The Big Clovis Rodeo


The Big Clovis Rodeo by Carla Jensen

April is just around the corner and that means it’s almost time for the Clovis Rodeo, April 26-29, 2012.

April is rodeo Month in Clovis, California. The month is full of activities including an art show and “Big Hat Days.” The last weekend of the month is the grand finale which includes a pancake breakfast, parade concert and of course the big rodeo.

Our neighbors Joe and Margaret (Snookie) Billalba have donated hundreds of hours to help make the Clovis Rodeo a great event for all who attend. Snookie announces the parade on Saturday with Joe taking on a variety of tasks. If you ask them why they give so much of their time to the Rodeo Association they will tell you because they like to put on a good show that everyone will enjoy. And for the past 23 years we have sure been lucky enough to enjoy the show with them!

So for a really fun old-fashioned parade and rodeo come join us in Clovis the last weekend in April!

Carla Jensen, Clovis, California

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Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge by Barbara J. Hager-Paulsen

On Thursday, March 15, I loaded up the postcards and took off for San Jose, California. I was invited to bring the postcard display to the Peninsula Rug Hookers Guild at the Rose Garden Library. Several people from this guild were participants and it was incredible to meet people (some strangers) who took a leap of faith and mailed me their postcard and California memory. One such intrepid person is Barbara Hager-Paulsen who sent Golden Gate Bridge. The front of the postcard shows Barbara’s hooked version of the bridge and on the back she wrote “We Did It!” 50th Anniversary!

Our family walked the bridge on the 50th Anniversary. The bridge flattened out! Never saw so many people. We also were celebrating my mother-in-laws “70th.” 2012 “the Bridge” turned “75” Happy Birthday! Barbara Hager-Paulsen

It is one thing to read these words on paper and another to listen to Barbara tell what it felt like to be in a crowd of over 500,000 people who met in the middle of the bridge in May of 1987 and felt and heard the bridge flatten out. One of the engineers who was present that day said the combination of weight and wind that day felt like a mild earthquake to people on the bridge. Barbara tells of being in the midst of all these people. Some people fainted and EMTs were unable to make their way to these people because of the crowd. It was a scary event and unknown to the people on the bridge that day engineers were worried about and busy calculating just how much weight the bridge could hold. Needless to say, there will be no bridge walk on the bridge’s 75th Anniversary. The bridge will be open to automobile traffic only! If you want to help celebrate the Gold Gate Bridge’s 75th Anniversary, check out http://www.goldengatebridge75.org/and read about the event.

AT&T Park, San Francisco

AT&T Park, San Francisco by Susan Kleidon

I took the photo that was the inspiration for this piece at the 2011 Giants “Stitch and Pitch” game, where knitters bring their project and knit at the game. It was a beautiful August evening, we had awesome seats right behind home plate, and since I always take a knitting project when I go to a baseball game it was fun to celebrate the art! Susan Kleidon

Orange Grove

Orange Grove by Cai King

To Cai King nothing epitomizes the change of seasons better than the perfume of orange blossoms in the Spring.

My daily commute takes me past miles of orange groves where I am privy to the ebb and flow of Mother Nature’s wardrobe changes, and where, for a few short weeks in April I am surrounded by the narcotic perfume of her orange blossoms. The smell of heaven! So I must admit I get a bit peevish when people say California lacks seasons. When what they really mean to say is we don’t look like the Walmart calendar photos of Fall or Winter. You know which ones I’m referring to: the quaint covered bridge in a blaze of autumnal glory or the cheeky cardinal dining alfresco (more like alfreeze-o) on the last of some crimson berries against a backdrop of a shimmering snowdrift. And while areas in California actually do have displays of traditional autumn & winter colors I am so thankful we are not constricted by these conventions. I once heard a Mexican-American author describe being baffled by the snowy scenes in the Christmas picture books her teacher read. For her, Christmas brought the bright orange and the glossy green colors of the citrus harvest. So can a season, feeling, or memory be defined by only one color palette?

For me, orange groves bring back memories of living in Fontana when I was a young girl. Fontana, the home of Kaiser Steel, is where my younger sister was born at Kaiser Hospital. My parents bought a new house on Granada Ave that was separated from an orange grove by a eucalyptus wind break. What fun we had climbing in the eucalyptus trees and playing in the orange grove. We used to get in trouble all the time when the citrus farmer would come and talk to my Dad about how we had to stay out of his grove. It was too irresistible for us–in winter when the smudge pots were used to keep the oranges from freezing they provided us with warmth and when the fields were being irrigated in other seasons, we could build dams and find hours of entertainment.