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Remembering two community giants now gone
Recently the community of the Ceres learned of the passing of two of my old neighbors and friends. Both had lead interesting lives and had many accomplishments and legacies effecting not only their immediate families but those that lived near them.

Their names were Maryellen Berryhill, who lived about three miles south of us on Central Avenue on Taylor Road; and Medrick Perra who lived about a half mile north of us on a small acreage producing walnuts.

Maryellen's husband, Clare Berryhill, and I attended Ceres Schools from 1933 until 1943. We played high school football, ran around together and even made an unauthorized auto trip to Reno over Sonora pass after leaving Ceres Union School in 1943, along with James Sanders, class of 1942 when he was home on leave from basic Army training in Colorado in the Berryhill family's Blue Dodge sedan.

In the 1960's, Maryellen presented to Polly and I two paintings shown here from her hands, showing her ability as an artist. One is a painting of our little red house and leaning umbrella tree built by my father well before my birth. The other is the old St. James Episcopal Church built in 1879 on the north end of Washington Street in Sonora. They have adorned the walls of the many homes we have lived in these past 40 some years and are two of our prized possessions!

Our kids played and attended school together just as Clare and I had done long ago. They stayed overnight at each other's houses and remain the best of friends today!

So let's not forget Medrick and Maryellen, these two, and the achievements they both have made in the passing scene of this thing called life! For indeed they have, in the words of Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, left "footprints in the sands of time."

Bill Noble may be reached via email at