How Cruz-TA-Welding Kept Us Law Abiding in 2017

Thanks, Cruz-TA-Welding!

Early on April 29th, Vince opened the gate to mow the back yard. A routine event for a Saturday morning, but the hinge on the 100-pound rebar iron gate broke. The gate crashed to the ground. BAM!

Luckily neither the cats nor Puppy Girl was going through the posts of the gate at that time. Vince stepped back in time, too.

Well, not literally in time. It was still 2017.

Now We’re Breaking the Law!

The weather in California has been up and down this spring. One day it’s 100 degrees and two days later it’s 65 degrees. Nonetheless, kids had already texted us to come swimming. Our gate is locked because that’s the law, and besides, we don’t want kids swimming unsupervised.

The back yard 1Vince panicked. Who would come to fix it? He remembered a sign for a business down the street. Cruz-Ta-Welding, so he drove down to the shop. Juan Cruz greeted him, and Vince shared his sad story.

Juan said, “Sit down. I’ll finish my breakfast, and follow you back to your house.”

Cruz-TA-Welding
Within 15 minutes they arrived.

Minutes later he and another welder drove up, and within 1/2 hour they finished. Amazing service, wouldn’t you say?

Cruz-TA-Welding
Juan Cruz, owner

Juan Cruz loves the United States. He came to California from Mexico thirty years ago. He’s been in business in Woodlake for sixteen years and has six employees.

Cruz-TA-Welding
ZAP!

“I love it here,” he told us. “I love the system. If you work hard, you will grow. I don’t believe people can’t find a job. I’ve worked hard. Picking pears is the hardest. They are so heavy. Picking grapes is hard too.”

Cruz-TA-WeldingWhat’s the hardest job he’s ever had as a welder?

“We moved an entire factory from Visalia to Iowa. We had to dismantle all the equipment and put it back together in Iowa.”

Cruz-TA-Welding did a great job for us, and he serves the community as well. We opened the Woodlake Valley Cultural Museum a year ago. Cruz-TA-Welding donated all the labor to fence the building.

Cruz-TA-Welding
Woodlake Valley Cultural Museum, opened February 2016

Thanks for all you do for Woodlake, California, Cruz-TA-Welding.

If you live in this area and need a welder, we recommend him, and so does the Woodlake Chamber of Commerce.

Woodlake Related Posts

What’s So Great About Woodlake, CA?

Woodlake, located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, only 40 minutes from the Sequoia National Park, takes pride in its little town. Founded in 1912, today it is the smallest incorporated town in Tulare County. Residents primarily work in agriculture where the average annual income is $32,559, half of California’s median. Even so, a few years ago Woodlake High School Foundation was recognized as giving out more in scholarships than any community its size in the United States.

More data on Woodlake.

You Can Help Woodlake Thrive

  1. Support the Woodlake High School Foundation with the purchase of Images of America Woodlake. You can buy it directly from the high school and 50% of the purchase price go to the Foundation (100% of the profits).
    Click to order. 
  2. You can support the business community and join the Woodlake Valley Chamber of Commerce.
  3. Support this website, Traveling and Blogging Near and Far and Always Write. I have started a Blogging and Virtual Assistant Training Program at the High School. At the end of the 20 hours, I either need to hire the students or let them go. So far my blogs have not produced any income. But with the help of my student assistants, I’m hoping we will. I’m going to use 100% of the income to invest in their future.
  4. Enter the Traveling and Blogging Near and Far sweepstakes to get a free book.

Grand Opening for a New Museum

I stepped out of the museum yesterday with Mr. Tom Sweeney, a Woodlaker whose family has been in Woodlake since the 1870s, who had come in so I could record his oral interview for any future books and for the museum archives. We struggled to get the chain strung across the new driveway.

A stranger drove by, rolled down his window, and asked, “Are you ever going to open the museum.”

“Tomorrow,” I told him, “is our grand opening from 12:00-4:00.”

“It’s a date!” he called back smiling as he waved then rolled his window back up.

I love Ben Reynoso's hat. He monitored everything at the VIP opening.
I love Ben Reynoso’s hat. He monitored everything at the VIP opening.

Few people have any idea how much time it takes to gather artifacts and pictures, sort them into some kind of an order so that together they tell a story, and then arrange them in the space provided.

Marcy Miller explains to the donors the work involved. They will soon understand why it took two years to open the museum.
Marcy Miller explains to the donors the work involved. They will soon understand why it took two years to open the museum.

Trust me it is a momentous task. Marcy Miller, almost single-handedly, set out to do this work to honor her parents and the other families that had come to Woodlake to make this a community. She had the help of one friend,Debbie Eckenfel. I went in to help once or twice, but I was clumsy, and was just in the way more than I helped. They were precise, and my eyes prevent me from doing anything exact – even with glasses.

Each case represents hours of thought and work.
Each case represents hours of thought and work.

They trimmed pictures, mounted them, put them in frames, arranged tables, brought in the big displays, went to Woodlake Hardware and picked up more antiques that had hung on the walls for probably fifty years.

Where did they ever skate in Woodlake?
Where did they ever skate in Woodlake?

Morris Bennett, owner of the store for over fifty years, retired from Woodlake Hardware at age 92 and donated them to the museum. Marcy and Debbie rearranged them on large display boards. They set a pair of skates on a pupil’s wooden desk from the same time period. They stacked and separated, stood back and examined, and rearranged. They recorded each item in a spreadsheet, first writing each entry by hand as they handled it.

Rudy Garcia could hardly contain his excitement. His enthusiasm is so contageous.
Rudy Garcia could hardly contain his excitement. His enthusiasm is so contagious.

It has taken two years after the museum building was completed before it was ready to open. People got impatient. They wanted to see inside. Marcy and Debbie kept working. Rudy Garcia, President of the Woodlake Valley Chamber of Commerce, added some farm equipment he had received from folks in Red Banks. Agriculture is the major industry of our county, but in Woodlake, “We R Agriculture,” my own new name of us. We grow oranges and raise cattle. Our major claim to fame is the Woodlake Rodeo, which is famous nation-wide. Slowly people donated money to build the building and items to display inside.

Cool cars admired the beautiful new Woodlake Valley Cultural Museum.
Cool cars admired the beautiful new Woodlake Valley Cultural Museum.

Monrovia Nursery donated all the plants outside the building. There was no fence around the building and kids skate boarded over the plants destroying all of them. Cruz-ta-Welding donated a beautiful fence around the building so kids couldn’t do that anymore.

Andrew Glazier and his wife admire the inside of the museum too.
Andrew Glazier and his wife admire the inside of the museum too.

Andrew Glazier doesn’t have a lot of money, but he loves Woodlake. He is a local landscaper who believes in using native materials. He donated all the materials to redo the landscaping. He comes when no one is looking and puts in more bark, and evens out the land. He sweeps the new parking lot so not a single piece of bark remains, then he locks the chain so cars can’t drive and leave dirty marks on the new cement. He gets everything ready for the Grand Opening.

Carl Peden, so vibrant at the Museum VIP opening, passed away two days later on President's Day. We all mourn his passing.
Carl Peden, so vibrant at the Museum VIP opening, passed away two days later on President’s Day. We all mourn his passing.

The museum was not alarmed. Some people, like me, were afraid to bring items of value to put in the building.  Now the building is safe and alarmed. Mr. Peden donated the jacket he wore to pilot Air Force #1. Took it off right after he spoke at the VIP donor opening event.

Carl Peden talks to John Wood, the builder of the Museum.
Carl Peden talks to John Wood, the builder of the Museum.

Marcy and Debbie want everything to look just right for the Grand Opening. They come and mop all the floors and dust all the displays.

Native basket weaving won't become a lost art. Jennifer will be teaching classes to preserve it.
Native basket weaving won’t become a lost art. Jennifer will be teaching classes to preserve it.

Jennifer Malone comes with her family to lovingly place baskets, valuable as collectables, into the glass cases so the public can see the amazing designs from the Yokuts Indians who lived in Woodlake for centuries before American and Mexican people ever saw it. I heard laughing across the hall coming from the basket room.  After most of the guests had gone,  I had to go investigate to see what had been so much fun.

Everyone crowds around the basket room door to play Marie Wilcox's dice game.
Everyone crowds around the basket room door to play Marie Wilcox’s dice game.

Jennifer’s mother, Marie Wilcox, brings her walnut dice with sparkly shells embedded in the center so we can play Wukchumni games. If you roll five with the center up, you get two sticks. If you roll seven, you luck has changed and you have to give up sticks. When all the sticks are gone, you take your opponents sticks, and they take yours. It’s a do or die game. I won!  I jumped up and down and cheered. Everyone looked happy for me. No one brushed all the sticks and walnuts off the table. We laughed and laughed and hugged and hugged.

It looks heavenly, doesn't it?
It looks heavenly, doesn’t it?

Our Grand Opening is today. I can’t wait to see who will come.