STOCKTON - You can take Dad out to the ball game, to a soccer game, to the golf course, or to the movies.
STOCKTON - When Banner Island Ballpark opened some eight years ago, I quickly found Home Run Hill to my liking, especially on those warm summer evenings.
MURPHYS - Calaveras County has so many things to offer tourists, frog jumping, gold panning, cave tours, golf, boating, antiquing, but wine is one of the largest draws. Visitors may be surprised to find out that vines are hardly a newcomer to Calaveras. The oldest vines in the county are 110-year-old Zinfandel, organically dry-farmed in the old Italian tradition. Today, there are nearly 700 acres of vines and a yearly production of about 275,000 cases--still small compared to many other wine growing regions in California, but growing.
The kids will vote for Disneyland every time but if you want to try something different this year – if only for a night – try stopping at the Seven Sycamores Ranch on your way up or down the San Joaquin Valley. It's a fun destination that will show your youngsters a little about farm life and help them understand the importance of California's agriculture.
They never talk about why Opie and Andy are walking down to the fishing hole in the opening credits of the "Andy Griffith Show."
MODESTO – In 1993, cruising was shut down in the city that inspired the movie "American Graffiti."
MODESTO – John Sanders knew the odds were tall when he sent George Lucas an invitation to serve as grand marshal for the American Graffiti Car Show and Festival.
Frank Vieira is there. So is his best buddy Frank Brazil.
When Don Harmon hopped in his 1955 red and white Plymouth for the very first time, it was love at first drive. His passion for domestic cars has transcended well over six decades through collecting, remodeling and assembling the classic wheels.
Looking for a midweek respite from your usual evening routine?
LAS VEGAS (AP) - The junked signs that attracted throngs to old Las Vegas have for years gathered dust in a neon boneyard just a few miles from the sleek mega-casinos on the Strip.
LATHROP - Give Every Child a Chance is staging the Ropin' on the River Rodeo hosted by Dell'Osso Family Farm today and Sunday.
MODESTO - Before there was American Graffiti there was Louie Wyrsch.
STOCKTON – He's revived asphalt racing in San Joaquin County, introduced a dirt track to its fans and may one day lay down a drag strip.
Mike Drake grew up with dreams of becoming a race car driver. The allure of finely tuned machines, high speeds, and cheering fans excites most young boys, but the source of Drake's racing dreams didn't stem from TV or the movies, it came from watching his father circle the track at the Merced Speedway.
STOCKTON – Jose's Western Wear has been around for about 40 years.
Although it is corporately owned by a company boasting 166 stores in 26 states, Boot Barn in Turlock does not seem that way, as store manager Brooke Carey strives to provide a one-on-one shopping experience more likened to a small business.
OAKDALE – The "Cowboy Capital of the World" is Stephenville, Texas.
Bass Pro Shops in Manteca is an outlet for avid outdoors people. But its wide range of male and female apparel lends itself to those who are into the western – that is, cowboy and cowgirl – outfit look. Those choices range from Bass Pro Shops' own line of Redhead boots to a wide selection of accessories such as leather belts and even jewelry that go a long way toward achieving the desired rugged-type look.
As manager of Krier's Cards and Comics, John Krier does not just view his store as a place to secure comics books and related merchandise, but as a social hub for friends to gather in a casual gaming environment.
The east wall in the parking lot of Athen's Burgers on West Yosemite Avenue in Manteca is a gigantic mural depicting a bucolic, rustic scene aptly titled "Cow-munity."
They call them the "Power 9."
By VINCE REMBULAT
STOCKTON – It's tough living life with a secret.
TURLOCK – Both Hanna Renning's and Dieter Renning's love for books sparked at a young age.
LATHROP – Books were everywhere for Lathrop librarian Suzanne Sutterfield.
MANTECA – The story of Ruthanne Bassett's career journey is a simile of sorts. It turned out to be like a shopping trip to the mall. You go there with a specific item in mind to purchase. But other things grab your attention while you are browsing, and end up settling down on something totally different from what you initially had in mind to buy and go home with that.
RIPON – Dorothy "Dot" Veltkamp always has a couple of books on her night stand – a woman with a passion for reading since her childhood – has completed more than 25 years as a librarian mostly in Ripon.
TURLOCK – In an area filled with seemingly endless burger joints for hungry customers to choose from, it may be a difficult task for a mom-and-pop restaurant to stand out. However, AJ's Café and Grill has managed to do just that with their locally and freshly made burgers.
RIPON – It's a classic burger at the downtown Ripon Roadhouse sure to leave egg yolk running down your fingers and hands with the first bite.