Skinniest Raccoon Ever: Reality or Ojai Legend?

This article was published in the Ojai Valley News on March 19, 2003. It is reprinted here with their permission. Skinniest Raccoon Ever: Reality or Ojai Legend? by Earl Bates A few Ojai residents say they have seen the elusive “skinny raccoon,” but many people are skeptical about its existence. “I have talked with people […]


The Mason Chronicles (6)

This article was published a few years ago in the Ojai Valley News. It is reprinted here with their permission. Bill Baker’s Bakery Known Near and Far for ‘Made in Ojai’ by David Mason ***** “Do not buy in Ventura or elsewhere what you can buy at Nordhoff, especially when you can get equal value […]


Ranger Bald was a man among men

The following article was printed in the Ojai Valley News probably in the 1960’s or 1970’s because that’s when the author (Ed Wenig) wrote for the newspaper. This article is reprinted here with the permission of the Ojai Valley News. Ranger Bald was a man among men An erect, elderly gentleman riding a spirited horse […]


Murky Water

Note: This article was written by Emily Thacher Ayala and first appeared in Edible Ojai, No. 22, Fall 2007. It has been slightly modified and contains additional photographs. Murky Water Until the desert knows That Water grows His sand suffice But let him once suspect That Caspian fact Sahara dies. Emily Dickenson, No. 1291 We […]


Effie Skelton

This story was written by Cricket Twichell.  It is based on a piece she wrote for the Ojai Valley News in the 1980’s.   Effie Skelton This lady knew about small beginnings. Born in Oklahoma around the turn of the century, Effie Skelton weighed in at 1 1/2 pounds. Told there was no way this […]


‘Tis the season for making Chumash baskets

This article first appeared in the 11/09/01 issue of the Ojai Valley News.  It is reprinted here with their permission. ‘Tis the season for making Chumash baskets by Earl Bates People native to the Ojai area had a special intimacy with the plants that perhaps is best evidenced by the baskets they made. “Baskets are […]


The story of the man who Transformed Ojai

The following article was written by Harriet Wenig for the “Ojai Valley News’s” OJAI GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY – 1921 TO 1971 celebratory booklet (page 4). It is reprinted here with the permission of the Ojai Valley News. The story of the man who transformed Ojai The post office tower, the arcade, the park with its tennis […]


Take a walk through the wooded land of Libbey Park

This article was printed in the Ojai Valley News on March 23, 2001. It is reprinted here with their permission. Take a Walk Through the Wooded Land of Libbey Park by Earl Bates Walking through Libbey Park on a recent sunny day, infused with the feeling of springtime, we began taking a closer look at […]


EARLY DAYS–Nordhoff founded dramatically

The following article was printed in the Ojai Valley News,  in 1979. It is reprinted here with their permission. EARLY DAYS—Nordhoff founded dramatically by Ed Wenig Few pioneer towns were founded so dramatically, and with so much fanfare, as was the town of Nordhoff on April 6, 1874. On that evening, R. G. Surdam, promoter-extraordinary, […]