Valley Community Newspapers sales manager leaves legacy

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

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

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

Happy 90th birthday, Al Balshor!

While sitting alongside his wife, Marie, Al Balshor blows out candles on his birthday cake during a gathering in his honor at Balshor Florist on Nov. 22, 2014. Photo by Lance Armstrong

While sitting alongside his wife, Marie, Al Balshor blows out candles on his birthday cake during a gathering in his honor at Balshor Florist on Nov. 22, 2014. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Sacramento native Antonio Alberto “Al” Balshor, a man known for his longtime ownership of Balshor Florist on Riverside Boulevard, just south of Broadway, recently celebrated his 90th birthday.

Al, who was born on Nov. 22, 1924, grew up in a large family in a home at 315 U St., near Southside Park.

In speaking about that residence during an interview with this publication three days prior to his birthday, Al said, “My parents (Portuguese natives Arthur and Grace Secco Balshor) bought that home in 1921 from (Daniel) Stanich, (who had moved into the house in about 1912).”

Al also mentioned that he was literally born in the aforementioned U Street home.

“In those days, people made house calls,” Al said.

Al then explained that his mother was also known for making house calls.

“(Grace) delivered a lot of babies in the neighborhood,” Al said. “She was kind of the unofficial midwife. Back in those days, you helped each other. There were a lot of midwives in those days.”

In addition to her unofficial midwife work, Grace, who became a widow in 1929, was also a local cannery worker.

And in speaking about the longtime importance of canneries in Sacramento, Al said, “Canneries put a lot of people’s food on the table, you bet your life. That was a big operation. The (Southern Pacific) shops were the same way.”

Al added that Grace would also pick prunes in Colusa with her family.

“We picked prunes at Colusa during the off season up there,” Al said. “A lot of the people around that neighborhood went up to Colusa (to pick) prunes. I hated it. My mom would give me 10 boxes and it would take me all day long to pick them. It was a nickel a box. We made enough to buy shoes and stuff. It was around August and then we would come back and go to school.”

Al was educated in local schools, as he first attended the very integrated Lincoln School at 4th and Q streets. He was then a student at William Land Elementary School at 1116 U St. for the 4th, 5th and 6th streets before returning to Lincoln School for the 7th, 8th and 9th grades.

Next, Al attended Sacramento High School, where he played on the school’s football team and graduated in 1942.

Al continued to speak about his many years of working, noting that he once had three Sacramento Bee routes.

His other jobs included selling programs for boxing matches at the old L Street Arena at 223 L St., pitching watermelons at the Sacramento Farmers Market at 2630 5th St., just south of Broadway, and washing bottles at Jones Howell pickle works at 315 T St.

Al mentioned that he also worked as a motorcycle courier.

“I drove (three wheeled) motorcycles for Willis & Martin Co. at (1001-1003 K St.),” Al recalled. “I delivered drugs. I got paid $50 a month, but I had to quit the job, because I got two tickets and I couldn’t afford to get them. Hollywood stop.”

Following high school, Al obtained a job as a flower wholesale worker for Lino Piazza at 1328 7th St., before accepting a position delivering ice for the Consumers Ice & Cold Storage Co. at 831 D St.

Although Al had intended to attend Sacramento Junior College – today’s Sacramento City College – he stated, “The U.S. Army was my college education.”

After being drafted into the Army in 1943, Al was sent to Camp Carson (now Fort Carson) in Colorado.

Six months later, Al went to Nashville, Tenn. Then in December 1943, he was sent to Camp Kilmer, near New Brunswick, N.J.

Al was eventually given official clearance to return home after his brother, Joe, died in the war on Jan. 13, 1944, but Al opted to remain in the Army.

On Feb. 12, 1944, Al traveled overseas on the Queen Mary troopship for seven days.

Sacramento native Al Balshor, who has worked and resided in the Land Park area for the past 64 years, recently celebrated his 90th birthday. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Sacramento native Al Balshor, who has worked and resided in the Land Park area for the past 64 years, recently celebrated his 90th birthday. Photo by Lance Armstrong

During his interview for this article, Al pointed to a display case on a wall, and then said, “I was a medic and an ambulance driver. Right outside here, I’ve got my little shrine. There’s (a photograph of Gen. George) Patton (in that shrine) and I’ve got the little ambulance (replicas) in there, and some lady from France brought me some things over. She came visiting some graves across the street (from Balshor Florist), then I got to talking to her, and I said, ‘Oh, I was in (France).’ And she came up and gave me a big hug and said, ‘I never met anybody that helped save my country – France.’ So, what she did was she came back two years later and brought me these (coins from the five campaigns before the war ended).”

Al, who spent six months in Wales before D-Day and was on the border of Poland when the war ended, recalled his postwar return to the United States.

“I went down to Marseilles, France,” Al said. “I came all the way from Marseilles into Newport News, Va. Then I went from Virginia on the train all the way out here (to Sacramento). I came through Reno, came all the way to Sacramento (to the Southern Pacific passenger depot). We had to come here to go back to Camp Beale (today’s Beale Air Force Base). For some reason or another, the train had to come here to go back. I asked the conductor, ‘How long are you going to be here?’ He said, ‘Oh, about four hours.’ So, I got in a cab at midnight and came down and started banging on my mom’s door. She was crying and screaming. She didn’t know I was coming home. I got back on the train and three days later I was home. So, that was the story.”

In 1946, Al became one of the charter members of Southside American Legion Post 662.

Al, who is also a longtime member of the Sacramento Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Southside Improvement Club, the American Portuguese Club and the Portuguese Historical and Cultural Society, also spoke about his wife, Marie, who he first met on her family’s farm in Dixon in 1934 when he was 9 years old and Marie was 6 years old.

“(Al’s sister), Lucille, and Marie (who had developed a longtime dislike for Al during an incident in Dixon that ended in a water fight) went to the Pelican Club (at 2231 10th St.) one night,” Al said. “(Marie) happened to go there with my sister. So, we ended up there, had a couple of drinks and then we went to the Swing Club at (541 N. 16th St.). They had a band and Marie and I were dancing. When the dance was over, I gave her a kiss on the cheek and we’ve been in love ever since. We used to have bands in those days. That was in (April) 1947 and we got married on Jan. 1, 1948, on New Year’s Day. We got married in Dixon at St. Peter’s Church.” The couple eventually had three children, Judie, Al, Jr. and Jerry.

While dating Marie, in 1947, Al went to work at Relles Florist at 2220 J St. by way of the GI Bill.

In 1950, Al opened the original location of Balshor Florist at 730 O St.

Twenty-two years later, a plan to redevelop the site forced Al to relocate his business to its present location at 2661 Riverside Blvd.

In describing his business, Al said, “We’re a certified, all-around florist – a full service florist. We do weddings, parties, we do funerals, anything. We’re just a full fledged florist. We’re qualified to do anything we need to do.”

Sixty-four years after establishing Balshor Florist, Al remains very active in the operations of his business.

“I got out of the service on Nov. 4, 1945, and I opened my shop up on Nov. 4, 1950,” Al said. “And I still work every day, six days a week. That’s what keeps me young.”

Lance@valcomnews.com

KXOA continues legacy through former Arden area resident

George Junak, who is known in radio as Greg Mitchell, established the 24-hour per day Internet radio station KXOA in 2009. Photo courtesy of George Junak

George Junak, who is known in radio as Greg Mitchell, established the 24-hour per day Internet radio station KXOA in 2009. Photo courtesy of George Junak

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

In the previous article of this series, it was noted that the end of the use of the call letters, KXOA, in Sacramento came in 2004. But that does not mean KXOA is completely a thing of the past.
Instead, fans of the old station, which debuted in 1945 and could once be found on both the AM and FM dials, can tune into a live re-creation of the station via the Internet.
Because the deaths of KXOA 1470 AM in 1998 and KXOA 93.7 FM in 2004 left the KXOA call letters available, former Arden area resident George Junak, who has worked in radio for many years, took the opportunity to acquire those letters in 2008.
Junak, who is known by the on air name of Greg Mitchell, had made the decision to create his own Internet radio station and was familiar with KXOA. He had once worked for KNDE 1470 AM, which had replaced KXOA 1470 AM from 1971 to 1978, before KXOA-AM returned to the air for two additional decades.
In 2006, Junak, 61, moved from San Diego to Jacksonville, Fla., where he would later launch his Internet radio station.
And in recalling his work to establish that station, Junak said, “In between (2008) and July (2009), when we actually signed the station on the air, I needed to get the automation software to run the station, build a little studio, load all the music into the computer system, load everything that we were going to run into the system. That was just pretty much done part time, so it took quite a few months. So, by the time July (2009) rolled around, everything was in place and we just put it on the air one day.”
Junak had no difficulty recalling the precise date of his station’s debut, as he said that, coincidentally, a KXOA-related incident occurred in Sacramento on that day.
“(July 15, 2009), the day that we signed (the station) on the air on the Internet was (when) a couple of towers came down at the 1470 (AM) transmitter site (near Commerce Circle and Lathrop Way),” Junak said.
The Sacramento Bee reported on July 16, 2009 that during the previous day, firefighters had responded to a fire that had toppled one of the former KXOA radio towers, damaged another tower and destroyed a small building containing radio equipment. A third tower was mentioned as having been threatened, but not damaged.
Junak who spends the majority of each day dedicated to his other radio-related business, California Aircheck, said he has enjoyed the responses of former KXOA of Sacramento listeners who have heard his KXOA station.
“People who had grown up in Sacramento were happy to have KXOA back,” said Junak, who began his radio career in Palms Springs in the early 1970s. “I enjoy hearing from people that come across it on the Internet.”
Junak added, “I also enjoy trying to be creative in a different way than just (through) California Air Check, where I just spend time editing things on that. So, doing KXOA is something that’s more creative on a daily basis than my full-time job.”
And after being asked if the station has reconnected him with radio people of his past, Junak said, “It did when I first put it on the air. I did hear from a couple of people that I had worked with, and I did hear from Martin Ashley, who went by the name of ‘Wonder Rabbit’ at (the now defunct Sacramento radio station) KROY. He sent me a couple of jingles from when he was at KXOA.”
Junak explained that most people discover the new KXOA by accident.

The original KXOA was one of Sacramento’s early radio stations. It debuted at 1490 AM in 1945 and moved to 1470 AM three years later. Photo courtesy of George Junak

The original KXOA was one of Sacramento’s early radio stations. It debuted at 1490 AM in 1945 and moved to 1470 AM three years later. Photo courtesy of George Junak

“(Operating KXOA is) pretty much just a hobby, so I haven’t really gone out of my way to advertise,” Junak said. “Most people just stumble across it and either like it or don’t (like it).”
In responding to the inquiry of what people can listen to on today’s KXOA, Junak said, “The format is called Motown, soul and rock ‘n’ roll. So, basically what you don’t hear is the really soft stuff that you might hear on a typical oldies station like the Carpenters and John Denver and Captain & Tennile and Brenda Lee. So, basically we’ve taken the best soul music, the best rock ‘n’ roll, mixed it together and left off the wimpy stuff. We play tons of The Beatles. We play like over 100 different songs of The Beatles, Creedence (Clearwater Revival), Cream, The Temptations, Steely Dan, Barry White, Stevie Wonder, The Moody Blues, Marvin Gaye, Eagles, The Byrds, (The Rolling) Stones, Four Tops, Foreigner, ELO, Elton John, (The) Mamas & (The) Papas, (The) Spencer Davis (Group), (The) Guess Who, Chicago. Basically things you might hear on a classic rock station. Typically an old station these days might play about 500 different songs. We play about 2,000. So, there are a lot of songs you’re not going to hear over and over and over again, and things that you probably haven’t heard in years.
The station, compared to what else you’re going to hear on the Internet, I think has a lot more personality and sounds like the stations of the 1960s, where it’s not where you can go for an hour and here’s the disc jockey two times, and just hear songs back to back to back to back all hour long. It makes it sound more like radio was back in the 1960s.”
Junak said that he works at the station seven days per week.
“I spend a couple hours a day on the station,” Junak said. “Usually I have to go through the logs and fix the problems on it during the day, and I usually decide that there are more minutes in the hour than there actually are, so I typically have to go delete songs at the ends of hours and I basically have to correct any problems.”
Listeners of the station can hear Junak from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Geoff Richards from 2 to 6 p.m., Bob Oscar Johnson from 6 p.m. to midnight and from 6 to 10 a.m., Bill Earl from midnight to 6 a.m., and Doctor John Winston from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturdays.
In addressing readers of this paper in regard to his station, Junak said, “We’re here 24 hours a day and if you enjoyed radio more in the 1960s and 1970s than you do today, then KXOA, ‘the Giant X,’ would be more of a station that you would want to listen to other than some of the other stations in Sacramento. So, we’re basically four people that aren’t really looking for radio as just background. We want you to hear something interesting along with the music.”
KXOA can be heard through the website www.147kxoa.com.

KROY was among Sacramento’s early radio stations

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

The now defunct Sacramento AM radio station KROY made its debut in 1937. Its history also includes the operation of the FM station, KROI – later KROY FM. Photo courtesy of the Lance Armstrong Collection

The now defunct Sacramento AM radio station KROY made its debut in 1937. Its history also includes the operation of the FM station, KROI – later KROY FM. Photo courtesy of the Lance Armstrong Collection

Sacramento radio station KFBK, which was featured in the last article of this series, remained the city’s only commercial radio station until Monday, March 15, 1937. It was on that date that KROY, which would eventually operate in the Arden area, made its official debut at 1210 AM.

Efforts to establish KROY was described in an article in the Nov. 6, 1935 edition of The Sacramento Bee. In that article it was reported that San Francisco native Royal Miller (1884-1976), who then-resided at 1325 45th St., had applied to operate a new radio station in Sacramento.

Miller, according to the article, commented that KFBK was on the verge of doubling its advertising and enlarging its facilities, and therefore, he believed that Sacramento was in need of a second and smaller commercial radio station.

In addition to his eventual notoriety as the owner of KROY, Miller was well-known as the president of the Miller Automobile Co. at 1520 K St. That company then had an estimated net worth of $136,000.

At various times during his life, Miller had a variety of other roles, including serving as a member of the Sacramento City Council, second vice president of the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce and president of the board of directors of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.

As previously mentioned, KROY officially went on the air on March 15, 1937. That action occurred at 2 p.m., with a push of a button by Gov. Frank F. Merriam from his office in the state Capitol.

After starting the station’s transmitter, Merriam briefly spoke on air to the station’s first listeners.

KROY’s dedicatory program was broadcast from its studio on the mezzanine level of the Hotel Senator.

The program, which concluded at 6:15 p.m., included greetings by other guest participants, including city, county and state officials. Among those officials were Lt. Gov. George J. Hatfield, Mayor Arthur D. Ferguson, City Manager James S. Dean and Sacramento County executive and purchasing agent Charles W. Deterding, Jr.

During the same evening, at 7:30 p.m., the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce honored Miller with a formal dinner at the Sacramento Hotel at 1107 10th St.

The original KROY staff consisted of Robert Barringer, general manager; Al Wolfle, technical director; Robert S. Spence, program director; Bert F. Hews, news editor; George W. Collipp, sales manager; Lucille McCubbin, receptionist; George F. Strahl, radio operator; Alyse Sullivan, women’s programs; and Harry Oakes, announcer-salesman.

A unique, original offering by KROY was its on air interviews with job applicants, for the benefit of employers through the California State Employment Service.

In 1941, KROY’s frequency was changed to 1240 AM, and the station began transmitting from a 195-foot-tall tower at 3502 Kroy Way in today’s Tahoe Park area.

Two major events in KROY’s history occurred in 1943, as the station changed from its original 100-watt operation to 250 watts of power, and KROY’s license was modified to feature a partnership of owners doing business as Royal Miller Radio. That partnership featured Royal Miller and his wife, Marion Miller, and L.H. Penney and Gladys W. Penney.

The Billboard magazine announced in its May 18, 1946 edition that the Federal Communications Commission had approved the sale of KROY to Harmco, Inc. for $150,000.

In the same edition of that weekly publication, it was noted that the Gibson Broadcasting Co. had submitted the same offer, but was turned down by the FCC, because that company was already operating another radio station, as well as two newspapers.

In the fall of 1952, Harmco, Inc. sold KROY to KROY, Inc., a then-newly formed organization headed by Charles L. McCarthy, for $425,000.

KROY was sold once again, in 1954, to Robert W. Dumm, a former manager of Sacramento radio station KXOA. Dumm had also previously worked as the sales promotion manager of San Francisco radio station KSFO.

In 1956, KROY began broadcasting at 1011 11th St., above the Country Maid Creamery restaurant.

KROY was sold to John T. Carey, Inc. in 1959, and then to Sacramento Broadcasters, Inc., which was headed by Lincoln Dellar, a year later.

It was also about that time when Arden area resident A.J. Richards became KROY’s station manager.

As a station that was known for presenting popular music of respective eras, KROY entered the rock and roll era in the same decade.

For a period of time, KROY regularly played surf music.

During research for this chapter, a unique entry was discovered in the April 11, 1963 city council minutes. That entry reads: “In accordance with verbal recommendation of the city manager, (Bartley W. Cavanaugh), Councilman (Philip C.) Mering moved that the written request of radio station KROY for permission to land a helicopter in Edmonds Field baseball park (at Riverside Boulevard and Broadway) on Saturday, April 13th, for a children’s Easter egg hunt be granted with the stipulation that evidence of insurance be filed, saving the city harmless.”

In early 1966, KROY, which was then a Top 40 format station, relocated to 977 Arden Way.

KROY was then managed by Dwight Case and was advertising itself as an “all request” radio station.

The station relocated its transmitter to the city dump, off 28th Street, in 1966.

It was also around that time that KROY persuaded popular KXOA deejay Johnny Hyde to become a KROY deejay and present his unique, non-Top 40 music program, “The Gear Hour.”

A KROY listeners’ survey list from Oct. 8-14, 1966 shows the titles of 40 top songs and 12 “hit-bound” songs. The top five songs on the main list are “I’m Your Puppet” (James & Bobby Purify), “Poor Side of Town” (Johnny Rivers), “Fortune Teller” (The Rolling Stones), “If I were a Carpenter” (Bobby Darin) and “The Fife Piper” (The Dynatones).

Such survey lists were based on a survey of record sales, listeners’ requests, national sales information and KROY’s “judgment of the record’s appeal to the Sacramento audience.”

A KROY document for the week of April 26 to May 4, 1967 notes that the 12 most requested tunes at that time were: “Yellow Balloon” (Yellow Balloon), “A Day in the Life” (The Beatles), “She Hangs Out” (The Monkees), “Blues Theme” (Davie Allan & The Arrows), “Groovin’” (The Young Rascals), “Somethin’ Stupid” (Nancy and Frank Sinatra), “Dry Your Eyes” (Brenda and The Tabulations), “Creators of Rain” (Smokey and His Sister), “On a Carousel” (The Hollies), “The Sound of Music” (The New Breed), “When I Was Young” (Eric Burdon & The Animals) and “Close Your Eyes” (Peaches & Herb).

In 1968, KROY became recognized as Sacramento’s number one radio station – according to Arbitron ratings books – and it would hold that position for several years.

KROY moved to new studios in the basement of a building at 1017 2nd St. in 1975.

In 1976, KROY 1240 AM was joined by KROI 96.9 FM.

According to a July 25, 1978 article in The Bee, during the previous day, the FCC approved the sale of KROY and KROI to Jonsson Communications, Inc. for a combined $4.08 million.

During the following year, KROI became KROY-FM.

Both KROY stations replaced their Top 40 format with an adult contemporary music format in the early 1980s.

KROY 1240 AM remained in operation until 1982, when it became known as KENZ.

On July 26, 1984, The Bee reported that KROY-FM had ended its rock format.

The article’s lead paragraph reads: “Sacramento radio listeners who had their sets tuned to KROY-FM this morning got a surprise when they awakened to KSAC and the sounds of vocalists like Frank Sinatra instead of the rock music of Van Halen.”

In regard to the KSAC call letters, the article noted that Ken Jonsson, who was president of the firm that owned Sacramento magazine, Heavenly Recording Studios at 620 Bercut Drive and radio stations in Sacramento, Manteca and Reno, played an integral role in securing those letters from a college radio station in Kansas.

The KROY letters were revived in 1985 by the station’s then-new owners, Commonwealth Broadcasting of Northern California.

KROY-FM made news again on Nov. 8, 1988, when The Bee reported that the station had been sold to the Great American Radio and Television Company of Cincinnati, Ohio for $11.7 million.

The article noted: “The station is expected to retain its current format of adult contemporary music. Its assets will be transferred from current owner, Commonwealth Broadcasting, to Great American within the next 90 days, a spokeswoman said.”

KROY-FM, which would eventually be recognized as “Hot 97,” officially left the air permanently in 1990 when it was replaced by radio station KSEG “The Eagle” 96.9 FM.

Lance@valcomnews.com

Tuesday Club of Sacramento promoted educational, social and philanthropic endeavors

In order to provide better communication with its members, the club began publishing its own newsletter, The TC News, in November 1946. Shown above is the Oct. 1, 1959 edition, which includes a photograph of Irene Sweet, who was then serving as the club’s president. Photo courtesy of the Lance Armstrong Collection

In order to provide better communication with its members, the club began publishing its own newsletter, The TC News, in November 1946. Shown above is the Oct. 1, 1959 edition, which includes a photograph of Irene Sweet, who was then serving as the club’s president. Photo courtesy of the Lance Armstrong Collection

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

The majority of the Tuesday Club of Sacramento’s existence was spent at its site, just south of Sutter’s Fort, at 2722 L St.
As mentioned in the previous article of this series, this local women’s institution opened its first club-owned meeting place at that location in 1912.
Those familiar with this club know that it consisted of various sections. And some of those sections included, at certain times, its home and garden (originally home and education) section, bridge section, choral section, drama section, dance section, historical and antique section, bowling section, golf section, arts and crafts section, creative writing section, Spanish study section and multiple book sections. The latter section previously operated as the literary department.
In February 1913, following the completion of the furnishing of its clubhouse, the club acquired a Steinway grand piano for its stage.
Fundraising for the rental of an additional piano in the lower hall, as well as for other purposes, began later that year.
The 1915 completion of the construction of the Women’s Building on the old grounds of the State Fair on Stockton Boulevard was a satisfying moment for the Tuesday Club, as it had encouraged the state to add the structure to that site.
The 1920s began with the formation of the Tuesday Club Auxiliary, whose membership consisted of unmarried daughters of Tuesday Club members. The purpose of the organization was to train its members “in the ways of future club women.”
The auxiliary, which began with a membership of 53 in January 1920 and disbanded two decades later, had regular meetings and special programs.
Among the club’s notable events of the 1920s occurred during the evening of Nov. 5, 1923, when the organization presented a special dedication program to introduce its new, $15,000 pipe organ to the public.
Every seat was filled and additional attendees crowded the hall’s stairways and doorways to witness a concert performed by John J. McClellan (1874-1925), organist of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir of Salt Lake City.
The opening number was the “Star Spangled Banner,” which would not become America’s national anthem for another seven years.
In all, McClellan played 20 numbers, including compositions by Wagner, Bach and Schubert.
The organ was a gift from Tuesday Club member Cornelia E. (Bromley) Fratt, who had donated the funds for the instrument in 1917.
The use of those funds for an organ were delayed due to World War I, as Fratt had requested that the money be made available for the possible purchase of Liberty Bonds.
With the end of the war, the funds would once again be made available to the club for the purchase of the organ. The instrument was eventually purchased, and then installed during the summer of 1923.
As part of the dedication event, Nellie Siddons Hall (1868-1943), then president of the Tuesday Club, officially received the organ on behalf of the club.
Another highlight in the club’s history came in 1927 with the burning of the mortgage of its clubhouse.
The club’s philanthropy department kept very active for many years.
For instance, members of the club spent decades providing financial support to the American Red Cross.
During World War II, the club set up sewing machines in its clubhouse and sewed for the war efforts behind blackout curtains.
In its efforts to serve as more than a social club, the Tuesday Club also supported the YMCA, the YWCA, the Sacramento Tuberculosis Association and the Yolo Causeway project. The club also assisted in the establishment of a juvenile court.
In order to provide better communication with its members, the club began publishing its own newsletter, The TC News, in November 1946.
The Dec. 1, 1946 edition of The News notes: “Hale Brothers (department store at 825 K St.) have expressed their good wishes in a tangible way with the gift of The TC News. While we our counting our blessings and achievements, let us remember the sponsor who made our bulletin possible.”
On Dec. 8, 1949, the club established its picture rental section at the E.B. Crocker Art Gallery – today’s Crocker Art Museum.
The section, which was the idea of Tuesday Club member Maud Pook, had the dual purpose of allowing those of lesser financial means to rent quality, original oil and water color paintings – and later acrylic, block prints, collage and other art media – for their homes or offices and providing an outlet for new artists to display their works.
Among the most notable local artists who contributed their works to this section was Sacramento artist Wayne Thiebaud.
In the April 1971 edition of The TC News, it was mentioned that Ruth E. Gorman, picture rental chairman, had reported that about 3,000 paintings were being rented each month.
The picture rental section was relocated to Country Club Centre and reopened at that site on Sept. 8, 1974. And due to a decrease in interest by the public and Tuesday Club members, this service was sold a decade later.
Undoubtedly one of the lowest moments in the club’s history came by way of a fire that virtually destroyed its clubhouse on Sept. 11, 1950.
To make matters worse, fireman Carson Hart was killed while fighting the fire.
Tuesday Club of Sacramento members stand on the east side of the clubhouse in front of the Camellia Room awning in this 1996 photograph. Photo courtesy of the Tuesday Club of Sacramento

Tuesday Club of Sacramento members stand on the east side of the clubhouse in front of the Camellia Room awning in this 1996 photograph. Photo courtesy of the Tuesday Club of Sacramento

Following that casualty, the club established the Carson Hart Memorial Fund to assist in the education and training of Hart’s three daughters.
With the loss of its building, Tuesday Club members, who then numbered 1,160, met for general meetings at the Alhambra Theatre at 1101 Alhambra Blvd. in East Sacramento, as well as at other locations.
It was also during that time that the club set up temporary headquarters and held section meetings at the Scottish Rite Temple, at 2730 L St.
After much discussion among club members, a decision was made by the club to rebuild its clubhouse in the same location of its previous clubhouse.
A contract was let for that project in September 1951 and the structure was almost entirely rebuilt and expanded by contractor Charles F. Unger at a cost of $118,400.
On May 10, 1952, The Sacramento Bee reported that the new clubhouse was completed and ready for occupancy.
In its description of the building, The Bee included the following words: “The front of the two-story structure has been remodeled in contemporary style with native materials. The predominant exterior colors are gray and brown.
“(Architect Kenneth C.) Rickey (of the architectural firm, Rickey & Brooks) said large planter boxes have been included at the main front entrance and the front second story deck.
“The auditorium has been refinished and equipped and front rooms have been enlarged for office and clubroom space. A new entrance to the basement banquet room has been provided and the downstairs kitchen area has been remodeled.
“The rear doorways of the auditorium have been doubled in size and two new steel fire escapes have been added. The ceiling was curved to provide improved acoustics and new flooring and balcony seats were installed. Curtain and stage equipment were fireproofed.”
Fortunately, many of the buildings furnishings were saved during the fire and were placed in the newly completed building.
On May 1, 1952, club officials moved into the structure’s new office area, and a formal opening of the building was held 19 days later.
During the same year, the club was incorporated as a nonprofit organization, with dues of $10 per year.
The Tuesday Club House Association, the stock corporation that had handled the club’s business affairs for the previous half-century, was dissolved in 1953, as the club purchased all of the association’s remaining stock.
In another Bee article, which was published on November 17, 1954, it was reported that the Tuesday Club had discontinued its affiliation with the General Federation of Women’s Clubs during the previous day due to an increase in annual dues from $375 to more than $900.
With the 1960s came the introduction of the sewing section’s fashion shows, which featured creations of that section’s members.
Additionally, the club purchased a Baldwin grand piano during the same decade.
In December 1965, The TC News announced the formation of the club’s travel section, noting: “The travel section is opening the doors to travelers, so that they may travel to all parts of the world with their friends, with the added advantage of group rates.”
In celebration of its 75th anniversary, the club held its “Diamond Jubilee” dinner dance at the clubhouse on March 13, 1971. Music was provided by Eddie Halter’s orchestra.
In 1976, 12 6-foot tables and 25 8-foot tables were purchased for the clubhouse’s Camellia Room and the building’s Ladies Lounge received new, elegant carpeting.
A continuation of the club’s history, some of which will be told by former members of the club, will conclude this series in the next addition of this publication.

Lance@valcomnews.com

Sacramento’s first commercial radio station established in 1922

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

lance@valcomnews.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Former Pocket area resident shares memories of his career in entertainment

Steve Masone recently met with the Pocket News to share details about his career, which has included working in community theater, booking entertainment and co-owning a music store. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Steve Masone recently met with the Pocket News to share details about his career, which has included working in community theater, booking entertainment and co-owning a music store. Photo by Lance Armstrong

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

Steve Masone, as mentioned in the first article of this series, took an early interest in live theater and music.
Shortly before Masone graduated from John F. Kennedy High School, he took a role in a psychedelic rock musical adaptation of Euripides’ “The Bacchae.”
Masone spoke about that production as having made history in the capital city.
“I was one of the chorus line dancers (in ‘The Bacchae’),” Masone said. “Things came together as we went along (in the rehearsals). The director had never worked with psychedelic rockers before. The musical also included the first nude scene in Sacramento community theater. The musical, ‘Hair,’ (which famously included nudity), had not yet been performed in Sacramento.”
After graduating from Kennedy High and completing his service in the Army, Masone began adding to his artistic resume.
In recalling a memorable time in his life, Masone noted that, in 1976, he became involved in the production of a dinner theater in Sacramento.
“I was a theatrical agent with George B. Hunt and Associates (of Los Angeles) and we also booked talent at the fairs, bands and everything else,” Masone said. “George asked me if dinner theater would work in Sacramento. And I said, ‘Absolutely, if it’s a good show.’ We had the Music Circus in town for years, so I knew we had a cultivated audience in Sacramento. And I knew we could make it work, because Sacramento supports theater like no other town I know. I booked us up here and produced the dinner theater at the then Sheraton Inn at (2600 Auburn Blvd.). We cast the talent in Hollywood and some rehearsals down there and then built the stage at the Sheraton and continued the rehearsals (at that venue). Joy Healey (the noted dancer and choreographer who was once a stand-in for Shirley Temple in the 1930s and an entertainer on the United Service Organizations’ circuit during the following decade) was the director/choreographer and I was the producer. Our first show was ‘Kiss Me Kate.’ Opening weekend was sold out three or four weeks before we opened, so we knew (the dinner theater at the Sheraton Inn) would work. We also presented ‘Damn Yankees.’ We were ending that production and planning for our next production, ‘South Pacific,’ in which Mitzi Gaynor was prepared to come do the show with us, when the bankruptcy court took the hotel into receivership.”
It was also in 1976 when Masone made news with The Daily Planet, a band that once performed on top of the Senator Hotel at 1131 L St.
Masone recalled that the band’s high volume performance caused many of the attendees of a political event – a protest against the Cesar Chavez-sponsored farm workers initiative, Proposition 14 – on the nearby Capitol grounds to leave that event to get closer to the music that was being played across L Street.
“The old Senator Hotel (included) one of my rooms with the union,” Masone said. “And I had a band in there called The Daily Planet, and we did a publicity stunt on top of the Senator. I put the band, The Daily Planet, outside on top of the (hotel) during some type of protest across the street with maybe a couple thousand people (or about 200 representatives of the California Women for Agriculture, according to a United Press International report). I put the band up and we started playing rock and roll at that lunchtime event and (protestors) from the Capitol (grounds) came over and enjoyed the band. And it made the front page (of The Sacramento Union) and the headline was ‘Rock and roll trumps politics’ (or) ‘When it comes to politics and rock and roll, rock and roll will always win,’ or something like that.”
After playing harmonica on one song, Masone headed to the ground level to speak to the press.
Following his work at the dinner theater at the Sheraton Inn, Masone established another dinner theater at the Bacchus Theatre at 1027 ½ 2nd St., above the Saddle Rock Restaurant in Old Sacramento.
Masone mentioned that he also spent time working in the media for radio station KROY 1240 AM as a news stringer and for Freedom News Service, writing copy and mostly covering political events.
Additionally, Masone said that his work history during the 1970s included a lot of managerial work, as well as the co-ownership of a music store.
“I was (involved in) personal management and managing several different bands,” Masone said. “I was booking everything, and then another opportunity came up (in 1977). Some friends of mine pooled their money together and we bought a music store down on K Street (from Brian Bailey, who founded the store a year earlier at 2113 Arden Way before relocating it to the K Street Mall). And so, we owned Melodyland music (store) for about a year. We sold instruments and gave lessons in the basement, and had people working with some bands and stuff. But then they tore up K Street Mall (to remove its concrete structures and water features), and it did nothing. All kinds of businesses went out of business down there. (Melodyland) was on the opposite side of (K Street from) the Crest (Theatre at 1013 K Street).
“Bringing up the Crest, that was another project I was involved in was in the saving of the Crest. I worked with Herb Levine. We did some promotions and some productions to help save the Crest. And I also was doing all of the downtown merchant associations events with bands and so forth. I picked up some other big clients like United Cerebral Palsy. We were supplying the talent and stuff for doing their national fundraising events. And they had a big, epic show here, too, and a lot of it was televised and everything.”
In about 1978, Masone produced a disco ballet that was performed on a Red and White fleet cruise ship on the Sacramento River.
In speaking about that experience, Masone said, “We used a disco soundtrack and I choreographed a disco ballet to ‘Romeo and Juliet’ aboard the ship as it cruised down the Delta between Steamboat Slough and Sacramento. It was a four or five-hour cruise that was sold out. To promote the event, my dance partner (Cydney Cannon/now Cydney Welch) and I climbed up to one of the Tower Bridge’s pinnacles as a publicity stunt. It was to get local publicity, and it instead got national publicity. At first, I didn’t think my dance partner would go for it, but she said, ‘I’ll do it. Let’s do it.’ What we didn’t count on was there were 40 mph winds. But there were news cameras there from Channel 10 and Channel 3, and The (Sacramento) Bee was there to cover the event, so we had to do it. (On the following day), the whole front page of the Metro section (of The Bee) was dedicated to photos and that story. It was after that we beat out Northern California’s leading dancers, (Sacramento’s) Darwin Mitchell and (his partner) Jeannie.”

Lance@valcomnews.com

East Sacramento nonprofits to benefit from United Way’s Toilet Paper Drive

United Way California Capital Region is asking the community to spare a square by donating to its 6th Annual Toilet Paper Drive on June 12 that helps local nonprofits offset the cost for this staple item, including two East Sacramento nonprofits. Local nonprofits spend anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars a year on toilet paper – money that could be invested in programs changing lives.

Sacramento Life Center, whose primary medical clinic and headquarters are located in East Sacramento, spends $1,300 a year on toilet paper between its primary clinic and its two Mobile Medical Clinics. Thanks to the Toilet Paper Drive, Sacramento Life Center will instead be able to provide the 2,000 women and teen girls they see each year with 80 free pregnancy testing appointments, 70 free STD testing appointments, 40 free ultrasounds or 25 free well woman exams.

TLCS Inc., also based in East Sacramento, spends $7,520 a year on toilet paper through its interim housing program for people with psychiatric disabilities who have been homeless. Instead, the nonprofit will be able to provide food for a month for all 113 residents.

Last year’s drive raised 229,485 rolls of toilet paper and this year’s goal is 240,000 rolls.

“We all take toilet paper for granted, but our nonprofit partners sure don’t,” said Stephanie McLemore Bray, United Way president and CEO. “At a dollar a roll, this drive will help more than a hundred local nonprofits save $240,000. Every dollar counts, and so does every roll. Together, we can make sure nonprofits have the resources to do what they do best – change people lives.”

United Way’s Toilet Paper Drive will take place 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on June 12 at the Cal Expo main entrance, 1600 Exposition Boulevard in Sacramento. Residents also can donate toilet paper online at  www.yourlocalunitedway.org/tp-drive. For updates, visit facebook.com/uwccr or follow @unitedwayccr and #tpdrive on Twitter. Senior Gleaners, a Sacramento nonprofit, will store the toilet paper and help distribute it the following week to many of United Way’s 160 certified nonprofit partners in Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties.

Partners in United Way’s Toilet Paper Drive include FOX40, Sac-Val Janitorial Supply, Clear Channel Media & Entertainment, Clear Channel Outdoor, The Sacramento Bee, Senior Gleaners, Cal Expo and River City Printers.

For 90 years, United Way California Capital Region has actively worked to address the community’s most pressing issues, now focusing on innovative solutions related to high school graduation rates, household financial stability and obesity. United Way’s team of nonprofits, businesses, donors and volunteers have formed the Live United Movement to provide positive, measurable results on these issues through United Way projects: STAR Readers, $en$e-Ability and Fit Kids. Community members can give, volunteer and advocate in support of the causes they care most about, benefiting United Way and hundreds of nonprofits in Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties. United Way is an independent, local affiliate of United Way Worldwide. For more information, visit www.yourlocalunitedway.org.

Upcoming McKinley Library events

From a special program “Sunflower Power” to the weekly baby lapsit, The McKinley Library, 601 Alhambra Blvd., has a few exciting events on the calendar. The hours of the library are as follows:
Sunday and Monday, closed; Tuesday: noon to 8 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday, 1 to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For details, telephone the Sacramento Public Library at 264-2920 or visit www.saclibrary.org.

Sunflower Power: Why do plants produce seeds? California Food Literacy will show visitors how to remove sunflower seeds from the flower, create seed packets to take home, and make a spread called Sun Butter! Visitors can eat the homemade sun butter on graham crackers and read a book about sunflowers. Funded by the Friends of the McKinley Library, the program takes places on Saturday, May 17 at 2:30 p.m.

Sabrina’s Craft Corner: Come join the library as you work on your current craft project, or start a new one. Funded by the Friends of the McKinley Library, this program happens on Tuesday, May 27 at 5 p.m.

SFSQUARED Book Club meeting: Fantasy – Science Fiction – Mainstream Paranormal Fiction – this month’s selection is “Snow Crash,” by Neil Stephenson. Come to the library on Saturday, May 31 at 1 p.m. to discuss this book.

Read to a Dog: Read to a Dog is a fun and proven method for boosting a child’s reading skills by reading to a trained therapy dog and adult volunteer. Children may bring their own books to read to a furry friend, or they may borrow a book from the library’s collection. This program will be held on Tuesday, June 3 at 3 p.m.

Baby Lapsit storytime: Babies from birth to 18 months old and their parents/caregivers can enjoy great books, lively songs and rhymes, and meet other babies in the neighborhood. This recurring program starts at 10:30 a.m., with dates as follows: June 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25.

Toddler preschool storytime: Join the library for songs, fingerplays and stories especially for ages 18 months to 5 years, followed by playtime! Make new friends and play with toys. This recurring program starts at 10:30 a.m., with dates as follows: Wednesday June 5, 12, 19, 26.

Journey to Bubbleland: Let’s kick off summer and summer reading with a pop! Join the library for a spectacular show of bubble artistry, comedy, stories and music. You’ll see dancing bubbles, people inside of bubbles, and bubbles in the shape of dragons, whales and spaceships. It’s a show you won’t forget! Partially funded by the Friends of the McKinley Library, the show starts on Thursday, June 5 at 4 p.m.

Sabrina’s Craft Corner: Learn a new craft technique every month, using simple household items and affordable materials. Paper Mache will be the craft on Saturday, June 7. Funded by the Friends of the McKinley Library, the program starts at 12:30 p.m.

Light Sabers with Art Beast: After reading a rousing tale of space adventures, friends will use pool noodles and a range of decorative tapes and jewels to create a one-of-a-kind light saber for battling unfriendly space creatures. Partially funded by the Friends of the McKinley Library, the program will be held on June 12 at 2 p.m.

Juggling, Magic and Inspired Silliness: Join the library for juggling, magic, and balancing tricks with Owen Baker-Flynn. Owen will amaze us with fun tricks, comedy, and other goofy stuff. Get inspired to have a silly, fun summer! Partially funded by the Friends of the McKinley Library, the program starts at 2 p.m. on June 18.