Some people say Facebook has supplanted real-life interaction.
But in some respects, it helps establish connections that otherwise never would have taken place.
Recently I joined the "Ceres, CA -Memories and Current Events" page and realized that it's where many have come together to reminisce about the Ceres they remember growing up in. As one who has delved into Ceres' past on many occasions, the feedback and the dialogue have proven interesting to me.
Here's a sample...
Greg Young writes: "Who remembers the snow cone place by CHS in the court/ entrance to the parking lot right off Whitmore next to that house? Weird place for a house!" Sixty-two comments follow. Sheila Darrell Epps writes that it was the Bulldog Den and notes that she "got a snowcone after gymnastic lesson with Betty Daily in the CHS gym, when door faced Whitmore. Good times!" Renee Leveque writes: "Who could forget it! We all anxiously waited for opening day to eat at least one free snow cone! After swimming in the high school pool for an afternoon it was THE BEST ever! I loved peach, root beer bubblegum. Oh so good!" Linda Scudder Flores adds that "Before the Olivers built the Bulldog Den next to their house, they had a snowball shack in front of their house. Their daughter, Darlene Oliver, graduated in 1966, a year before me." Malrie Fry noted that it cost "25cents for the pool and 25 cent snow cone, great entertainment all day for 50 cents!" Linda Seivert wrote that; "That was my favorite summer treat. Sometimes when it was very, very hot at night, my Dad would drive us into Ceres (I was raised out in the country) and we would get a snowball. What an awesome treat that was on a hot summer night!!!"
Bryan Bowman posed the question, "Who died in your class (that you were close to)? Let's never forget them." A flurry of responses remembered important people. Eileen Pittman remembered Bill Owens, who died in Vietnam. Also claimed by Vietnam was Brian Kent McGar, as remembered Charlotte Wheeler Busby. Becky Ledbetter Dayton remembered classmates Carol Villalobos and Kari Zuzula, saying they were "killed by a drunk driver who was here illegally... he was found hung in his jail cell." One member, Eric Bustillos, suggested that Andres Raya - the one who killed Sgt. Howard Stevenson - should R.I.P. Jodi Davis Zurfluh remembered Stan Hyer of the CHS class of 1977, which prompted uncle Steven Motel to noted the man who killed him only got three years in prison. Kathy Borrelli remembered the loss of Steven Marchy (1970), Gerald Pedro (1970) and Bill Amerson (1972), adding that "this list is way too long. Some I had no idea. Breaks my heart." The listings shocked some classmates. The FB page noted that Bart Holbrook in the class of 1980 died. That news shocked Jamie Hassett who asked "What happened to Bart? He and I tried to put his TR7 into the lobby of KFC! He was a hoot!" Another member, Dave Wood agreed that Bart was hilarious and that he heard a heart attack claimed him.
Ceres' bad also comes out when Rick Stephenson Sr. posts that he was glad he left Ceres and remembered the death of James Golf and seeing him die in his sister's arms, adding "lots of good people died young in Ceres history." John Harp chimed in "I was stabbed almost to death in the same parking lot that James was killed. I died twice on the operation table. Well, lucky to be here."
Edna McNeely Bowcutt asked if anyone remembered that Charlotte and Joy Streets were in a place called Morrow Village? "It was brand new when I moved there as a child. It was surrounded by peach and apricot orchards." Later in the conversation she asked if anyone remembered Ronnie Watson who lived on Charlotte. "He passed away some years ago and I cannot find what the year was. He was my boyfriend when I was in second and third grade (1955). Linda Lucas ended the mystery, noting that Ronnie Watson passed away in 1997 in Mexico.
Other memories of Morrow Village flooded in. John Cool recalled that his father, Jack Cool, used to carry mail there. Laurel Rhea remembered boysenberry fields across "from us on the other side of Caswell School." Born in 1970, Michelle Garber suggested that if anyone remembered a 5-year-old "being dragged around by a German Shorthaired Pointer,.. that was me." Maudie Lamb wrote that her dad harvested beans there before it was Morrow Village."
Others remembered businesses of long ago, including Lloyd Crisp's Barber Shop, the Chew ‘N Chat diner and Charlie's Market. There was talk about Barbour's being gone, too. Althea Hathaway said of Boyette's new Cruisers station: "I so dislike charmless, pedestrian corporate chains." Bruce Tharp said the loss of Barbour's and Richland Market and the Snack Shack means "It is not Ceres without."
A photo posted by Dewey Treat of his mother and workers of Hendy's Drive-In elicited some responses. Hendy's used to be where the freeway is today on the west side of Fourth and El Camino. Pamela Olson, who was last in Ceres in 1977, remembered "The very first time my parents let me take their car I stopped at Hendy's and someone backed into the side of their brand new car." Betty Ellis Jones recalled the great tasting hamburgers and asked Treat is he knew the recipe of the sauce." Sadly, he said he didn't. Noel Thornton volunteered the information that Henderson, the owner, put up an old drum with cables between two palm trees "so people could ride it or try to." Walt Butler remembered the drum and Paul Stewart fell off and sprained his wrist "really bad - wrapped up a month."
A bakery on Fourth Street was remembered by Nawatha Hutson Reed. "Who remembers going to the bakery on Fourth Street, before school, and getting a warm, fresh doughnut for only a nickel?" Linda Bickell Morrison remembered going "after school, first stop post office to see my dad and get a nickel and if he wasn't there everybody there knew to give me a nickel. Best damn donuts."
Good old fashioned antics were remembered too. When somebody posted a picture of the Ceres High bulldog statue introduced in 1995, Craig Barnhart recalled a prominent part of its body being painted and how he laughed at the CUSD maintenance painters "rubbing them with remover."
There is also shade of local character. Greg Young remembered how Jack Greer was the "old guy who used to hang out at Costa Fields a lot" and "ask kids for their autograph" and always smiling.
Lots of people remembered playing box hockey at Whitmore Elementary. Linda Bickell Morrison recalled how fun it was while today's kids are now playing recess games on iPhones and iPads. Ned Watson remembers getting his finger "mashed from an overenthusiastic Jimmy Tocco to this very day."
Such are the great - and sometimes not so great - memories depicted on the page.
I have long held that small town America holds the best and worst in all of us. This Facebook page is a testimony to that Ceres is no different than the rest.
It's interesting reading, never the less.
How do you feel? Let Jeff know by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org