I am on staycation this week. I plan on spending time with my family, working around the house, golfing and spending time riding my bike. Last year I rode about 4,400 miles. I ride alone most of the time but I also belong to the Stockton Bicycle Club and when I can I join in for a ride with the group.
While out nearly two months ago we had this unfortunate scene:
Rescue responds to a cycling accident just south of Fiddletown.
Several cyclists collided and went down. I was not in this group. We doubled back when another motorist notified us that some cyclists had fallen. One rider suffered a few broken ribs but no one else was that badly hurt.
When we ride we try to practice safe habits. We all wear helmets, ride as far to the right as practicable, ride single file when vehicles approach.
Below is a photo of Stockton Mayor Ann Johnston from Bike to Work Day in May.
Mayor Ann Johnston, center in green jacket, and others on Bike to Work Day. Photo CRAIG SANDERS/The Record
Johnston wore a helmet and high visibility colors. But as you can see, others did not wear helmets and are riding three across with traffic in the area. Fortunately in this case no mishap happened. But if you’re going to bike, wear a helmet and be as safe as you can.
During a breakfast visit to Chuck’s on Pacific Avenue, Stockton I saw an old image that immediately transported me back to my days growing up in North Philadelphia.
It was the gold and brown Charles Chips tin.
The gold and brown Charles Chips tin stood out to my eye.
Back in the day – late 1960s-early 1970s – these chips were home delivered like milk or other items that you pick up in the grocery store today. Yes, potato chips were sold in the store those days too but these were seen as a premium product that was not much more expensive than store bought treats. I remember my brothers and I went nuts when they arrived because they were a special treat.
I think you paid a deposit for the tin, and you would leave the empty tin on your doorstep, perhaps with a note inside with your order and the deliveryman would leave the fresh chips on your doorstep. I couldn’t imagine that today. The 70-year-old Charles Chips company is still in business making their original, barbecue, waffle-style chips and also pretzels.
But it was nice to go out for breakfast and get nourishment for my body and also for my soul with a pleasant memory rekindled.
It had been awhile since I was last at Sacramento International Airport. However, University of the Pacific still has a strong presence there.
This University of the Pacific sign is on display in Terminal A (now the old terminal) of Sacramento International Airport.
I recently went with my wife to the farmer’s market located behind Weberstown Mall in the parking lot of the former Circuit City.
Farmer's market behind Weberstown Mall on a recent Sunday.
There was a variety of fruit and vegetables.
Eggplants was one of the vegetables available at the farmer's market.
A closeup of the eggplant.
I came across this vegetable called bitter melon, which I was totally unfamiliar with.
A bunch of bitter melons.
Bitter melon looks like a warped cucumber or mutant pepper.
The sales person said some may eat them now but they were too bitter for her tastes and would be better later in the season.
So we browsed, and we bought.
These dark red cherries were delicious.
The farmer’s market is regular stop on my household’s shopping schedule.
Just a few scenes from Stockton over the past few days
These sailboats were in the Delta on Sunday at Buckley Cove
A look at a lone boat.
From sailboats to a different kind of boat
The 163-foot long Casino Royale docked at the marina across from Stockton Ballpark.
And speaking of the ballpark
A look at Stockton Ballpark scoreboard from the seats along the line in short rightfield.
One of the best views in a ballpark for seeing all of the action is from the outfield.
Here is one of Google’s Street View maps cars used in Stockton. Surprising to see it parked outside this home off of Don Avenue near Sandman Park. You can see the camera, wrapped in a tarp on top of the car.
Google Street View Maps car in Stockton.
Offered without comment, this is the marquee at Stockton’s Bob Hope Theatre, as it announces a Millionaire Mastermind event for Saturday.
A few years ago I would have spent 90 minutes during the day editing a story. And there are still times when that happens. But days like today I spend more than 90 minutes editing video. It is a different way of storytelling that can be as equally and sometimes even more compelling than a standalone story. And there are times when both story and video work well as a complementary multimedia package. The adage is that for every three minutes of video posted online, we spend about four hours shooting, capturing, editing and moving it online. It certainly seemed that way today.
More than 40 years ago Tom Howard owned a bicycle shop on El Dorado Street at Harding Way in Stockton. In the early to mid-1970s he moved to Southern California to run a bicycle shop and to advance his acting career. It was a 1966 newspaper clipping of three riders wearing Stockton Bicycle Club jerseys that unfurled this little ball of yarn I continue to write about. You can read the initial column here. And the followup column here.
The Record Archives
Howard, left in the clip above and in a recent photo below, was one of the founders of the Stockton Bicycle club – he is remembered as “Hollywood” Tom – and with others from the area made several bike trips from Stockton to Southern California. He said he and friends once rode from the Canada border to Stockton, that’s about 900 miles. But he has earned his living as an actor for a number of years. You can find him listed as Tom Howard and occasionally in his earlier work, T.J. Howard. The Oklahoma native said acting and bicycles were two of the things he always enjoyed.
Tom Howard in a recent photo. Courtesy of Tom Howard
Unlike a conventional job, owning a bike shop gave him the flexibility to go on auditions. All he had to do was find someone, often his parents, to cover his shop. And when trying to run a shop and act became too much, he sold the shop and focused solely on acting. Howard has appeared in a number of commercials, plays and movies including “JFK,” “Forrest Gump” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” You can find a sampling of his work here.
At age 74, Howard, who still rides 60-100 miles a week, is looking at semi-retirement but will continue to act and to ride his bike. He hopes to return to the San Joaquin Valley, a daughter lives in Stockton, to do a charity ride. For him, riding and acting are enjoyable ways to spend his time.
“I’ve been fortunate,” he said.
The white patch in center commemorates the1966 bike rally in Solvang attended by Howard and several others from the area. They rode 335-miles from Stockton. Photo Courtesy of Tom Howard
It was last week that I blogged about a confusing sign along southbound Feather River Drive near Barkleyville dog park in Stockton. The sign indicated the road turned to the right, when it actually turned to the left. Well, that problem has been fixed. I don’t when the new sign went up but I saw it on Saturday.
This new road sign along southbound Feather River Drive, near Barkleyville dog park, appropriately informs drivers that the road bears to the left.
And as a review, here is the old sign:
Southbound Feather River Drive, Stockton. Barkleyville is ahead to the right.