In Portland or Paris where the clouds often reach down to embrace the earth in their cool grasp, flowers that reflect the damp hues of blue and purple seem as natural as growing grass. Here in California’s San Joaquin Valley where skies glow hot white and dusty fields paint a hazy glaze over the sun, it seems that blue and purple flowers should evaporate by mid-morning.But they do not have to. These beauties poked through the rich soil nurtured by an iris farmer in Porterville. I attended the Porterville Iris Festival a few years ago with my master gardener friend, Sally Pace, and the gates opened to reveal these beauties.The Porterville Chamber of Commerce and the Tulare County Master Gardeners plan the Iris Festival for late April each year.
If you enjoyed these pictures of purple flowers, visit Cee’s Fun Foto Contest to see other entries. A new theme begins every Tuesday.
It’s 4:03 in the morning. I slept all day yesterday after minor surgery, so I’m relatively bright-eyed and drug free. How are all of you?
It’s been so long since I’ve written anything besides letters, emails, figured budgets, and fixed computer problems that, I’ve forgotten how to write blogs! So I guess I’ll write you all a letter. I remember getting letters from my grandmother, and every one of them told us about someone we didn’t know or remember who had died. So I wanted you to know that at least I didn’t die, and I’m going to tell some of you about a bunch of people you don’t know.
I got a call to be a REAL photographer last week by a friend, Lauri Polly, who IS a real photographer and editor of our Kiwanis Magazine, “What’s Happening in the Foothills.”
I’m sure you can imagine, if you don’t already know from experience, how much work it is to plan and execute a day of activities for several hundred students. First you have to line up volunteers to present, which means you have to know a lot of people who know a lot of stuff, AND are good with kids! Then you have to con your last-minute volunteers (teachers and librarians to stand in for those who couldn’t make it.)
Then you plan the weather. It should be sunny, with a light breeze, not too hot.
Then you invite other students to join you, so there’s a little more pressure on you as a planner, but adrenaline helps because the event is exciting, after all. I’m sure Courtney slept well that night.
Finally you plan a grand finale. And what could be grander than shooting off a Civil War canon?
And that’s how you send off the year of studying eighth grade history in Woodlake, CA with a big bang.
There’s not much information in here about the Civil War. I can’t with so many of my friends who are experts in the subject – I’d embarrass myself! I have all the pictures with some notes from the event posted on my Facebook Page.
It’s four in the morning here in California as I write to you for the first time in weeks. I have a good reason – for not writing, that is.
“Really? What possible reason could be good enough for not writing to your friends?” asks the little voice in my head.
One thing I learned about writing good dialogue – and writing in general is that you leave the boring parts out.
“So what made you think you should even write anything?”
What a pesky little voice you are. there are maybe five or ten people in the world that are still interested in even the boring little details of my life. Maybe they miss me.
“Well get on with it then, and write what you’re going to say, and quit talking to me.”
OK OK, the truth is that I have a new job, and I was sort of waiting until the Board President announced to the public before I wrote about it, and I’ve been extremely busy doing exciting things like filing and trying to balance the books. I am the new Executive Director of the California Council for the Social Studies, and it’s not entirely clear what that job will be, but for me it starts with filing and organizing.
Maybe, but necessary. Today I will attend the Executive Planning Meeting in Los Angeles, so I stayed the night in the hotel where our conference will be next March, and took a tour of the facilities.
Most important to me is establishing face to face contact. I met Deb, Ryan, Tim and Carmita. Ryan will be our main contact person as we prepare for our biggest event, a conference for about 700-800 social studies teachers, professors, and administrators in California.
Seeing the rooms gives our planning committee and me an idea of which rooms will be best for the presentations, and where the exhibits and ticketed meals and social events will be. You can see about one-third of what will be the exhibit hall in this picture above.
Session rooms are huge, but they can be divided into thirds. Left open they seat almost 200 guests. The hotel has recently been remodeled, and is quite lovely. Most importantly it has good internet access for everyone – in public places and in the rooms, and I will soon learn the cost to make it available during sessions.
I can visualize two history teachers networking here with computers open and a cup of coffee, discussing how they will use what they learned in a session in their class .
I expressed surprise over how pretty the tables looked, and Ryan told me that the facility is linenless. That’s a new term for me. Normally when you see tables at a hotel without their linens on, they are rough pieces of wood, that sneaks up and snags your nylons when you cross your legs under the table.
“No one wears nylons anymore.”
Be quiet. I do sometimes. It’s cold in hotels.
“That’s not why YOU wear them.”
There’s a perfect little office right outside the registration area where we can set up shop so everything will be close by. It is linenless, too. I never realized how pervasive linen was.
This is a small part of the foyer outside the exhibit hall. One year we had Mexican folklorico dancers in the foyer it was so big. Another year we had extra exhibits. Our conference planners will have all kinds of decisions to make about the space, but at least now I know how the space looks, so I can picture it when they ask me questions.
A beachy place wouldn’t be complete without swallows. It was nice to have the time to enjoy the scenery. I’m sure I’ll be very busy the next time I see this place. :)
Now you know I haven’t disappeared or died. In fact I just renewed my domain, so I’m here for another year, starting my fourth year of blogging. Thanks for reading and chatting, and being my friend.
Arcadia Publishing has specific requirements for the photos in your Images book. You receive a written guideline and an editor that answers questions promptly. Your success is practically guaranteed – once your get the photos!
Images of America books are not family history books, so even if you grew up in a community, you must gather pictures. Multiple family’s pictures in the book are essential to telling the story.
In the case of a small community, probably the library will not have enough images to fill your book. You might have a small museum or historical society that stores pictures. Even though our museum is not open, one woman has pictures in her home. Here are the ways I started from 0 and gathered the 200+ pictures I needed for publication in 6 months.
Our local Kiwanis magazine put in a free ad for me. – 1 direct call and one referral from her
I walked the streets of Woodlake and talked to business owners, City Hall and Woodlake Police. – 2 donors
Talking to friends in the grocery store – 1 prospect
Following referrals from friends – 30 donors
Cold calls to businesses – 1 potential donor who googled me to make sure I didn’t have a criminal record or wasn’t a sex offender before he called me too late for publication.
Following referrals from referrals – 3 donors
Organizing was important, and took quite a bit of time as I processed the photos. These are my steps.
As I started scanning photos, I put the PDFs into files in my document folder labeled by donor’s names.
Next I created a “Woodlake PDF” and put in all of the donor folders.
Each photograph sent to Arcadia was a TIFF file, so I processed all most files, and put them into a separate file with the donor’s name inside a large folder that said, “Woodlake TIFF.”
I didn’t write about every picture. In order to write, I used an unpublished blog account, because importing each picture to a Word file made Word crash. It is hard to write about a picture when you can’t look at it as you write, so the blog was perfect.
However, that created another step. TIFF files are huge, so I resized each photo I used (or thought I might use) in the book and saved it as a JPEG, and created another Donor file and put it inside – you guessed it – the “Woodlake JPEG” file. Then I could upload those files easily to my blog, and the ones I didn’t use in the book I could post to FB or in my blog.
Then I made files for the chapter titles and copied only the TIFFS into those files, numbering them for the book.
Finally I copied the entire folder, “Arcadia,” onto an external hard drive. I started to copy all of it to the cloud, but it was very time consuming.
After I submitted the manuscript and pictures, I began copying the JPEG files only to Picasa. I’m still not finished, and I hope it is worth the effort! I have them organized by subject rather than chapter, and I have one folder for all the images used in the book along with the caption, so that if I do another book, I will use different pictures, or be sure to credit the book as well as the donor.
That’s it. That’s how I gathered and organized hundreds of pictures in six months.
Nothing is not the right answer. Blogging is not it either. I wish it were.
Do you get roped into things? Do you sometimes feel like you’ve been branded as the girl who says yes to too many things at once?
Sometimes I feel like I’ve kicked up so much dust, that a can of worms might be a good thing in comparison. Today I talked to our CPA and learned about 501(c)(3), and I hope we’ve filed all out paperwork. I created a program for our Western Regional Breakfast that’s happening at the NCSS Conference in Boston next month. I found out about awards for the program. I learned about the Woodlake Rodeo. I did laundry, made lunch and dinner, cleaned the kitchen, took a walk, went to the post office and mailed a letter to a 10-year-old P.O. Box and I hope to find the person who owns the bottom picture to get her permission to use it, so promise me that you won’t steal it.
I posted important stuff on Facebook for CCSS. So the truth is that today, I’ve done a lot, but can I remember it when my husband comes home and asks me what I’ve done? I do, but that was the wrong question. Does he really want to listen to me list it all? I think you know that answer. That’s why I’m telling YOU – and guess what? He’ll end up reading about it on Facebook tomorrow. hehehe :)
Right this second I’m feeling a little light headed (yes, I did get my hair cut, but only about 2-3 people even missed the 5-6 inches I’ve chopped off) But that’s not why I’m light headed. I’m dizzy with excitement because I’m almost finished with my book, Images of America Woodlake – 15,894 words out of a total possible of 8,000 to 18,000, and 192 pictures out of a possible 200. What I’ve learned cannot even come close to a limit of 18,000 words. That has been the hardest part. Collecting pictures from those whose names I get from friends, and of those, the ones who return my call or email. Those are the ones whose minute pieces of the story get in the book. Some people have given me hundreds of photos. Some only one. I have to leave out so much, and someone’s feelings are bound to get hurt when the book is published. There is SOOOOO much more to tell. But, that is not my story – at least not for this book.
So what did you do today? Do you need someone to listen to your list? Write it in the comment section. There, doesn’t that feel better? You really did do something today!
If you’ve never seen a tree so wide you can drive your truck through it, then you need to come to the Sequoia National Park. The Kaweah River surges down from the Sierra Nevada, through the Big Trees, forming the Delta where big agriculture lives in Tulare County.
The huge forests that attract thousands of tourists world-wide today, might have been wiped from the map before their secret was discovered were it not for the drama that unfolded in the mountains in the 1880s.
I met author, Jay O’Connell, in the Pizza Factory in Three Rivers on the day Sally Pace and I made ad sales calls for the Kiwanis Magazine, “What’s Happening in the Foothills.” I went home, and sure enough, I had his book, Cooperative Dreams A History of the Kaweah Colony, in my library, but to my loss, had never taken the time to read it.
“Three key issues of the nineteenth-century California history are illustrated by events at Kaweah.” The issues prominent in the 1880s, when the Kaweah Colony formed were: “land and its acquisition; labor and the organization of it; and conservation. … They are personified by three major characters in the drama of the Kaweah.” Charles Keller found the land, and knew it would be perfect to start the perfect cooperative colony. Burnette Haskell, son of none other than Eddie Haskell (not from Leave It To Beaver, but very much like him in personality) gave voice to the organized labor movement so prominent in those years. Finally, Visalia’s own “Father of the Sequoia National Park,” George W. Stewart championed conservation so effectively that the results surprised even him.
What I didn’t know was that there was such a mysterious aura around the often-told story. For fifty years even historians did not know how the park came to be included in a bill that originally reserved only a small portion of the trees for posterity. Even more amazing was the reason for including the magnificent trees in the preservation act.
O’Connell gently unfurls the story, introducing each character, using primary sources including letters, newspaper articles, and interviews of survivors of the colonies conducted in the 1940s by Tulare County historical expert, Joe Doctor, to authenticate his narrative.
As a student of local history, I found this fascinating, but California’s history, its dream belongs to the world as did the settlers that came in the 1800s.
Large or small, I like social studies conferences. Teachers starve for social studies professional development because it differs from other subject area conferences.
The social studies include four core subject areas: geography, economics, history and civics.
Geography: Now I ask you who isn’t interested in traveling? One of our CCSS exhibitors offers teachers expenses paid trip for two weeks to Germany. Do they have offers like that in math conferences?
The activity we did at the N. CA conference this weekend had us identifying where and when pictures had been taken. Each group of 4 had two different pictures. This particular activity showed change over time in Germany.
Economics: Do you run out of month or paycheck first?What would happen if we quit shipping the 40% of California’s agricultural products overseas, could we save water in drought-ridden California? Studying economics helps students grapple with historic and current issues, trace the consequences and predict future results from actions we take today. Conferences bring you face to face with people in the know like Dr. Jim Charkins of the California Council for Economics Education.
History: Scholars from near and far engaged us in conversations about WWI, the trenches, the music, the need to enlist before the selective service started, and the propaganda to get people to enlist.
Now I understand a little piece of my grandfather’s life a little better.
At the other conference we Skyped author/scholar, Allyson Hobbs from Stanford, also sponsored by Glider Lehrman Institute who studied the effects of African-Americans who passed for white, and what they missed from their black culture by giving up their identities. Can you imagine giving up/turning your back on who you are? She made it personal.
Civics: We met three speakers involved in landmark Supreme Court cases. Sylvia Mendez’s younger sister never knew the court case happened until she studied the effect on the Civil Rights movement in high school. Karen Korematsu spoke about her father, Fred Korematsu’s opposition to the federal government, prison, Supreme Court Case. We met Mary Beth Tinker, Tinker V Des Moines, who wore a black armband to school, to express her views. She didn’t think it was any big deal at the time. Now she talks to children around the country. She told us stories of amazing children, and what they can do that adults couldn’t.
We heard Major General Patrick Brady tell us that people may not have equal opportunities, but we all have access to as much courage as they want. The more we use, the more we have.
We met political cartoonist, Lalo Alcaraz who has one of his paintings hanging from the wall of Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor
Where else but a social studies conference can you rub elbows with people who played a part in exciting events you read about in the news?
Intensity sparked like electricity during a Power of Democracy Task Force meeting. Where can you get direct contact with legislators, Department of Justice, and Department of Education at the same time?
We honored our best and finest social studies teachers at the awards program – AKA Emmys. Twitterers tweeted during the conference.
Brent won a bicycle at the membership booth. Exhibitors gave free stuff to everyone. Best of all teachers connected with other teachers and shared ideas.
Next March we go to Oakland. The National Conference will be in Boston in November. California Council Needs YOU! If you teach history-social studies in CA, please join us.
If you are not a regular reader of mine, this post may seem like a waste of cyberspace. I’ve never taken such a long break from blogging, and I miss you all, but I have a Board meeting tomorrow morning in Ontario. It’s a long drive, and since I’m the gavel banger, I have to have my act together. Our big conference is March 7-9, and both Vince and I are working our tails off getting the website up to speed, and helping with the details of the conference.
I say all that to apologize for not visiting much, posting at all or even responding to comments very often. I promise you are all in my thoughts. I browse Facebook, so if you are my FB friend, I’ll see you more often since I have to post updates for CCSS every day.
Thanks for being understanding, and staying with me. I promise after this weekend at the very least, I will be a better “post”er child. That was a lame joke. BTW
At a Woodlake High School Foundation Dinner I attended recently, Bob Burke, the 2011 San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social Studies High School Teacher of the Year, told me he had just published his first book, Through the Redwood Curtain.
I was thrilled for him, and anxious to read it, a story about places and times familiar to me.
The main character, Steve, a long-haired student at the College of the Redwoods, transversed between his home, where he lived in a tiny trailer in an ultra-conservative, poverty-ridden McKinleyville trailer park with his brother and his brother’s wife, to his place of school and employment in Eureka, 13 miles away. On the way driving south on Highway 101 in his rundown Volkswagen van Steve passed through the now progressive town of Arcata, home of Humboldt State University, just over five miles away from his home. The two towns couldn’t have been further apart politically. When folks for the two towns met and talked politics, it was like metal on pavement, driving on the rims.
Through Steve’s naive eyes, the reader sees the battle lines being sketched between two ideologies, environmentally conscious students, and lumberjacks and fishermen barely scratching out a living as they destroyed some of the most pristine forests in the United States. The destitution of the residents contrasted with the privilege and unappreciated wealth of the majority of the Humboldt State students from Southern California created a dramatic backdrop of political sparks that fueled this book’s plot from beginning to end.
The drama didn’t end with politics, however. Steve had his own internal combustion engine when it came to the love of his life, Cheryl, and their lonely times of separation, the abundance of drugs, family differences, friendships, and betrayals. In addition, the death of Steve’s mother, the lack of support from his drunken father colored his emotions, and his own desperate financial situation added to the intense conflict of forces within the story.
Finally, the story wouldn’t have been complete without Steve’s $1.65 an hour job at Coastal Gardens Nursery in Eureka. Steve worked with an assortment of characters, most of whom were paroles, students, or local tooth-free young women looking for good men – in all the wrong places. Steve seemed to innocently bound through his mixed up world always seeing roses through his fog colored spectacles.
All of the dramatic facets and interludes of Steve’s life seem inextricably intertwined into the life of his rusty, fussy old VW van. Could it be that the opposing forces in Steve’s life wouldn’t begin to come together as long as he had the troublesome VW? Or would his troubles only deepen if the old van ever died? To find that answer you will have to read the book.
Common Core Standards
While this is a work of fiction, I think most high school teachers could use this with their students studying modern U.S. history, and would find Through the Redwood Curtain more than just a fun read. Of course they could analyze the characters and setting, both of which are part of the new standards. One of the important aspects of being a historian is to know the author, and understand the lens through which the book is written. Robert Burke graduated from Humboldt State in the 1970s, so is a primary source when it comes to the issues found in the book. So did Bob have an agenda when writing the book? Did he see like as a wealthy college student, or did he, because of his own lack of funds, identify more with the conservatives who also had financial troubles bigger than the Redwoods? How would the book have been different if written from the perspective of the owner of Coastal Gardens Nursery? These are topics with which students have to grapple in their Common Core classrooms. In my opinion this story would be an excellent one for examining perspective.
If you know Northwest California, and love the complexity of the simple life found there, you will love this book. Read it and pass it on to a friend or two that went to Humboldt State in the 1970s. They probably knew Steve – even though he is fictitious. I felt like knew him – back when.
I love companionable. People and animals getting along together. Maybe even plants, anything that breathes. Things??? Well, Manny is companionable, but usually… Well there are a few things I can’t do without, too, come to think of it.
Puppy Girl and Mama Kitty are about the same size and very companionable. Even from the start Mama accepted PG. Who knows why? She hates other cats that come around.
I used to raise guinea pigs. my puppy BJ was so jealous of what we gave the guinea pigs that he would eat things that dogs just hate – like lettuce. He and Bud were very companionable with the guinea pigs when we fed them. Piggles didn’t mind being companionable.
My good friends, the history girls, and I decided that one of our outings would be to see Wicked. I found these perfect sparkly red shoes at the Sears store in the shopping mall near the theatre – wonder why? They were only $9.99. Who could pass on that? We wore them and felt companionable, not just with each other, but with the play as well.
Now I have to go BE companionable with the Woodlake Kiwanians who put on a July 3rd Fireworks Display. I hate working in 108 degree heat, but I am going to be companionable – until I melt. :) Lots of love to everyone. Remember to be companionable tomorrow as you celebrate our freedom to be companionable.
Can you believe that I could get somewhere – anywhere at 6:15 a.m.?Good, that means you know me pretty well. I got there at 6:25 a.m., complete with camera, but my disk had no space AND no pictures. What’s up with that? I learned how to format my disk today because of it. Needless to say, I was a little late to my assigned post, but I got there. It turned out that many people came to help, so I didn’t have much to do, but enjoy the day.
My very good friend Connie from Tulare County Office of Education (TCOE) showed up, and we walked the path slowly, relishing the chance to catch up .
The day was off to a lovely start. The temperature was cool enough that I appreciated my coat for a while, then quickly shed it, as we strolled into last place. Altogether 73 runners and walkers participated in this fund raiser. All the proceeds from the event go to the Woodlake Food Pantry. It’s a real privilege to be part of a community organization that gives so much back to the community.
How was your Saturday? What is your favorite charitable organization or fundraising activity?
This was my first year in the past twelve years NOT to coordinate Tulare County’s History Day event. The job now falls on my dear friend, Joy Soares, who took my place as the History Consultant at the County Office. She has enough energy and ideas for three people, and indeed more than three people kept very busy bringing this exciting day to fruition.
My job in all of this was to represent two volunteer organizations, San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social Studies (SJVCSS), and Tulare County Historical Society (TCHS). Both organizations had booths, and both gave scholarships to students. This was the first year we named any of the donations from these organizations.
Two individuals from TCHS were especially instrumental in bringing TCHS and History Day together, Stan Barnes and Madeline Franz. When I first started coordinating History Day, the Fresno County Historical Society actively supported the Fresno County event, and I didn’t even know who the Tulare County Historical Society was or how to find them. Then Sharon Doughty created a website, and I made a phone call. That next year Madeline Franz judged for our event. The next year she brought friends, Don MacMillian, Terry Ommen, and Stan Barnes.
Stan was particularly taken with the project, and insisted that the Society donate money as long as it didn’t get swallowed in a “black hole.” The society also contributed a large amount to a group of students from Kingsburg, CA who were going to National History Day in Washington, D.C. What an opportunity for students who had never been out of Tulare County! TCHS bought tee shirts one year so that when our students went to state they all dressed alike one night and really stood out in the crowd of thousands of students. This year was the first year that the Society specified scholarship amounts, and named the scholarships. Unfortunately, Stan Barnes passed away just a few weeks ago, so did not see what the scholarship named for him will do for students. His daughter attended the awards ceremony.
Madeline also participated in the awards ceremony, bringing her family with her. TCHS President, Jill Brown presented both awards.
SJVCSS is the local affiliate council of the California Council for the Social Studies (CCSS) It is a professional organization for social studies teachers, administrators, and professors, and really is NON-profit. Each year since I started as coordinator the organization gave $50 to History Day, and I used it to purchase things we needed for the event. This year we upped it to $100 and created an Exhibit Scholarship in the name of Marvin Awbrey, Father of History Day. Marvin is from Fresno County, just north of us. He IS the Father of History Day in California, the man who brought it to Fresno County, then the state. He also served as the judge captain of the Exhibits Category for many years. At the awards ceremony yesterday, I made a presentation speech, and Marvin gave the scholarship to a deserving exhibit designer, Mr. Wilson.
I will write a more professional article that has student names and a little less silliness for the Los Tulares, the TCHS quarterly magazine available to members. My blogging friends have to put up with all my foibles, bad photography, and antics. It is SO fun to be retired and be able to be silly. There is something to be said for that second childhood!
Here are some other photos if you are a parent or an interested bystander that just loves HD.
Eva Paterson was only a teenager when she debated Spiro Agnew on national television in 1970. When she became an attorney she fought for Civil Rights for many underserved groups of people. Though she grew up in a violent home, she became a champion for those whose rights were challenged at home or in society. In the late 1970s she successfully sued the Oakland Police Department for not coming to the aide of battered women.
“Prior to taking the helm of the Equal Justice Society in 2003, Paterson worked at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights for twenty-six years, thirteen of them as Executive Director. Paterson led the organization’s work providing free legal services to low-income individuals, litigating class action civil rights cases, and advocating for social justice. At the Lawyers’ Committee, she was part of a broad coalition that filed the groundbreaking anti-discrimination suit against race and gender discrimination by the San Francisco Fire Department. That lawsuit successfully desegregated the department, winning new opportunities for women and minority firefighters.” http://www.equaljusticesociety.org/about/evapaterson/
Paterson, though part of an historic movement in the United States, the Civil Rights Movement, keeps on producing results. On Saturday, March 9, at the CCSS conference in Burlingame, CA, “Ms. Paterson will be joined in a panel discussion by two Dream Act student leaders, Sofia Campos and Catherine Eusebio, courageous immigrant youth who are building a new civil rights movement, risking arrest and deportation to fight for the rights of immigrant youth and their families.” CCSS Conference Brochure
Martin Luther King Junior had a dream. Some people living in the United States are inhibited from following their dreams because of their immigrant status as children. “The ‘The DREAM Act is a bipartisan legislation ‒ pioneered by Sen. Orin Hatch [R-UT] andSen. Richard Durbin [D-IL] ‒ that can solve this hemorrhaging injustice in our society. Under the rigorous provisions of the DREAM Act, qualifying undocumented youth would be eligible for a 6 year long conditional path to citizenship that requires completion of a college degree or two years of military service.” http://dreamact.info/ Two of these students will share their stories during the panel discussion on Saturday, March 9, 2013 in Burlingame, CA.
Eva has come full circle. As a student she came to the spotlight during a panel discussion addressing then President Spiro Agnew, and next Saturday she will participate on a panel discussion with students who share the their own struggle for civil rights nearly 50 years later.
No matter what your politics, you will enjoy this inspiring speaker at the conference. You will be amazed.
Sally Pace asked me to do a column of Foothill History for the Kiwanis magazine which is published quarterly. Our larger community consists of several small foothill towns ranging from populations of about 3,000-8,000. From north to south the communities are: Woodlake, Lemon Cove, Three Rivers, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, and Exeter. Then a little farther south, still in the foothills, but not considered in our neighborhood are: Lindsay, Porterville (about 45,000 pop.), and Springville (very tiny and very high into the mountains).
Just so that you understand the history here in Tulare County, I will give you a little background. There were NO white, Mexican, Asian, or any outside people here before 1852. NONE – not even explorers. Well maybe one or two Spanish explorers. But let me tell you, they didn’t stay. Heck no, they went back to the Central California Coast. So when the world rushed in to find gold in “Californey”, a few of the folks headed south of gold country to Tulare County. Native Americans from the Yokuts tribes lived here peacefully before the OTHERS arrived.
Standing around an old Oak Tree, (there were no yellow ribbons tied around it), named The Election Tree for the occasion, a group of white men founded what we now know as Tulare County. In that time the county was HUGE. Now it is the size of Connecticut, but then it included Fresno County and Kings County and part of Inyo county. It didn’t take long before folks back then decided that was WAY too much land for any one county, and they split it up,
For Historical Society purposes, I found out that you really need to count three generations here before you are considered blue – blooded, that is. I’m purple back in Indiana, or even further back to North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, but I’m clear-colored here. (I’m distantly related on both sides of my family to Robert Morris, signer of the Declaration of Independence, my one and only claim to fame.) I’ve lived in Tulare County for 28 years, and if I’d had kids, and they’d had kids – they would be royal blue by this time, but …
Yesterday I was blessed to have interviews with 4 people who have lived in the area longer than I have. My friend, Sally, of Running P Ranch, was one of the impromptu interviews. Sally and another neighbor, Frank Ainley, discussed the good old days of teaching high school in Woodlake. One story they swapped started with the words that the principal said to Frank one day at school, “I need to see you.” (That sounds familiar, but read on…)
“I can’t come right NOW! I’m right in the middle of class,” Frank answered the intercom voice that the entire high school could hear.
“That’s ok, if you’re a good teacher, your kids will keep doing what they are supposed to do while you’re gone,” the principal responded
Add they did for about 25 minutes. That was back in the late 1960s (when I attended junior high and high school in Indiana.) Weren’t we the Perfect Generation, or something like that?
Both Frank and Sally talked about the kids doing projects. The high school kids kept the teachers organized so that the projects ran smoothly. Students could drive in those days – if they had a license. So if the students needed something for the project, the teacher would just ask one of them to go get it at the store, and come back to class with it. If they had to travel for sports or field trips, the kids just drove there – if they were over 16, and had parents written permission, of course. There were SOME laws back in the 1960s.
The principal, Bud Loverin, said to Sally, the JUST hired home economics teacher, “We have an opening inservice for all the teachers the first day back to school. There will be about 60 people for breakfast and lunch.” You got the implication of that statement, didn’t you? The administrators made the assignments, then trusted the teachers to somehow accomplish them. and somehow they did (or they didn’t, I’m guessing). These two teachers remembered going into the Loverin’s office upset about some issue, and coming out apologizing for taking up his time, and thanking him for the new assignment he just gave them. Yet they both said teacher morale was at a high.
Evaluations? Frank asked his principal, “When are you coming in to do an evaluation of me?”
Bud Loverin answered, “If I didn’t think you couldn’t do the job, I wouldn’t have hired you.” He didn’t have an evaluation that year. He didn’t have very many evaluations. To be fair, I never had too many evaluations that ever seemed like evaluations, and I taught from the late 80s on. But my experience is unusual because I left the classroom and didn’t become a principal, but a consultant.
Are we missing something today? Bud Loverin sounds like what current experts (and laws) might consider to be a horrible principal. He was the type of sales person that motivated his staff. Sally repeated an oft-said comment about Loverin, “He could have sold icicles to Eskimos and made a profit. ” The teachers loved him. He took care of them.
Frank and Sally both said the kids loved the principal and the vice-principal, Herman Ziegler, and most got good jobs after they graduated. I know both of these teachers, so I know that they both understated their effect on kids. Both teachers are very well-respected and loved by students and teachers alike. Frank quit teaching in his 70s, and is still active in the community. Sally became a counselor in the high school and brought national recognition to Woodlake High School a few years ago because she raised so much money for scholarships, and enabled students to attend college. She has also retired in her 60s – sort of, and keeps busy in the community.
Frank talked about discipline in the school, when they still used a stick. Discipline was done by the vice principal – a BIG guy, Herman Ziegler. Both the principal and the VP were BIG. I remember our principal in 5th grade. He would come in to get a naughty boy, and I would quake. He was BIG. What was it in those days? Was that a requirement for being a principal? BE BIG, and you’re hired? Apparently they got the job done in Woodlake according to Frank and Sally.
When I was getting my teaching credential in 1986, I interviewed a retired elementary principal, Mr. Crawford, in Woodlake for an assignment. He told this story. In the 1940s, as a teacher, he had a 19-year-old 8th grade student with an attitude. (duh! I’d have an attitude if I were still in 8th grade at age 19.) This student was about 6 feet tall, and didn’t like the assignment Mr. Crawford had made. The student challenged his 6 foot tall 40s something teacher, “If you didn’t wear glasses, I’d beat you up.” Crawford promptly removed his glasses, and the two settled their dispute. The teacher won, and the student behaved the rest of the year. By the time the principal, Francis J. White, arrived on the scene, the student was doing his assignment.
I have to say that at the time, I sat in this man and his wife’s living room with my mouth hanging open during most of the interview. It was one of those unforgettable experiences. At the time I knew Mrs. Crawford because she and I often substituted in all the classes in Woodlake. She was tiny, about five feet tall, and probably never weighed 100 pounds, but she knew every student in school, and they all liked and respected her. She had a no-nonsense way of managing a class that worked. She never had to raise her voice – or her hand to a student.
Kids today are faced with a far different world than any of us grew up in – even if you are 20. That’s another amazing conversation Sally and I had. Kids who are 17 are like adults to the 10 year olds of today. In the eyes of my fourth graders my high school-aged assistants were no different than their 40 year old teacher. So if you just graduated, and are 17 or 18, watch out – YOU ARE OLD! (to someone – not me, BTW)
So how have times changed since you were in school wherever you are from? What was school like when you started teaching? What was it like when you were a kid? What worked? What didn’t work?
1. Elliott, John F. A History of Woodlake Union High School The Woodlake 11 Class of 1924. Three Rivers Historical Society
World Ag Expo comes to Tulare in February. Travelers fill up hotels (and homes) from all over the world. This was my experience two years ago.
Sally Pace gave me free tickets to the Tulare World Ag Expo, so Cindy and I went to check it out Wednesday. I have lived here for almost 28 years, and in all that time never had free tickets, and since I’m not a farmer, I never went.
I’d heard rumors about the traffic, and since it opened at 9:00 a.m. and Cindy and I left to go to Tulare at 10:30 a.m., we missed the biggest rush. There were miles and miles of cars and busses already parked. I’ve been to lots of shows and conferences, and this was huge in comparison.
The first place on our list to visit for several reasons was the Kiwanis food booth#21 on O and South Greenbelt
The menu looked great! Tri-tip, onion rings, chili dogs. mmmm I thought I should take pictures first.
Inside the booth everyone was working hard, and look like they knew what they were doing!
All I knew was that I was hungry, and it smelled good in there. That must be MY hot dog. mmmmm I’m still hungry.
Outside folks were busy putting out plastic-ware, checking stuff – OK shooting the breeze. I think they killed it because it was unusually calm that day. Chilly, though.
Mike and his friend were inside having fun. The crowds outside were thickening, so Cindy and I decided we’d better order up.
Linda had a long-term customer debating about which desert he should try.
Cindy and I enjoyed our chili, and went back for seconds – an extra scoop of chili for a dollar. I have more pictures of the farm show, and even the Kiwanis booth, but I want to hurry and press Publish. So please excuse me, and I’ll write more tomorrow! :) What kinds of trade shows have you attended? What did you enjoy most about them. P.S. some of the Photoshop pictures in this post, have had the magic touch. Can you tell which photos are photoshopped? Take a guess. I’ll tell you later. They still have real people in them. No friendly heads on someone else’s body!!
As I pushed the publish button the notice came up that this is my 300th post! Thanks everyone for sticking with me for that long!!!! :)
This challenge is a bit of a stretch for me. When I was about 4 or 5 I got into quite a bit of trouble when I set my doll bed on fire, then started to carry the flaming blanket to the bathroom to douse the flame in the sink because I knew that water put out fire. I don’t know HOW my mom found out about it, but she ran in, saw me starting towards the bathroom, and threw everything out the window. I think I also started a fire outside once, too.
But neither of those events could hold a candle to the time we came home from my friend, Wyla’s, wedding to find fire trucks at the end of our street. We lived at the end of our street. My friend Gary, a volunteer fireman, decided to pay us a visit that day, even though we were not home. He climbed through a window to get in. He was calmly sitting playing the piano when he smelled smoke. It took him three misdials to finally reach the Portland Fire Department, but he saved our home. I was finishing up the last of Wyla’s trousseau and we were almost late for the wedding. In my haste to get to the wedding on time, I had left the iron plugged in my attic sewing room, and the faulty old wiring in either the iron or the house, sparked and caught the tons of patterns I had stored in the attic on fire.
With all that fascination with fire in my younger years, you would think that I could find ONE fire picture. And I did. ONE. And it’s blurry. I tried to sharpen it up, and it’s sort of pixellated. Sorry!!! This was a great place, though. The owners of this place are members of the Tulare County Historical Society, and they had their own museum specializing in old cars and old slot machines, and clocks. Of course old cars needed old gas.
Here’s one of his flaming hot cars!!!
I thought about getting V’s ghost flames on his Nova, but do you think they would show up for a picture? No – they were ghost flames. They didn’t even show up!!
I decided to display some HOT outfits that I found in Old Sacramento. Would that count???
Or maybe this outfit?
So I know that’s pushing it to come up with fire, but honestly it was the best I could do!!!