First, here is some important information! The Elk Grove Historical Society is holding its great Yard Sale fundraiser next week! The dates are Sept. 17-20. Be sure this is on your calendar and plan to be at the museum for obtaining some great treasures! Hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the entrance is at Elk Grove Regional Park off East Stockton Boulevard on the east side of Highway 99. Read more on the EG Historical Society webpage at https://ElkGroveHistoricalSociety.com.

I always enjoy hearing from my long-ago students as they bring me up to date with what they have done since their early school years. Some are active in Elk Grove Unified School District, but many live in other states and countries. Here are three recent messages:

Rob Pierce, (Valley High, 1991 grad) - Rob was my student at James Rutter Middle School when I was principal there in the 1980s. He serves as the Elk Grove Unified School District (EGUSD)’s deputy superintendent of business services and facilities. He tells us about the work that is being done at Joseph Kerr Middle School.

“The modernization at Joseph Kerr is a very exciting project.  This is the oldest campus in EGUSD that dates back to the 1930s when the school was originally Elk Grove High School.  Although the district has done a great job maintain this school it is desperate need of a major modernization. Many of the things people can’t see, but rely on every day have exceeded their reasonable life expectancy.  The entire infrastructure backbone for the campus will be completely overhauled, things like water and sewer lines, gas and electricity, and storm drainage.  But in more excising news, beyond the extensive infrastructure overhaul, the first phase of construction will include a brand new state-of-the-art science wing as well as a new gymnasium that will be a focal point of the campus.  From there the site will continue to be modernized throughout including the outdoor spaces.  This will be a multi-phased project that will take years to complete but will be well worth the effort and patience allowing our oldest campus to serve our students and community another 85 years.

“Aside from a number of other projects districtwide, another exciting and massive project is the complete modernization of Pleasant Grove Elementary School.  This school originally opened in 1950 and is in need of significant modernization to make the campus more educationally adequate for the 21st century and beyond.  This extensive project will touch every part of the campus and will entail a number of new classroom and support buildings as well as modernization of some existing buildings, renovation of the outdoor spaces, new drop off and traffic circulation and a revised campus layout.

“Obviously we couldn’t achieve any of these and countless other improvements throughout our district without the communities’ support of Measure M.”

Thank you to Rob for keeping us up to date on EGUSD!

Joe Francis (Elk Grove High, 1970 grad):  “Mrs. Pinkerton - or maybe I can call you, ‘Elizabeth now’? You were my language arts and social studies teacher in 7th grade (1964-65) at Joseph Kerr Junior High School.

“The thing I remember most that year was forgetting my one line in a ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ with the Shakespeare Club.

“I met my wife, Denise in Modesto and moved with her to Chico for her to attend college.  We moved to Ukiah and Redwood Valley for her internship in social welfare, before returning to Sacramento. I got a job with EDS and, they moved us to the Dallas area as a computer programmer in 1990.  We have three children, Liberty, Leah and Jill, and two grandsons.  I am no longer programming but try to stay busy.  I deliver sandwiches for a deli in the morning and deliver pizza in the evening.  Denise teaches third grade at a Christian school.  Thank you for your service and contribution to all of our education.”

It was great to hear from Joe after so many years, and I thank him for his message! Here is another message from a long ago student:

Tom Seiler (Elk  Grove High, 1968 grad): “Thank you very much for the great teacher you were to me in seventh grade at Elk Grove Elementary School. This was the 1962-63 school year.  I use the punctuation, grammar, spelling, etc., that you taught us nearly every work day.  Other lawyers in my office, as well as legal assistants, often want me to proofread and clean up what they have written.  Vicariously, you are doing that proofreading.  I frequently tell those I work with that you taught me how to understand these foundational tools.” Many thanks to Tom for his kind message.  His mother, Florence Seiler, was a long time teacher at Elk Grove Elementary School. His sister Sharon was Miss Elk Grove in 1968. Tom is an Attorney at Law in Provo, Utah.”

Many thanks to Tom for his message.

NOTE: I wrote about Amber Tedlow and her research on the Hilltop Cemetery last week. I forgot to tell readers to let me know if they have information about the cemetery, especially about the unmarked graves.


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.