Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Ginger Bread House Contest River City Culinary Arts

 I loved this Taylor Swift entry created by the Bridgeway Island School's Team in the Ginger Bread House Contest sponsored by the River City High School Culinary Arts Program. Cheryle Sutton is the
Culinary Arts Pathway Instructor.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

The Westbridge Plaza

The Westbridge Plaza construction is almost complete so we should see some new retail and restaurants opening soon, including a Streets of London Pub.

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Remembering Jean Brown


Jean Brown Obituary

Jean Brown
February 24, 1937 - October 31, 2023

Sacramento, California - Jean E. Brown of Sacramento passed away on October 31, 2023 surrounded by her loving family.

Jean was born on February 24, 1937 to Raymond and Marie Boyd in Springfield, Missouri. Her parents moved to California when she was five years old and she and her three sisters grew up in Sacramento. Attending the First Baptist Church in North Sacramento became a big part of the family's life and Jean made many lifelong friends there and found her love for singing. After Jean graduated from Grant Union High School in 1955, she went on to study education at Sacramento State University. This is where she met Kenneth Brown, the love of her life. They were married in 1964 and had two daughters, Kathryn and Amy.

Jean began her teaching career in West Sacramento for the Washington Unified School District. She taught grades one through six and exceptional children at Westfield Elementary School. After teaching for thirty years, Jean retired and began teaching preschool at the James Marshall Preschool. She loved working with the three and four year olds and what started as a part time one day a week job turned into twenty years of singing and fun. Jean loved teaching preschool as she said it was just like spending the day playing with her three grandchildren, the thing she loved most in this world! Jean retired in 2017 at the age of eighty, after teaching for 50 years, and missed being with children everyday.

Jean and Ken both loved to sing and this love took them to many churches in the Sacramento area. Ken directed the choirs and Jean sang soprano. Carmichael Presbyterian Church is where they raised their girls. Ken directed the adult choirs and Jean directed the children's choirs. Jean also wrote and directed the children's Christmas plays. Jean played such an influential role in the lives of so many children. After Carmichael Presbyterian, Ken took another directing position at Northminster Presbyterian Church where Jean continued to attend after Ken's passing. She made many wonderful friends there. Church was a very important part of Jean's life, and she is now home and at peace with the Lord.

Jean was predeceased in death by her husband Kenneth Brown, her daughter Amy Jennings, and her sister Donna Mognett. She is survived by her daughter Kathryn Whitney and husband Jeffrey, her sisters Sammy Martin and Mary Kellar (Jerrold), her grandchildren Diana Jennings, Alexander Whitney, and Zackary Whitney, (Carly) and her great grandson Cole Whitney, and many loving cousins, nieces and nephews.

Published by The Sacramento Bee on Nov. 5, 2023.

Friday, February 10, 2023

The O'Hara kids-old friends.

Kathy, Tom, Cheryl, Mike, Steve and Dorine. Tom Bartley met up with the O'Hara family at John Flores memorial at the VFW. Old friends are the best friends!

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Rest in Peace Charles "Charlie" Marston



Charles Marston
November 1, 1945 - November 14, 2022
Sacramento , California - Charles Marston, of Sacramento, passed away unexpectedly on November 14, 2022 at the age of 77. His family is deeply saddened by his sudden death. Charlie grew up in West Sacramento and was a star on the football field at James Marshall High School. In 1969 he married Bev, the love of his life. In 1973 they purchased their dream home in Sacramento which later became known as the "Marston Compound." At a very young age Charlie worked in the newspaper business with his dad Ralph and brother Marty. He later took over C&R News and worked every day for over 50 years. He continued to work hard even after he retired. He spent hours a day keeping his family's property pristine; not a leaf or stick was left on the yard or driveway by the end of the day. He was hardworking, generous, funny, and very patient. In his free time, he enjoyed golfing, bowling, attending his grandkids' sporting events, and vacationing with family and friends. He was a loving husband, the greatest dad, and the coolest grandpa. Charlie is survived by his wife Bev of 53 years; daughters Stephanie, Shelley, and Jenny, and son in law Jason Regino. He was known as Pops to his 5 grandchildren Cesley, Jordan, Alex, Jake, Julia, and his great granddaughter, Reagan. His family and his abundance of friends will miss him more than words can say. The family will host a celebration of life on Friday, December 23rd at 1:00pm in the Marston Barn at 2700 Garden Highway Sacramento, California 95833.

Published by The Sacramento Bee on Nov. 27, 2022.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

“Growing up in Broderick, California” Memories written by Frank J. Norton September 23, 1910 - December 19, 2001

Disclaimer: I have retyped this memoir word for word, correcting some minor spelling and grammar issues, but leaving it mostly as originally written. This includes some language regarding race and gender that were in common parlance at the time. I did not remove or correct any of this language, and hope that the reader is prepared to accept that our world and how we think of and address people who we perceive as different has come a long way since the early 1900’s. Were he alive today I have no doubt that Grandpa Frank would have happily embraced all individuals, for he was a wonderful and generous man, known for having love for all. - Christy Jourdan, one of five granddaughters.

CHAPTER 1: Birth

I was born on September 23rd, 1910, in a small town called Broderick, in the State of California. Broderick is located in the eastern end of Yolo County, situated on the banks of the Sacramento River, across the river from the City of Sacramento, the capital City of California. The house that I was born in was owned by a man by the name of Knight, and it was known as Knight 's house. It was located on Second Street, facing the levee, between D and E Streets.
The Doctor that attended my birth was the family physician, and he had his office in his home in downtown Sacramento. He called on his patients driving his horse and buggy, just like the "Doc" on Gunsmoke. His name was Franklin Harris Fay.
My Mother was born and raised in Sweden and she came to the United States when she was eighteen years old. She was thirty-nine years old when I was born and I was her seventh and last chiId. She had a neighbor lady friend that was also born in Sweden by the name of Albertina Wilhelmina Graves, and she was a registered nurse as well as a midwife.
My dad was a switchman for the Southern Pacific Railroad and sometimes he and his crew would have to switch freight cars in and out of the winery yards. Everytime the crew switched cars for the winery each man was given a galIon of Port wine to take home, so my dad always had wine around the house.
Now I was supposed to have arrived in the early evening of September 23rd, but I didn't make my appearance until after 10:00 p.m. Both the Doctor and the Nurse arrived right after supper and were waiting for me to show up. While they were waiting my Dad was treating them to wine from his favorite stock. When I finally did arrive the Doctor wanted to know what name they had picked out for me so that he could fill out the birth certificate. My mother told him that she was expecting a girl so that she hadn't picked out any names for a boy . The Doctor said "Well, why don 't you name nim after me." “Okay,” my mother said, "but we will call him Franklin after you, and his middle name will be John after his Dad's great uncle, and Rossiter, which was his grandmother's maiden name. We will name him Franklin John Rossiter Norton.” I have never gone by the name of Franklin, it has always been Frank John or Frank J.
Because my mother told me that my name was Franklin John Rossiter Norton, I just took it for granted that that was my right name but when I went to apply for my pension and had to have a duplicate of my Birth Certificate, what a surprise I had in store for me. The Birth Certificate read “Boy baby, Franklin Harris Norton” and my mother, who’s name was Sophie Elizabeth Norton, instead read “Sophie Albertina Wilhelmia Norton.” So evidently the Doctor and the Midwife had sampled a little too much of my dad 's port wine before I arrived . My dad’s name was okay, so the Doctor got that right.


When I was between two and three years old the family moved from Knight 's house into a two-story house near the corner of 3rd and C Streets, across the street from the Town Hall and Fire Station. This house belonged to a man by the name of Henry Palm, so this house was always referred to as the Palm House.
The Town Hall was a two-story building. Upstairs was the Community Hall with a stage and a real nice dance floor where dances were held two or three times a month. Now and then the citizens of the town would get together and furnish the entertainment by putting on plays and such using the local talent. Sometimes a traveling group would stop by and put on a show. Downstairs on the southern end of the building was where the local Judge held court. It was a room large enough for both the Jury and the spectator, and many interesting trials were held there. In the north end of the building was where the fire hose and hose carts and ladders and extra fire hose were stored. On the roof of the building was a cupola where the fire bell hung. The first person that spotted a fire anywhere in town would run to the Town Hall, grab the rope, ring the fire bell, and then wait for the rest of the volunteers to show up and let them know where the fire was. When the fire bell rang in the middle of the night, that was sure frightening to a little boy my age.
When I was five years old my dad bought a five-room house from a man by the name of Valentine Houser. The house was located on B street between 4th and 5th. There was an empty lot next to the house, so my dad bought that too, and put in a lawn and a garden. The two lots were enclosed by a four-foot yellow picket fence. My folk’s loved fruit so they planted two cherry trees, two peach trees, one apricot tree, and three english walnut trees . My mother used to bake peach, cherry and apricot pies, and while the fruit was in season, we had pie every Sunday.
The house had a basement above ground, as all houses in Broderick were built that way in the early days because of the danger of the river flooding. There were two concrete wash tubs in the basement that my mother used to wash clothes in, and one cold water faucet. She had a three-burner kerosene stove in the basement on which she heated the water in a copper boiler for washing the clothes. The clothes were scrubbed on a washboard, rung out by hand, and hung on a clothesline in the backyard.
In the bathroom upstairs the bathtub was made of square sections of zinc, soldered together, and set in a wooden frame, with one cold water faucet for bath water. The hot water for our baths was heated in the copper boiler on the wood burning stove in the kitchen. My dad spent a good many hours splitting wood for that stove.
Some wood he bought from the local wood yard, and it was oak wood and came in four-foot lengths. There was a man by the name of Smith that had a saw that was run by a belt that was attached to the back wheel of his Ford truck, and he cut the wood into one-foot lengths so that they could be split and fit in the stove.
There were no electric lights in the house when we first moved into it. We used kerosene lamps and candles. The grocery store had a 54 galIon drum of kerosene on hand and kerosene sold for .5 cents a gallon. Every family had a gallon can with a spout on it for carrying kerosene home.

CHAPTER 3: Early Life

On Sunday mornings Sunday School was held in the Broderick Town Hall. One Sunday when I was four or five years old my sister took me to Sunday School with her. It seemed to me that everybody in the room was bowing their heads and closing their eyes and praying a lot. When we got home my mother asked me how I liked Sunday School. I said “Oh I guess it is all right, but they sure sleep a lot."
My mother's sister, Ida, lived with us in the winter time. In the summer she worked on her sister and brother-in-law’ s ranch as a cook in Idaho. When I was really young and needed a haircut, she was the one that did the job . My hair was really white and I remember that I didn't like it, and when she cut my hair there was always plenty of white hair left. When I was about five years old my dad took me to the local barber for a haircut, and when he finished I looked on the floor, and there was a lot of white hair laying there. When I got home I told my mother "That fellow is sure a good barber. He cut off my white hair and left only the brown."

CHAPTER 4: School

I started Grammar School in September 1916, in a two story school building that was built in the 1880's. After attending school for a few months I got sick, which later developed into a serious kidney infection. I was sick for months, so I missed the whole first year of school. In the year 1917 a brand new school was built and it was finished in time for the fall term, so I started back to school again in the first grade.
My teacher's name was Miss Duff. Miss Chapman taught the second grade. Miss McWilliams taught the third and fourth grades. Miss Mast taught the fifth and sixth grades. Miss Baker taught the seventh and eighth grades, and she was also the Principal.
A couple of years later Miss Baker left and a man by the name of Mr. Cage took her place. He was a big man and he had no trouble keeping law and order in the school. We had a manual training room for the boys, and he taught manual training, and the boys built him a new desk, and a great deal of new furnishing for the school under his supervision. Several boys after they left grammar school went to work in the Southern Pacific Shops and learned the carpenter trade.
Mr. Cage also organized the boys into three baseball teams . They were called the Purples , The Reds and The Greens . Under his supervision the teams built two baseball diamonds with back stops and bleachers, and two basketball courts . He had the Green Team put in the lawn in front of the school, on the west end. The Red Team did the same on the east end, and the Purple Team put small gravel in the center section where the Flag Pole was. We planted Shasta Daisies along the front side of the school bui;ding . We used to work after school and on Saturdays at the school yard, and we were proud of the work we were doing and proud of our school.
When the school first opened the school Trustees hired a woman by the name of Mrs . Reynolds as custodian. She was separated from her husband and had three children to support . The oldest boy was Thorten and he was 16 years old, Norman was eleven and their sister was nine. The three of them helped their mother clean the school and keep everything looking nice. During the winter months the school was heated by steam radiators . There was a big boiler in the boiler room, and the water was heated by a coal furnace. Thoriton and Norman would be at the school at four o' clock in the morning to fire up the furnace so the rooms would be warm when school started .
Thorton died during the flu epidemic after World War One. That left a lot of responsibility on Norman's shoulders and he handled it very well. Some of the older boys would come to school real early in the morning and shovel coal for the furnace. As we grew older we all took our turn shoveling coal . No one had to do it, we did it because we all liked the Reynolds family, and we knew how hard they worked to keep the school in tip-top shape. In the summer months Norman and his sister and mother kept the lawns and flower gardens watered, and Norman kept the lawns cut with a hand lawn mower.
Thinking back to the last day of school, the school picnic was always held at McKinley Park in Sacramento. All the students of the school, the teachers, and a few of the parents would leave the school grounds about 9:00 A.M. walk over the Eye Street bridge, catch the streetcar at 2nd and Eye streets and ride to 31st and Jay streets. Then they would walk three blocks to the park. We had all kinds of foot races to take part in, and baseball games, and there were always plenty of swings and slides to play on, and we were all kept real busy having fun. Everyone brought lunch and after lunch ice cream and cake was served by the teachers and parents. We left for home about 4: 00 p.m. and we were a tired bunch of young ones who were glad to be able to sit down in the street cars for the long ride home. Not only did we enjoy the picnic but that also meant there would be no more going to school for the next three months.

CHAPTER 5: Nature

Up until the time I was ten years old I had to be careful not to play too hard or get overheated, because if I did I would be back sick in bed again. So I spent most of my time alone or watching the other boys play baseball . Not far from our house along the Sacramento River was a woods. The trees were willow, cottonwoods , and valley oak trees. Years ago someone planted a couple of apple trees and they were growing in a clearing by themselves . All kinds of birds lived in this woods, including a large flock of valley quail. The birds built their nests and raised their young in these woods. Animals that lived there were jack rabbits, cotton-tail rabbits , racoons , and now and then we would see a red fox. I spent many an hour walking through those woods just to see how many different birds or animals I could see. The woods lay between the river and the levee.
In the evening I liked to walk along the levee and watch the sun set behind the Coast Range Mountains. There was no smog in those days, and the air was clean and clear, and a person could see for miles. I was always interested in the beautiful colors of a sunset, and how the colors changed from one shade to another, as the sun sank out of sight.
About a half mile from Broderick, on the levee road, lived a man by the name of John Grote. He had a son by the name of Johnnie, and Johnnie and I used to play together. Johnnie’s mother died when he was five years old and his dad raised him. When he was seven or eight years old he lived with us for a few years and my mother and dad watched over him like he was their own son. When Johnnie was a little older he moved back home with his dad and that is when I would walk to his house and visit him. All the animals and birds on Mr. Grote’s property was protected because he would not allow anyone to hunt on his property, because he did not believe in killing wildlife.
There was a huge flock of California Valley Quail that lived on his place and in the winter he would buy 100 pound sacks of wheat to feed them. In the summer time the Rice Mills would dump rice hulls near his property, and the quails would pick and scratch among the hulls looking for rice kernels. Johnnie and I would watch the quail by the hour. In the springtime and early summer the mother quail would come out from the underbrush look around and if nothing distrubed her, she would give a couple of clucks and twelve or fifteen young quail would march out from the underbrush single file, and the last one out at the end of the line would be the beautiful male Quail . Sometimes while watching them we would snap a twig, and the female Quail would cluck and in the twinkling of an eye there wasn't a quail to be seen. They disappeared so fast that you wondered what became of them. The quail have so many natural enemies that they have to be careful and they are always on the alert.
Mr . Grote sold his property on the levee and bought property right near the river, and built a house there. He had a row boat so he built a small wharf to tie his boat to and at the end of the wharf he fixed up a diving board so Johnnie and I could dive from it. We swam in the river every day during the summer. Three or four times a day big paddle wheel steamboats towing four or five barges , loaded with sacks of wheat, rice or stacks of lumber, on their way to San Francisco, would pass right by Mr. Grote's property. and their paddlewheels would make big waves and we would swim out to meet the waves and ride them into shore . The steamers were equipp— ed with powerful spotlights , and when they came down the river at night , they would swing the spotlights back and forth lighting up the whole river, to make sure there was no driftwood or other obstacles in their path.


There were no paved streets or cement sidewalks when I was a boy, and if a person wanted a cement sidewalk in front of their home they had to put it in themselves at their own expense. The streets were dirt and the county crew filled in the chuck holes with sand during the summer months. A man by the name of Larry Burns drove a team of horses that pulled the water wagon to wet down the streets to settle the dust. All us boys, and some of the girls, went barefoot during the summer months, and when the water wagon came by we would run after it and get our feet wet, and if we got too close we would get more than our feet wet.
There was also a man by the name of Henry Lineberger who was hired by the county to bury any dead animals that were killed along the streets of the town . He walked around town carrying a shovel and whenever he found a dead cat or dog, skunk or rat, he would dig a hole right by the dead animal and bury it. All the streets were dirt so he had no trouble digging graves.
There were eight theaters in downtown Sacramento, and the price of admission for us boys was ten cents. One theater only charged five cents. For that price we could watch a full length cowboy movie, a comedy , and Pathe News, which all lasted about three hours . Even at the cheap price of admission, sometimes a nickel or dime was hard to come by. If there was a good movie coming to one of the theaters that we wanted to see, we would get up early in the morning and go fishing along the river bank. We would catch carp and catfish. About a block from our house was a Chinese laundry where seven or eight people lived, and they would buy all the fish that we caught . Sometimes we caught enough fish so that we collected one or two dollars , and with that much money we really lived high. That meant not only the price of a show, but also ice cream, sodas , popcorn and candy . We would walk over the Eye Street Bridge, and sometimes if we had enough money we would take in two theaters. We would leave for town about noon, and get home in time for supper.
The incline on the Southern Pacific Bridge, which was also known as the Eye Street Bridge, started on the Broderick side on third street, and it was paved with wooden blocks about a foot square, so that the horses pulling wagons could get a firm grip going uphill . The town of Broderick ended on sixth street and the town of Bryte began on Todhunter Avenue. There was about two miles of farmland in between the two towns. The farms were worked by Japanese farmers and they raised all kinds of vegetables and melons , and they took their fresh produce to Sacramento every morning by horse and wagon. They would drop off their children at the Washington School house early in the morning and school didn't start until 9:00 A.M. so they had a long wait before school started. In the wintertime when it was cold and rainy, Mrs . Reynolds would open up a room for them so they could come in out of the cold.
Sometimes when us boys were walking over the bridge and one of the farmers came by we would jump on the back of the wagon and take a ride. A person could walk faster than the horse drawn wagon but it was a thrill just to take a ride. I don't think over a dozen people in Broderick owned an automobile, so there never was too much traffic on the bridge. There were a few Italian families that had horses and wagons , and they were called “Express Men” because they met the trains at the depot and they would haul the travelers suitcases and trunks from the depot to their homes.
Today the Eye Street Bridge ends in Sacramento on third and Jay streets. Before it was remodeled it ended on 2nd and Eye street. About a half of a block from the end of the bridge was the Capitol Candy and Cracker Company. Sometimes us boys on the way home from town would stop there and they would give us a bag full of broken cookies or crackers that they couldn't pack for shipping. Whenever we got hungry for cookies we would take a walk over to the Capitol Cracker Company.

CHAPTER 7: Trains

The Southern Pacific Railroad Depot was located north of Eye street between 2nd and 3rd streets and it was the end of the line for four or five street cars . When we wanted to go anywhere in Sacramento, we walked over the bridge and caught the street car at 2nd and Eye Street. The fare was five cents and you could transfer from one line to the next as many times as you cared to for five cents.
There were on the average twenty- three passenger trains that came through the S.P. Depot in Sacramento. Sacramento was a railroad town and it was centrally located so that the trains were coming in, and leaving in all four directions. My dad worked for the railroad for so many years that he could get passes to travel on any train anywhere in the United States. We went to Watertown, Wisconsin to see my grandfather and two aunts when I was eight years old, and we went again when I was twelve. My mother's sister and brother were farming in Idaho and we traveled by train four or five times to see them. Some summers we spent a month in Santa Cruz and we traveled by train to get there.
My dad did so much walking on his railroad job as a switchman that his legs used to bother him, especially in the wintertime. There was a place in San Francisco called Sutro's Bath House and there were seven large swimming pools of salt water pumped right out of the ocean, in this big bath house. Six of these pools were heated, the warmest one about 80 degrees . We would catch the 7:30 train in the morning, ride to San Francisco, and take the streetcar to Sutro’s Baths. My dad would swim for a while in the 80 degree water while the rest of us swam in the cooler pools. 'The hot salt water seemed to help my dad 's aching legs.
We took trips down to San Francisco about every five or six weeks and I sure looked forward to those trips. On the way down the train would stop at Oakland and we boarded the Ferry Boats and rode over to San Francisco by ferry. We ate our lunch on the Ferry Boats. It took a half an hour or so to cross the Bay.
The Broderick Post Office was across the street from the railroad tracks and the trains picked up mail as they passed through and also threw the mail sacks off that were for Broderick. A week or so before Christmas there was so much mail to be handled that the mail trains had to stop to load and unload the mail. The 5:00 p.m.
train was the one with the most mail, and us boys used to go stand by the post office and watch while the mail was being loaded and unloaded. If we happened to be coming home on the 5:00 p.m. train when it stopped we got off and walked home, which was only a few short blocks .
One year when I was really young I went with my folks on the train to visit my aunts and uncles in Idaho. Every station that the train stopped at, my dad would get off the train and stand by the side of the train and talk to the conductor . My dad was a good talker, and he had no trouble getting acquainted with people, and to a young boy like me I just thought that he knew every conductor and brakeman between Sacramento and wherever we were going. Sometimes I would slip out of my seat and run up and down the aisle, and my mother would get after me and tell me to sit still, which was hard to do for someone my age.
The train stopped at Blackfoot, Idaho, and near Blackfoot is an Indian Reservation. I had heard a few stories about Indians, how they attacked covered wagons, and fought with settlers and a lot of other things. My dad, as usual, got off the train when it stopped, and I ran after him. Before reaching the end of the car seven or eight Indians came into our car and started walking towards me. In about two seconds I turned around and ran back to my seat and sat there real quietly. My mother said that I was as white as a sheet and she looked down the aisle to see what had scared me. When she saw the Indians she smiled because at least something made me sit still. Two of the Indians sat in seats right behind us and I don't think I moved or said a word, even though they were very nice to our family.
We left on the first day of May, and stayed about four weeks. On the way back my dad had passes to come home by the northern route, on the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad, which ran from Chicago to Seattle, Washington. It was an all-electric line and the trains really ran smoothly, no jerking or loud clangs like on steam trains. We crossed the neck of the State of Idaho, near the Canadian Border on the second day of June, and the train had to stop for about a half an hour for a snow plow to clear the tracks of snow. For a boy from Sacramento Valley where it hardly ever snows that was quite a treat . My brother and I got off the train and threw a few snowballs at one another. When we got home and told our friends that we were throwing snowballs on the second of June, nobody believed us. Too bad we didn't have a camera with us so that we could show them the proof.

CHAPTER 8: Boats

On the levee at D street in Broderick were shipyards. Here they repaired and painted the paddle wheel steamboats, tug boats , and barges . It was a really busy place and there was a crew of men working there all the time, and most of the workers lived in Broderick. When a couple of barges were anchored side by side us boys would walk out from the shore onto the barges, and dive off into the river. Then we would have to swim back to shore in order to get back on the barges, as there was no way to climb onto the barges from the river. It was interesting to watch them pull up a steamer or barge on what they called the dry dock, so that they could repair and paint them. There was always a group of men working and they kept their eye on us as we were in the water swimming, just in case anyone needed help.
There were two beautiful passenger steamers called the Delta Queen and the Delta King. One left the wharf in Sacramento at six o’clock in the evening and docked in San Francisco sometime during the early morning hours. The other one left San Francisco at six o' clock in the evening, headed for Sacramento. The boats passed one another somewhere between the two cities. People were always traveling on the boats and they were always crowded. They would take a berth, go to bed, and wake up either in Sacramento or San Francisco. The boats stayed docked at their destination all day and freight of all kinds was loaded and unloaded at each city. The boats were too big to turn around by themselves on the river, so they had to be turned by a tug boat. A man by the name of P.A. Hart had a tugboat and every evening he turned the steamer around so that it was headed in the right direction. When P.A. Hart was not available, a man by the name of Ed Curry, who also owned a tugboat, did the job.
P.A. Hart had a son by the name of Fred, and he was the same age as I was . Quite often his dad took him along when he turned the steamers around, and all the rest of us boys thought that he sure was one lucky guy to get to ride on the tugboat. When Fred grew older his dad taught him how to pilot the tug , and when he had learned enough about the river he went to work for the River Lines pulling barges up and down the river.
Quite a few men worked on the Passenger Steamers, as well as the Freight Steamers. There were Pilots, Co-Pilots, Engineers, Cooks, and Deck Hands. On the Passenger Steamers there were also waiters, because they served supper and breakfast to the passengers.
Some of the bachelors of Broderick lived in boat houses that were called Scows . They had plank walks from the shore to their scows which was alright during the summer months when the river was low. The river raised a good many feet during the winter time and the men in the scows always had a row boat tied to their scow so they could row ashore when they needed to. The Government charged them five dollars a year to anchor their scows in the river. During the summer months there was always a dredger out in the middle of the river digging up the river bottom in order to keep the channel deep enough for the steam boats. They piled the sand near the center of the river close to the Yolo side and us boys used to swim out to the sand piles and lay in the warm sand. When the river rose in the winter time that was the end of the sand piles.
Quite often during the summer months big barges loaded with pile driving equipment would drive pilings in the river to buiId wing dams. They extended from the shore to about a third of the way out in the river. They were there for the sole purpose of slowing the swift currents of the river during high water to keep them from washing away the levees. They worked twenty-four hours a day until the job was finished and you could hear them pounding the pilings all night long.
When the river was low in the summertime and the tops of the wing dams were above the water level, us boys used to go out to the end of the wing dams and fish. We could buy lines, hooks, and bobbins for fifteen cents from the grocery store and we would cut a branch off of a willow tree to use for a pole. There always seemed to be plenty of catfish swimming around the wing dams so we never had any trouble catching fish. Sometimes we took them home to eat or if we needed a few extra nickles we sold them to the Chinamen at the laundry. Anyway we had fun as well as picking up a little change.
On the levee about two blocks north of the Eye Street Bridge was a Club House that was also the storage place for the eight man rowing boats that are called Shells. Here the men held their meetings, changed clothes into their rowing uniforms, and carried their boats down to the river. Each boat was long and narrow and built for racing, and held eight rowers and a man called the Coxswain. He sat at the end of the boat and did the steering, holding a megaphone in one hand, so that he could be heard by the crew when he gave out orders. Us boys used to sit on the levee and watch them practice. Sometimes they would have three or four boats in the river at one time and they would race one another. They would go three or four miles upstream and then race one another back to the Eye Street Bridge. The only other boats in the river in those days were the big Steamers pulling barges, and they had no trouble keeping out of their way. I don't remember if they ever held any real races here on the river, but I know they used to travel to San Francisco and Oakland to compete in races down there. Many a time on a warm summer evening, after they finished practicing, and had put their boats away, they would dash down to the river, dive in, and go for a swim to cool off.

CHAPTER 9: Saloon

In the days before Prohibition there was a saloon on the corner of Second and D streets in Broderick. It had broad sidewalks in front of the building and on the Street side of the building. There was a long watering trough for the horses to drink out of and a hitching rail to tie them to while their owners were in the saloon either having a drink or playing cards. The place was run by a man by the name of Curtis Hoffman, and the saloon was known as Hoffman's Place. On the Second Street side of the building was a door with a bell on it, and when a woman wanted a bucket of beer she would ring the bell and the bartender would open the door, take her bucket, and fill it with beer for her. During the hot summer months my Aunt would walk to the saloon with a small bucket that held about a quart and a half of beer, and I would go with her. Curtis always gave me a bottle of strawberry soda which I called pink soda. I always looked forward to those trips. My dad got home from work about four in the afternoon and there always was a glass of beer waiting for him. My mother, dad, and my aunt would drink beer while I shared the pink soda with my brother. If I remember right the bucket of beer cost ten cents, and a good many ladies in Broderick bought beer from the side door of Hoffman's Saloon, but none of them ever stepped inside the saloon.

CHAPTER 10: Holidays

Christmas time was the time we looked forward to in the winter months. We had two weeks vacation from school and we would walk over the bridge to Sacramento and see all the fine Christmas displays in the store windows. The biggest department store in Sacramento was Weinstock Lubin and it was located on fourth and Kay streets. Breuners was located on sixth and Kay, and Hale Brothers was on ninth and Kay, and they all had beautiful Christmas displays in store windows. Santa would arrive by truck, and sometimes by a sleigh pulled by reindeers, and once he came up the river in a small submarine. The arrival of Santa in Sacramento was always a big event. and all the Kids as well as the merchants awaited his arrival .
Back in 1916 when I was six years old, just about every man in Broderick from the age of 18 years on up, was a volunteer fireman. The dues were twenty-five cents a month and they also raised money by holding dances once or twice a month. I think they bought some equipment with the money and some was spent on picnics and parties.
The Fourth of July was a big day in Broderick as most of the volunteers had a holiday from work. They would have a ball game around 9:30 in the morning. The members of Hose Cart number one played the members of Hose Cart number two. After the ball game they had a tug of war. They held their tug of war on third street by the school house. They would set up a fire hose with the water spraying over the center of the rope, and each side would try to puII the other side through the water. The streets were dirt streets so you can imagine what the fellows looked like after pulling one another through that .
After the tug of war was over then they would have a water fight. The two companies of fifteen men each approached each other with a full force of water pouring from a three-inch hose with a one inch nozzle on the end of the hose, and that was quite a water fight. There were also sack races for boys, and sack races for girls, and races for boys and girls under 18 years of age. There were races for married men and also races for married women, and prizes were given for first and second place in all the events. Moving pictures of the various events were taken by photographer McCurry of Sacramento, and they were shown in the Empress Theater in Sacramento for a few days. On Sunday all the members of the volunteer fore department attended the show to see what kind of an appearance they made on the screen.
Speaking of Fourth of July celebrations , one year a couple of men rented a vacant building about a block from our house. They manufactured fireworks, which at the time was legal. They were doing fine until one afternoon in June the fireworks blew up. What a noise that made, and flames shot hundreds of feet in the air. If it would have happened at night it sure would have been quite a sight to see. The volunteer firemen fought the blaze as best they could, but there was no way the building could be saved . They did keep the fire under control, and managed to keep it from spreading to the surrounding homes. That was the biggest display of any fireworks that the town of Broderick ever saw, and it happened a couple of weeks before the fourth, and no one attempted to manufacture fireworks in Broderick after that.


When the United States declared war on Germany in April of 1917 most of the volunteer firemen went into the Service. Over thirty of the young men joined the Navy and they all ended up on one ship, the S.S. Huntington. Somewhere there is a picture of the boys aboard that ship and it hung in the butcher shop of Ed Moss for years. Some of the fellows went into the Army, some in the Air Corps, and I think my brother Almer was the only one that joined the Marines.
When the war ended on November 11th, 1918, some of the fellows did not return. My brother Almer died in the Service, as well as Lester Palm, Charles Maines, and Percy Eugene. Things seemed to have changed after the war, and I don't remember the Fireman putting on any more celebrations like they did before the war.
I will never forget my brother Almer's Military funeral. My brother Almer was my folks’ second son and he was born on January 25th, 1894. He was sixteen years old when I was born. He graduated from Sacramento High School and he was the only member in our family who ever graduated from High School. He was a star Basketball Player on the Sacramento High School Basketball Team, and he also played on the YMCA State Championship team. He attended the University of California at Berkeley, majoring in Spanish and Business. He already has his future planned, because on Graduation from College he was going to work for a Export and Import Company in South America.
The United States declared war on Germany on April 6th, 1917 and it was not too long after that when Almer joined the Marine Corps . He rose to the rank of Sergeant and was ready to be shipped to Cuba, as there was a threat that German spies were going to try to destroy the sugar plantations. It was at the Marine Base that he contracted Spinal meningitis and he died. He died on my Mother's birthday. July 27th, 1918, and it took her years to get over it. His body was snipped home and he is buried in the Odd Fellows Lawn Cemetery in Sacramento. He was buried during the first week of August and I wouldn't be eight years old until the 23rd day of September, but his Military funeral made such an impression on me that I never forgot it.
A Squadron of Marines arrived from the Naval Base at Mare Island on the morning of the funeral. They were taken to the Grammar School Auditorium where they were fed dinner that was prepared by some of the ladies of Broderick. Mame Consetti, a real good friend of the family, was in charge of the affair. The Marines were the Pallbearers, the Firing Squad, and the Bugler. Rev . Lundquist from San Francisco conducted the Funeral Service. When the Service at the Funeral Home was over we went to the Odd Fellows Lawn Cemetery, and the Marines Honor Guard fired the twenty one gun salute, and after that the Bugler blew taps. Before the casket was lowered into the grave, two Marines took the American Flag that was draped over the casket, folded it, and handed it to my mother, clicked their heels together, and saluted her and my dad. Now is there any wonder why something like that would leave such an impression on a small boy that he never forgot it.
Almer enlisted in the Marine Corps in Sacramento, and his name is on one of the inside walls of the Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento. Years ago there was a fir tree planted in the old Washington School Grounds on "C" street in Broderick, in memory of the men who died in the Service during World War One, and that tree is still standing.
In 1927 the Crown Prince of Sweden planted a Fir Tree on the property of what was then The Zion Lutheran Church. This tree was planted in honor of my brother Almer, and another young man whose folks belonged to that Church, by the name of Carl Friberg. The property has been sold a couple of times, the Church was torn down, and an office building was built in its place, but the tree is still standing. This is on 25th street. near "N" street in Sacramento.

CHAPTER 12: Talent

When I was going to Grammar School the only form of entertainment was the dances the Fire Department held at the Town Hall, or the dances the School Trustees held at the school, and if you wanted to go to a theater you walked over the bridge to the city of Sacramento. Once in a while the town of Broderick put on their form of entertainment using just local talent. There were people in town that were good singers or played musical instruments , played the part of clowns and others that could do any number of things. The Grammar School put on a show in the fall of the year to raise money for the children's Christmas Party that was held in December. Then in the Spring they had another program to raise funds for the last day of school picnic. Just about every girl and boy in the school did something or other for that program.
One program that I will always remember was held in the month of May, close to Mother's Day. There was a woman in her sixties by name of Hattie Manchester and she was a School Trustee at the time. Her oldest son Blair, who was about twenty years old, had a beautiful tenor voice, and he was always asked to sing when there was a program for the kids at the school. When it came his turn to sing he took his Mother by the hand, led her up one the stage, and seated her on a chair. After Blair seated his mother on the chair all the lights were dimmed and a spotlight shown on his mother. He then sang the song "Mother" to her and what a beautiful job he did. When the lights were turned on again most of the ladies in the audience had their handkerchiefs out and were drying the tears from their eyes. Golly what an impression that made on me and I never forgot it.
Another big event in our lives when we were going to grammar school was when the Ringling Brothers Circus came to town. They always had a parade that came down Jay street to 3rd street, and then up Kay street to 15th street, where they headed for the Circus grounds. The parade started at 10:00 a.m. and we were let out of school about 9:15 and we walked over the bridge, and watched the parade go by on Jay street . The parade lasted an hour or so and it was a big thrill for us pupils to see all the different Circus animals as well as the clowns . After the parade was over we headed back to school to finish the day in the classroom. I don’t remember if we learned too much that day because we were all still excited about the circus parade.
The circus came to town by train. The trains arrived during the night and my dad was always on the train crew that did the switching for the circus train. He would come home from work in the morning and tell us all about the railroad cars he switched around with the lions and tigers and horses and elephants, and we couldn't wait to get to school and head for Sacramento to see the parade.

CHAPTER 13: Politics

Yolo County, like every other County in California, is divided into Districts, with a Supervisor for each District. Many years ago Broderick, Bryte, West Sacramento, Clarksburg, and the River Road to the Elkhorn Ferry was known as District Number One. Many a real hot contest was held at election time when Candidates were running for that office. Then there was the office of Constable, and he served all the people of Broderick, Bryte, and West Sacramento. When real trouble occurred he would appoint some of the men in town to act as his deputies to give him a hand when he needed it.
The Courthouse was located in Broderick, and this is where the Justice of Peace lived. A man by the name of Jerome Barry was the Justice of Peace for years until he died, and his oldest son David was appointed to take his place and he held that position until he retired. Both men were good Judges and they never had any trouble getting re-elected every four years. Some years no one even ran against them.
When a man was running for an office he would have his picture taken and enlarged to about 6x9 printed on heavy cardboard, and his picture would be hung in the grocery store, the saloons, and the town barber shop. The men running for Sheriff, Tax Collector, District Attorney, and any other County Office, would have their pictures hanging in the different business places . No one ever knew who the man in business was going to vote for, because he would hang all the Candidates pictures in his place of business.
One election year, Jack Reuter, the local barber, had over twenty pictures hanging in his barber shop, of the Politicians running for office. A man in business kept his mouth shut as to who he was going to vote for because more than likely both Candidates were his customers. Now and then those favoring one candidate would get into some pretty hot arguments with those favoring the other Candidate and sometimes the arguments ended up in a fist fight. After the election was over things got back to normal, and the winner was generally congratulated by the loser, and everyone became friends again. After all, in a small town like Broderick, where every one knew one another, you couldn't go around feeling bad because your candidate lost,
At that time there were six or eight houses built along the levee, with their front porch facing the levee. Every one of those families had a row boat tied to a small dock, and now and then they would row out on the river to fish. One family by the name of Lynch were good friends of my folks and we used to go visit them quite often. My brother and I always looked forward to those visits. There we could sit on the front porch and watch all the activity on the river until it got dark. One of the men of the Lynch family was a big fellow by the name of John, and he used to take my brother and I for a ride in his row boat. One time when he had docked the boat and we got out and headed for shore, I slipped off the gang plank and fell in the river. It was about four feet deep there and Big John just reached down and lifted me out of the water. As we were walking back up the levee to the house, all my brother Bill kept asking me If I had seen any fish when I was under water.

CHAPTER 14: Traveling

When you are a young person growing up in a small town like Broderick, there are a great many things that happen in your young life. As you grow older you really have to think hard and deep to try to remember them. Some you never remember while others make a lasting impression that no matter how old you are YOU never forget them. Looking back at some of the things we did and the places that we visited was quite an adventure, but to us it was just a way of life at that time.
My brother Bill and I were the only two boys our age in the town of Broderick that ever rode all over the country by train. Quite a few men in Broderick worked for the RailRoad, and they all had passes for themselves and their families , but they never went anywhere. Maybe to San Francisco once in a while, but that is about all.
My dad, he was different. He loved to travel by train, and in those days he worked seven days a week and there was no such a thing as a paid vacation when you were working for the RailRoad. If he wanted to go back to WIsconsin to see his dad and his sisters, he would talk it over with my mother and, she being the one who handled the finances and kept the house running, would put some money away every month for the trip. Maybe a whole year before they left they started making their plans . My dad would ask for a month's leave of absence which was always granted and when it came time to leave we boarded the train and left. The trips to Idaho and Santa Cruz were planned the same way . When you are young you figure that your folks have plenty of money and don't have to worry about finances at all. After you grow older you realize how they must have carefully planned and maybe skimped here and there, in order to take a vacation. You have to realize that the whole time we were on vacation, my dad didn't have a paycheck coming but there always seemed to be enough money for the family to get by on. I think back now and I am amazed at how they managed it. Of course things weren't as high priced as they are now, but then again a working man's wages weren't too high either.

CHAPTER 15: My Brother Bill

Another thing that comes to my mind is the things that my brother Bill used to do. Bill was three and half years older than me and he was a great guy for trading whatever he had for something else that he thought he wanted. My folks never knew what he might bring home next.
One day he traded his baseball glove for a Billy Goat and he brought the goat home and my dad staked the goat out in the backyard. When a person got too close to the goat he would charge and butt you. I guess he had a turn at butting every member of the family, except Inv brother Almer. Whenever Almer had a week-end off from College he would come home for a couple of days and while he was home he would tease the goat and try his best to get the goat to butt him or at least make a charge at him but the goat seemed to sense that is what Almer wanted him to do and being a stubborn goat he refused to do it.
That goat would eat anything and one day when my dad was repairing the fence he had a can of nails by him and when he turned to reach for a nail there was the goat chewing on a nail and he swallowed it. My dad told my mother that surely that was the end for that goat, because he couldn't eat very well after eating nails, but it didn't seem to phase him. Maybe he needed iron in his diet . Don't remember how we got rid of the goat . Guess brother Bill traded him for something else.

CHAPTER 16: Family time

My sister Doris played the piano and whenever she went to a dance and heard the latest songs played by the Dance Band she would buy a copy of the sheet music and play it at home. That was great entertainment for the family because that was long before we had a radio.
She had all the latest hit songs that were popular then, and the family would gather around the piano, and try our hand at singing. We really heard some singing when Almer was home, because he sang tenor in the Glee Clubs in both High School and College. My dad went to work at midnight, and he always slept for a few hours in the evening, and as long as Doris and the rest of us were gathered around the piano making noise he slept like a log. Sometimes if we were gone for the evening he would wake up, come out of the bedroom and ask my Mother, "Where are all the kids. It is so quiet I can't sleep.”
Sometimes when Doris was playing the piano we would hear a noise on the front porch, and my mother would turn on the porch light, open the front door, and there sat half a dozen or so of the neighborhood kids listening to Doris play . That meant a great deal to us as well as the neighbors that someone in the neighborhood could play a musical instrument and entertain people.
My brother Ray was eighteen years older than me, and he liked to sing. He wasn't too much of a singer, but he tried. He used to hold me on his lap and rock me in a rocking chair and sing to me. One time when I was about five years old and he was rocking me my Aunt Ida started laughing at his singing. I jumped off his lap, grabbed a pillow and threw it at her for laughing at my big brother while he was singing to me. Then she really did laugh, especially at me for getting so mad.
Speaking of temper, I had quite a bad one when I was young . One time my brother Bill was teasing me about something, and I got mad and saw an old file laying on the ground. I picked it up and threw it at him, and it hit him on the forehead just above his eve, blood gushed out and it scared the wits out of me. After my mother patched him up she gave me a lecture on temper and told me I could have put my brother’s eye out or maybe even killed him, and if I didn't learn to control my temper I might end up killing someone. I never forgot that incident, and I have only been really mad a few times in my life since then, but never so mad that I did anything drastic.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

RIP Buddy Linker

On Thursday, August 12, 2022 eighty-one year old William J Linker Sr., took his last breath while at his West Sacramento home.“Buddy” , life long partner to his love Barbara Jean,  “Dad”, “Grandpa”, “Pappa”, brother, uncle, co-worker, and friend to many… will be greatly missed. 

The family thanks you for your condolences and appreciates privacy during the next few days.  His celebration of life details will be shared as they become available.  

Cards/stories/photos (also appreciated ) can be sent to “Buddy Linker Family”, %River City Funeral Chapel, 910 Soule Street, West Sacramento.  CA.  95691


Monday, July 25, 2022

History of The Pheasant Club

Video of Pete Palamidessi filmed in December 2019 and shared by David Kamminga with the Rotary Club of West Sacramento. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

RIP Mark Salazar


Obituary of Mark Daniel Salazar

Mark passed away unexpectedly at home in West Sacramento on February 5, 2022. Born in Sacramento on November 6, 1969, the eldest of two children. He is survived by his mother Donna (Mike) Crumley, brother Matthew (Mimi) and nephews Zachary, Nathan and Joey, and his dog DJ; and by his father Daniel (Kathy) and their son Vincent. He will also be missed by many loving aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Preceded in death by his uncles Julian Salazar, Gary Johnson and his cousin Kimberly Salazar. Mark was a proud West Sacramento native who attended James Marshall preschool, K-8 at Our Lady of Grace Elementary, Christian Brothers High School and Sacramento City College. In school he was active in sports, playing basketball and football at OLG, and running track and playing basketball at CBHS. Baseball stretched across his youth and he loved sharing stories about the great Little League teams he played on, especially the team that earned Western Regional Senior All-Star status in 1985. During high school, Mark worked several part-time jobs, including two summers at the Sacramento Zoo. One of his first full-time jobs was at Tower Warehouse, which deepened his love for discovering new music and accumulating records. For 24 years, he worked as an Associate Information Systems Analyst in various departments for the State of California. Mark was often seen around town, wearing off-the-wall t-shirts, riding his 20-year-old bicycle – built for comfort, not speed. His bike was covered in various stickers accumulated through the years. If it was Wednesday, he was likely heading to, or returning from, lunch with his mom – a long-held tradition. Mark was an avid collector. His collection of baseball cards stretched back to days when he and his brother Matt began buying and trading cards as young children. Later his tastes turned to vinyl records from obscure bands and quirky, one-of-a-kind t-shirts. His longest running collection was of sports knowledge, culled from years of watching his favorite teams – The San Francisco Giants and Notre Dame Football – and devouring everything written about either one. Mark’s most notable collection consisted of all the times he was able to attend an event that combined his passions with the people he loved. Whether it was a train ride to Berkeley to hunt for obscure records, Trivia Night at the VFW, catching a show by a local fringe band, heading to Candlestick/AT&T Park/Oracle Park for a Giants game, or just a night at someone’s house to watch a game or listen to music – enjoying the experience with his family and friends made it the perfect addition to his collection of memorable moments. His family and close friends said goodbye in a small, private ceremony, dressed in Giants gear, sharing some favorite Mark-stories and experiences - a day that would have definitely earned a spot in Mark’s collection of memorable moments. Mark will be missed for his intelligence, loyalty, loving heart, sharp wit, and unorthodox sense of humor by all who loved him.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Jean "Ma" Jones honored by the West Sacramento VFW Post 8762

 Jean Jones was honored at a sold out surprise luncheon in recognition of her many years of service to the West Sacramento Auxiliary and VFW Post 8762. Jean served as President of the Auxiliary from 1976-1978, and has continued to serve the post and Auxiliary in many other capacities including heading up the kitchen crew and volunteers for many years. Most everyone in West Sacramento remembers the amazing Jean "Ma" Jones with love. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2021