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Visit the Oak Glen School House Museum

Thursday, December 10th, 2009


Contributed Photos

OAK GLEN, CA – The winners of the 2009 Photo Contest held at the Oak Glen School House Museum were announced recently.

The schoolroom was filled with families and friends of the contestants, who were awarded certificates of participation by the Oak Glen School House Museum and Park Association. All of the photographs submitted are beautiful.

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Check out Yucaipa vs. Rialto Carter football photos

Monday, November 16th, 2009


By BOB OTTO / Photographer & Writer

YUCAIPA, CA – The Yucaipa Thunderbirds and the Rialto Carter Lions met Friday night in a battle for the fourth place spot in the Citrus Belt League with the Lions taking a 28-7 victory.

See both teams in action by visiting a photo gallery of the game:

Continue To Photo Gallery

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Friday night football puts our troubles on hold

Saturday, September 5th, 2009


Summit and Etiwanda high schools’ played an exciting game won by Etiwanda, 20-17, in the closing minutes, but the game also gave us fans a few hours respite from our cares and worries.
By BOB OTTO / Writer & Photographer

COLONY HIGH SCHOOL, ONTARIO, CA – The news of late has been downright depressing: “Budget deficits expected to reach $9-trillion in 10 years,” “Arson suspected in Oak Glen and Yucaipa fires,” and “Worst downturn (unemployment) in decades.”

Who could blame us if we buried our heads under our pillows and hid from the world in a state of worry and depression?

(To see photo gallery and slide show of the game, click on the gallery link at the end of the story.)

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Oak Glen Fire being fought from the air

Sunday, August 30th, 2009


Fighting the Oak Glen fire near Yucaipa from the air.

YUCAIPA, CA – The Oak Glen fire started about 2:45 p.m. in the foot hills about five miles east of Yucaipa. The fire is located east of Bryant Street and south of Oak Glen Road, about half way between the mountain village of Oak Glen and Yucaipa.

The terrain is covered with thick, dry brush, which makes battling the fire with fire fighters nearly impossible, so the fire is being fought from the air with airplane tankers and helicopters dropping fire retardant material and water on the flames.

Officials have yet to release any information about the cause of the fire. News reports stated that the fire was zero percent controlled as of 6:30 p.m.

Hot weather over the past four days, exceeding 100 degrees and coupled with extremely low humidity, has contributed to the outbreak of several fires in Southern California since Friday.

Lunch boxes attract visitors on the I-5

Monday, August 10th, 2009


Lunch boxes fill the shelves in the dining area of the Apricot Tree Restaurant near Firebaugh, California.

APRICOT TREE RESTAURANT, Firebaugh, CA – Speeding north or south on the Interstate 5 at 80 miles per hour, the off ramps become a blur as I sail on by. But there’s one off ramp I try not to miss when I travel to northern California or Oregon. The Panoche Road exit near Firebaugh and located between Fresno and Los Banos.

Panoche Road leads to the Apricot Tree Restaurant. And for me a step back into my childhood days.

For lined up in neat rows high on the restaurant’s walls in the dining area are about 400 vintage lunch boxes. Now the story goes – according to our talkative waiter – that the value of these little mettle boxes soars well into the six-figure range.

An Internet search confirms that these vintage and retro lunch boxes in which many kids carried their peanut butter sandwiches, carrot sticks, and thermos filled with milk to school in the 1950s, 60s’ and 70s’ indeed command premium prices.

As a little kid of the 1950s I was fascinated with cowboys and horses. So my wife Nanette and I took a table in the western theme section of the restaurant. My favorite TV show in the ‘50s was the Lone Ranger featuring the masked man and his sidekick, Tonto. And up above me on a shelf next to Little House on the Prairie sat the Lone Ranger lunch box.

(“A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust, and a hearty “Hi-yo, Silver!” The Lone Ranger!”… “Who was that masked man? He’s the Lone Ranger!”)

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When commanding officers speak, I follow orders

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

By Bob Otto / Freelance Reporter-Photographer
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YUCAIPA, CA – The weather has been cloudy and drizzly the past week in Southern California. The kind of weather where one puts off washing the family car until the sun reasserts its warm, dominant self, right?

Wrong. My mother-in-law Angie is leaving Thursday on a vacation to Minnesota and both she and my wife decided the van needed a washing.

No problem. I’ll do it, I offered.

“Can you wash it Sunday?” my wife asked me on Saturday.

“But it’s cloudy and looks like rain. It’s supposed to clear up later in the week, I’ll wash it then before she leaves,” I countered.

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