Sacramento State calls on campus community – including alumni – to wear green and gold on Thursdays

Sacramento State students showing their school spirit.
Sacramento State students showing their school spirit.

Students in Professor Tim Howard’s public relations planning and management classes are launching a “spirit campaign” to encourage students, faculty, staff, administration, alumni and university supporters to wear green and gold every Thursday to demonstrate school pride. Students are hoping that by increasing Sacramento State pride, there will be a boost in the school’s visibility locally and nationally. Additionally, they hope a little more school spirit will help add value to the degrees the students earn.
In an interview with this publication, student Kristy Collins said the idea of the campaign was introduced to her class by Mr. Howard. She described more in depth about this campaign, as follows: “A majority of the students in this class are graduating seniors. Every semester this particular class takes on a new campaign. The idea for the campaigns is introduced by Professor Howard and then is up to the entire class to run it.
“Our class is divided into five groups – traditional media, social media, internal outreach, external outreach, and research. Although we are in separate groups we coordinate with one another. This class really allows students to have a hands on experience to what it is like to work on a real public relations campaign.”
Describing the current level of Hornet buzz, Kristy said, “school spirit has been more than I have seen this semester. I think people on campus have shown more spirit because our men and women’s basketball teams have been doing very well.”
In Kristi’s opinion, school spirit is needed in order for everyone to feel included and part of a community. “I think that showing spirit shows pride for your school. I personally am proud to attend Sacramento State and want to show that pride,” she said.
So, go Hornets! Wear green and gold every Thursday, and help CSUS build the campus they deserve. Remember, their vision is not just for students on campus to participate, but for alumni, faculty, and the surrounding community; so, share your picture on Instagram and Twitter with the name @sacstatement to help spread the word. Students have been using #sacstatement as the hashtag of choice.

editor@valcomnews.com

Former East Sacramento resident shares his early memories

Jim McFall, who grew up in East Sacramento, holds a copy of his senior year portrait. He graduated from Sacramento High School in February 1942. Photo by Lance Armstrong
Jim McFall, who grew up in East Sacramento, holds a copy of his senior year portrait. He graduated from Sacramento High School in February 1942. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Jim McFall served his country in both the Navy and the Army Air Corps during World War II. Photo by Lance Armstrong
Jim McFall served his country in both the Navy and the Army Air Corps during World War II. Photo by Lance Armstrong

At 90 years old, Jim McFall, who grew up in East Sacramento, enjoys reminiscing about the early years of his life. And it is because of that fact that he did not hesitate in accepting an offer to share some of those memories with readers of this publication.
Last week, while sitting alongside his wife, Patricia “Pat” (Lyons) McFall, who he married on Sept. 4, 1947, Jim flipped through his copy of Sacramento High School’s 1941 Review yearbook, as well as newspaper clipping and other mementos from his high school years.
He quickly became engrossed in the contents of those items, as he pointed to photographs of his former classmates and told stories about their activities during and after high school.
A few of his comments during that portion of his meeting with this paper were:
“Patty O’Connor, she was a pretty girl and pretty popular, too.
“There’s the Manana Club. That was the rich girls in East Sacramento. Martha Harrold (the daughter of automobile dealer Ellsworth Harrold). There was a heck of a lot of them. Well, the Breuners (of Breuner’s home furnishing store at 6th and K streets) had four girls. But it was that class of people who all formed the Del Paso Country Club.
“Phaedo was one of the boys’ clubs. They thought they were the best and were wrong.
Kerry Cutter was one of the officers in their boys’ club. The Cutter family (who resided in Curtis Park) was in (insurance) and real estate.
“The Butlers were pretty prominent in town, too. They lived on 41st Street, between J and L (streets). And they had a couple of kids, (including) Jean, who married Fred Carnie.
The Carnies, they opened up an awning, (tent and venetian blinds business at 515 L St.).”
After pointing to a photograph of a group of boys, Jim said, “This is the track team. Dr. Sutan wouldn’t pass me, because I had a fluttering heart and he wouldn’t give me the physical pass, and I couldn’t run in most of the events. I had been grounded, but I ran the 880 (yard)/half-mile on the same unit as (the future prominent California landscape artist) Greg Kondos.”
In speaking about his family, Jim said, “My father was (Winters, Calif. native) Walter Wyatt McFall and my mother was (Volcano, Calif. native) Vera Marie (Gilmore) McFall.
Connie Lou (who was four years older than Jim) was my sister and my brother was Bill. He was so much younger than me. When I went in the service, he was in the 5th grade or so.”
As far as his own schooling, Jim, prior to becoming a student at Sacramento High, attended David Lubin School at 3575 K St., Kit Carson Junior High School at 1300 54th St., and Sutter Junior High School at 1820 K St.
Although Jim was born in East Sacramento at the old Sutter Maternity Hospital – the original name of Sutter Memorial Hospital – he said that his first home was in Red Bluff.
“My father and two other men owned a (bus) stage line and lived in Red Bluff and had (stops in) Redding, Red Bluff, Marysville and Yuba City and Sacramento. Now when my mother was pregnant, she came down to Sacramento to stay with her sister-in-law, and the baby (Jim) was born in the old, wooden hospital. So, I was born in (East) Sacramento, but my parents’ actual residence was in Red Bluff.”
Jim mentioned that he has an early childhood recollection of his father driving a Packard automobile.
“My father’s car had the little vases in the windows and just about every weekend, we would go for a ride and pick flowers, and my job was to put them in the little vases of the car,” Jim recalled. “He never really took to cars, except the Packard. That to him was the car. Every (owner) of the bus line drove a Packard.”
Jim also shared a fond memory related to the other owner of the bus line.
“The other owner of the bus line was Wert Irwin, who had an ice creamery (called the Shasta Ice Cream Co.) on what would now be Broadway (and 28th Street). It had the best in the world ice cream. And as kids, with my dad, we would go in there on making of ice cream days when (Irwin) was whipping it up, and get whipped ice cream. It was the best thing you ever tasted. And he would take it out of the freezer and you would eat it. And I never will forget Wert’s ice cream.”
The McFalls, as Jim recalled, were living in Oakland in about 1928 and were residing in East Sacramento by the following year, when the family moved to 3921 N St.
Jim fondly spoke about a special feature of his former N Street home.
“That was one of the first places I ever remember my folks having a record player with flat records, and my mother had quite a few Enrico Caruso records,” Jim said.
It was also at that time that Walter was operating his own hardware store at 910 J St. He had previously run a hardware store in Oakland.
Regarding that business, Jim said, “His hardware store made what money they did off of contractors and he (provided supplies for) quite a few things for a contractor named Walter Campbell. And he and Walt Campbell got to be quite good friends, so much to the point that my sister and I went to swim in the Campbells’ swimming pool, which was really one of the few (swimming pools) around.”
From at least mid-April 1930 to about 1935, the McFalls resided at 1034 40th St.
And while living in that house, in about 1932, Walter closed his hardware store, and then spent many years working for the Diamond Match Co. at 2826 Q St.
Jim said that “the bank eventually took over the hardware store.” The store was replaced by the dental office of Dr. Paul Ehorn.
The McFalls resided at 2018 M St. (now Capitol Avenue) from about 1935 to 1938, but returned to live in East Sacramento in a home at 1035 40th St., across the street from their previous home in that area. Walter continued to own that home until the mid-1940s.
Research for this article revealed that Walter and Vera’s longtime residency in Sacramento dates back to before their time living in East Sacramento.
The 1920 U.S. Census recognizes Walter and Vera as residing in the capital city and notes that Walter was then a merchant in a hardware store.
Walter was residing in Sacramento by at least 1919 and operating Oakley’s hardware store at the aforementioned address of 910 J St., with Charles E. Trouse.
That store was established by Horace Lewis in about 1902, and named Oakley’s about four years later, when it was purchased by Paul Oakley.
Walter acquired his portion of the business directly from Oakley, who had partnered with Trouse, a former clerk and salesman with the Emigh-Winchell Hardware Co., in about 1918.
About six years later, Oakley’s became Trouse & Son hardware store and Walter began working as a clerk at Motor Carrier Terminals at 5th and I streets. And by April 1924, he was a resident of Red Bluff.
In returning to the topic of his schooling, Jim, who graduated from Sacramento High School in February 1942, spoke about one of his favorite topics – serving as the student body president of that school.
Among Jim’s old newspaper articles from his high school days is one, which, in part, reads: “By a sweeping majority, Jim Fall was elected president of the student body for the fall term (of the 1941-42 school year), last Friday. Jim McFall totaled 1,148 votes, winning from Nina Giordano and Don Yost.
“Other student body officers are Jac (sic) Stack, boys’ vice president; Janeth Calvert, girls’ vice president; Patty O’Connor, student body secretary; and Joe Goodwin, yell leader.”
Although it has been 73 years since he served as the school’s student body president, Jim said that position proved to be his greatest legacy.
“There are more people that remember me, not as a hero, but as the president of the (student body of the high) school than anything else I did,” Jim said.
Following high school years, Jim served his country during World War II.
Jim initially began serving in the Navy as a pilot, but he was eventually told by a doctor that he had an equilibrium issue that would permit him from flying at night.
Because of that situation, Jim made arrangements to join the Army Air Corps, and he began working on a bomber, but not as a pilot. His base was in the Galapagos Islands.
After the war ended, Jim returned to Sacramento, where he would eventually spend 35 years working for The Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Co./later known as AT&T California.
And with his wife, Pat, he began a family, and has two sons, Scott and Robert.
In concluding his meeting with this publication, Jim mentioned that he feels fortunate to have grown up as one of the kids of East Sacramento during the 1930s and 1940s.
“Everybody knew each other, and (the kids) didn’t really basically notice who you were and what you had or who your father was. It was fun.”

Lance@valcomnews.com

Let’s Go! – 2014

Let’s Go! – 2013

Pocket author Kathey Norton releases new rock-and-roll novel

Set in the early 1960s to late 1980s, “What Becomes a Legend Most,” a new book by Pocket resident, Kathey Norton, follows the story of Cassie Hamilton, a singer and rock musician. The book details her past as a sexually abused child, her time spent on the road with a British heavy metal band, bad relationships, her struggle to overcome drug and alcohol problems, her fight against sexism and the attitude during that time period that female musicians could not compete with male rock musicians, and her rise to the top and all the positive and negative aspects of fame. This book is for anyone who loves music and enjoys reading about the lives of musicians.

Intrigued by the lives of musicians and having always wanted to be one herself, Kathey said writing the book was her opportunity to live out a little fantasy of what it would have been like to have been a woman fronting a rock band in the 1970s and ’80s when women were still not respected as musicians, or taken seriously by their male musician counterparts or the music industry in general. In an interview with the Pocket News, Kathey discussed more about the impetus for writing the book: “I’m fascinated by the lives of musicians and the fact that some of them don’t have any boundaries or set limits for themselves when it comes to living life. It has always amazed me that they can venture out to the very outer edge of what society considers the norm and have these incredible experiences that most of us can’t even imagine, and if they live to tell the tale, all the better.”

Kathey said the inspiration behind the book came about after listening to Lou Reed’s song called “What Becomes a Legend Most.” “I started thinking about that song and it translated in my mind to a woman who had ambitions of her own, but she lost them along the way and now just feels very used up by the male musicians who pass in and out of her life.”

Listening to a lot of music when she writes, Kathey actually sees everything like a movie in her head. She said she knows exactly what music she would have in each scene and how she would shoot the scene. She said she knew how to write plays in the 80s, but didn’t know how to write screenplays so she wrote novels instead, always thinking she would eventually learn how to write screenplays and direct the films for her own books. She said she would still like to do that and learn how to score the music for the films, too. She’s adapted screenplays for about three of her novels.

“I’d love to get this book to director Cameron Crowe. I’ve even written a screenplay that is a sequel to the original ‘Dirty Harry’ film, but so far I haven’t had any luck getting it to Clint Eastwood. I’m such a fan of that series and really wanted to write one last movie to tie up that entire series. If he could just read my screenplay. It would be awesome!”

“What Becomes a Legend Most” is Kathey’s first book to be published, but the fourth novel she said she has completed. “I hope to get the other novels published, too. It’s a very writer thing to say and it almost makes me cringe to say it, but I feel like I owe it to all my characters to have their voices heard and their stories out there. They spent many, many years in my head and kept me company on many lonely nights, so I think it’s my responsibility to give them an opportunity for others to either love or hate them. They’re all very flawed in one way or another, but I love putting characters into conflict and seeing how they respond to that.”

The book’s now availability is a long time coming for Kathey who wrote the draft in 1989, but unfortunately due to her mother’s declining health, her writing took a back seat. Her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when the budding writer was in her early 20s, just as she started getting poetry and articles published – a time when she could write a novel every three to six months. “When (Mom) got sick, it changed everything, and as her primary caregiver, I had to juggle working full time, taking a full-course load at college, and caring for her, so the things that fell by the wayside were my ambitions to be a writer and desire to improve my music skills enough to start my own band.”

But fast forward, in 2010, Kathey decided to dust off all her old manuscripts and take a fresh look at her body of work and start trying to reawaken the writer in her that was apparently in some type of coma during all those years caring for her mother.

Kathey grew up in Downtown and also lived all over Midtown, when there were only a few restaurants there and not the scene that’s there now. She lived across from New Roma Bakery and Washington Elementary.

Reminiscing her childhood, Kathey said: “In the early ’70s, the Sacramento City Unified School District decided to bus poor and minority kids to Caroline Wenzel (Elementary). So, being a poor kid paid off for me because I was given the opportunity to attend a wonderful elementary school. The bus ride every morning into the Pocket area was cool because there were a lot of open fields, but for all of the new houses that were being built, it seemed like they all had swimming pools. It was a different reality than I was used to, but I loved the school and had great opportunities there.
“I remember that Mr. Bone was the principal and he was so kind to my mother and me. When I broke my thigh during first grade, he made sure the school provided a private tutor to me. My mother couldn’t afford to do that, but he made that happen and I am very nostalgic about Caroline Wenzel. I also attended Theodore Judah Elementary, Sutter Middle School, and Sacramento High, where I was so shy I couldn’t look anyone in the eyes, and I went on to earn a bachelor’s of arts in communication studies and a master’s in government from CSUS (California State University, Sacramento).”

Kathey now works for the State of California as a manager in the policy division and used to be a marketing director for a private law firm and loved it. She was laid off at the end of 2007, and she said that made her realize that she needed to find employment with more job security.

“I’m very lucky to work with very dedicated people and who allow me to be the crazy writer, aspiring musician chick. I sleep only two hours a night, so I can fit in all my creative interests around my work schedule.”

Kathey has an aunt and some cousins in Sacramento, but “that’s it,” she said when asked if she has family in the area. “Both of my parents and one of my older brothers passed away. I have another older brother who lives in Oklahoma, and he sounds like he’s from Oklahoma now even though he grew up in Sacramento, too.”

Kathey is a strict vegetarian and is active in animal rights issues and politics. “I really care about the Pocket area and I have a friend who calls me the ‘Pocket Area Activist.’ I’ve toyed with the idea of running for District 7 City Council one day. “Councilmember Fong has been so nice and patient in putting up with all of my complaints and issues over the years. I want to thank him for that. Rick Jennings doesn’t know what he’s in for with me.”

Kathey really loves this area and enjoys walking around the neighborhoods. When she first moved to the Pocket, it felt like the country to her after having grown up downtown. “I have learned to appreciate the peace and quite, and I enjoy petting all the dogs in the neighborhood. I may not remember your name, but I’ll definitely remember your dog’s name. I really love the idea of Nextdoor.com. We have a very active group here in the Pocket and we don’t always agree on everything, but it’s great that we discuss issues that affect our community. I’m also taking voice lessons and guitar lessons with the idea that I’m still going to start that band that I never got to start. So I apologize in advance to my neighbors who will have to listen to my garage band one day very soon. I refuse to let that dream die. It’s just something I have to do before I leave this Earth.”

Riverview II social club has rich history in Carmichael

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lance@valcomnews.com

A woman’s drive to make Tahoe Park streets safer

Tahoe Park resident Adelita Espinoza is on a mission to make Tahoe Park streets safer.

Tahoe Park resident Adelita Espinoza is on a mission to make Tahoe Park streets safer.

Adelita Espinoza strides quickly through the crosswalk on Broadway and 53rd Street.
“Tahoe Park is where I was raised and where my mother brought me home after I was born,” says the attractive, 40-something activist who works intermittently as a film producer on documentaries and television pilots.
A graduate of St. Francis High School, the vivacious woman has lived in New York, San Francisco and Stuttgart, Germany but keeps her house in Sacramento for time spent “between jobs.”
Adelita, who currently lives on Broadway, a couple blocks away from the 53rd Street crosswalk, says that the raised median and street markings are entirely unsafe. “Cars don’t hesitate to drive right over the center median in the middle of the crosswalk,” she says.
A broken sign post in front of the concrete island or median once warned drivers to be cautious as they drove through the crosswalk. Recently, though, the sign was destroyed by a vehicle and has not been replaced. A remaining sign is bent and twisted from car collisions. The median curb, as well, is scuffed by tire marks and appears to be crumbling.
“Seniors from the apartments on the north side of the street use the crossing all the time,” says Espinoza.
While standing near the intersection I notice an elderly couple attempting to cross the street. They both have to raise their arms to try to get cars barreling down Broadway to slow down or stop in order to walk to across the street. Even with the crossing marks and the median, going across Broadway seems to be a difficult proposition.
“In the morning,” says Espinoza, “kids going to Tahoe School are in a dangerous situation because cars routinely go right over the curb.” She notes that the bike lane along Broadway abruptly comes to an end at the 53rd Street crosswalk. “The kids that walk to school need the extra space all the way to Tahoe Elementary,” she explains. Cars, she adds, often go over the graded curb which joins the sidewalk to the street.
Perhaps, she says, bike lanes can be extended and a “rotary” or driving circle can be constructed at the 53rd Street and Broadway intersection that effectively stops traffic and makes it both safe for children and seniors.
Espinoza says she has formed a group, The Tahoe Park Preservation Association Initiative (or TPA for short) to look at this and other safety issues that beset the neighborhood area.
A TPA meeting and walk audit has been set for Saturday, June 28 at the Tahoe Park Collaborative Center at 5959 8th Street so residents can “make their voices heard by citing streets of concern” in the neighborhood. The gathering starts at 10 a.m. and the walk will continue along the busy streets of Tahoe Park. The estimated end time is 2 p.m.
Meanwhile, Espinoza is not entirely content with just having the upcoming meeting on June 28. Before then, she explains, she has arranged a meeting at the Mayor’s office to voice her concerns. In addition, she has tentatively identified a “fiscal partner” which will help provide seed money for TPA.
Along with dealing with safety concerns, she says, she would like to work with Tahoe Park residents to preserve interesting and outstanding architectural features that make Tahoe Park unique and special. In her activist work, she expresses the fact that she has “reached out” to the current neighborhood association but has decided that she could focus on problems more quickly (especially on the Broadway concerns in the Northwestern corner of Tahoe Park) by forming a new organization.
For those wanting more information about TPA, the provided contacts include tpacomm@gmail.com or the website at tpacomm.wix.com/tpa-1.

If you go:
What: The Tahoe Park Preservation Association meeting and walk audit
When: Saturday, June 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Meet at Tahoe Park Colonial Collective, 5959 8th Street

Pocket residents celebrate 25 years of priesthood by Father Martin

About 700 people attended the silver jubilee celebration for Father Martin Brusato at St. Anthony's Church in the Pocket area on Sunday, May 5. Photo by Stephen Crowley

About 700 people attended the silver jubilee celebration for Father Martin Brusato at St. Anthony's Church in the Pocket area on Sunday, May 5. Photo by Stephen Crowley

In spite of the suffering from a head injury that took place about 20 years ago, Father Martin Brusato continues to the community, inspiring all who know him.

Celebrating his silver jubilee anniversary at St. Anthony Parish on Sunday, May 5, he was joined at a special Mass and community meal afterward with about 700 people, including his father Ronald Brusato, his four sisters, and their families, Sacramento Diocesan Bishop Jaime Soto and 25 fellow priests from the diocese.

Born on July 14, 1958, Father Martin and his family were parishioners of St. Anne Parish in South Sacramento and he attended St. Anne Parish grammar school.

After high school he joined the Oblates of St. Joseph religious community in Santa Cruz to study for the priesthood but eventually left that community. He later was accepted by the Diocese of Sacramento to study for the priesthood and attended St. Patrick Seminary in Menlo Park. He was ordained a priest on April 22, 1989 by Bishop Francis Quinn in the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Sacramento.

Father Martin’s first assignment was to Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Sacramento as parochial vicar or assistant priest. His next assignment was as parochial vicar at St Joseph Parish in Elk Grove. He was then assigned as Bishop William Weigand’s secretary and worked with the bishop at the Diocesan Pastoral Center in Sacramento.

During the time he served as secretary to Bishop Weigand, Father Martin lived in residence at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in downtown Sacramento. One night in the early hours of the morning a man suffering from an overdosed of drugs broke into the residence at the cathedral through an unlocked window on the second floor of the house. In the process of the break-in, he attacked Father Martin who was asleep in his room by smashing a bottle on Father Martin’s head. The attack did serious neurological damage to Father Brusato’s brain which began a serious of consequences that affect him to this day.

After his initial recuperation from the attack, Father Martin worked in the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal for a short time and then was appointed pastor of St Christopher Parish in Galt where he served from 1996 to 1999. In 1999 he had to give up his pastorate because of health related issues from the cathedral attack.

Father Martin was on medical leave until 2010 when he returned to part-time parish ministry for a few years. He served at St. James Parish in Davis from 2010 to 2011 and then at St. Clare Parish in 2011. He was forced to return to medical leave again in 2011 to the present.

In an interview with the Pocket News, retired St. Anthony’s Parish Father John Boll described the extent of the consequences as follows: “He suffers still greatly. He’s had a number of surgeries. Since the attack, he began to be affected by the damage to his brain. It initiated a series of consequences that makes him unable to serve in a parish at this time. So he suffered greatly for that. It’s been very unfortunate because he loves to serve in the parish community. Because of his limitations, it’s very hard for him to do it.”

“Sometimes he does very well. Other times it hits him. He’s had a number of surgeries for his back. It’s just set up a whole series of sad and serious consequences for him. He tries to move forward but it’s caused a great dealing of suffering for him.”

Some of these setbacks are due to the medication, which can cause him to fall asleep in the middle of the day. He also has fallen in his home. Due to occasional seizures, he’s not been able to drive, so he relies on his family, including his four sisters and father. His mother died some years ago. So he has to depend on them to get them where he needs to go, further curtailing his freedom.

Despite the trauma that still affects him today, Father John has made a heroic effort to serve the people of God in the Church of Sacramento in spite of the terrible setback he suffered when brutally attacked at the cathedral.

Father John said the Church is praying that God will bring healing to Father Martin and restore him to health once again. “Because of his great desire to serve the community in spite of his physical setback, Father Martin is an inspiration to all who know him,” he said.

Kennedy High alumnus discusses new local dinner theater, other endeavors

Steve Masone is enjoying his role in bringing new dinner theater productions to the Sacramento area. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Steve Masone is enjoying his role in bringing new dinner theater productions to the Sacramento area. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Note: This is part one in a series about 1970 John F. Kennedy High School graduate Steve Masone.

Steve Masone has been involved in many projects since he graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in 1970. And his latest project is to bring new dinner theater productions to Sacramento.
With Steve’s assistance, the musical, “Starry Evening,” which will be performed by the Phoinix Players of Eugene, Ore., will be presented in the grand ballroom of the Red Lion Hotel at 500 Leisure Lane on July 11 and 12.
Steve said that the theater group from Oregon will be performing in Sacramento “with their eye on relocating here to establish a permanent home.”
“Phoinix Players are internationally acclaimed and known for their ability to mount seven or more musicals a season,” Steve said. “This is good news for Sacramento, if they are welcomed and supported. Word is they may also perform at Tommy T’s (comedy dinner theater at 12401 Folsom Blvd. in Rancho Cordova), and are negotiating with a Pocket-Land Park venue for shows at the end of summer. They also will be performing at the (Clarion Inn at 1401 Arden Way) next to Arden Fair mall, July 18 and 19 through Aug. 3 on weekends.”
During an interview with this publication last week, Steve spoke about details of his life that led to his current efforts to present dinner theater productions in the Sacramento area.
Steve, who was one of the six children of the Phoenix, Ariz.-born Rita Campbell, and Michael Louis Masone, a second generation Italian-American, explained that he became part of a broken family during his childhood.
“(Michael Louis) got on with the Army as a civilian because my great-grandfather was also working for the Army, and they came from Fort Huachuca, Ariz. to Sacramento to Sharpe Army Depot (then Sharpe General Depot) in Stockton,” Steve said. “They (later) came to the Sacramento Army Depot, and that’s where my mother and father parted ways.”
Steve, who was born in French Camp, just outside of Stockton, recalled that his life suddenly became more difficult following his parents’ separation.
“It got tougher because my stepfather talked my mother into putting me and my brothers into an orphanage,” Steve said. “We went back to a church-run orphanage in Phoenix, Ariz. It belonged to a church that my family had attended. We were there for two years.”
Following their time in the orphanage, Steve and his brothers came to Sacramento to live with their grandmother, who was then employed at the Sacramento Army Depot.
In speaking about his schooling, Steve said, “I was in Sacramento in the first grade, second grade, third grade, went to Arizona for fourth and fifth (grades) and came back for the rest. I attended William Land (elementary) School (at 1116 U St.), and then Freeport Elementary (School at 2118 Meadowview Road), and also Ethel I. Baker (Elementary School at 5717 Laurine Way). I went to (Baker) for a minute. I went to reform school during my freshman year to get straightened out. And, of course, I went to Kennedy (High).”
Steve recalled his early interest in music and theater, saying, “I was involved in music in high school, in theater and drama. I sort of led a double life. I would go out with the guys and then I would disappear and not tell them I was involved in theater and dance. My mom had put me in ballet and jazz when I was really young, too, so, I did that, but I didn’t tell the guys that I was in community theater.”
Steve also mentioned that while he was attending Kennedy, he was a member of the Raw Jam Blues Band.
“I started playing with them in 1968, but then in 1969, I went through a windshield in an automobile accident,” Steve said. “I was playing trumpet with them and I lost my trumpet lip. And so, then I picked up the harmonica. That’s why we phased over into a blues band because I went blues. Between the orphanage and a few other life difficulties, I learned about the blues. I could relate. I got turned on to a few blues artists (such as) Sonny Boy Williamson, the harmonica player, of course, and B.B. King, of course. And even though she was blues-jazz, Billie Holiday was a favorite of mine. Just a lot of them (blues artists). Little Walter on harmonica was another one. I styled my harmonica playing after him.”
After graduating from Kennedy, Steve was drafted into the Army.
And in recalling that time in his life, Steve said, “Of course, it was at the tail end of Vietnam. My duty station was in Fort Kobbe canal zone down in Panama. I went to basic training at Fort Ord. I went to my advanced training at Fort Polk, La. That’s called AIP – Advanced Individual Training. And I went to a specialized (training) down in Panama. I was with the JOT – Jungle Operational Training. It was run by the (Army) Special Forces. That’s where we taught jungle warfare, jungle survival to all the guys going overseas, and we also taught South American friendlies. I went over there, not actually in Vietnam, but in Laos and Cambodia. I was three and a half years in the Army.”
After leaving the military, Steve became involved in playing music again.
Steve also became involved in managing and booking bands.
He fondly recalled working as a stringer for the local deejay Bob Castle (1949-2007), aka the “Blue Whiz” on radio station KROY 1240 AM.
Additionally, Steve spoke about eventually working with Castle at a local concert featuring the popular Sacramento band, Redwing.
“My first major concert as a concert promoter in Sacramento (was with) the band called Redwing,” Steve said. “They were pretty popular. They had that big hit called ‘California Blues.’ I got (Castle) to be my co-host and I produced (the) concert with him (in the ballroom above) the old Fox (Senator) Theatre (at 912 K St.), and it was pretty successful.
“I started having some success after that, and the next thing you know, I joined George B. Hunt and Associates (of Los Angeles) as a licensed booking agent, which you had to be to work with the (American Federation of Musicians Local No. 12 in Sacramento). And so, I became the only licensed union booker in Sacramento. Anybody that was working a union gig in Sacramento had to go through me. And back then there were a lot of union gigs. And that’s where I got into the dinner theater business, also because of my background in theater.”

Lance@valcomnews.com

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.