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Manteca memories & musings

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POSTED September 12, 2009 2:21 a.m.
Thinking of events, times and places led to some of those people in my past that deserve a little recognition, so here goes.

Mabel Brocchini was one of those devoted boosters of Manteca and the Chamber of Commerce. In those days Gladys Brock and Mabel did so much with so little. Their efforts for the 4th of July celebration and the

Christmas Parade were examples of what can be done if you set your mind to it.

Manteca Bowl was one of those places we visited starting shortly after we arrived in Manteca.

Bill Black was working the alleys and his wife Charlotte at the counter in the restaurant. Ah, those were good hamburgers and fries. I truly loved them.

Then there was Joe Wilson the bartender, quite a character but a good guy too.

The Mangy Moose has quite a history in Manteca but I remember the days Chuck Shaefer would call to say "let’s go for coffee this morning" and the place was always packed, a sign of good food and service.

Then there was Pat O'Leary that at the time was a reporter and photographer from the Manteca Bulletin. I remember the day he was snapping our picture and all of a sudden he said "I'll be right back," no explanation and left. It seems he had forgotten to put film in his camera and had to go back to the Bulletin for film.

Then there is the "poor man’s" Joey Leno, AKA Jay Holmes. I have no idea of how many people, men, women and children he has helped in his lifetime, nor would I guess as to how many organizations he has been active in. If anyone deserves recognition for their efforts he does.

Can you guess which two of the persons named in this column played Santa? One of them visited homes on Christmas Eve delivering goodies to children of all ages. The other filled in for the Santa Claus downtown when the gentleman that was the regular Santa became ill.

Have you ever tried to catch a greased pig on the 4th of July at Manteca High’s football stadium before the fireworks?

That year some of our City Council members did just that and also I remember the day I tried to milk a cow as part of the mayor's duties. To no avail I might add.

Then there was the day Trena Kelley drove a race car as part of her official duties as mayor.

Then there is Frank Guinta - how many youngsters did he coach in baseball and football? Unknown hundreds that he sponsored and coached, hired them at his service station and paid for it out of his own pocket.

He taught them the values to become outstanding citizens in our community. Yes, a tip of my hat to a good friend and leader in our community.

Paul Wieness was the manager at the Wells Fargo Bank, one of the last local bank managers to work and live in the same community. Ah, for the good old days.

Remember when we had our traffic signal (Main and Yosemite) and we stood there and watched the signal change or go to KFC and watch the bucket rotate for excitement?

The Manteca Waterslides changed that and when others said we were all wet they were right. Is it possible that some days we will have water slides in Manteca again?

Remember when we had the Friday night fights in some of our local bars on Yosemite Avenue every week? We did not have to watch the fights on TV and these were free and real.

We even had an artificial ice skating ring on North Main Street.

The Police Department and City Hall were on the block of Sycamore Avenue, but that all changed in 1972. Center Street dead ended at Walnut Avenue.

Bing Crosby stopped in at Ed's Drive In (Johnny's now) with his grandson and sat at a corner table. (The word spread like wild fire. Many of the locals headed there so we could catch a glimpse our one of our favorite stars right here in Manteca.)

Yes those were the good old days — but just think our children will say the same thing in days to come.

So times really change.
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