Schools are starting, and there are many changes with distance learning, but education for our young people continues. We send many thanks to all of the Elk Grove Unified School District, the school board, Superintendent Chris Hoffman, staff, and teachers for all they do to make it work!

Before we begin this week’s story, here is a follow-up from last week’s HHH from Kirsti Cripe Rauser: “I opened my Elk Grove Citizen, and read your column. Much to my delight, you had a story from Grant Chesin. He was in my first grade class at Elk Grove Elementary, and he was a wonderful student! One of the things that delighted me the most was that he was very interested in music. His father helped him cut a CD at the age of 6!  I believe I still have my copy somewhere.  He is a talented young man.  

“I am so glad he reached out to you. If he is doing research on the history of Elk Grove, he has come to the source.”

Supergrads Kirsti and Tim Rauser live in Wilton and they continue their community involvement. Kirsti has been with the Strauss Festival of Elk Grove for many years, so with the cancellation, she is doing something different.

“I am usually madly sewing gowns for the Strauss Festival, but due to this year’s cancellation, I have been making face masks for Masks NOW/Sacramento. The masks get done faster than ball gowns!”

Thank you, Kirsti!

Today and next week, we are going to take trips to the past with messages from long-ago students about their memories. As many readers know, Supergrad Louis Silveira does a regular update that he sends to hundreds of Elk Grove High School graduates.

This is from Louis: “As you all know I am a big fan of all history, especially local history, but history in general is so important for so many reasons. The greatest document ever written, perhaps next to the Bible, was the U.S. Constitution and it was written because of history. We live in the greatest nation that has ever existed, but as Ronald Reagan reminded us,

“Remember we are always one generation from losing our freedom.”

From Dave Littlefield (19’62 Supergrad): “I really enjoyed the pictures of the train depot which was right across the tracks from my father’s radio & appliance store in 1948. The stage stop on 99 was owned by Marion Brown, who had a grade B dairy on 112 acres just north of Elk Grove Park. I remember celebrating 1957 New Year there with my brother Bob and Dennis Crockett. My high school years were spent working on this farm, milking 30 odd cows and mowing, raking, baling alfalfa, etc.

“The store front, where my father’s radio store was, right next to Mac’s barbershop. Mac would give my brother a nickel on Saturday mornings to go to the “Kandy Kraft and bring him back a newspaper. Doc Webb was the next place...then Andrew’s 5 & Dime. The last place before you hit the alley was the office of the Elk Grove Citizen. Across the alley was the E.G. Fire Department. Perry Schultz was the chief.

“The firefighters were all local business owners and when the whistle on top of the water tower blew (I don’t remember how many blasts for going east or west), but you would see them run out on the street as the fire truck slowed down to let them on the back!

“When Stan Kolb and I were about 6 years old, we were playing with matches behind the fire house (which was just down the alley from Stan’s father’s auto repair shop) and a blaze resulted. I headed straight home but not before Chief Shultz saw me and chased me into my house. I ran to the rear of the house where the bathroom was and tried to hide behind the toilet that my aunt was occupying. He came in... she screamed... he quickly backed out, but the time of reprieve vanished ever so quickly! It would be interesting to hear Stan’s version!

“After the storefronts was the alley, then the fire department. It has been replaced by a salon, but the ally is still there.

“In the Elk Grove Citizen (April 7, 1958) –J.M. Brown stands in rubble of the old Elk Grove Hotel he was razing to make way for the new Highway 99 freeway between Galt and Elk Grove. Brown and his son, Marion, used the bricks to erect two homes for members of the family.

“Kandy Kraft was a store back on the other side of the tracks between the old bank and Warrens Shoe store. It was torn down and several brick storefronts were built. They sold candy, ice cream, cigars and tobacco. I think the C was changed to K later on.

“Under photo #6 it shows a 2-story building and across the street a 76 station. The 76 Union Oil Station was the first station Paul Betschart owned before moving to the one on Main Street. The 2-story was owned by Tom Karamonos. This was the first Old Elk Grove Tavern and it was the watering hole for many of the ranchers.

Read more memories next week!

BOOKS BY ELIZABETH PINKERTON

History Happened Here, Book 1 – River, Oaks, Gold

History Happened Here, Book 2 – Fields, Farms, Schools

We the People, a Story of Internment in America

All book proceeds go for student scholarships, and I thank the many purchasers who have made possible the 80 scholarships with each one $1,000  – make your check for books payable to Laguna Publishers and send to me at 9227 Lamprey Drive, Elk Grove, CA 95624.  Books are $20 apiece and California sales tax is included. Add $3 for shipping of one book; $5 for 2-3 books. Call me at (916) 685-0606 or email me at elizabethpink@gmail.com.  Books are also available at the Davis ranch in Sloughhouse.