Technology vs. nature’s wisdom

The following article first appeared in the Sunday, February 26, 1978 edition of the “Ojai Valley News” on Page A-12. The article is re-printed here with their permission.

Technology vs. nature’s wisdom

Our environment
by John E. Nelson, M.D.

As the torrents of water which fell from the sky eased a bit and we all surveyed the damage to the manmade artifacts surrounding our lives, we could not help but be reminded of our closeness — and vulnerability — to the forces of nature.

Especially sad was the story of the family who lovingly labored with their own hands for nearly two years to build a beautiful new home near a picturesque stream. They had moved in a scant two days before that stream turned into a raging river, severely damaging their house and converting much of their property into a rocky wasteland.

Mankind has traditionally viewed itself as a species whose technology could potentially free it from such whims of nature. An illusion to be sure, this way of thinking has been carried to extremes in our cities where it is possible to exist for weeks without seeing a tree.

Isolated in concrete apartments and steel vehicles, citydwellers feel safe from nature, but vulnerable to each other. So they reinforce their windows with bars and watch television, only to witness scenes of freeways clogged with miles of cars buried under snow and of their neighbors freezing to death in their apartments when the electricity failed.

Here in our rural Ojai Valley we have so far been able to keep in close enough contact with primal energies to know better. We can see firsthand that the primary rule of all nature is change, and that this rule must be respected at all costs.

THIS VALLEY’S RECENT floods began in a monumental change witnessed by no human. The awesome energy of the water we all watched pass through our lives was actually imparted to it hundreds of millions of years ago when the Topa Topa mountains to our north were thrust above the ocean floor by forces we can barely imagine.

Since that time, nature has changed those mountains and our valley with each rainfall, etching first rivulets in the hard rock which became gorges which became canyons in the foothills, finally emerging as fertile alluvial fans covering most of the valley basin.

And simply because we have built houses here in the last 150 years, these changes will not cease. Our best technology will not stop them. We can only seek to understand them so that we ourselves may change in harmony with them.

One means we have developed to help us understand how man-made changes relate to natural changes is the Environmental Impact Report (EIR). By law, an EIR must be ordered by any agency who must rule on changes which may have a “substantial adverse impact” on our environment. A well-prepared EIR will bring expert minds to bear on the potential problems inherent in any anticipated change.

A good idea. But obviously, the words “substantial” and “Adverse” are open to interpretation by the powers-that-be who can file a “negative declaration” allowing them to bypass this vital process. This is often done with shortsighted impunity, such as recently occurred when the city and county planned to chop down 17 trees to widen and reroute South Montgomery Street.

Fortunately, a public outcry put a halt to that misguided project.

BUT MORE CHALLENGES are forthcoming. The recent floods will undoubtedly renew efforts for concrete channelization of the waterways which course through our valley. Those who seek to establish the primacy of technology over the wisdom of nature will argue that these sterile Los Angles-type canals are necessary to protect our homesites.

The futility of such thinking was recently demonstrated on Old Creek Road where the county decided to “improve” a natural river-bed crossing with a high concrete edifice. Although a lot and homesite just downstream survived the great floods of 1935 and 1969, this time the water cascaded across the new obstacle in its path, crashing down to opposite side with such force that it formed a giant whirlpool which swept away 20 feet of the lot.

Such events make clear the fact that all the desirable and safe homesites in the Ojai Valley are already filled. The only way we can cram more people in is to put then in precarious perches or destroy the few remaining undeveloped green belts and natural water channels.

Rather than changing nature to create an illusion of safety, wouldn’t it be better to let nature’s inevitable wisdom shape our future changes?

THE EXTREMES of nature which turn a peaceful river valley into a raging flood path help to teach us the need for thorough environmental planning. (Seba photo)

Water candidates tackle key issues

The following article first appeared on the front page of the Sunday, February 26, 1978 edition of the “Ojai Valley News”. It is reprinted here with their permission .

Water candidates tackle key issues
Editor’s note: At 7 p.m. on March 1, Candidates George Purvis and Earl Hansen will square off in a candidate’s night sponsored by the Ojai Valley Chamber of Commerce at World University.
by Tom Murphy

In the March 7 election, voters in District 4 of the Casitas Municipal Water District (Oak View and surrounding areas) will vote on a recall movement against their representative to the district’s board. Earl Hansen is a man who does not want to be recalled. His opponent, George Purvis, claims to be a man who does not even want to run, but has led the move to have Hansen ousted.

Purvis started working on water issues in 1945 when he first moved to Oak View with his wife and realized there was very little water to be had. In 1952 he became publicity chairman for the steering committee of what is now CMWD. He was elected to the board of directors when the district incorporated in 1952 and did not step down until his retirement in 1970.

“THIS IS THE last thing I ever wanted to do, to come back to the board. You’ll have to take my word on that. I thought some knowledgeable person would come forth and run. We need somebody who is knowledgeable and ready to go to work,” says Purvis, in explanation of his campaign bid.

As leader of the Oak View Utilities Investigation Committee (OVUIC), Purvis has promoted the recall movement, which has two basic complaints about present district policy. The first is the proposed conjunctive use agreement with the City of Ventura. The second is the disparity between water rates for residential, commercial and agricultural users.

The conjunctive use agreement would grant Ventura up to 6,000 acre-feet of water per year from Casitas Dam if the water they were able to draw from the Ventura Rivera at Foster Park should ever fall below that figure. The water would be delivered free of charge. In exchange, the district would be able to divert 20 cubic feet of water per second into the Los Robles Diversion Canal from the river.

PURVIS MAINTAINS that the agreement is designed to ward off a threatened riparian rights lawsuit by Ventura against the district and could leave the district without a sufficient water supply during droughts. He also says the pact may spark similar agreements with other riparian users.


The challenger claims that the 20 cubic feet per second the district would get in return would not make up the possible 6,000 acre-foot loss. He also condemns the free water allocation saying the district might incur pumping costs to give Ventura the last of the district water is a severe drought hit.

The second matter revolves around a district rate structure Purvis says was designed by Hansen and former director (and now planning commissioner) Glenn Zogg, who recently endorsed Hansen in the upcoming vote. Pumping rates in the district, which used to vary dependent on the user’s proximity to the supply, are now equalized and charges for water by different users vary widely depending on the use.

According to present rates, Purvis says, a domestic user pays $161 per acre-foot of water. Under a commercial discount, businesses get the water for just $61 per acre-foot , and agricultural users get the biggest saving of all buying their water for just $25 per acre-foot under a discount similar to the Land Conservation Act’s decreased taxing scheme.

Purvis attacks the rates as discriminatory and notes that the rates for agricultural users do not even cover the cost of pumping and storage. In making up the difference, he claims, the other district customers are actually subsidizing agriculture.


RESIDENTS in District 4 used to pay only $8.77 per acre-foot of water to cover pumping charges in the district because they are located in the region closest to the lake. Residents in the Upper Ojai used to pay significantly more. Now the rate is $39 throughout CMWD.

Purvis charges that one of Hansen’s efforts in office as the District 4 representative has been to equalize the rates for all district customers and that this effort has significantly raised the pumping rates in the district as a result.

As the target of the recall, Hansen is in an obvious defensive position. He is upset by the recall because it is aimed at him personally instead of at the board as a whole.

“A lot of people ask me why I just don’t chuck it. Well, I can’t. All I want to do is vindicate myself. And I intend to run again. Of course, if the recall is successful, that may change,” he says.

He answers Pruvis’ complaints about the water rate differentials by saying he merely went along with the board’s decision to adopt the rates, and is not singly responsible for them, though he admits he and Zogg were “probably” on the committee that recommended them to the board.

On the question of the pumping charges, Hansen replies that the single rate system was recommended by a consultant hired when Purvis was on the board and that if makes sense when considering that the differing pumping costs to the district were gradually diminishing due to fluctuations in energy costs and that the cost of pumping in Oak View was lower than the Upper Ojai partly because so much water was being pumped to the Upper Ojai.

Hansen says he is upset by the recall because is it costing the district between $2,500 and $3,000 which will have to be paid by the consumers and he notes there has been no effort to start a recall in any other district, though the issues are virtually the same throughout the district.

ON THE offensive, Hansen asserts that he was responsible for obtaining a new water system for the Oak View area after Purvis failed to do so while on the board, that he helped to cancel the district’s debt from the old Rio Vista Water Company customers, he is actively pursuing the provision of district land for the Oak View Community Center, he has aggressively sought to protect water quality and supply while a director, and he is partly responsible for a drop in the district tax rate of 22%.

Hansen says that he is being forced to run a second time for the same office and that the process trying to drive him from the board will , in the long run, discourage qualified and dedicated candidates from entering the public arena — a factor which hurts the public in the end.

Realtors: time is right to buy home

The following article first appeared in the Sunday, May 21, 1967 edition of “The Ojai Valley News and Oaks Gazette” on Page A-4. That newspaper in now the “Ojai Valley News”. The article is reprinted here with their permission. The author is unknown.

Realtors: time is right to by home

“The Time is Right to Buy a Home” is the theme of the 1967 Realtor Week celebration this week by the 75 members of the Ojai Valley Board of Realtors, Effie Skelton, board president, announced today.

In honor of Realtor Week, a number of observances have been scheduled as Realtors in this area join with their more than 85,000 colleagues across the nation directing public attention to their calling and special character of the services they render.

“A Realtor,” said Mrs. Skelton , “is a profession in real estate who subscribes to a strict code of ethics as a member of the local and state boards and the National Associations of Real Estate Boards.”

The term Realtor, which is a coined term and trademark, can be used only by members of the National Association and its local boards.

In discussing the Code of Ethics, it was one of the first such codes adopted in the history of American business. Under it 30 articles which cover all aspects of real estate transaction, Realtors pledge fair treatment and their total real estate knowledge to both parties of a contract — the buyer and seller.

Realtor week will continue through Saturday, May 27. The slogan this year underscores the resourcefulness of Realtors throughout the nation. For the prospective buyer who is experiencing a little difficulty in securing financing for property, the Realtor can suggest new money sources. For the family which needs more space for growth, the Realtor can fill their needs, both as to size and cost.

The local board was founded in 1962. The parent group, the National Association or Real Estate Boards, was founded in 1908, with offices in Washington, D.C. and Chicago.

1967 will continue to be a busy year for the Ojai Valley Board of Realtors. Last year some members assisted in the Heart Fund Drive, others with the Ojai Valley Museum, one on the Architectural Board, also, a committee working with the high school, in which the board is sponsoring an essay contest for a Calif. Real Estate Assn. scholarship. The board will enter a float in the 4th of July parade in Ojai.

They received a plaque for first award in 1966. They have committees covering local and civic affairs, as well as legislation.

Preditors take over Pony league lead

The following article first appeared in the Sunday, May 21, 1967 edition of “The Ojai Valley and Oaks Gazette” on Page A-4. This newspaper is now the “Ojai Valley News”. The article is reprinted here with their permission. The author is unknown.

Preditors take over Pony league lead

Righthander Dennis Taylor hurled the defending champion Preditors into first place May 16 when he fired a one-hit 9-2 win, defeating the Lions.

The only Lions hit in the abbreviated five inning game was a single by Jim Conrad in the second inning. The Preditors broke open a 1-1 tie in the third when they scored four runs on two hits, two walks and two hit batsmen. In the fourth the Preditors padded their margin with four more. Preditors batters collecting hits were Glen Schrader with a single and a double; Ken Marsh with a single and a double; and Dennis Taylor, Tony Edwards, Jim Strasser and Randy Dill all singled.. The victory gives the Preditors a 2-0 record while the Lions have a 2-1 mark.

C & C, behind the two hit pitching of Gary Gartrell in a five inning contest, won their first game of the season with a 3-2 victory over I.T.I. Monday, May 15.

C & C scored three runs in the bottom of the initial frame and then held on to win. Gartrell got the rally going when he spanked a double to left-center and came home on Kent Sandefur’s triple. Mike Hardy raced home on Rick Larson’s run-scoring single. Gartrell led the winners with a 3-3 performance, including two doubles while Mike Martin had a single. For I.T.I. Drew Robertson went 2-2 with a pair of RBI’s.

Look Back in Ojai, May Day 1958

The following article first appeared in the Friday, May 1, 2020 edition of the “Ojai Valley News” on page B8. It is reprinted here with their permission.

Look Back in Ojai, May Day 1958
Drew Mashburn
for the Ojai Valley Museum

Mrs. Sutherland was my kindergarten teacher at Ojai Elementary School. Kindergarten was a blast, but I could hardly wait to move up to first grade so I could be on the other side of the chain link fence with the Big Kids. I managed to graduate kindergarten on my first try.

So, in 1957 I got moved to the other side of the fence. My room was in the northern wing that faced the kindergarten. I can remember a girl in our class swallowing a nickel and being escorted out of the room by the school nurse. I remember another girl peeing in her chair and it running off onto the floor. I found both events fascinating! I don’t recall my teacher’s name, but I do recall Mr. Theriault working with me on my colors. I think he figured out I was color blind after I asked my Mom why I was the only kind that had “green” bread sandwiches. Brown bread looked green to me (still does).

I didn’t know it at the time, but Topa Topa Elementary School was being built. Bidding was put out for construction of the school in May 1957. I’m not sure when construction began. But according to a caption under a photo of the school in the Thursday, October 24, 1957 edition of THE OJAI AND VALLEY NEWS, the institution was taking shape even though strikes and early rain slowed progress. The place was almost ready for paint, more concrete still needed to be poured and interior work needed to be completed. Builders were hoping construction would be done by the end of November.

Things must have progressed pretty much on time because, according to an article in the Thursday, December 5, 1957 edition of THE OJAI AND VALLEY NEWS, the new school was ready to receive its first students the next Monday. I learned to count in school. So, that was December 9th.

The weekend before school opened for the first time, the Ojai Lions Club built metal-pipe bicycle-racks and placed them on the front grounds.

School opened with a flag-raising ceremony conducted by Boy Scout Troop 501. Students, teachers and school officials were in attendance. Among those officials were Principal William Mackenness and District Superintendent A. A. Herman. Part of the ceremony included presentation of classroom keys to the faculty.

I don’t remember much about the ceremony. Not because it wasn’t memorable, but because I was only a first grader. What I do remember is being almost awestruck by everything being so new!!! Now, Ojai Elementary School was a pretty neat school, but it was old and looked old. At Topa Topa, not only the buildings were new, the asphalt was black with crisp white lines on it! The blackboards were actually black! I had a new modern school desk! It was WONDERFUL! I was elated with my surroundings and Mrs. Florence Earhardt was my teacher. I adored her!

Topa Topa opened with first through sixth grades. We didn’t have to put up with any immature underclassmen kindergartners. When May came along, the entire school participated in a May Day Festival. My classmate Gail Gartrell and I were selected as Queen & King of the event. We were the two shortest kids in our class. Seems like sixth graders should have held this honor, but I guess because there weren’t any kindergartners and sixth graders aren’t as cute as first graders, school officials decided to go with Gail and I. It just dawned on me after all these years … Gail and I must have been the shortest kids in the school of 163 pupils! (I was taller than that pipsqueak Gartrell). The worst part of being the King was having to hold Gail’s cootie-covered hand! Honestly, I don’t really recall much about the festival, but am happy to report, Gail and I have been buddies for all these years.

Many people around these parts think I’m a nobody, but I was in the first class to ever go clear through sixth grade and graduate for Topa Topa. And, I’m an educated King! Go, Gophers!

King Drew
King Drew yanking away from Queen Gail’s cootie-covered hand!
King Drew & Queen Gail arriving to the festival on their float
Queen Gail & King Drew departing the May Day Festival

YES, the job presents myriad of challenges

The following article first appeared in the Wednesday, November 25, 1987 edition of the “Ojai Valley News” on Page A-6 under “Another Voice“. The newspaper called this a “Silver Pen” article. It is rewritten here with the newspaper’s permission.

YES, the job presents myriad of challenges
By Arlou Mashburn
Special to The News

When invited by Duke Tully and Verne Peyser to “share thoughts on the problems of today,” my first thought was to interpret the word, problems, into the word, challenges . . . a technique I often use to put myself into a more positive attitude.

New challenges challenge me daily; especially in the Ojai Valley Youth Employment Service where I am the executive director, so I will address these issues.

The ever present challenge, and the No. 1 on YES’s list of concerns is: THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH QUALITY JOBS WITHIN THE OJAI VALLEY FOR THE YOUNG PEOPLE WHO APPLY FOR THEM. Because Ojai is family oriented, it has more youth among its citizenry than many communities, and because the valley’s growth is limited, there are fewer jobs. Isn’t that what is referred to as a “Catch 22”?

Impacting the above is YES’s second accelerating challenge: THERE IS INADEQUATE FUNDING TO CONTINUE YES’S METHOD OF OPERATION. A non-profit organization, run by volunteers, YES must create it own funding.

A common misconception I hear is that a “mysterious” source backs YES. That is not the case. YES has received a portion of its budget from the United Way of Ventura County, however, that allocation was trimmed due to the increased number of human services agencies applying for financial assistance from the United Way for 1988 . . . an annual appeal.

In the past when federal revenue sharing was available, the city, recognizing what a viable service YES was to its citizens, designated a portion of the monies allocated to it to YES. This source of revenue is no longer available.

Because YES is located in the Ojai Unified School District Building (formerly the Ojai Elementary School) at 414 E. Ojai Ave., many people assume it to be part of the school district. Again, this is not the situation. In fact, YES pays rent to the district for use of the office space plus the use of a copying machine.

Since job opportunities are scarce in the area, our young people gain less work experience than they might if the reverse were true. Ojai businesses are struggling to keep their heads above water in a period of economic stress which prevents them from hiring part-time help. And as we all know, the state is distributing less and less funding to educational programs, so the almost-non-existent career education department and vocational classes in our high school are affected.

One of the ways YES would like to compensate for this lack is to provide workshops emphasizing jobseeking skills, resume writing, job interview techniques, communication skills and other self-improvement classes.

Apprenticeship programs, with volunteers from the community sharing their expertise in exchange for assistance from the young person(s) is a goal YES is reaching for.

These dreams can only become realities if YES receives more financial assistance, moral support, job offerings and volunteers.

Current members of the board of directors include Bill Shouse, president; Jack McClenahan, secretary; and Alice Chesley, treasurer. Others are Bette Bluhm, Pat Gates, Janis Long Nicholas, Jenny Phelps and Kathy Rice-Leary. Allan Jacobs, Joe Matacia and Roy Rodriguez also served this year.

Assisting in the office (which is open from noon until 5:00 p.m. Mondays through Fridays is Elizabeth “Betsy” Gates, formerly a job counselor with Ventura County.

YES was previously open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., but in an attempt to cut back operating expenses, shortened its hours. A telephone answering machine was installed to accommodate those needing to contact YES at other times. The number is 646-4397.

Open 12 months a year, including many holidays due to the availability of jobs and job seekers, the only dates of inoperation are New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

YES serves those 13- through 20-years-old. There is not charge for employee or employer for the placement, however, due to the immediate concern for funding to keep the doors open, registration fees are being considered.

Young job aspirants are encouraged to get on file at YES, regardless of the financial status of their families. Most of the employment opportunities are in the residential area.

In its 20th year, YES, despite the previously mentioned problems . . . oop! challenges . . . must be doing something right, as the saying goes. Only by saying “yes” to YES will Ojai continue to count among its assests the Ojai Valley Youth Employment Services.*

*Ojai Valley YES is one of eight YESes in Ventura County, six of which are operated independent of city assistance. This is the only county in the United States whose major towns/cities provide this service free of government help.


The following article first appeared in the November 13, 1980 edition of “Paydirt”. “Paydirt” was the newsletter for the now defunct Property Administration Agency. It was a “County of Ventura” agency.  

T. Drew Mashburn

YEAH! October is here! Summer is over!!! It’s time for a breather. This isn’t suppose to be any fancy written expose’. I just thought I’d share my summer experience with you. Ever wonder what a Park Ranger really does? I figure summer runs from Memorial Day weekend through September in our parks.
— I put out a trashbin fire on the Rincon Parkway.
— I extinguished a vehicle fire on the Rincon Parkway.                                                — I saw several foxes, many owls, quite a few red tree squirrels, and opossum and a doe in Soule Park.  (Did you know that we’ve even had bears and a mountain lion in Soule?)                                                                                                  — I had at least two camping trailers and one car towed away for non- payment of fees.
— I replaced at least two dozen wooden toll gate arms at Soule and Foster Parks. A large percentage of the public still doesn’t understand that taxes no longer support their parks. We’ll get them educated though! Our county fair booth did a good job of that. (Good job, Doyle!)
— I out maneuvered at least 693 biting dogs. You ought to see this chubby boy cook when he sees fangs!
— I explored recently discovered Chumash Indian rockart in one of our parks. (Sorry, the location is still a secret until we have a means of protection.)
— I celebrated my 6th anniversary with the Parks Department.
— I was in charge of operations for the Rincon Parkway during the first summer of existence. (Phewie!!!)
— I supervised many fine seasonal Rangers on our newly instituted Reserve Ranger Program. Man, were they ever a big help! Thanks, gang!
— I personally collected around $19,060 in various types of fees, but it seems more like a million!
— I got beat out my “Yosemite” John for the new Senior Ranger position. That’s all right though. I’ve go him trained the way I want him. (Heh, heh. Just kiddin’ buddy. Welcome aboard!)
— I issued approximately 60 citations for various violations. Hook ’em and book ’em!
— I issued around 200 written warnings.
— I issued at least 100, 932 verbal warnings. (That’s got to be close!)
— I probably racked up about 5,000 miles on my pickup. That’s a lot of windshield time.
— Had one death. Unfortunately a young boy ran out in front of a vehicle on the Rincon Parkway.
— Had several injuries in the parks: A little boy pulled a motorcycle over on top of himself at Hobson and broke his leg. A young woman broke her ankle at Faria tripping over a rock on the beach. Another lady at Faria tripped over a rock and put her upper teeth through her lower lip.  And a middle-aged gal slipped coming down her motorhome steps at Faria which resulted in one sprained ankle and a broken ankle.  I patched up a skin abrasion on a young lad who flopped his bicycle on the asphalt.  (Yep, it happened at Faria too!)
— I had the pleasure (?) of dealing with several “outlaw” bikers most of the summer. Some were Hell’s Angels. They took a liking to a couple of our parks.
— I saw numerous seals, sharks, brown pelicans, bikinis, and various other sea life in the Rincon area.
— I took my first summer vacation since I’ve been with this department. I hit a quarter slot machine at Tahoe for 125 bucks!
— I assisted the C.H.P. and Sheriff’s on a couple of automobile accidents by flagging traffic.
— I answered more visitor complaints than one can comprehend. We get some of the same complaints over and over. By the end of the summer I thought I was a tape recorder.
— I saw thousands and thousands of smiling faces on our park visitors. I take each one of these smiles as a compliment to our department and they heavily out weigh the complaints I have to answer. The smiles make it all worth while.

All in all, it was a good summer. It was pretty busy, but pretty mild as far as problems go.


The following article first appeared in “THE OJAI” newspaper on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 1955. “THE OJAI” is now the “Ojai Valley News”. The article is reprinted here with their permission. The author is unknown.


A “Sunday in the park” atmosphere combined with perfect weather and the attractive surroundings of Orchidtown to make the Junior Women’s Club fashion show a delightful occasion Sunday afternoon

A concert by the Ojai Valley Civic Orchestra with Alan Rains conducting was the first attraction on the program, playing a medley of musical comedy favorites.

Commentator for the fashion show was Mrs. Peg Wells of Hickey Brothers, who introduced the models and described their ensembles as the latest styles were paraded beside the Orchidtown swimming pool.

Clothes for all occasions — sports, shopping, evening and even night wear — from the Little Acorn, Hickey Brothers, Fitzgerald’s, and the soon-to-be opened Campus Shop — proved that the woman shopping for her wardrobe in Ojai can be very well turned out indeed.

The large audience applauded the models, as well as their frocks, as they demonstrated professional grace and charm, from the youngsters who modeled sub-teen outfits, to the Junior Women’s Club members, to Mrs. Elizabeth Taylor, who wore the latest designs in half-sizes.

Outstanding trend was the hip-length, boxy jacket, with definite lack of emphasis on the normal waistline in suit jackets. Heather tones and purple were much in evidence, as were iridescent fabrics. Short dance dresses were excitingly designed; from handwoven ones to a dramatic white fitted gown with net ruffle coming into being just at the knee line.

Men’s fashions, too, came in for their share of attention, with dark-on-dark tones causing a good deal of interest.

At the conclusion of the fashion show, refreshments were served at tables on the lawn.

AFTER THE FASHION SHOW given by the Junior Women’s Club at Orchidtown Sunday, three principals in the afternoon event talk it over and agree the whole thing was fun. Left to right: model Mrs. George Love; commentator Mrs. Peg Well; and Mrs. Jerry Gustafson, president of the club.
— The Ojai Staff Photo

Name most valuable of Ranger gridders

This article first appeared in the Sunday, December 18, 1966 edition of “The Ojai Valley News and Oaks Gazette” on Page A-5. That newspaper is now the “Ojai Valley News”. The article is reprinted here with their permission.

Name most valuable of Ranger gridders
Tim Tuttle

All Tri-Valley League tackle Jim Sandefur was honored along with the Nordhoff football squads and cross-country team in their annual banquet last Tuesday night. He won the Rangers most valuable player and best lineman award of the Tri-Valley league champions. The voting was done by his teammates.

Sandefur actually took home three awards, as he was also voted team captain along with all-league center Steve Olsen. Other special awards went to senior halfback John Hodge and junior tackle Bill Shields. They won the most valuable back and most improved awards this year.

The Mainstay

Tackle Sandefur was the mainstay of the Ranger line this year at 6′ 1″, 200 pounds and named all-Tri-Valley league honorable mention last year as center. He was one of three Tri-Valley leaguers who made both offensive and defensive first teams. Besides playing basketball, Jim lettered in varsity baseball last year when he won most inspirational player and was a starting catcher on the Ranger baseball team. One of the highlights of the season, in which Nordhoff compiled a 6-0 league record, was when he drove all-league tackle Chuck Herman all over the field in the game with Bishop Diego.

Hodge didn’t start playing regularly until the fourth game of the season against Carpinteria, but once he started rolling there was no stopping him. He ran 21 yards for a score against Carpinteria, plunged for one against Santa Ynez while he rushed for 92 yards in both of the games, averaging 9.2 against Santa Ynez. He scored three touchdowns against Channel Islands and ended the season with 10 scores. One of the more crucial scores came in the Bishop Diego game on a short run on the third down.

Shields played guard last year on the junior varsity, but when it looked that Nordhoff didn’t have many tackles, Bill shifted over to there. 6′ and 170 pounds Bill has another year at Nordhoff and many people are looking for him to fill Sandefur’s vacated spot.


Winning their first varsity letters in football were sophomores Larry Reynosa and Mike Vail, juniors Steve Holley, Craig King, Marty Jensen, Bobby Hill, Ron Brandolino, Gerry Waddell, David Cain, Gary Morrow, Rick Kambestad, Clem Kenriksen, Bob Hardy. Srs. winning their first letter were Jan Colenbrander, Lee Mason, John Brown, John Higby, Terry Anderson and Richard Colman. Seniors winning their second varsity letter were Mike Cook, John Hodge, Clark Reams, Steve Olsen, Randy Moore, Charles Miller, Ray Bunch, Jim Sandefur and Mike Terry.

Coach Del Garst’s junior varsity took third place once again with a 5-4 record. Selected as best back was Tim Krout, best lineman Ken Hook, most improved player Larry Thomas and Dale Jenkins and Leroy Perry, captains. Coaches Lasley and Garst presented J. V. letters to Richard Price, John Sheltren, Jeff Norcott, Carl Silkett, Larry Thomas, Dale Jenkins, Dan Anderson, Kent Campbell, Steve Schaaf, Tim Krout, Bob Braner, Ken Hook, George Conrad, Casey Lasley, David Smith, Steve Gibson, Casey Mansfield, Drew Mashburn, Steve Milroy, Larry Sisk, Bruce Wolsey, Brett Cuthbert, Rick Love, Leroy Perry, Charles Howard, Randy Magner, Curt Fischer and David Rice.

Coached by Bob Heller, Nordhoff Thinclads took second place behind a strong Channel Islands squad. The special awards were presented to Mike Chambliss for most valuable player; Pat Harwell for varsity most improved; and Jerry Lindquist for most team spirit. Dan McKinney was awarded junior varsity most improved. Earning varsity letters were Mike Chambliss, Bill Borgeson, Scott Maggard, Dennis Clegg, Pat Harwell, Dan McKinney, Randy Isham, Greg Stafford and manager Luke Hall.

LOOK BACK IN OJAI with Drew Mashburn

The following article first appeared in the Spring 2019 (VOLUME 37 NUMBER 1) issue of the “Ojai Valley Guide” magazine on pages 154 and 155. The magazine is published by the “Ojai Valley News”. The article is reprinted here with their permission.

Want to know what it smells like under the Jack Boyd Center?
Drew Mashburn knows!
Drew Mashburn

I admit it! I’m addicted to coffee. I mean real coffee. Strong and black!

Several years ago, my dear wife bought my favorite coffee mug at Rains Department Store. On it there is a black-and-white photo of downtown Ojai, looking west, when Ojai was called Nordhoff. The photo is mainly of the then-new Arcade. How do I know this? Because at the far left edge of the photo is the post office bell tower as it’s being built. It has scaffolding all around it and the domed top has yet to be added. So, the photo was most likely taken in late 1916 or early 1917 because construction was completed prior to the first Ojai Day that was held April 7, 1917.

Edward Drummond Libbey of Libbey Glass had the common-looking, old, western-style downtown — with its wooden boardwalks and false fronts — made over to create the beautiful downtown architecture we have today. But, he didn’t mess with the Ojai State Bank or the Jack Boyd Memorial Club that were prominent structures on Main Street and east of his new and grand post office. I’m not sure as to why, but I suspect that they were simply too magnificent in appearance to justify changing, or he had a gut feeling that if he did, he’d get his new-to-town butt kicked by longtime Nordhoff folks who loved those old buildings.

The Ojai State Bank’s architectural style was neoclassical with tall, heavy columns that looked like Rome to me. I understand it was built of brick. After Libbey had the Arcade, Pergola and Post Office in the downtown done over in the plaster/stucco-sided Mission Revival style of his liking, the old bank must have really clashed with them in appearance. It was located where the public parking lot is at the east end of the Pergola.

The Jack Boyd Memorial Club sat on the east side of the Ojai State Bank and along Ojai Creek (aka East Barranca). It was a masculine-looking building with a dark roof of wooden shingles and its covered porches were supported by very thick wooden posts. The Craftsman Bungalow-style building was built in 1903 to be a clubhouse for men. If ol’ Edward had dared to change the appearance of this sacred-to-the-community men’s-folk clubhouse, I’m fairly sure his hide would have been stretched above it’s fireplace mantel.

But, change is inevitable. I’m not sure exactly when, but the Ojai State Bank was acquired by the Bank of America. It set up shop in the old building for a number of years and, somewhere along the line, the bank wound up owning the Jack Boyd Memorial Club. In fact, in 1956, the Bank of America decided to build a new bank on the lot occupied by the Jack Boyd Memorial Club. The bank needed to rid itself of the old clubhouse. The Lions Club offered to take it off the bank’s hands, but members changed their minds when they heard that the city of Ojai was tossing around the idea of building a community recreation center. Upon hearing this, the Lions suggested that the city take ownership of the old men’s clubhouse and have it moved to a suitable site. That happened in February 1957. It was decided the Jack Boyd Memorial Club would be moved to Sarzotti Park.

The “Jack Boyd Memorial Club” being moved from its location on the west bank of Ojai Creek (AKA: East Barranca) out onto Ojai Avenue in February 1957. The building was moved to Sarzotti Park.

I was a few months short of being 6 years old, so I wasn’t downtown to witness the Boyd Club being raised up off its foundation and onto the trailer and big truck used to move it east on Ojai Avenue. Believe it or not, Mom and Dad didn’t let me hang alone downtown at that age, but I was aware the Boyd Club was going to be headed up Park Road. We lived on East Aliso Street and our home backed up to Sarzotti Park. My neighborhood buddies and I rode our bikes down to the street and watched the crew move the old building from Ojai Avenue onto Park Road.

We probably drove the crew crazy because, as they ever so slowly moved the building, we kept circling around the truck, trailer and building to witness all we could. We were enthralled with what was going on. At one point, several of us youngsters ditched our bikes and crawled under the trailer because we wanted to see the bottom of the building. I don’t know what the heck we were thinking and some adult guy chased us out from under there. Kids!

The building was offloaded onto heavy, wooden-beam cribbing to where it sits today. I’m not positive, but I think it took two trips to get all of the building from Ojai Avenue to Sarzotti Park. I only recall the one section of building being moved. Guess what? As the building sat there for a few months being readied for lowering onto a new foundation, us kids got under it several more times! After all these years, I can still recall how it smelled. It had a strong smell of musty, old wood. Yet, it was a pleasant smell.

The building sat on that cribbing for what seemed like a lifetime to me. I could hardly wait to have it open into the new recreation center I had heard it was going to become. My buddies and I would go up there often to check on the progress of the building being permanently set in place.

One time, two of my East Aliso Street buddies (Mike Payton and Mark Kingsbury) were behind the building. I think it was Mike who climbed up a tall pine tree in the row of pines that ran from the western side of the park clear to the east side and just south of the building. Mike was throwing down pine cones to Mark and me. There was all kinds of scrap lumber scattered around the building. Mike flung down a pine cone from his lofty position. Mark and I stepped back in an attempt to catch it. I stepped onto a 16d nail that was protruding through a piece of scrap wood. When I lifted up my foot, the wood lifted up off the ground as well. It really freaked me out! I really buried that big ol’ nail into my heel. I think it went clear up to my tailbone. All I could think about was what Mom had told me about stepping on a a rusty nail . . . that being, you can get lockjaw from it! I pulled the nail and chunk of wood loose, then hightailed it for home at close to the speed of sound. Mark could usually run as fast as me, but he was no match for my speeding frame that day. I think I must have left a sonic boom.

I believe it was about April that the building was set onto its new foundation, then opened for public use that summer. My puncture wound had healed by that time and I didn’t get lockjaw because Mom made me get a dang tetanus shot. So, I was one of the first of the neighborhood kids to get to use the new recreation center, which became known as the Boyd Club, now the Boyd Center.

Oh, I almost forgot. Unfortunately, the Ojai State Bank building was demolished in 1960. I know that its big Roman-looking columns were saved, but I have been unable to locate them.

By the way, in case any of you know of a coffee mug for sale with the Ojai State Bank and the Jack Boyd Memorial Club on it, please let me know where my wife might purchase it for me.

Drew Mashburn is a volunteer at the Ojai Valley Museum.