East Sac’s Knott’s Pharmacy has relocated to Carmichael

Knott’s Pharmacy, an East Sac presence on J Street for more than 75 years, has moved its operations to Coyle Avenue in Carmichael as of Jan. 15. But worry not, faithful Knott’s customers, owner Steve Dokimos stresses that it’s business as usual, even from the new surroundings.

Dokimos delivers around 20 prescriptions himself every night free of charge to long-standing customers in East Sac in an effort to show customers that they can still have their orders filled by Dokimos and company.

The pharmacy moved away from its most recent home at 4819 J St. because of a failed attempt to buy the leased property from its owner. Dokimos, who became the owner on Feb. 2, 2002, held a 10-year lease that expired in 2012. After trying unsuccessfully to buy the property, (the owner apparently had no intention of selling) Dokimos settled on paying month-by-month rent for the next year.

After briefly considering moving into the plot next door on J Street, Dokimos decided that his best move would be to shift the pharmacy to Coyle Avenue while he tries to find another plot in East Sac.

“I’m looking for places on H Street, J Street or Folsom Blvd.,” Dokimos said. “I’m working with a leasing agent to look for places.”

Somewhere near the intersection of 51st and L at the old Lucky’s lot would be ideal for Dokimos, as he grew up visiting his grandmother at the intersection when he was just a boy.

Despite moving his base of operations, Dokimos said that many long-time customers have stayed with him.

“I get a lot of visitors from East Sac,” he said. “I probably get more business catering to East Sac than I do around here.”

Despite moving into a former pharmacy space in the St. George Medical Building on Coyle Ave., Dokimos wants East Sac customers, who may be unaware of the pharmacy’s moving, to know that they can still do business with him.

“I want to get the word out that we moved – not closed. We are still open for business.”

As far as getting back in the J Street area, Dokimos said that he would like to get a lease agreement signed within the next three months and hopefully be open for business within another three months.

“We will be back,” he said. “We are dedicated to our clients and we try our hardest for them.”

For more information, Knott’s Pharmacy can be reached at 455-3068.

Coming Up Roses – Sacramento Rose Society Helps Keep McKinley Rose Garden Blooming

Young volunteers help out at the Sacramento Rose Society's annual pruning of the McKinley Park Rose Garden. / Photo courtesy Ellie Longanecker.

Young volunteers help out at the Sacramento Rose Society's annual pruning of the McKinley Park Rose Garden. / Photo courtesy Ellie Longanecker.

On Saturday, Jan. 5, about 60 volunteers of all ages came out to help the Sacramento Rose Society with its annual pruning of the McKinley Park Rose Garden in East Sacramento.

Kent Duncan, president of the Sacramento Rose Society, says having that many community volunteers come out to learn how to prune the roses was a big help since it’s a large job. “There’s 1,100 roses there, so it takes a while to prune and having that many people was wonderful,” he adds.

And Ellie Longanecker, a UC Master Gardener and consulting rosarian with the Sacramento Rose Society, had an additional 65 volunteers through the Sacramento Sheriff’s alternative sentencing program help with the pruning on New Year’s Eve as well.

Longanecker says an event like this can help show the community how all their hard work right now will be rewarded in the spring. “One of the reasons this garden can be organic — as in no pesticides or fungicides – is because the winter prune (cleans) out the garden and (gets) all the leaves and debris so it doesn’t over-winter,” she explains. “That really encourages a nice healthy spring.”

Get Growin’

Longanecker is the main contact between the Society and the McKinley Rose Garden, and has been working on improving the garden since 2009. She says the Society was asked to help restore the rose garden as the roses were declining.

After working with neighborhood community organizations such as Friends of East Sacramento and MENA (McKinley East Sacramento Neighborhood Association), and receiving the support of the Sacramento Rose Society’s Board, Longanecker says she took a proposal to the City of Sacramento to improve the garden. Ultimately the City decided to initiate a major restoration of the garden, Longanecker says, and funded $350,000 to pay for a new irrigation system, hardscape and sod.

Once the improvements were finished – including the planting of hundreds of purchased and donated roses – Longanecker says the McKinely Park Rose Garden was reopened in March 2012.

Longanecker says she is continuing to work on the rose garden, such as replacing stakes for “rose trees” she has planted, plus they plan to restore the antique water fountain monument and add another to the garden. And now the garden is also under the care of Friends of East Sacramento, who have hired a professional gardener and is managing renting the garden for weddings and other events.

“How the rose garden has come together has really exceeded any expectation that I had for it,” Longanecker says. “It’s just incredible what’s come together with the Friends of East Sacramento in conjunction with the Sacramento Rose Society, the Parks Department and the community … to make that whole thing happen. It’s really positive and that’s really what a club is all about.”

The 2013 All American Rose Selection winner pink Hybrid Tea, named "Francis Meilland." Five of these roses are on display at the newly-renovated McKinley Park Rose Garden, and some will be available at the Sacramento Rose Society's  annual fundraiser and rose auction on February 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the Shepard's Garden & Arts Center at McKinley Park.

The 2013 All American Rose Selection winner pink Hybrid Tea, named "Francis Meilland." Five of these roses are on display at the newly-renovated McKinley Park Rose Garden, and some will be available at the Sacramento Rose Society's annual fundraiser and rose auction on February 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the Shepard's Garden & Arts Center at McKinley Park.

Budding In

So just who is the Sacramento Rose Society?

Duncan says the Society, which has been around since the 1940s, is a group of about 80 members who enjoy growing roses and educating the public about growing roses.

He says the group meets the second Thursday of each month at the Shepard Garden & Arts Center at McKinley Park. All meetings are open to the public, and each has a lecturer to talk about specific rose growing topics.

Longanecker says the January lecture will be on pruning, while the February meeting will feature the club’s rose auction. “We have some beautiful roses to auction to the public … it’s stuff that you sometimes can’t get at a nursery,” she says.

In addition to their monthly meetings, the Society also holds annual Rose Show the last weekend of April, also at the Shepard Center. Duncan says it is an exhibition show and anybody who wishes to enter can do so, or they can bring in roses for identification or learn more about rose care and growing. “It’s a great show to go to look for roses that you might be interested in, either in terms of the style of the rose or color, (and) it’s a great place to identify and look for things that you would like to have in your garden,” he adds.

The Society also has a number of volunteer certified rosarians that Duncan says anyone can call for help or advice with their roses. A list of rosarians by area can be found on the Society’s website,  HYPERLINK “http://www.sactorose.org/sacramentorosesociety”www.sactorose.org/sacramentorosesociety. “The consulting rosarians have to pass a test to get that designation so that they have the expertise to answer the questions,” Duncan explains. “They will either help you over the phone or come to your house and help answer questions about roses.”

Make It Blossom

With the Sacramento Rose Society doing so much to help the Sacramento community, what can community members do to help their efforts?

When it comes to the McKinley Park Rose Garden, Longanecker says the community can help support the garden through booking events, the adopt-a-plot program, and financial donations. She adds they will soon be looking for volunteers to help in April with “dead heading” – removing blooms past their prime to encourage the flower to bloom again.

For the Society itself, Duncan encourages anyone with an interest in roses to consider coming to an upcoming meeting. “That’s where you’re going to learn the most – you’ve got very experienced rosarians at the meetings that can answer questions, plus there’s usually a topic at each meeting that has something to do with the care and culture of roses,” he says. “That’s the best way to truly make sure you’re getting good information and get your questions answered.”

And Duncan says they are hoping to attract young people who are interested in roses to help add energy to the Society. “We’re trying to let people realize roses are not difficult to grow and they don’t have to take a lot of time – there’s a lot of newer roses that are great for in your yard and don’t require a lot of time,” he says.

Longanecker agrees, and says she was pleased to see the number of younger volunteers at the annual pruning, as well as volunteers that come during the year from area schools and groups. “We need to foster a spark and enthusiasm and love of gardening in a younger generation … it’s really important to help encourage them to be the gardeners of our future,” she says. “I don’t want to see the enthusiasm or passion for gardening go by the wayside.”

The Sacramento Rose Society meets the second Thursday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Shepard Garden & Arts Center, 3330 McKinley Blvd., in East Sacramento. For more information, visit  www.sactorose.org/sacramentorosesociety.

To book a wedding or event, or adopt-a-plot to help with the ongoing expenses for maintenance for McKinley Park Rose Garden, call 916-452-8100.

Sac State ‘Renaissance Man’ wins faculty award

Sacramento State Chemistry Professor James Ritchey is the 2013 recipient of the Andreoli Faculty Service Award.  The honor was presented during the California State University Biotechnology Symposium, Jan. 3-5 at the Anaheim Marriott.

The honor recognizes a faculty member who has made outstanding contributions to the development of biotechnology programs in the 23-campus CSU system. Professor A. Andreoli (CSU Los Angeles) was committed to his students and believed  the CSU has a special role to play in higher education by providing opportunities to many nontraditional students who otherwise would  have fewer options for advancement.

Ritchey enjoys teaching and appreciates the fact that many of his students have been the first in their family  to earn a college degree. “I was the first in mine to do so,” he says, “but was fortunate enough to receive scholarships. So many of my students are working, which makes it doubly difficult to keep up with their course work.”

The professor is something of a Renaissance man. His major fields are biochemistry, chemistry, patent law and intellectual property law. His lecture and lab assignments have combined general, organic and biochemistry courses, and various upper-division biochemistry classes.

His book College Chemistry in the Laboratory is in its 10th edition.

Richey attended McGeorge School of Law at night, earned his degree and taught intellectual property law and patent law as an adjunct there for 15 years. He’s currently a partner at the law firm of O’Banion & Ritchey LLP, which specializes in intellectual property law (patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and unfair competition) and related litigation and licensing matters.  And he advises Sacramento State’s University Enterprises Inc. on patent law.

“I enjoy doing different things, which is why I didn’t concentrate on research following my postdoctoral work at  UC Berkeley,” he says. As a National Institutes of Health scholar there from 1974 to 1977, he could have landed a position at one of the country’s leading research universities.

“I came to Sacramento State because I wanted to teach,” Ritchey says. And he has done just that for the last 35  years, except for a 12-month leave in 1985 to learn how to practice patent law at a leading firm in San Francisco.

Les Baux Brings French Flair to East Sac

Breads from Les Baux.  / Photos by Corrie Pelc

Breads from Les Baux. / Photos by Corrie Pelc

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to walk down the bustling streets of France or New York City, chances are you would encounter bakeries, almost one on every street, featuring crusty loaves of fresh baked breads.

The good news is you don’t have to go that far anymore if you live in East Sacramento. Just head to the corner of 51st Street and Folsom Boulevard to the new Les Baux bakery and bistro.

Co-owner Trong Nguyen showcases two breads from Les Baux – the French rye and the épi type baguette.  / Photos by Corrie Pelc

Co-owner Trong Nguyen showcases two breads from Les Baux – the French rye and the épi type baguette. / Photos by Corrie Pelc

Why East Sac?

Co-owned by Trong Nguyen and his wife, who also founded La Bou Bakery & Cafe, Nguyen says the vision for Les Baux came from their travels to Europe. “We thought maybe (with) our experience, knowledge, resources and skills, (we could) put together a cool neighborhood bakery cafe bistro – the kind of place people would come and hang out and have a good time, like the places we would love to (go) … in other parts of the world,” he explains.

For this concept, Nguyen says they decided on East Sacramento because they loved the neighborhood. “It’s a really wonderful neighborhood on both sides of Folsom Boulevard, and very accessible to bicycles and foot traffic, and near the parks,” he says.

Nguyen appreciates the support he has received from the East Sacramento community since Les Baux first opened its doors about six months ago, with many customers already becoming repeat customers and others returning with their friends. “The people in East Sac are just incredible,” he adds.

One fan of Les Baux is East Sacramento resident Ed Christenson, who has become a frequent customer for the store’s bread and pastries. He says the bread is a very good quality and with a good flavor. He says it’s nice to “have a good bread store nearby” and feels Les Baux is a “nice addition” to East Sacramento.

And South East Sacramento residents Rosemarie Bertacchi and M. Teresa Lew say they have become consistent customers of Les Baux, and feel the restaurant is unique and neighborly. “(It) has the ability to be casual, as well as beginning to be in the class of epicurean,” Lew adds.

Breads from Les Baux.  / Photos by Corrie Pelc

Breads from Les Baux. / Photos by Corrie Pelc

The Bakery

For the bakery part of Les Baux, Nguyen says they wanted to make a traditional bakery that you would find in France, New York and San Francisco.

The star attraction of the bakery is the bread. Les Baux offers a variety of breads, from baguettes to pain au levain (country white) to a multigrain bread. The bakery also offers types not normally seen, including the French rye and épi type baguette – rather than a straight loaf, the baguette has angled sections making it easy to break pieces off for eating.

According to Nguyen, all the breads are made each day from scratch from a natural ferment. The starter for the dough is made the day before baking. Each day at midnight, staff members come in to make the dough, which Nguyen says takes a few hours.

Then the bread is baked. Nguyen says these types of breads require a traditional deck oven, which requires a certain set of skills to operate as the dough is dropped directly on to the stone hearth. “It makes the best bread – it has a really good steaming system and even heat,” he explains. “That’s the kind of setting for making wonderful bread.” To help ensure his bread would be great, Nguyen even brought in bakers from Europe and New York to teach him how to make this type of bread.

In addition to the bread, the bakery at Les Baux features a variety of pastries, including croissants, scones, pain au chocolat, and different types of cookies.

Pastries from Les Baux.  / Photos by Corrie Pelc

Pastries from Les Baux. / Photos by Corrie Pelc

The Bistro

For the bistro, Nguyen says they wanted to create a place that was more of a neighborhood hangout than a restaurant. “A French diner where people would come to eat a few times a week,” he explains.

To accomplish this, Nguyen says they focused on making an interesting and diverse – yet affordable – menu using classic French bistro dishes. “I want everything to be affordable prices, the kind of thing a neighbor could walk over and have dinner – they don’t have to wait for their anniversary or birthday to come here,” he adds.

On the breakfast menu, dishes include the “3 Day” French Toast, so named, Nguyen says, because the French toast takes three days to create – two days to make the bread, and one day for it to naturally air dry, resulting, in what he calls a very light French toast. Other items on the breakfast menu include a breakfast focaccia and a continental breakfast.

For lunch and dinner – Les Baux just began offering dinner Tuesday through Saturday – Steak Frite (steak and French fries) Nguyen says is a very popular and traditional French bistro staple. Nguyen says other well-known French bistro dishes on their menu include Moules Frites (mussels and French fries) and raw oysters on the half shell, as well as three different types of tarts.

Patrons can also enjoy a glass of wine with their meal. Nguyen says they have developed what they call the “Left Side Only Wine List,” where every bottle on the menu is $25 and every glass is $6, so there is no right side of the menu with prices listed. “People can concentrate on just the wine that they like,” he adds.

“A Luxury”

Now with six months under their belt, Nguyen says that so far he is very pleased with the outcome of Les Baux. He says although people in this area do not buy as much bread as Europeans or those on the East Coast do, “little by little the people are beginning to come in and buy bread.”

“For those living in East Sac, the fact that they have a real artisan bread bakery in their neighborhood is a luxury because most America does not have this – it’s rare to have such an entity in your neighborhood,” he says. “You can walk over or ride your bike over and grab a loaf of bread for dinner.”

And he’s happy with the feedback he’s been receiving from community members that have found Les Baux and are very pleased to have done so. “Those kinds of encounters really motivate us and keep us going,” he adds.

Find It:

Les Baux
5090 Folsom Blvd.

New developments underway in McKinley Park neighborhood

Cecily Hastings and Lisa Schmidt, cofounders of the Friends of East Sacramento, want to make weddings the primary source of income for the Clunie Center. / Photo by Adam Stark

Cecily Hastings and Lisa Schmidt, cofounders of the Friends of East Sacramento, want to make weddings the primary source of income for the Clunie Center. / Photo by Adam Stark

From renovating the Clunie Center, to rebuilding the playground, beautifying the rose garden and expanding the Greek Orthodox Church, McKinley will be a neighborhood “designed by the community and presented by the community,” in the words of Councilman Steve Cohn at a recent McKinley East Sacramento Neighborhood Association meeting.

Councilman Cohn made the above statement in regards to the efforts to rebuild McKinley Playground, in which he stated that more than $600,000 has been approved for reconstruction, and assured the community that all funds were gathered either from insurance claims or excess city money.

Cohn said the new playground will look like the old one, however, several changes will be made. There is intent to use a synthetic wood material as opposed to the real thing, and foam floors will likely replace the woodchips currently in use.

Across the park, the rose garden and Clunie Center will also see vast improvements.

Cecily Hastings and Lisa Schmidt, cofounders of the Friends of East Sacramento, are spearheading efforts to gather volunteers for maintenance of the gardens, namely general upkeep or the removal of dead flowers. So far, funds have been raised for the first year of upkeep, but $30,000 is still needed to complete the project.

Hastings and Schmidt want to make weddings the primary source of income for the Center, so they are working on a marketing package for local restaurants before advertising to the community. Their plan is to have East Sac restaurants cater weddings.

McKinley Park itself will not be the only part of the McKinley neighborhood to be renovated. The Greek Orthodox Church and Sutter Memorial have remodel plans in the works.

Architect Dan Eriksson and building chairman George Koufasimis explained plans for the renovation and expansion of the Greek Orthodox Church, located at the corner of Alhambra and F Street. The expansions will include a large hall, an education center, and a new courtyard.

The project will include demolishing most of the structures on the block (but not the existing church) and merging the entire block except for the physical therapists’ office on the corner of Alhambra Boulevard and G Street. According to the church’s master plan, the current church building would ultimately be demolished and replaced with a new one. But that’s a long ways off, maybe a decade or so.  The new hall will house a variety of events, as well as adapting and building on existing architecture.

Representatives of StoneBridge Properties LLC were also at the meeting to announce upcoming renovations to Sutter Memorial Hospital, which will help the building blend in with the surrounding neighborhood.


East Sac Give Back aims to bring communities together

Although it just started a few months ago with a Facebook page, new nonprofit East Sac Give Back is already making quite an impact in the community, including helping to raise more than $3,000 toward the rebuilding efforts for the McKinley Park playground.
East Sac Give Back is the brainchild of 13-year East Sacramento resident Michael Saeltzer. A former public school teacher, Saeltzer is currently a stay-at-home dad to his 4- and 6-year-old daughters and lives in East Sacramento with them and his wife, Shinder.
“We just love (East Sacramento),” he said. “We have wonderful neighbors, nice parks, great schools, recreational sports – it’s kind of the ideal place for us.”
Saeltzer says he got the idea for East Sac Give Back after reading an article in The Sacramento Bee that talked about discrepancies between East Sacramento and nearby Oak Park.
“They did a lot of talking about how East Sacramento has a lot of healthcare, parks, restaurants and neat activities for kids, and how Oak Park is really struggling with a lot of those things,” he said. “But they didn’t talk a lot about how the communities actually relate to each other.”
Saeltzer decided to start a discussion about this issue online and after generating some positive responses from both community and business members to see what he could do to help bring the two communities together.
“The mission of East Sac Give Back is to provide the community a single philanthropic identity,” Saeltzer said. “It’s kind of unique in that it’s not just to strengthen our own community in East Sacramento, it’s actually to reach out to other communities in Sacramento also. And in the long-term we’re planning on giving 50 percent of our fundraising to another community or other communities and 50 percent to be reinvested back into East Sacramento proper.”

Having an impact
Although East Sac Give Back does not yet have its tax-exempt status – which is something Saeltzer is currently working on – the nonprofit has already been helping to raise money and work on projects toward its mission.
Right now the organization’s main efforts have been going toward helping raise money to rebuild the playground at McKinley Park in East Sacramento, which burned down the evening of July 27.
“When that happened is when I really decided that I want to pump it into high gear to see if we could get some volunteers for the rebuilding, maybe raise some funds, and bring people together in a positive way,” Saeltzer said.
By using the group’s Facebook page and a fundraising website called GoFundMe.com, in less than 48 hours East Sac Give Back raised more than $1,600 toward the rebuild. And as of Aug. 2, more than $3,000 has been raised through the website.
This total does not include donations East Sac Give Back has been receiving from area businesses that are doing their own collecting.
“I didn’t expect to get too much because times are pretty hard right now, but … we’re coming along,” Saeltzer said. “Some people are donating $100. I mean, that’s really nice. So that blew me away – that’s been exciting.”

Making a difference
In addition to helping rebuild the McKinley Park playground, East Sac Give Back is working on other projects such as looking at starting community gardening in East Sacramento.
“There’s no community gardening in East Sacramento and there’s a couple of them in Oak Park,” Saeltzer said. “We’ve been talking with some of the people in Oak Park about how they got theirs started and how we might be able to get one put in here.”
Additionally, the organization is looking into putting a circuit training course in a neighborhood park in memory of Dr. David Kilmer, who Saeltzer says passed away a few years go and was very physical fitness oriented.
And East Sac Give Back is also looking at what can be done to keep community swimming pools open for another summer.
“A lot of people have really felt happy this summer that the pools were able to stay open and some of them still need help with funding,” he said.
Saeltzer said he would also like to see East Sac Give back do some events that would bring in members of other communities, such as Del Paso Heights, Oak Park or West Sacramento, “so that people can start getting to know each other beyond just their neighborhood boundaries and maybe share their food and music and good times together.”

Forging ahead
As East Sac Give Back marches forward, Saeltzer hopes to bring on more members to his group to get more input on what the organization should be doing.
He gets many of these ideas from his Facebook page, which was set up May 5 and currently has 98 followers, and Facebook Group, which has 201 members.
Saeltzer says the convenience and ease of connecting with individuals and communities is what made him launch East Sac Give Back on Facebook.
“It’s been a great platform for me,” he said. “It’s been fairly easy to operate, it’s been free and it’s been very transparent, which I think helps a lot. It was the easiest, quickest way to get the word out.”
Saeltzer said the most important thing for him is to focus on things that bring people and communities together.
“I want (East Sac Give Back) to be continually growing and continually networking with other individuals, businesses and even other nonprofits to find out how we can do things to help out communities,” he said.


Pocket Little League Champions

Pocket Little League is the local little league for the Pocket/Greenhaven area. To play in the league you have to be a resident or a recent resident of the Pocket/Greenhaven area. Our team was a pure 9-10 year old team. The teams we played against were allowed to have 11-12 year olds per Little League rules. We faced two teams that featured older kids (11 and 12 year olds) as their premier/star players.

Our team, the Yankees, won a 6 team league at Pocket Little League. The Pocket Little team with the best record after 20 inter-league games is crowned Pocket Little League champions and is sent to a tournament to represent Pocket Little League. The tournament is made up of 9 league champions primarily from the South Sacramento area. The leagues represented are Land Park, Oak Park, Florin, Cosumnes, East Sac, Airport, Parkway, Tahoe Tallac, and Pocket Little League. The tournament is called the Tournament of Champions (TOC).

In the Championship game, Vicente Lamera pitched 4 solid innings, striking out 9 batters. AJ Wallace stayed hot and went 3 for 3 at the plate, scoring 3 runs, and 1 RBI for us. Adrienne Lott came up with a huge 2 RBI hit in the top of the 6th that gave Branson Ferengel some cushion for the Save. We had a huge defensive play at the bottom of the 6th inning. Cosumnes hit a hard ball to the fence with a runner on first. Antonio Jacobo retrieved the ball and started a Championship relay to Vicente Lamera at the cut-off. Vicente spun and threw a dart to a perfectly positioned Nathyn Brown, who made solid catch and tag on a disappointed Cosumnes player. Pocket LL came out on top 6 to 4 over Cosumnes LL.

This was the first District 7 Championship win for Pocket Little League since 2005. We broke the 7-year Championship drought, including All-star tournaments. We beat Land Park in the first round. It was the first time in recent memory (7 years) that a Pocket Little League team, in any scenario, has beaten a team from Land Park. In our second game we beat East Sacramento. The Championship was against the reigning TOC Champion, Cosumnes.

We received the banner as shown in the picture that will be displayed at the new Conlin field during the playing season. It is the first championship banner won since Pocket Little League moved to the new Conlin fields. We are working on placing the player names on the banner that will be displayed at the Pocket Little League fields for years to come.

Our District 7 City Council member, Darrell Fong, congratulated the Yankees on winning the Pocket Little League and Tournament of Champions games.

ValComNews.com Funeral Services Directory

Valley Community Newspapers, Inc. now offers a comprehensive directory of Sacramento-area funeral homes and other services to assist you through the burial of a loved one. The directory is available on page 7 of our print publications (the Arden-Carmichael News, the East Sacramento News, The Land Park News and The Pocket News) and can be viewed online at www.valcomnews.com.


Valley Community Newspaper, Inc. staff knows that these times are hard, so we hope to make the planning and completion as simple as possible.


If you are a funeral home or supplier and wish to be a part of the directory, please call Patty Colmer at (916) 429-9901 or e-mail her at patty@valcomnews.com. To see a sample of the directory in print, download a PDF version here.


Directory members

East Lawn: Andrews & Greilich Mortuary
3939 Fruitridge Road
Sacramento, CA 95820
(916) 732-2026


East Lawn: East Lawn Memorial Park
4300 Folsom Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95819
(916) 732-2000


East Lawn: East Elk Grove Memorial Park and Mortuary
9189 East Stockton Rd.
Elk Grove, CA 95624
(916) 732-2031

Harry A Nauman & Son
4041 Freeport Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95822
(916) 452-6157


Lind Brothers
4221 Manzanita Ave.
Carmichael, CA 95608
(916) 482-8080


Nicoletti, Culjis & Herberger Funeral Home, Inc.
5401 Folsom Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95819
(916) 451-7284


Sierra Hills Memorial Park and East Lawn Mortuary
5757 Greenback Lane
Sacramento, CA 95841
(916) 732-2020, (916) 331-9800


WF Gormley and Sons Funeral Home
2015 Capitol Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 443-6513

Horse loose in ‘The Pit’

Marty Relles
Marty Relles
Back in the late 1950s, we played daily in the pit, the vacated sand and gravel site located directly behind the houses on the east side of Janey Way in East Sacramento. Today, St. Francis High School occupies the site; but back then, the pit became the source of many unforgettable stories. Local barber John Waldren related the following story to me recently.


One day, John, his friend Sonny and cousin Joe went down into the pit to play. They climbed up on a dirt pile in the center of the pit and heaved clods off the top of the mound. As they did this, they beheld an incredible site – a horse running loose in the pit. John had idea. “Let’s capture the horse, then find its owner. We will get a reward.”


So the boys worked as a team and managed to herd the animal up to a wall on the north side of the site. Carefully, one of the boys grabbed the horse’s rein. After calming the animal, they led it out of the pit up to the line of backyard fences located on the west side of the site. There, they tied the horse to a fence post. They walked over to M Street and then east toward 62nd Street, looking for yards large enough to stable a horse. Eventually they found a likely farmhouse off Elvas Avenue. They knocked on the door and spoke to a woman.


Sure enough, she said that she owned the horse. So the boys returned to the pit and waited for the owner to come and pick up the horse. After a while, a truck towing a horse trailer drove up and parked. The woman they spoke to exited the truck, walked up, unhitched the horse then walked away from the boys without even saying thank you. The boys were dumfounded. No reward, no thanks – nothing. They learned a valuable lesson that day. Sometimes in life, the most honorable deeds go unrewarded.



Spartacus revisited

This following story comes from my friend Tom Hart. In 1960, a group of the younger Janey Way boys went to the Alhambra Theater to see the movie “Spartacus,” the story of the gladiators who staged a rebellion against the Roman Empire.


The boys were so taken by the movie that when they returned home they fashioned shields out of cardboard and twine, made make-believe weapons by taping boxing gloves to the end of broomsticks and wore football helmets depicting the Roman headgear. Then they marched down into the pit and over to Mt. Everest, the large mound in the center of the great hole. There they staged seemingly-realistic gladiatorial fights, bopping one another’s shields with their homemade lances. As they did this, a group of older boys saw them and decided to chase them off the top of Mt. Everest. A battle ensued. The older boys cast dirt clods up at the boys atop Mt. Everest. They young boys returned fire, but the older boys moved inexorably up the side of the hill. In response, the younger boys rolled an empty 55-gallon oil drum up to the edge of Mt. Everest and down the hill toward the attacking boys. Naturally, the attackers fled in all available directions and did not return. Realizing they had won the battle, the younger boys raised their hands in the air and yelled, “Victory, victory, victory!” The battle for Mt. Everest had become another swashbuckling Janey Way memory.


E-mail Marty at marty@valcomnews.com.

A special reunion

Marty Relles
Marty Relles
On Dec. 27, the Janey Way gang held a reunion party. We celebrated 50-plus years of friendship and adventure. After our childhood days in East Sacramento, our lives have swirled off in very different directions, but the bonds remain strong. Now, most of us are at or approaching 60 years of age. Some, like me, are retired; others continue to work at jobs they enjoy. No matter what, on this day we reminisced, laughed, told oft-repeated stories, drank a glass of wine and enjoyed the day.

It seems like only yesterday that we ran down the sidewalk on Janey Way and took a beeline into the pit (the abandoned sand and gravel pit that abutted Janey Way on the east). Now, St. Francis High School sits on the land that once was the pit. Forts we built, lost toys, my stolen Roadmaster bike and god only knows what else are buried in that hole. I can’t help thinking that something special disappeared with the filling of the pit.

We also talked about poker games at the Ducray’s house, ping pong on the Relles driveway, sand lot baseball in the vacant lot, roller derby at Phoebe Hearst School, one-on-one basketball at St. Mary’s, the hub cap trick, the great beer heist, and the whole lexicon of stories that are Janey Way. During the time since these events occurred, we have lost some dear friends: Michael Gilson, Josie Tomassetti, Bernadette Tomassetti and Lynne Thomsen. We have married, divorced, re-married, raised children and now have grandchildren. The days of our youth are now long gone, but these stories live on as a testament to our friendships and to the richness of our lives.

We were blessed. We lived in a neighborhood where people looked after each other, not just a place where people drove home to after work or school. When Tom Harte and Dan Rosenblatt lost their fathers too early, people cared and looked out for them. When Michael Gilson lost his life in Viet Nam, we all attended his funeral and grieved for him. And, when people moved away from the neighborhood, we were saddened, but we kept in touch and have continued our friendships well into adulthood.

Reunion parties, like this one we held late last month, are tributes to the bonds that these friendships we have forged. We have all changed dramatically, but we have not forgotten where we came from and who our real friends are. The Janey Way memories live on and as long as I can remember them, I will continue to write about them.


E-mail Marty Relles at marty@valcomnews.com.