Petal Showers

The last of the fragrant fruit blossoms are nearly gone, their pink-and-white petals scattered across the orchards that nestle along the verdant foothills of the High Sierra.

blossom-trail-fresno

By month’s end — the first strawberries #MadeInFresno will be ready for picking. Blackberries and blueberries won’t be far behind. In May, apricots, plums and other stone fruit will begin to ripen.

As the shutters disappear from the roadside stands, their colorful displays of sun-sweetened delights beckon drivers to stop and sample fruits.  Check out http://www.pickyourown.org/CAfresmont.htm#listings

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Clovis’ Dramatic Day

Picture a quiet Tuesday afternoon Feb. 5, 1924, all is well as locals go about their daily business, when a stranger walks into the First State Bank on Pollasky Ave. in Clovis.
The bank manager had stepped out briefly for lunch leaving assistant cashier Thomas Howison alone in the bank. Howison was fairly new to the job recently graduating from college; this was sleepy Clovis after all! Howison greets the stranger with a “How do you do?” while the man puts down a $20 bill asking for change.

Bank heists were a rare occurrence in the Central Valley so Howison had no reason to expect what was about to unfold. It would be another decade before the daring bank robberies by the likes of bandits such as Dillinger and Pretty Boy Floyd. Meanwhile, as the stranger nicknamed The Owl waited for his change, his co-conspirator Felix The Lone Wolf Sloper, slipped in through a rear door creeping up behind the cashier. Howison found himself looking down the barrel of a revolver and was ordered to “stick ‘em up.” Tying his hands behind his back they shoved him into the vault, and quickly looted $31,000; a mix of currency, gold and stocks.

Fleeing the scene, The Owl and The Lone Wolf were surprised by the return of bank Vice President Emory Reyburn! Ordering him into a corner they jumped into their waiting getaway car, stolen earlier in the day. Reyburn gave the alarm as the fleeing bandits made their get-away heading south on Clovis Avenue. Nearby, the Sheriff was at a local elementary school and quickly gathered some boy scouts who happened to be there, giving chase. Pursuit of the robbers was cut short by a trail of roofing nails the bandits had dropped on the road as they fled.

Meeting up with another accomplice, the young and charming Catherine Ryan, girlfriend of the not so lone, Lone Wolf Sloper, the robbers tried to stay low hiding out. Investigators traced the trio to a house in Fresno rented before the Clovis heist. As the pursuit and investigation progressed, led by Sheriff Bill Jones and Deputy Sheriff O.J. King, they uncovered a key piece of evidence left behind… an article of clothing with a laundry tag on it. This lead to where Ryan lived and detectives put her under surveillance. Patience and careful observation eventually led them to the trio who were soon arrested at gunpoint.

Want to hear the rest of the story? Be sure to stop by the Clovis-Big Dry Creek Museum the last SAT of February as the robbery is reenacted with a short mellow drama in the very same bank building, at the southeast corner of Pollasky and Fourth Street.
Meanwhile, why not join our walking adventure Nibbles & Bits of Old Town and hear more stories? We tread through the charming streets of Old Town February 16th walking our way through interesting history, some cool art and even include food tastes along the way… Just $49pp. reserve online at www.AboutTownTaste.com

What is ART?

Dictionary.com succinctly defines: art is the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.

I prefer think of art as whatever makes me feel <insert your own emotion>.

When I saw this image my first impression was, oh, I love the color and texture!

It made me cheerful.

Then my mind went to work; ‘its just an old rusty pipe with color on it’. ‘No, its colorful art’ thus the war of mind over what is.

What is art to you?

Where does one find art?

I find art everyday; in the very ground I tread upon, the simplicity of a rusty pipe with some paint on it. Art is every where if we just care to look.

Michelangelo said it best “The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.”

what will YOU discover?

Want to experience some cool art while we eat our way through a neighborhood? We even add some tasty treats at local eateries too…..Check out our web site and join us for a unique walking adventure on Saturday morning!

Old School Spinner

Spinners Records has been serving the needs of Fresno’s vinyl community for over 20 years as a community institution and repository of the vast history of recorded music. Visitors are constantly amazed at the collection of recordings as well as the posters and art associated with the recording industry. Every inch of space from the ceiling to the walls reveals a gem of musical history. You can find signatures all over the walls from The Dead Kennedy’s to Ted Nugent and Donny would have it no other way. “My brother brought home his first records; Marty Robbins and A Hard Days Night….that was it for me. I was fascinated with the sound” tells Danny, owner of Spinners. “For me music is a form of visual food and you can’t live without food!”

Cut disc records were invented in 1888 and used exclusively in toys until 1894. Edison then introduced a cylinder type record in 1909, of early plastic. Edison’s records were flat discs with an inscribed, modulated spiral groove. Named by the rotational speed at which they are played (“33⅓ r.p.m.”, “45”, “78”, etc.), their time capacity (“Long Playing”), their reproductive accuracy, or “fidelity”, or the number of channels of audio provided (“Mono”, “Stereo”, “Quadraphonic”, etc.). These records were the primary medium used for commercial music reproduction for most of the 20th century. By the late 1980s, digital media had gained a larger market share, and the vinyl record left the mainstream. However, they continue to be manufactured and sold today, used predominantly by DJs for many types of music. More mainstream pop releases tend to be mostly sold in compact disc or other digital formats, but have still been released in vinyl in certain instances.
Spinner’s remains a historic archive of sorts selling used and refurbished top quality old school turntables, amplifiers and speakers to play the old school records on and is your final stop for used records like rock, jazz, country, soul and more from all eras. If we’re lucky when we stop on by next weekend on the next Tower Taste adventure, Donny will be there to enthusiastically share his passion for that visual food of music.
About Town Taste treads into the Tower District Saturday morning 10a 2/19. Come along for a fun morning adventure of food, fun & friends!
Contact for meet up location info@AboutTownTaste.com or 559.392.4471

See us on facebook.com/AboutTownTaste too.

Fresno Across Time

There came a man from the Indian battles of Montana, a gambler of sorts, who gambled big and left us with the city we know today….late 1872, making purchases of dry goods and whiskey he gambled in bribing the railroad conductor to be let off at the new location of Fresno Station. This was forbidden at the time as no freight had yet been allowed south of Merced. When the train neared the stop it slowed but did not stop! Faber rushed to get his supplies as the bribed conductor began tossing everything from the train just north of what we know today as Belmont. This pioneer gathered up everything scattered over a half mile and set up shop in a tent next to the soon to come official train stop becoming the first merchant and resident of Fresno Station, soon joined by others.

Church Ditch Barn 1872 Fresno California.

This humble stop sprouted dirt roads and a few buildings of wood frame. By 1877 it had been named J street. On the corner of Tulare & J stood the office of the Expositor, next door, the boarding house soon named the Jones Hotel.

Expositor office 1874 Fresno California.

Just north of the Expositor, an oddly shaped building emanating loud, unusual noises within. Stepping inside one found the source of the strange emanations; a boiler engine powering a millstone crushing grain for feed stock. Soon it was perfected and began producing fine flour for the town’s new citizens known as Church’s Champion Mill and later relocated further along Fresno Street. Today, this original site is home to the Mason building currently vacant on the upper floors, while retail shops occupy the ground floor. The Mason Building is listed on the Local Register of Historic Places and awaits renovation.

Yale Prof. Vincent Scully states “Architecture is a continuing dialogue between generations which creates an environment across time.” The pioneers who came before us and built our city demonstrate the continuing dialogue of our environment across the pages of time. Join About Town Taste on its next adventure through the streets of our pioneers on the Downtown Art & Architecture adventure January 8th 10a. Call to reserve your spot today: 559.392.4471 $15pp

Photos Courtesy Fresno Co Library & UC Callisphere