members are presented, as follows:
Al Balshor: “I think it’s great (that the club is celebrating 100 years) and we’ll keep it at $3 a year (for) dues. We’ve had many, many dignitaries in office – mayors, city managers, supervisors. The old club, if you didn’t go through the Southside, you never got a job. The old dignitaries (who were members of the club included) George Klumpp, Frank Seymour, Jim Garlick. Bartley Cavanaugh was the city manager (and a member of the club). We (formerly) met back for many years at the Southside Park clubhouse. (The club) used to have, all the way from the early 1930s or so, fireworks in the park. The city would pay for the fireworks. It cost them $2,500 and we would put it on with entertainment at the Callahan Memorial there. I’ve been president (of the club) twice. I was president in 1954 and 1997, and each (term was) two years. I didn’t join (the organization) much long before (1954), because I was under 18. You have to be 18 to get in. I think there are about 12 left of (the surviving) presidents (of the club). (Among them is) old Manny Perry. He’s of my age. We meet on the third Thursday of each month at St. Elizabeth Church at 12th and S (streets), and occasionally we’ll take bus trips. We’ll go to Reno, (etc.). We have a ladies’ night twice a year. It’s still a men’s club, but we’ll bring them as our guests.”
Manuel “Mannie” J. Viera, Jr.: “My dad (Manuel J. Viera, Sr.) belonged to (the club) for years. And I got my cousin, Ricky Dias, into it, too, or vice versa. I’m not sure which. I like the camaraderie (of the club). There are a lot of people who I’ve known since I was a young man going to (Holy Angels School and Christian Brothers High School). We reminisce about those things and stuff like that. I think it’s tremendous (that the club is celebrating its centennial). A lot of clubs don’t last that long. The membership drops and they get disinterested and that sort of thing. But (the Southside club) seems to be doing a pretty good job over there, so I’m glad I’m with them.”
Ron King: “I joined the (club) about 45 to 50 years ago. Everybody at south side used to belong to it back then. They took care of everybody in south side. I lived right by (Southside) Park at 3rd and W (streets). I think (the 100th anniversary) is outstanding. A lot of old-timers went through that club, and big wheels, too. They had mayors, police chiefs, stuff like that. I get to see a lot of guys (at the club) who I grew up with. There are a lot of old-timers there who lived down by (Southside) Park. So, you get to see them and talk to them and hash over old times.”
Bob Dias: “Ron King and a lot of friends I had in there (at the club) – Gene Plecas and a guy who worked for me, Tony Viegas, and his brother, Danny Viegas – (were members of the organization). I just got interested in it. There are few clubs that have lasted as long (as the Southside Improvement Club), so you’ve got to give them a lot of credit. Financially, they never had a lot of money to operate on, but they survived.”
Joe Waters: “I joined about 20 years ago. My friend, (Tony Scalora), who passed (at the age of 78 on April 20, 2004), he and I were great fishing buddies, and he said, ‘Why don’t you come down (to the club) and I’ll pay your dues?’ It’s $3 a year. It’s the best two-bit club in America. I live in the north area. (Originally), there were no (residential) boundaries (for the club members, but today) some (members) live in the north area, some of them live in the Bay Area, some of them live in Elk Grove, Auburn, El Dorado Hills. They’re scattered all over now. When I first got out of the Air Force (in 1960), I lived on W Street (near) 16th Street. I (initially) thought (the club) was a hoot. The guys, they would get up and they would talk about baseball and what we’re going to do to help the area. (Despite its more social approach), it’s still an improvement club. We give to (St. Elizabeth) church, we give to the different schools and what have you. It’s a great club and I hope we’re going to do another 100 (years).”

Former ‘disco king’ speaks about his work as a paranormal investigator

Paul Dale Roberts presents a selection of publications featuring his paranormal related writings. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Paul Dale Roberts presents a selection of publications featuring his paranormal related writings. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Editor’s Note: This is part three in a series about former Sacramento disco king, Paul Dale Roberts.

In continuing with the story of the life and times of the former Sacramento disco king Paul Dale Roberts, following the death of disco, Roberts evolved into a new persona.
Far from his days when his dancing attracted crowds at local clubs and he traveled around in Rolls Royces with an entourage, Roberts is now recognized as one the nation’s leading paranormal investigators.
But more than a basic paranormal investigator, he became a Fortean investigator, which is a person who investigates all things paranormal, from ghosts to UFOs to cryptids.
Before Roberts explained how he became a paranormal investigator, he noted that he receives many paranormal hotline calls from people in the Pocket area.”
“There are paranormal books that make claim that many new homes in the Pocket area became haunted due to the fact that these homes were built over Portuguese cemeteries,” Roberts said.
Although, with research, one can easily discover that the majority Portuguese pioneers of the Riverside-Pocket area were interred in the old St. Joseph’s Cemetery at 2615 21st St., it is likely that these books are instead referring to old Indian burial grounds.
In speaking about this delicate topic, Pocket resident Dolores Greenslate, who serves as the historian of the Portuguese Historical and Cultural Society, said, “There was no Portuguese cemetery in Sacramento. We had a number of (Indian burial grounds) in the Pocket and Riverside area. Two of them that I know of are one on the Manuel Alvernaz ranch and then on the neighboring King Brown property, where his (two-story) home was located (to the immediate north of the Alvernaz ranch) on a mound. The mound was an Indian burial ground. That’s the one when they constructed (Interstate) 5 and they hit this mound, they had to tear down the old house – it was the old Brown house – and when they did, bones went flying all over the place. They didn’t even bother asking anyone what that was, and if they had, most of us could have told them that that was an Indian burial ground. Anyway, they brought the whole Interstate 5 (project) to a halt until they figured out what they were going to do.”
After being asked the golden question of how he became a paranormal investigator, Roberts chuckled, then said, “Oh, yes, where do I begin? When I was a child, I lived in a haunted house on Effy Street in Fresno. I heard a young woman call my (middle) name and she was trying to beckon me into the orange grove. She was saying, ‘Dale, come here, Dale come here.’ I saw flying skulls in my bedroom. I was violently shoved into a heater. My mother heard me coughing one night and she came into my room and looked possessed and gave me a teaspoon of poison by accident. I vomited the poison up. She was horrified and we moved out of this home. After moving out of this home, things got better and I remember meeting (William Boyd, who played) Hopalong Cassidy at a parade in Fresno and my life seemed normal again. I learned later in life that children have psychic abilities up to the age of 8, and then most lose those abilities. (That is) why you hear about children having imaginary friends. I was still haunted about that house on Effy Street, so I started reading every book I could get my hands on in regard to the paranormal. I was reading Brad Steiger books, ‘Chariot of the Gods’ by Erich von Daniken, etc.
“In 1973, I went into the Army and became a military cop with the Criminal Investigation Division, Drug Suppression Team. This is where I learned to be an investigator. I was also a private investigator with my own company, called Silhouette Enterprises. I was not very successful as a private investigator and I allowed that to phase out in my life.”
Roberts said that his curiosity about the paranormal continued through his disco years, and that he became interested in UFOS during his latter Army years.
“I was stationed in Seoul, Korea – Yongsan Barracks – Photo Interpretation Center – Korea,” Roberts said. “At PIC-K, I worked with image interpreters and we studied aerial reconnaissance photos of North Korea and Red China. On one particular day, six photos came in. The photos were of a variety of UFOs taken by reconnaissance satellites in outer space. On the back of all the photos, there were two words: ‘intelligent movement.’ Each photo represented a video that went with each photo. I assigned a number to each photo and sent the photos up the line to the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) and they eventually went to the CIA, and I heard nothing more about it. Military Intelligence honed my skills as a future paranormal investigator and I didn’t know in 1981 that I would ever became a paranormal investigator, but everything was leading me down a path toward this career. Later, I became an OPFOR (opposing forces) Army instructor teaching the Soviet Threat, which taught me the ability to lead a large group of people. This would be needed to lead my large group of HPI (formerly Haunted and Paranormal Investigations/now Hegelianism Paranormal Intelligence) investigators.”
Roberts said that he later began dating a ghost hunter and that since he was already a writer in the comic book industry and knew a lot about the paranormal, she invited him on an HPI ghost hunt.
With his introduction to HPI, Roberts met HPI’s then-owner Shannon McCabe, who took an interest in Roberts’ experience as a writer.
In speaking about that time in his life, Roberts said, “(After) I told Shannon McCabe that I was a freelance journalist, she Googled me on her laptop, saw the many comic book articles I wrote, grabbed my arm and said, ‘I love the press.’ Shannon showed me how to use the equipment and I wrote my first HPI paranormal article that was published in two British magazines and (on) 14 ghost (related) Web sites.
“Shannon was so pleased at the results, she sent me an e-mail and cc’d her staff. She told me that I was going to be HPI’s ‘ghost writer,’ core group member, and she would teach me how to ghost hunt. I replied to Shannon that I would love to join them on a few occasions here and there, but I was too busy with the comic book industry. Shannon sent me a private message and explained to me that right now the paranormal is hot and I should allow my comic book industry partner and vice president, Richard Vasseur, (to) handle the business for a couple of months. Well, Richard has been running my comic book Web site, ( for eight years now, and now I am the owner of HPI International and still investigating, writing paranormal articles and writing books.”