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Sound Off! calls published Feb. 10, 2010
• Beer drinker treated criminal

This is my sad story. In early 2007 I was given three years' probation for a verbal confrontation with my spouse after she took our children, our life savings and moved. She told the judge I was an alcoholic. Yet, I had supported our family for 16 years and completed 10 years of college classes while earning a good living. There was no history of abuse or drinking-related problems. Consequently the terms of probation were that I not bother her and not drink as well as complete counseling.

As I neared the end of my probation I was enjoying my day off, doing yard work and drinking beer. Probation showed up, arrested me and my probation was remanded. I paid $2,000 to bail out, then was told to be back in court in three days.

At this court date I was taken away in cuffs to serve 90 days. There was no time given to care for any of my business, talk with my employer or do anything.

I was completely blindsided, losing my career that took over 10 years to develop.

It all seems like a bad dream yet it is true. Justice system? I think not! A man drinking beer in the privacy of his own home, not bothering anyone, and treated as a career criminal. Wow. What is wrong with this system? Nuts.

• Tow operator makes noise

It's about 10:20 on a Friday night and as usual the idiot tow truck driver (2200 block of Calcagno) has to for some reason drive his personal SUV on the back of his tow truck when he comes home. And he unloads it, making all kinds of noise and yet I'm trying to sleep to go to work the next day. This guy is the most inconsiderate idiot in the world. I hope this new law that changed as far as tow truck drivers... I doubt it will affect him. Just had to vent that a little bit.

(Editor's note: The law did not change. Our recent news story was about the City Council unwilling to change the law to allow tow operators to park at their homes in Ceres. The existing law forbids the action but yet it is a complaint driven process to get a citation issued.)

• Enjoyed Jeff's reminiscing

I enjoyed your article "Remember what used to be locally." I just thought I would add some of my own memories.

My family moved from Turlock to Ceres in 1962, so I remember many things from that long ago time. I left Ceres in 1976 to come to San Jose for college and still reside here. I read the Courier very week online. My wife, Linda and I were in Ceres last Sunday for a visit and as we drove through town, I pointed out various buildings I remembered.

On Fourth Street I saw the very faded mural of the Goddess Ceres which was painted on the then public library and was later Dr. De Board's chiropractic office. I showed her the former Post Office on Fourth Street that was later Ceres Billiards where I spent many hours of my youth. Across from Wells Fargo is the building that housed a small market. Bilson's Sporting Goods was next door where my Dad bought his Remington 30.06 hunting rifle in 1965. Then, we drove by the spot where the Chew and Chat Cafe stood for many years and from where I believe we used to buy five hamburgers for $1.

I, too, recall the many roadside big orange stands on Highway 99. Our family last ate hamburgers and drank orange milkshakes at the one in Chowchilla about two years ago. I was sad to see that it is now gone due to highway construction there.

I also have fond memories of downtown Turlock where by grandfather always drove us to J.C. Penney's to buy us shoes and clothing. We would then walk a couple of doors down West Main to buy treats from the candy counter at Woolworth's.

Other Ceres changes include Family Pizza on the corner of Fifth and Lawrence which is now Alfonso's, Fifth Street Plaza which one time was the location of Rolla Hancock's auto repair shop, and Paul's Rexall Drugs on North Central which is now the Assyrian Club. I can remember when Barbour's had nothing but orchards behind it. In fact, that side of Whitmore Avenue had orchards all the way up to Tenth Street.

Thanks, Jeff, for the article that brought back some very nice memories for me.

• Please quit dumping off cats

I'd like to get something off my chest. I've lived here in Ceres a short time but we love it here but what I've noticed is a lot of people have been dropping off a lot of cats. We live in a court and I've never ever had this problem with so many people dropping off cats. It's always during the night so I never get the license numbers. I wish these people would take care of their own responsibilities. I've kept a lot of cats and I can't keep any more. There was a lady who put her opinion in a few weeks ago and I just wanted to side with her and say, yeah, it's really sad that people do this.

If you don't want them, please take them to a center, do something humane but don't just leave them out there because they're just little guys and we need to protect them.