Oh my gosh. Looking back to my old Running Springs-based newspaper 20 years ago is always such fun. It is amazing how many times things have changed but it’s also a reminder of how they often stay the same. Many of the issues of two decades ago are still ongoing so it’s fascinating to re-read them.
Here’s a few examples of what I printed in the March 17. 1994 issue of my newspaper.
* School District May Abandon Year-Round School. Yep, remember when we were on year-round school at all the elementary schools? The issues involved were quite complex, particularly for schools in the winter when it would snow. By that point, the superintendent, Dr. Fitzpatrick felt the district (and the elected school board) should consider going back to a traditional school year.
* A special meeting of the school district board of trustees had been set for March 24, 1994 to discuss the possible acquisition of Arrowhead Ranch (formerly known as Camp O’Ongo). Obviously, that never took place as the Hwy. 18 acreage in Running Springs is still privately owned.
* The county’s Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) was again studying whether or not the Arrowbear, Running Springs and Green Valley Lake water agencies should consolidate. Every so many years LAFCO (the state agency that is in charge of consolidations) makes this proposal but it’s never taken place. The Running Springs Water District remains an independent special district, the Arrowbear Park County Water District remains and Green valley Lake continues to supply its residents with their own water agency.
* 1994 was the year the Rim High Performing Arts Center was dedication. County Supervisor Barbara Riordan officiated at the ceremony and the school’s drama department began using the facility on March 21. Rim High students served as guides for tours of the new facility as well as acting as guides to show the public many of the other changes at the school. Another news item dealt with the fact that the school district was moving forward with a partnership with Blurock Partnership for concept drawings and the preliminary planning for a new school, Lake Gregory Elementary.
* I published a photo of Charles Hoffman Elementary School PTA President, Sue Brown, with longtime Running Springs resident Ella Burmeister. I took the photo was taken at the school’s Founder’s Day ceremony on March 7. For years and years Ella was in charge of the school’s cafeteria and the lucky staff members and students (still) remember the wonderful smell of freshly-based bread that wafted from “Ella’s” kitchen.
* The front page of this issue included a photo of eight people at the Running Springs Elementary School Founder’s Day. Chief Dan Wurl accepted an award for the department’s Honorary Service Award. Other honorees included Lynna Stufkosky (who, at the time, I believe) was PTA president. Wonderful teacher (and perhaps principal at that time) Jim Sims received a special “ongoing recognition). Jim’s wife Kathi (who just died a few days ago) was pictured next to him. Longtime CHE teacher Judy Stutz and her husband Lynn were also there along with honoree Elaine Tipton.
* Don and Julie Jones had an ad announcing the birth of their granddaughter, Elizabeth Ann. The proud parents were Travis and Jill Graham of Running Springs.
* The Golden Oaks were busy preparing for their annual Spring Craft Faire . The meeting included a magic show by Reverend Jim Hickman (who I believe was the pastor, at that time) of Rim Community Church. Member Gordy Fitzgerald gave the trustee’s reported that was submitted by Herb Stephens. He said that 325 bags of clothing and miscellaneous items had been donated to various service groups. This project has taken 65 man hours to coordinate and deliver the clothing.
The Golden Oaks planned a trip to the Ramona Pageant.
* A fundraiser for the Rim of the World Search and Rescue team was set to feature the popular musical duo of Steve Lawless and Del Yount (of Piano and Song). The duo gave a benefit performance at the historic Mission Inn. (I attended that event and it was fabulous!) The concert was on April 17 and the proceeds were donated to the Rim of the World Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue Team. (The Rim Search and Erscue Team was formed in 1968 to provide the sheriff’s with a search and rescue resource for the San Bernardino Mountain area from the Cajon Pass to Lakeview POint (past Snow Valley at the beginning of the Arctic Circle.) At this point the organization was holding a fundraiser to replace the 1968 ambulance which had been originally used by the Lake Arrowhead Fire Department and was in dire need of being replaced. Tickets for this event were $30.
* Wonderful Vera Franton, who was the former owner of Czech Made Restaurant in Arrowbear (now Blondie’s). was inviting everyone to a Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner at her restaurant, “Old Country Coffee Shop and Diner” that is now Running Springs Coffee Shop in “Smiley Corner.” By the way, speaking of Smiley Corner, did you know there used to be gas pumps in front of the auto parts store? Well, now you do!
* Sleigh Belles was under new ownership on Hilltop Blvd. This decades-long business had wonderful merchandise including quality sportswear, lingerie, beautiful jewelry and many other items. In the winter it was the place to go to get boots, gloves, hats and snowsuits. I miss Sleigh Bells. It was located between Dutch’s Liquor Store and Sudsy Belle Laundromat.
* Did you know that many years ago (and I do mean many) there used to be gas pumps in front of what was Don Pepe’s Mexican restaurant? From what I’ve heard from people “in the know” many movie stars, on their way to have a great time at the Selznick or Walter Houston estates (in what is now Rimwood Ranch) stopped and got gas at the station, including Katherine Hepburn.