In anticipation of the upcoming Manteca Hall of Fame dinner, I was perusing the Hall of Fame website last Friday night.
As a single man, I realize nothing enchants a lady like being able to recite the entire M.H.O.F. Inductee list from 2005. Well, maybe not. But I was doing it anyway.
It got me thinking about all the incredible Mantecans we’ve had and still have. I decided to take an impromptu poll for two reasons: One, people love polls; and secondly, I’ve been trapped in the cab of a tractor for the last 18 days straight and had column brain freeze. Coupled with the fact that after last week’s “Driving without a License” Manteca to a T, I promised my mom I’d limit my “confessional columns” to one every four months.
I used good old fashioned social media and asked: “If you could sit down and have dinner with any Mantecan, past or present, who would it be?” I made sure to add one caveat: Your kids, parents, grandparents, and loved ones from your past and present would all be there.
I realize most of us would much rather have dinner with a loved one than say San Joaquin County Office of Education’s own Mark Condit – at least most of us would. So whether you’re looking to get a square slice at Giovanni’s Pizza or a full spread at Larimore’s, here are a few of the people we’d love to break bread with:
Mary Desper Monte — Frances Bynum, who opened her home to many Manteca families in need and founded Love Thy Neighbor. She was such a sweet lady and a blessing to many.
Arthur Limas — If Lathrop counts, Scott Brooks!!
Athena Hoover — Steve Harris, Manteca police officer that passed last June.
Rickey Gleason — It would be coach Pat Douglass. He coached the Buffs and then led Cal State Bakersfield to a few NCAA Division II Championships.
Lisa Chambliss and Nancy Pemberton-Rich — Art Mathis was an inspirational person in my life. Taught me how to drive and I still look at what he wrote in my yearbook. A truly amazing man. So patient and kind!
Ron Dale Jr. — Jon Steinbeck lived here briefly. Then he moved onto the museum in Salinas. He got around; quite the ladies’ man. Spoke to a former girlfriend of his who worked at the bathhouse at Lovers Point. They had glass-bottom boats and young girls swam under them dressed in mermaid apparel, and this lady was one of them.
David Ray Bowman — Sammy L. Davis won the Congressional Medal of Honor. Need I say more?!
John Wayne Laccoarce — The girl that was on the show “Two and a Half Men.” She’s from Manteca. Don’t know her name, but she was eye candy.
Lana Schadeck Scharmann — Coach Ed Williams. He was not just a coach but a good teacher and person. Also, Mr. Markarian who was an immigrant who taught my government class. He was tough because he said, “if I have to learn this to be a citizen, then you need to learn it as a citizen.” He had immigrated from Armenia and I would like to know his story.
Ginny Blanchard Lambert — George Murphy, previous Bulletin editor. Survived Pearl Harbor.
Gary Jessee — Joe Costa, Mel Leiske, and Jim Vossos, three good friends who gave me great advice with their knowledge and wisdom.
Gail Buchanan Smith — Mary Ann Kullman. She was one of the godliest, nonjudgmental people I have ever had the honor of knowing. She certainly made a difference in the lives of many from Lathrop and Manteca.
Sandy Leal — George the Mailman. He had to have seen a lot of things going on here. Talk about all the changes in people and housing. I think he walked most of Manteca. About 10 or so years ago, I saw him sitting on the ground next to the railroad off Walnut Street. I stopped and went over to him to see if he was OK and he said, “Yes.” He was just looking for interesting rocks. I have been a rock hound myself. I helped him up and he went on his way.
Bob Scharmann — Coach Jim Brown. He was one of the best teachers and a great man to talk to.
Rebecca Iaccino Zarate — Trena Kelly. First female mayor. Inspiring.
George Clausing — Manuel Macedo. I would love to hear a few more Mal-isms from old Mally Maloy. He was “full of it,” in a good way.
Elmer Williams — Lou Gunnoe from Lou’s Pest Control. A wonderful man, miss him a lot.
Steve Robbins — Ron Limas, because I miss him!
Rich L. Warren — Martha Lund, my first music teacher, and Gregg Souza, my high school band director. Once a band geek, always a band geek.
Larry Madoskim — Joshua Cowell. I’d like to know what made him plant roots here and what he expected for our future.
Jamie Greiman — Ms. Dyer. Taught me in the 8th grade at Lincoln. Also was in charge of the leadership program. Out of all the teachers I have had, she and Dorothy Mulvihill seem to stick in my mind the most.
Louanne Kunzer — Helen McCann. I believe she was the first female principal at Yosemite Elementary School. Maybe the first female principal of MUSD. It must have been a challenging career back then. I really admired that sweet lady.
Michele Flores — Alex Laffranchi, the man MADE my life amazing!
Paulette Cooper — Ed Brasmer. Very kind man. I miss him.
Diane Brocchini Galeazzi — Aldo Brocchini. He and my dad Albert owned Ace Hardware. He could tell me things about my family.
Janice Zacharias — I’d love to meet my great-grandfather, James Carter. He moved here in 1860, east of town a couple of miles. My mom still lives on about 20 of the original 600 acres. I’d like to ask what was important in his life, what he valued.
Michael Mick Neuner — Ted Nuce.
This is just a sample size of some of the wonderful people that have affected Mantecan’s lives. Sorry I wasn’t able to fit everyone’s. They were all fantastic choices. P.S. Don’t be surprised to see Antone Raymus show up to the dinner you are having. He was the top vote-getter – and more than likely built the restaurant you are eating in.
Please send your choices to I’d love to acknowledge those that inspired you.
Wyatt Edward Beeson was born on Feb. 6, 2015 with an extremely rare and life-threatening heart condition only documented 20 other times called “Absent Pulmonary Valve.” Of those 20 cases, 14 had heart transplants and none lived past their mid-20s.
Wyatt was born at UCSF Medical Center six weeks premature after developing fluid around the heart and lungs, a sign that his heart was having trouble. His lungs were very small, so that was also a complication. Six days after he was born, Wyatt had heart surgery to close an artery that was hampering lung function. The Beeson family spent six weeks at UCSF while Wyatt was under constant care.
Wyatt and the Beeson family returned home on March 19. Wyatt is now nearly 12 weeks old and is growing stronger every day. He will require multiple open heart surgeries throughout the course of his lifetime. The Beeson family has relied on their faith to get them through this difficult journey.
A drive-thru dinner at Fagundes Meats is being held in support on June 4 from 4 to 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 and the dinner will include tri-tip, chicken, Portuguese beans, rice pilaf, bread and butter. For more information, contact Angela Seamas at 209.969.9601 or email@example.com.
Robbie Taberna Breakfast…
On Saturday, May 9, at Manteca Fire Station #1 (290 S. Powers Avenue) the 8th annual Manteca Firefighters Breakfast will take place from 7 to 11 a.m.
For $5, you can feast on pancakes, eggs, ham, coffee and milk with proceeds going to a student from each high school in Manteca and Ripon. The scholarship is intended to support students interested in a career in fire or EMS services. Support, support, support!
Quote of the Week…
“Until plastic surgeons figure out how to implant a likeable personality, most of the people looking to ‘improve themselves’ should just keep their money in the bank.” — Lloyd Barbasol