Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Historical Tree at the Senator Garage/Parkinson House in Broderick by Colleen A. Parkinson


ASA’S TREE
 I keep a walnut on my desk. It is no ordinary walnut; it is an extraordinary walnut. What makes it extraordinary is the tree that birthed it, the man who planted that tree, and what that tree represents. 130 years ago, the Broderick District of West Sacramento was a vast open space of fertile farmland and healthy orchards. My great-grandfather, Christopher Columbus Parkinson arrived here around 1879 from Courtland, Kansas. He brought with him his wife Mary Elizabeth and sons Charles, Asa, George, Herbert and Wilber. Their first daughter, Laura, would be born here in 1879. Chris’ reasons for his relocation to California have been lost to the winds of time. He was a farmer in Kansas, and he was a farmer in California. Maybe all the stories about California’s fertile soil and infrequent snow drew him west. Maybe it had something to do with the expansion of the railroad and the job opportunities it would present to his sons. Maybe it had nothing to do with any of that. Like I said, the winds of time... The Parkinsons were a hardy bunch, the fourth generation born in America. The Scots-Irish-English blood of their immigrant ancestor Robert Parkinson ran through their veins. Robert was a strong man, highly intelligent and scholarly. He could read and write, and he was fluent in Latin. A dedicated Presbyterian, he left Ireland to escape religious persecution and the Anti-Scots sentiment raging through Northern Ireland at the time. His son William was the first of his sons to be born in America. William begat Moses, and Moses begat Christopher Columbus Parkinson. William began as a farmer and became a carpenter; Moses stayed with farming. Moses taught his son Chris how to farm. Therefore, it was not surprising that Chris’ sons developed a love for the soil and all things of the soil. Asa, in particular, found the gifts of the earth fascinating. When he was barely into his teens, he decided to try a little experiment with a walnut he found in a field. He wondered how this walnut would fare grown only with water and no soil. He put the walnut in a glass of water, set it on a sunny windowsill and tended to it as needed. To everyone’s surprise, the walnut sprouted roots, and then it sprouted shoots. Eventually, it needed a bigger glass, then a jar, and then a bigger jar. Nothing but water, and the walnut became a tree. There is no one to tell us if Asa took the tree-in-a-jar with him when he left home to make his own way in the small world of Yolo County. It is more likely, and more practical, that he left his tree in the care of a trusted younger sibling who remained in the family home on the family farm. Given the fact that most of his brothers left home for extended periods as general laborers, it’s probable that his sisters or his parents cared for the tree in his absence. No matter who cared for it, the tree continued to grow strong and healthy in the big jar of water. The years and the decades flew by. Asa wore many hats during those years. As time passed, his body remained strong, but his health began to decline. He was now an old man, and he needed to retire. In those days, Social Security was in its infancy, and Asa had no retirement plan and no nest egg saved for his old age. Additionally, his failing health forbid him to live alone any longer. He needed a place with family, but he also longed to maintain his privacy. His youngest brother William provided him the ideal arrangement. Someone set up a trailer in the rear of William’s home on C Street in Broderick, and Asa lived there. Here he was not isolated, and yet he had the privacy he needed. As for the tree-in-a-jar, it is unclear if William had been keeping it all those years, or if Asa had reclaimed it at some time and kept it with him. However, the brothers planted the tree-in-a-jar in William’s yard, and the tree continued to grow. And grow, and grow, and grow... It’s trunk is very, very thick, and its branches curl and twist wildly toward the sky. It is a massive, strange looking tree. You would not know at first glance that it is a walnut tree; you would only know it by the blanket of walnuts at its base. If it had a voice, Asa’s tree could tell you about the children who grew up with it, and the children of those children who climbed its branches. It would share many fond reminiscences of a little girl named Dorothy who played on the swing it supported just for her. Asa’s tree would speak in a loving voice about her for it witnessed her musings, dreams, laughter and tears. Asa’s tree would tell you about all the Parkinsons and all their friends. It would tell you about the horseshoe games, barbeques and holiday gatherings. It would laugh about the time William painted the house yellow and green, and how the colors confused the birds that perched in its branches. Its voice would break just a little as it told you about the moment it saw Asa near death being taken away. It still misses Asa. The only thing it would not tell you are secrets, anyone’s secrets. Secrets are sacred to trees. Asa’s tree has many roots that are deep, deep, in the soil. It has survived every storm, natural and man-made. It reaches persistently into the sky, as if reaching for the departed souls who have since flown away. Yet, the spirits of two brothers dwell within it. Their spirits permeate every branch, every twig. Their residual energy nourishes the roots, roots that are deep, strong and very much alive. It is a spirit energy restored to its original form, pure, bright, and full of promise. Some day in the distant future, someone else will marvel at this tree. Someone will wonder at its massive trunk and twisted branches. They will say it is trying to reach through the heavens. They will say it is trying to reach into Heaven itself in search of someone. Perhaps they will feel the spirits of two men. Perhaps they will wonder why the tree makes them think of a sapling in a glass of water. I keep a walnut on my desk, a walnut from Asa’s tree. It reminds me that we can persevere, no matter how fierce the storms of life. It reminds me that, although we all leave this earth, we leave a legacy behind. It reminds me that, although our bodies die, our spirits live on. Rest in peace, Asa. Thanks for the gift of your life and your tree.
Colleen A. Parkinson February 2011

Friday, March 29, 2019

Lowe’s Honoring Veterans

Lowe’s West Sacramento has 2 parking slots designated for Veterans. If you have a Lowe's credit card and are a Veteran of the US Military you are also eligible for a 10% discount.  We are so lucky to have this great company in our town.


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Barn

Looking forward to a lazy spring afternoon drinking cold brew at Drakes at The Barn!



Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Catch a Book

"Catch a Book" 2010 Arthur Turner Library West Sacramento, Joseph Bellacera, artist. We love the public art program in our City!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Kristina Vinson talks about the West Sacramento 9/11 Memorial

Kristina Vinson talks about the West Sacramento 9/11 memorial that was started by her father, John Vinson. She plans to take over the memorial project, which includes thousands of flags representing lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001, from her father. https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article218158050.html

Monday, August 13, 2018

Art in the Washington District

A cool temporary mural dresses up the old City-owned garage on 5th and C Street to promote public art in the Washington District. We love it and are excited to see what public art is coming in the future.





Saturday, July 28, 2018

Rest in Peace Josephine A. "Josie" Andre



Josephine A. "Josie" (DeAnda) Andre, loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, passed away peacefully with friends and family at her side in Sacramento, July 24, 2018, at the age of 81. Funeral services will be held Friday, Aug. 3, at 11 a.m. in the chapel at St. Mary's Cemetery (6509 Fruitridge Road, Sacramento). A reception will follow. Born on Aug. 9, 1936, Josie was one of 10 children born to Martin and Josephine DeAnda. Preceded in death by her beloved husband, Bob, and brother, Ray, she is survived by brothers Raul, Felix, Frank, Martin, John and Dan DeAnda, and sisters Julia Perry and Yolanda Sturges. Married to Robert L. Andre for 56 years, she is survived by two children, Denise M. Andre and Robert S. Andre, and was a loving grandmother to Aaron Burt, Lauren Reinnoldt, Alexandra Reinnoldt, Alyse Andre, Cole Andre, and great-grandmother to Madison Burt and Dillon Burt. Josie devoted her life to her family and friends, always putting others before her. She loved to cook and bring everyone together at the table. She found joy in simple pleasures; camping with family, traveling, and volunteering. She enjoyed decorating and was always very fashionable. She was, in fact, younger than her years. She had a successful career of 34 years as the Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent for the Washington Unified School District. She volunteered her time to Mercy Guild, Casa De Los Ninos, and Soroptimist International West Sacramento and Sacramento. Thank you for blessing us with a lifetime of tenderness and love. You continue to live on in our hearts. Published in The Sacramento Bee on July 28, 2018

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Meanwhile on 3rd Street..good times!

By the tracks in old Broderick: La Crosta’s signage is up and this little neighborhood was jumping today with guitar sounds coming from Stone Music, Edible Pedal selling bikes, Ray Mata clipping and shaving, and the best peach ice cream in town being eaten by my girls at Devil May Care..hot summer in our little City.



















Saturday, July 21, 2018

Donn Tuttle Music Scholarship Fundraiser

A Fundraiser for the Donn Tuttle Memorial Music 🎵 Scholarship Fund at River City High School was held at the West Sacramento VFW tonight. Cindy Tuttle and the Pocket Silks entertained the crowd and they were amazing!  Kudos to Christy Jourdan event organizer. Special thanks to Dave Herzog and Rudy Martinez for their generous donations to support musical education.



























Thursday, July 19, 2018

Thursday night Trivia at the West Sac VFW

Good fun and great dinners at Thursday Trivia night. John Silveira is our Trivialogist and he is great. 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Tony Marvelli, River City High School Band Director is heading south...

Students, colleagues, friends and family gathered at the Streets of London patio to say goodbye to Tony Marvelli, River City High School Band Director. Tony has accepted a position at Toby Johnson Middle School in Elk Grove. Tony also plays Trumpet in the eight piece funk and soul group called Joy and Madness. http://joyandmadness.com/

Monday, April 9, 2018

Tree Hugger

The giant "Teddy Bear" was hanging in a tree on the 16th Street freeway exit last Friday..I was stopped at the light and looked to my left and saw that poor fella.


Friday, March 23, 2018

"Subtile" Shimmering on the Sacramento River

"Subtile" created by Czech artist Federico Diaz.  This kinetic sculpture shimmers and shakes along the river bank in West Sacramento and is coated with more than 34,000 stainless steel disks. It measures 26 feet long, 20 feet high and 6 feet wide.  While I stood mesmerized by this beautiful art piece,  the wind came up and the sculpture's sound and movement reminded me of the Quaking Aspens we loved when I was a kid growing up in Idaho. Take a walk on the river walk soon...

Friday, March 16, 2018

Culinary Arts and Farm to Fork Education (CAFFE) in West Sacramento

The Beginning and Advanced Culinary Classes served brunch today at the Bryte Garden Cafe.  The presentation was beautiful, the service was excellent and the food was delicious.  It was great to meet the students and the folks who supervise this career training program for Washington Unified School District: Cheryle Sutton Culinary Instructor, Renee Collins Director of College and Career Readiness and Andy Parsons Assistant Superintendent Educational Services. For more information check out their website CAFFE.