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Ticket buyer could win grandfather clock at museum
Pat Gobel, a Manteca Historical Museum docent, shows off the grandfather clock made by Manteca woodcarver Jim Button. As a fund-raiser for the museum, the clock is being offered as the prize for a drawing that will be held after the monthly program at the museum on Thursday honoring Cabral Motors of Manteca. Tickets for the drawing are $5 apiece or three for $10. Tickets will be available for purchase at the program which will begin at 7 p.m. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO
There are plenty of bargains around in this down economy. But a $5 original handcrafted grandfather clock would be hard, maybe even impossible, to find anywhere.

At least, anywhere but the Manteca Historical Museum. The impressive six-foot piece, which also plays a music box when it announces the time, is designed in the tradition of the Arts and Crafts style and is the original creation of retired Manteca businessman-turned woodcarving artist Jim Button. It’s the largest of the many handmade items he has donated to the museum which are offered for sale in the museum gift shop. All proceeds benefit the historical society and museum.

The clock is the prize being offered in the raffle drawing to be held after the monthly program night at the museum on Thursday starting at 7 p.m. Tickets for the raffle, at $5 apiece or three for $10, will be available for purchase that evening.

While you’re at the museum for the program, you can check out the many hand-carved unique items that have been donated by the former owner of the now-defunct Castle Upholstery on Cottage Avenue on the south side of the Highway 99 overpass next to the freeway. The vacant lot standing on the east side of Cottage was the location of the upholstery business that Button’s family owned for many years before it was torn down about a decade ago.

Many of the Buttons wood creations are one-of-a-kind bird houses – there’s even a two-story one – as well as wall clocks that feature wood-carved accents. There are also a few reproductions of the old cheese churners and decorative wood planters. One of them is a planter that almost cost Button his life and is truly one of its kind, said historical society and museum director Evelyn Prouty. It’s the lemonwood planter. She said that while Button was in the process of making the planter, he developed an allergic reaction. He later found out that he was allergic to lemonwood, so there will be no more of that type of planter available after the one that’s on sale in the gift shop is gone, Prouty explained.

Cabral Motors recognized
Each monthly program features an individual, a business or a family that has been part of the fabric of life through the years in the Family City. On Thursday, the honor will be bestowed on Cabral Motors, a fixture on the northeast corner of Yosemite Avenue and Union Road for more than 50 years. The long-running business will be honored for “its many years of dedicated service to this area,” according to Prouty.

“Manteca Historical Society has selected Cabral Motors because of its long history in the community. Bill Cabral and his son, Don, will give a brief talk about the history of the dealership,” during the program, Prouty said.

The other highlight of the evening will be the election of members to the historical society board. The evening gathering is also the annual general membership meeting of the historical society. A wrap-up of the past year’s activities also will be presented.

Admission to the Thursday evening program is free. Historical Society members are asked to attend. There will be refreshments served following the program. The museum will be open also that evening for anyone wishing to tour the facility.