Who knew we would have so much excitement here in Tulare County that I would post a cast of characters. Well, excitement is relative, and things move very slowly around here, so perhaps I just have too much time on my hands.
Pixley, California would be easy to miss. With a population of 2,586 in the 2000 Census, it is about 40 minutes north of Bakersfield and one hour south of Fresno on the Highway 99 in Central California.
Pixley housed a billboard funded by the Milk is Milk Campaign that was tagged back in December. It is also the home of one of the largest producers of milk for Horizon Organic Milk.
Here is a picture of the old 99 in Pixley. In the foreground on the right is a Mexican restaurant that, many years ago, served just about the best biscuits and gravy you could find anywhere. My cousins always ordered pancakes. I think grandpa wondered if they were “turned funny.”
Here we have what I expect is the former location of that honors system gas station that closed about 30 years ago. (I will inquire with an older generation to verify.) I remember Grandpa stopping, filling up his pickup, and leaving “his mark” on a ledger.
If Pixley sold postcards, they would probably include pictures of their water tower:
The Vander Eyk cows live on 10,000 acres of pasture land somewhere “near Ducor.” Here is Ducor for the curious. I hesitated stopping to take this picture because I have warned people “don’t stop in some of these little towns.” Actually, for as much as I yap on this blog, this is probably a story I shouldn’t tell. But suffice it to say I learned from the incident that Deputy Scott is a bad-ass. He wasn’t even intimidated that the guy had a gun under his over-sized coat. I certainly was, but no one has ever mistaken me for a Sheriff’s Deputy.
But the Vander Eyk cows probably live on land that looks something like the picture below. Right on this part of Avenue 56 is where we broke down back when I was a Sophomore in high school. I was wearing ankle socks with little ruffles on the ends and when the truck carrying asphalt picked us up, I stood on top of the load of asphalt with one leg up on the asphalt hill. My pants hiked up and you could see the frilly sock against the asphalt background. A friend gave me the socks and because I chose to wear them on that particular day, I will never forget them.
Some of the cows in question live near Fountain Springs (just a few miles from Ducor). Besides the saloon, there is a fire station in the area. So in one photo I am able to capture one half of the buildings in Fountain Springs in the picture below. The Fountain Springs Saloon now serves Mexican food and does a pretty good weekend business. If you are looking for a cowboy, this would be a good place to look.
Deputy Scott, Postmaster Dean, and I live in this little town:
With more of these than people:
Here is Postmaster Dean right in our little post office. For the Postmaster Dean fans, you can read about his Bambi Burger nomination on this blog or his fascination with a squirrel.
Two days ago I caught Deputy Scott in Ducor of all places. Here he is on the phone helping out a lost trucker:
This is me at a raw milk rally back in the fall when the recall on Organic Pastures milk was lifted. That’s my son and Organic Pastures owner Mark McAffee. I had a pretty big report due the next day. I hope that’s why I look so tired in the picture.
That’s it for now. I’ll add pictures as I acquire them.
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