Compiled by Debby Carter from the archives of Fresno Flats Research Library and the Sierra Star.
50 Years Ago
* Walter L. Chandler officially resigned as Judge of the Sierra Judicial District. He stressed the need for completion of a proposed County Government Center in the area, and the importance of a holding jail, sheriff’s substation, and a justice court facility.
* The first “Come as You Would Be” costume ball at the Oakhurst Community Center will be a night to depict ambitions and desires. The dance will be from 9 p.m. - 1 a.m., and music will be provided by a “live” orchestra, The Spooks. Donations will be $1.25 to attend, with proceeds going to help complete work on the building. Cider and doughnuts will be served.
* Three local fisherman, Des Albright, Dickie Gleason, and Lin Gleason, hit the end-of-the-season jackpot at Secret Lake, each bringing out the limit of 15 rainbows. The largest measured 23 inches and weighed 4 ½ pounds. They were caught with worms.
* Circus World in Technicolor is showing at the Ponderosa Pines Theater at Bass Lake, starring John Wayne, Rita Hayworth, and Claudia Cardinale.
40 Years Ago
* Courtroom and offices of Madera Sierra Judicial District will move from Oakhurst to the new Mountain Area Government Center at Bass Lake. The court has been located in the historic court building (and one time schoolhouse) in Oakhurst (This building is now at the Fresno Flats Historical Park).
* Coarsegold School Parents Club is brewing up a Halloween party and haunted house to be held at the Coarsegold Community Center. Everyone is urged to attend in costume. The costume parade and judging will be for several age categories.
* Actor Dennis Morgan will deliver the morning message at the Community Church of Oakhurst. Morgan has a home in Ahwahnee, and has, on a number of occasions, preached at the Community Church, where he is a member. He has had a busy summer during which he filled in for the ailing Pat O’Brien in a stage play, and played in a golf tournament in Scotland.
* Oakhurst Market advertises carrots at 10 cents a bag, grapefruit at 10 for $1, avocados at 29 cents each, celery 25 cents a stalk, and Campbell’s Tomato Soup at six cans for $1.
30 Years Ago
* In the Mountain Quotes weekly column, the question was asked of several people, “What is the scariest thing you ever did on Halloween?” Mel Murphy answered, “Drove a herd of cows into town at night, then shot off cannons. All I did was stand by and watch my cousins and their friends.” Nancy Nalley said, “Going through the haunted house my husband made for my son in our garage for his birthday.” David Arens said, “When I lived in Bakersfield, we (toilet papered) Highway Patrol cars.” Joe Larson, kindergartener, said, “I got some candy. Some girls had scary costumes on. They talked and they spooked me. I went in a car and looked around. I spooked myself.”
* The Sierra National Forest has plans for a ceremony which will designate the creation of its more than 500,000 acres of wilderness. The ceremony will be held at the Mile High Vista near Mammoth Pool Reservoir, which provides a panoramic view of the Ansel Adams, John Muir, and portions of the Kaiser Wilderness areas. Speakers will include Senators Alan Cranston and Pete Wilson, Congressman Richard Lehman, and others.
* A drawing for the Flyaway Feathers quilt blocks will be held at the Sierra Mountain Quilters meeting. The November block is Grandma’s Hopscotch. Myra Algots will demonstrate and provide instruction on bindings and mitering corners. Interested parties are invited to join with quilt lovers in preserving an age-old tradition.
* The Golden Chain Theatre’s production of “The Hounds of the Baskervilles” will open this week. Jerry Lebovitz is Sherlock Holmes and Candy Earnest is Kathy Stapleton.
20 Years Ago
* Heidi Miller of Bass Lake won the grand prize at this year’s World’s Best Apples Baking Contest, held in conjunction with the Applefest last week at Bass Lake. Miller will receive a weekend getaway to the Apple Farm Inn in San Luis Obispo. Her grand prize entry was a jar of apple relish that was entered in the Canned Goods division of the contest.
* The Madera County Board of Supervisors responded to the final grand jury’s report. One recommendation was that the supervisors should place the road department and other related county functions, such as planning, engineering, fire, and similar departments, under the control of a “single, strong administrative authority.” In response to that, the board stated that “at this time, there are no plans to create a Public Works Agency.”
* The Yosemite Hawks soccer team, who represent the Mountain Area in the Harold S. Young League, will be playing their final league game at Wasuma School on Saturday. The game is against the Clovis Bandits. The team is currently in second place with a record of 5-2-2, and invites all mountain area soccer fans to watch the game.
* Peter Shaldach of Oakhurst recently received the California State Firemen’s Association Award of Valor for his efforts to save a man in a house fire in Oakhurst. He was nominated for entering the burning home and pulling the victim outside, then trying to resuscitate him before the fire department arrived.