Well, if this had been a normal time, we would all be at our wonderful Strauss Festival in Elk Grove Regional Park. But, these are not normal times, so we will just have to dance away in our homes by ourselves!

Our Strauss Festival has been with us since 1987, and hundreds of people were regular attendees every year. We will miss the dancers, the wonderful music, and the park filled with people each night. Thank you again to Iris and Arnie Zimbelman for creating this amazing event that entertained us year after year! Strauss will be back!

Our city of Elk Grove and Elk Grove Unified School District have not had regular, in-person meetings for the past six months. Meetings continue online, and we have all learned how to participate in new ways.

Schools – “Distance Learning” is how our schools will open next month, and students will stay home. We are fortunate that our teachers and school staffs are very knowledgeable on how to do best for all students during these difficult times. Many adjustments will have to be made for parents who still have their jobs, and we wish them well. The major goal is to keep our children safe and healthy.

Business - Angi Perry and our Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce have had to handle business in a very different way. These have been difficult times for our local businesses, but President-CEO Perry continues to be creative in finding ways to make things work.

Hal Bartholomew called me to tell me that he has more information about the beginnings of our city of Elk Grove. When I get his email, I will share it with readers.

James Litz called me from Oklahoma to tell me about his family in long-ago Elk Grove. He will send me his family information. If any readers knew of the Litz family, please let me know.

Jean Hardesty continues to find and record more history of the Franklin area, and we thank her for her good work.

Tom Mahon is also a collector of history, especially about his family. He still lives on the Mahon Ranch on Grant Line Road, and that area is filled with history!

Sloughhouse Cemetery and a message from– Roberta Tanner: “Just to let you know...We have decided to hold our normal second Saturday summer tours on July 11, Aug. 8, and Sept. 12. The cemetery will be open from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. those days with docents available to share stories. There will also be printed material for self-tours for those who want to take extra precautions with social distancing.”

A Message from Tony Ubalde: He reminded me that his son is an outstanding graduate of Valley High School, Supergrad 1989, and my former student when I was principal at James Rutter, Anatalio Ubalde! His first company was acquired by Financial Times, the biggest business publication in the world. Now, he’s in his second startup called, Sized-Up. He received his bachelor and master’s degrees at the University of California, Berkeley. He also received the highest honor as the first diver being awarded the academic athlete of the year.

School Anniversaries – here are some important celebrations this year:

1860 – Elk Grove Elementary

1965 – James Rutter Middle School

2000 – Raymond Case Elementary School and Stone Lake Elementary School

4990 – John Reith Elementary School

1995 – Barbara Comstock Morse Elementary School

And the Cosumnes Community Services District celebrates 35 years!

One more message about the late Dr. Arnold Adreani from Sarah Pinkerton: “Oh, Dr. A, I have so many fond memories of him.  Growing up on the Kerr campus while my mom was a teacher there allowed me to get to know the man famously known as “Dr. A” long before I was a student there.  From day one he always greeted me and asked how I was doing.  I looked up to him (literally). He was so tall and he had his signature look with his Flat Top haircut and warm smile. Joseph Kerr Middle School was by far the best education for all of us, and I give Dr. A the credit.  He made all of us feel like there was nothing we couldn’t do.  We were a team and he instilled pride, dedication and kindness in all of us. He took an individual approach to every student, staff and community member. He had a true sincerity about him and wanted to know how all his students were doing.  Every lunch period you would see him playing NERF football with a group of kids.  The group was diverse and he encouraged all students to play.  He also would come around to all the tables and talk to everyone.  We all loved him! Later in life I would see him at the scholarship events and I would say to him, ‘Dr. A, you look exactly the same, what’s your secret?’ He would laugh and turn the conversation to ‘Sarah, how have you been?  What are you up to these days?’  I will miss him.  Elk Grove was so lucky to have him as an educator and friend.  They should build a statue of Dr. A.”

NOTE: We send our condolences to the friends and family of Mitzi Penney who left us recently.

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. The wonderful corn is ready, and so are the delicious cherries!