Modesto Radio History Museum

In 2001 Cal Purviance and his longtime radio colleague Cecil Lynch once again linked up, but this time to launch a radio history museum. Others became interested as well because of Modesto's rich radio tradition. Harry Pappas, KTRB owner, sent a television crew to do radio history interviews with Cal, Cecil, Lee Roddy, and others who had a connection with KTRB.

Cal belongs to an elite group of California broadcasting personalities called the "Legends in Broadcasting" that promote broadcasting history and meet routinely in Sacramento. His involvement in this organization sparked him to do something about radio history in our area.

For a while Cal and others have collected mostly KTRB memorabilia with the intent of displaying their priceless items to educate the public with the radio's brilliant and wonderful past. Joining Cal and Cecil are Mike Angelos, Frank Azevedo, John Chappell, Bob DeLeon, Mel Freeman, Herb Henry, Sandra McCoy, Gerry Moore, Wes Page, Harry Pappas, Jim Pappas, Bob Pinheiro, Chester Smith, Marilyn Smith, George Stevans and Derek Waring.    

Modesto Radio History Museum will be located at the old KTRB facility on Norwegian Avenue and will be known as KPMP. Its programming will feature radio history, airing such classic programs as the "Lone Ranger," "L'il Abner," big band music, and hundreds of other historical treasures. The museum will have its own web site. KTRB will be moved to the Bay Area once its facility is constructed. Thus, radio lovers, in a few months, turn your dials to KPMP to hear radio's historical past!

Cal Purviance
The Only Man Who Ever Fired Chester Smith
And Other Astounding Distinctions

The sandy dirt felt warm as it oozed between his toes while he strode towards his father's grocery store. He pulled at his baggy overalls with his hands in his pockets to keep them off the street. It was a sleepy afternoon in Poplar, California, in the depths of the Depression. He swished away the flies as he grabbed the screen door handle, and peered inside the darkened store. Certainly cooler in here, he thought. From the midst of the dark, he heard a man's voice beckon, "Warren, got a minute?" His eyes searched for its source and spotted a man who just days before had asked his father for a small room with a table. He said he was going to write a book.

The boy swept his hair off his forehead eyeing the man with a craggy face, almost like a lion without its mane, a whisper of a mustache, oiled-back curly hair, cigarette between his nicotine-stained fingers, the other hand holding a dull pointed pencil, having just written something or the other. "Son, pull up a chair, want to talk about local things." Still eyeing the man, who now was taking a final draw from his withered smoke, he seated himself, "Yes sir." The man was attired in sweat-soaked work clothes, not a laborer- probably one of those commies 'I heard people talk about, thought the kid. "You know any of those folks down the road, you know the fruit pickers?" Studying the man, Warren responded, "Yes sir, got some pals there at the tents. They done something wrong?" Crushing his cigarette out and taking up his writing pad, the stranger commented, "No boy, not at all.

Some hope they will though. They're just down and out. I want to do a story on them, and I need your help. Think you can do that?" He eyed the lines on the man's weathered face and cautiously spoke, "Well yes, depends." The writer smiled, his mustache stretching across his upper lip in delight. "Fair enough." And that began the series of conversations between the writer and the boy. The man left town, when he had his fill of the migrants, and months later, a package came to the grocery store, addressed to the boy's father. Quizzically they opened the package and in it was a copy of Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. It was from their stranger, and indeed he had written a book, soon to be a very famous book,/partially in thanks to the barefooted  kid at the Poplar grocery store.

The Early Years

This fictionalize account is based on actual fact taken from a 2004 oral history interview with Warren Calvin "Cal" Purviance. But that is only a slight portion of the amazing life of Cal Purviance. One could call him "Mr. California," having been in all of its counties, starting with climbing Mt. Whitney at seven years of age, living in Sequoia National Park as a child, a teenager in Santa Cruz, with Admiral Byrd in the Antarctic, at radio and television school in LA, and a radio announcer covering much of central California. However, one could argue that he should be called "Mr. Modesto," having served the city with great distinction and unselfishness, from being the director of its 4th of July parades for three decades, to chairman of its planning commission, a member of its air and search missions, and its eloquent radio personality at KTRB, serving the environs for many decades. It is really is an absorbing story, and it goes back to Kit Carson, his cousin, two generations removed.

Everyone had to get to California in some fashion. Cal's grandmother Frances Jane Jasper was just an infant of two years, when in 1853 she left with her parents on a California-bound wagon train from St. Louis, being escorted by her first cousin, the famed scout Kit Carson. Her family settled in Tulare County in the Three Rivers area, east of Visalia. Her future husband, Mason C. Washburn, who was born in Kentucky in 1843, came to California as a boy in 1855 and settled in Tulare County near Exeter. Frances; and Mason married and had"seven offspring, one of whom was Shirley Matilda Washburn, born at Three Rivers in 1890, who would be Cal's mother. His grandparents owned a large segment of land along the Kaweah River, which,eventually became part of Sequoia National Park in 1895, partially through the donation of Frances and Mason Washburn. Mason farmed land along the river near a powerhouse.   He tried raising peanuts, which came from his Kentucky farming experience, and may have been the only attempt at raising peanuts in California during that era, but the experiment failed.

On his father's side, Cal's grandfather Warren Chambers Purviance was born in 1844 in Darke County, Ohio, and his family migrated to Nebraska, where he met his wife, Elmira Teresa Wyne, who was born in Peru, Nebraska, in 1860. Warren and Elmira's son, George A. Purviance, was born in Peru, Nebraska, in 1880 and ventured to California in 1895, followed by his parents in 1912 who settled in Los Gatos.

Cal's mother and father, Shirley ("Tillie") and George Purviance, were married in Exeter, California, in 1919, and their son, Cal, was born the next year in Exeter. He would remain the only child. The family genealogy reveals that their origin is Scot-Irish and then a move to France before coming to America. Cal is named after his two grandfathers, Warren Purviance and Mason Calvin Washburn. He favored his middle name of Calvin, and during his Navy years, he settled on Cal, as his first name.

Mountain Climbing

One could classify his childhood as a California adventure.  He began life residing along the Kaweah River, near Sequoia National Park, in towns such as Exeter, Lemon Cove, Cambria, Poplar and then moved to the coast when a teenager to Los Gatos and Santa Cruz. He was weaned practically among the Sequoia Redwoods, where his father had a grocery concession in the summer months. His father loved to travel and took his family on a number of camping excursions in the state. Cal recalls climbing Mt. Whitney at the age of seven, slumbering in sleeping bags, passing frigid mountain lakes, and finally reaching the top, where his father recorded their names and date at the peak in a metal cylinder for that purpose.

Mountain climbing was nothing new to the family. Cal tells the story of a great uncle, on his mother's side, by the name of R. Crowley, who was an explorer of sorts. He was responsible for blazing the first non-Indian path to Mineral King, and quite possibly may have been the first white person to view the majestic Sierra site. Without question, traveling is certainly in Cal's blood, and in his lifetime, he not only journeyed through every California county, but visited every state in the union, except for Ohio, but by nature of his genealogy, he was there as well in the genes of his Ohioan grandfather, Warren Purviance.

Dust Bowl Migrants

John Steinbeck came to Poplar to study the Dust Bowl migrants of the Great Depression. Outside of town, there was one of the requisite tent cities, which Cal remembers well.   My mother was a social worker at Tulare County for a time, and I can remember all of these tent farms. I had many good friends going to Pleasant View Grammar School in Poplar, who made the trek on Highway 66 into California with nothing but an old Model T and a mattress and chicken coops on the back.

Some of my best friends were people who [were called] Okies and Arkies. They were laborers. They worked in the cotton. They worked in the fields. . . Any place where there was a vacant piece of land and nothing on it, these people came in, they set up the tents, they lived in [them] . . . there might have been a road and tents on both sides, people had access to the tents. I don't know the business arrangement that they had. . . [but] there were just these little tent cities all over the Tulare County area and up and down the valley. But in Kern County and Tulare County was where the big influx was and that was the strike area, where John Steinbeck wrote about.

Santa Cruz

At the age of fourteen, Cal moved with his family from Poplar, where his father operated a grocery store, to Los Gatos, where they\ lived with his grandmother, ,while his father was waiting to manage the Seabright Hotel in Santa Cruz. He recalls days of riding his bicycle with a friend, whose father was the manager of Almaden Winery, through the Los Gatos countryside. There was nothing but orchards between Los Gatos and the Santa Clara County Hospital. His uncle owned an Associated Oil service station in Los Gatos when Highway 17 ran through the middle of town. Cal traveled the highway to Santa Cruz, knowing its every nuance, claiming it to be still one of the lousiest highways in the state of California.

Midway in his freshman year at Los Gatos High School, the hotel in the Seabright area of Santa Cruz was completed,and the family moved there. Not wanting to leave his freshly made friends, Cal refused to make the move. He was allowed to finish the school year, by taking the train daily to and from Santa Cruz. The next year, he moved in with this parents. Even though it was during the depths of the Depression, one can imagine the enjoyment of being a teenager in a beach town, known for its Boardwalk, Coconut Grove night club, fishing and pleasure piers, and its beautiful beach. It was his home until World War II interrupted it. He tells of surf boarding at Cowell Beach in Capitola: "We used to surfboard out there, but only body surf boarding. We didn't know anything about Hawaiian surf boarding. There wasn't the present kind of surf boarding at all in those years, but we used to ride the waves on little surfboards, just as they do now."

He and his friends swam around the pier and were in the sun so much that they had great tans and sun-bleached hair. A high school friend's father was the manager at the famous Coconut Grove where headline big bands played. Cal helped his friend set up the public address system for the likes of Tommy Dorsey, Hilo Hatti, and others. Because of his friend's Boardwalk relationship with the concessionaires, free rides on the well-known roller coaster, The Big Dipper, was possible for Cal, in the front seat with hands held high, screaming at the top of his lungs. The Miss California contest was held yearly on a beach stage near Pleasure Pier, which since has been removed.

He recalls his first car was a 1928 Dodge, four-door sedan, and he took it to all the football rallies: ''The first thing we did was unhook the manifold from the muffler and made all kinds of noises down the main streets of Santa Cruz." He next had a beautiful yellow and white 1931 Chevrolet convertible and also a motorcycle. It was at Santa Cruz High School where he received his first real indoctrination with radio. He took radio classes from Mr. Kazmaric, who was an amateur radioman and the only one known in the state to teach such high school curriculum. Cal got his amateur radio license, or "ham" license, in high school and has been a "ham" operator all his life.

It was at high school too that he developed an interest in flying airplanes. His shop class built a glider and took it out to the Santa Cruz airport, which at that time was in Capitola. They hooked up the glider, with Cal at the controls, to a 1929 Chrysler convertible, and with some speed, the glider lifted nearly ten feet off the ground, which was a huge success for a high school built flying machine and an absolute thrill for the pilot.

War in the Pacific

After graduating, he found work with the Santa Cruz Engineering Department. With the military draft breathing heavily down his neck, and war seemingly imminent at least with Germany, he decided to join the Navy instead of being drafted into the Army. On December 5, 1941, he signed up for the Navy in San Francisco. He had an abbreviated boot camp of three weeks and soon was aboard the USS Trenton, a four-stack light-cruiser in the Marble Head class. This was his permanent station for the duration of the war.

With his interest and experience in amateur radio, he struck for a radioman's position on ship. He was successful and exited the Navy six years later as Radioman First Class. The Trenton s first major war deployment was to the South Pacific and the Coral Sea. It saw slight action during the Coral Sea engagement lying on the periphery of the famous sea battle. The Trenton was next based out of Panama with its duty being enemy submarine patrolling along the entire coastline of the Pacific Ocean from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Also, the cruiser convoyed ships from Panama to the Society Islands, and one time it assisted in the planting of an airfield on Bora Bora.

Admiral Byrd

Cal recalls going around the Horn of South America six different times while his ship was patrolling the Straits of Magellan. In 1943, he tells the story of having Admiral Byrd aboard, transporting him to the Antarctic area: "Every morning, we had to stop the ship, put the gangway down, and he [Byrd] went down and took a dip in the ocean, every morning at eight  o'clock, regardless of where we were. He had to have his swim. We had guys on the deck with guns, waiting for sharks. . . but he took his morning swim."

On that same voyage, Cal had an important message for Admiral Byrd and was told to find him. Having gone to all the possible stations where the Admiral might be, he returned empty-handed and used the P.A. system to call for the Admiral. Someone suggested that he might try the engine room. He went there and found him involved in a dice game. Yes, the Admiral heard the P.A. call, and yes, the Admiral would be there shortly. During its coastal submarine patrolling, the cruiser stopped at Chilean and Peruvian ports-of-call and once at Easter Island.

The Aleutians

The Trenton spent its last year of the war in the Aleutian Islands, being based at Adak, Alaska. It patrolled the area around Dutch Harbor, Attu and Kuril Islands. The plan for allied invasion of Japan included a northern advancement from the Kurils. Cal and six of his radio crew were secreted to a northern Kuril island, under Japanese control, for intelligence work. They focused on finding information on Japanese munitions, petroleum supplies, and airfield disposition. His mission went completely
undetected much to his relief. Not long after that the war ended.

Radio Academy

Cal spent his last year in the Navy on Skaggs Island, California, at the Naval radio station NPG. When his six-year enlistment finally ended, his plans centered on civilian life with a nice job and raising a family. He was engaged to Martha Ellen Bunker of Poplar, California, and would marry her in 1949. But to support a family, he needed training and licensing to enter the radio business. In those days, in order for a prospective radio announcer to be hired, he needed to be a "combo man," a person trained in both announcing and radio engineering. Most radio stations couldn't afford to have an engineer at the station for all hours of operation so an announcer had to be a radio engineer as well. An engineer was responsible to write logs every hour, check transmission readings, and resolve electronic issues when needed. Cal first took a three-year program at the Doria Balli Radio and Television Arts Academy in Hollywood. It was a well-regarded school, and the owner, Dora Balli, had been a successful dancer and singer. The school gave him the training he needed for broadcasting, and now he enrolled at the Don Martin Radio and Television Engineering School, also in Hollywood, for one year, to be eligible for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) First Class License.

KTRB

Cal completed his training and received his license making him a "combo man" eligible for employment at radio stations. He was hired at KTRB in 1951 and stayed for thirty-nine years, which is a significant accomplishment in the radio profession. At first he was a disc jockey, and then became program!! director when Don Lapan left in 1953. KTRB was a major station at the time and was known for its community involvement.

"Cal the Birthday Pal"

Fifteen minutes prior to Bill Bate's morning show, "Old Time Tunes," a birthday program was aired. It featured community birthdays, requested music and fun. The program was first called "Van the Birthday Man," when Van Parks had the program. When he left, it became Cal's, who changed its name to "Cal the Birthday Pal." It was sponsored by J.S. West and U.S. Tires, and Cal carried the program until 1990. J.S. West is historically the longest sponsor of KTRB programming.

"Tots and Teens"

Cal had a Saturday morning show called "Tots and Teens," which featured kids of all ages, who would play instruments, sing, or entertain in some fashion. It was a kid's amateur hour and highly successful. All programs during this era were live and not taped. To accompany the singers he had two youths on the program who played instruments.  Sal Cannella played a clarinet and Gary Condit was on the saxophone, both later became known politicians. Those traveling western musicians from Chester Smith's program would  join Cal in the studio, and Chester would be on his program as well.

"Happy Wanderer"

At times, Cal would fill in for Bill Bates on his "Old Time Tunes" program. When Bates died in 1969, the program became Ca!'s. He changed the name to the "Happy Wanderer" and played as its signature song the musical piece "Happy Wanderer." The format of the hour program remained the same providing music, chitchat on the phone with sponsors, and reporters in the Sierra. One morning when Cal was talking to Earl Purdy at Dodge Ridge Ski Resort, he discovered that the two had grown up in the same area, and Purdy knew CaI's Washburn family. He found out that it is indeed a small world. From Echo Summit, Cal also talked to Ralph King, while on the air, about mountain conditions.

Another "Happy Wanderer" sponsor was Vrh's Furniture in Turlock. Through their interaction during the radio program, he and Irv Vrh became good friends. Other sponsors were J.S. West Furniture, where he would talk to Maurice Horgan, and J.S. Milling Company, represented on the air by Jim West. In 1978, Cal became operations manager at the station, which meant he was now in charge of employment. When the station went to mostly talk shows, Cal hired show hosts Bill Balance, John Michael Flint, Carol Benson and Ramona Adams. Then he hired news reporters when the station went to an all news format, Don Snyder being the best known for his excellence in reporting. Newsmen such as Charles McEwen, Phil Barber, Tim St. Martin, Bill Short and Art Baker, all worked for Cal before going to other stations.

"He's on the Seventieth-Yard Line!"

Cal recalls that while announcing the Turkey Day football game, between the Modesto Panthers and the Turlock Bulldogs, that broadcaster Lou Rippa made quite a gaff. He was in the broadcasting booth with Milt Hibdon. Lou reportedly announced: "The ball was snapped, quarterback has the ball, and he's on the thirty-five yard line, the forty-yard line, the forty-five yard line, the fifty-yard line, the fifty-five yard line, the sixty-yard line . . ." all the way to the hundred-yard line or the end zone. Milt in complete exasperation told Lou, "It stops at the fifty-yard line!"

Chamber of Commerce

While busy with his work at KTRB, and partly because of KTRB's relationship to the community, Cal held a number of civic positions in business, government,and community service clubs. At the Modesto Chamber of Commerce, he served for a time on its Tourism Committee, Film Committee, Aviation Committee, and Airport Advisory Committee. This commitment involved travel at times especially the Film Committee in its trips to Hollywood to promote the county's attractiveness to film companies.

Flying

Cal has always had an ardent interest in flying. He qualified for his first pilot's license in 1953 at the Modesto airport. The first airplane he flew was a Piper air search and rescue squadron requiring him at times to fly into the mountains. He became the executive officer of the group and served as mission controller in the search for the downed airplane carrying Stanislaus County Superintendent of Schools Fred Beyer. He sent out air and ground crews in the search which eventually found the crashed airplane near Pacheco Pass, all killed, which included Beyer, his vice superintendent and the pilot. It was theorized that the pilot, being unfamiliar with the area, flew west into the mountains at the junction of Highways 99 and 152 instead of flying on to Modesto from the Visalia airport. It was a terrible tragedy for Beyer's family and for the community as well. In the '70s and '80s, Cal served on the Modesto Planning Commission for four terms and was chairman for a term and a half. First Mayor Davies and then Mayor were in office during his tenure. Under his leadership, the commission had two thorny issues to resolve, Vintage Faire and Oakdale Road. Modesto needed another thoroughfare besides McHenry Avenue, and Oakdale Road became the candidate. The Oakdale Road area was mostly agriculture at the time. A plan was developed to intersperse businesses and residences. At this time, Cal was asked to run for City Council, but declined the opportunity.

Emergency Broadcasting System

At the height of the Cold War, Cal served as chairman of the Emergency Broadcasting System, 1978-82, or what was referred to as Civil Defense, for Stanislaus County and some of San Joaquin County. At the top of the agenda was evacuation planning in case of a nuclear attack. In the event of such an emergency, he had a van fully equipped for emergency control if needed. It was an enormous responsibility during a period of time when the whole world was frightened about the possibility of a nuclear holocaust.

Service Organizations

Cal has been an active member of the local units of VFW, American Legion, and Kiwanis. For his dedicated service, he was honored as the "Man of the Year" in 1976 by the American Legion Post 74, and "Man of the Year" in 1977 by his local unit of VFW. Cal joined the American Legion in 1946, the VFW in 1950, and Kiwanis in 1953.

He has forty-nine years of perfect attendance with Kiwanis, serving as president of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Modesto in 1967 and as Lieutenant Governor of Division 46 in 1984-85, being responsible for local Kiwanis clubs in Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Merced counties. This significant distinction required him to travel to the various local clubs and to attend a multitude of meetings and conventions. He served on a plethora of committees both local and within his district. Having forty-nine years of perfect attendance in itself is a significant distinction. This meant that he had to attend a local Kiwanis meeting once a week, or if out of town, he had to attend Kiwanis meetings elsewhere to keep his weekly perfect attendance. Because Kiwanis is a community service club, he too had to work on service projects in the surrounding community, giving his time freely. Besides these organizations, Cal was also a member of the local American Heart Association Board of Directors, Doctors Medical Center Foundation Board of Directors, McHenry Museum & Historical Society, E. Clampus Vitus, Friends of Hospice, and the Turlock Amateur Radio Club.

"Mr. 4th of July"

One of this area's prominent institutions is the 4th of July Parade in Modesto, which began in 1874. It is an enormous undertaking, providing community members with three hours of wonderful floats, bands, marching groups, horses and various other sundry entertainment. The parade's review stand is in front of the court house, where parade participants are introduced by the master of ceremonies as they pass in review. Cal was the parade's coordinator and planner for thirty-six years in his position as the General Chairman of the Stanislaus County 4th of July Celebration Committee, and he was the master of ceremonies at the review stand for thirty-eight years providing information about each parade entry and anecdotal commentary all to entertain the crowds. This astounding performance clearly awards him the preeminent title of "Mr. 4th of July for Stanislaus County."

His relationship with the parade began when he was hired at KTRB. After World War II, his employer Bill Bates felt that the parade needed to be revitalized and restructured, because it had suffered greatly during the Great Depression. It had been a Chamber of Commerce function. Bates, Henry Zimmerman, owner of Stanislaus Implement and Hardware Company, and C.S.Browne, shoe store proprietor, decided to form a committee to resurrect the parade and to put it on modern footing. They met in early June and were able to construct a revived parade for the 4th. To advertise it, they created a poster with KTRB engineer and broadcaster Cecil Lynch with a microphone; next to him was another KTRB broadcaster, Doug McCreary; and Warren Cato was the country bumpkin holding a balloon. Once the parades were re-established, the program director at KTRB became their chief coordinator. At the time it was Don Lapan, managing the parade for five years. Cal joined KTRB in 1951, and two years later, when Lapan left, he became KTRB's program director and assumed the chairmanship of the 4th of July Parade. Cal managed the parade until the late '80s, and then turned it over to Al Menshew, who had served as an associate to Cal for a few years and who represented Modesto's Junior Chamber of Commerce. Cal was the parade's grand marshal 1967, a position of singular significance.

Cal has many parade stories, but one of the most amusing is about two floats that wound up next to each other. Floats must be placed so they compliment each other and don't detract. Cal had scheduled the E. Clampus Vitus (Clampers) float a few floats ahead of the one for the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). The Clampers are a historical group known for their community service but also for their liveliness and love of libation. As Cal was handed the list of floats that were approaching the review stand, he noticed that the parade entries between the Clampers and the WCTU had canceled out, which meant that the Clampers, with their bacchanal antics, and the WCTU, with their more subdued, alcohol-free demeanor, were next to each other in the parade.

With disbelief Cal gave the introductions and stood in amazement as the two opposing ideologues passed one after the other. Fortunately, the WCTU didn't take axes to the Clampers' float, but if they had, be assured the festive gentlemen would have toasted them anyway for their valiant effort.

Cal became known for his parade management abilities. Mrs. Mulholland of Ripon approached him to assist in organizing a parade for the Ripon Almond Blossom Festival. He did and served for twenty-nine years as the master of ceremonies at the review stand. In this too, he was assisted by Al Menshew, who eventually took Cat's place in Ripon.

Choir

Cal has been a member of United Methodist Church since he arrived in Modesto. He has served the church well in the choir and on committees, the New Building Committee being one of his more important duties. As a teenager, he was in the a cappella choir at Santa Cruz High School, and while attending broadcasting school in Hollywood, he was a choir member at the Inglewood United Methodist Church. He confides that he likes most every type of mainstream music, especially the big band sound, and at one time he played the piano. He passed his Christian beliefs on to his son, who is a,graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and teaches part time at the seminary, while pastoring a church in the Dallas area. A father could do no better.

Semi- Retirement

Cal retired from KTRB in 1982, but elected to remain busy doing radio field engineering. He linked up with Cecil Lynch, who w~s one of Bates' first employees, in doing field readings for radio stations. Lynch was considered to be a foremost consulting engineer. For eight years, Cal took his four-wheel vehicle and did field checks for California radio stations. This took him to all corners of the state, mostly in rugged areas. In 1990, at the age of 72, Cal retired from the radio profession for good.

Archaeology

Among Cal's interests, especially during his retirement years, has been amateur archaeology. He and Al Menshew have searched for historical artifacts in Death Valley, Winnemucca, and the Nevada valleys along the Queen River and Kings River with some success. One Ie., gal requirement when finding a historic site with notable archaeological evidence is to contact the local university's archaeology department. Finding artifacts is exciting, and to Cal it also thought provoking: "The [pioneer] people who came out. . . think of the hardships, think of what they had to go through. . . you existed with what you had and when you find an artifact, when you find an arrowhead, all these things go through your mind."

18,000 Miles

In 1990, when Cat's wife Betty retired from her position as a surgical nurse at Doctor's Medical Center, they took a whirlwind tour of 18~000 miles in their new four-wheel drive automobile. They were gone for three months and traveled through five Canadian provinces and thirty-nine states. First they went through the western states, entering Canada at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. From there they swept through the Canadian provinces exiting at Halifax, Nova Scotia, by ferryboat, entering the United States at Bar Harbor, Maine. From there they toured the East Coast, and then traveled through southern U.S. They had no daily itinerary, just took in what interested them. He called the trip: "One of the most exciting times of our lives."

Cal has two children, three stepchildren, four grandchildren and three step-grandchildren. He married Martha Ellen Bunker in Porterville in 1949, and after a divorce, later married again in 1970 to Elizabeth Frances "Betty" Zais. His daughter lives in Merced and son in Dallas, Texas. His stepdaughter is a resident in Denver, one stepson resides in Sacramento, and another lives in Kilgore, Nebraska.

by Robert LeRoy Santos
November-December 2005
Stanislaus Stepping Stones Journal


Courtesy of McHenry Museum & Historical Society Press and Publications Board.
Stanislaus Stepping Stones Journal Nov-Dec. 2005.
A copy of Stanislaus Stepping Stones can be purchased for $2.95 at the McHenry Museum Store,
1402 I Street Modesto, CA. 95354   209-491-4347 email blsantos@csustan.edu