Corralitos History Home

Memories from Eva Rippy Pybrum

In the year of 1916 while World War I was going on, Albert Einstein completed his mathematical formulation of a general theory of relativity, which includes gravity. Charlie Chaplin signed on with Mutual Studios and earned an astronomical and unprecedented $10,000 a week, the cost of a first-class postage stamp was $0.02 and on Thursday, March 2, Eva Lorraine Rippy was born to John and Florence Rippy in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. For a period of time when Eva was a baby, the family of three lived in a tent on Wolf Creek Pass while her father worked for the railroad.

Eva recalls:
When I was a baby, I had pneumonia. My parents had to walk a few miles to get me to a doctor. He put a tiny bit of whiskey in my mouth to help me breath. When I was four, I had Typhoid Fever. All my hair came out when I had that. Between the Macht family and the Rippy family I had a lot of relatives doting on me as the first grandchild in the family. My brother, Leslie, was born in December of 1918. We lived in a big house in Pagosa Springs then.

We moved when my father got a job with the D and RG Railroad in Chama, New Mexico. It is there that my sister, Norma, was born. In 1926, after Norma recovered from German measles, we left by train to travel to California. We planned to join our relatives Clint and Bertha "Bobo" Manchester who had moved to Corralitos. Bobo was my mother's youngest sister.

Eva with her Aunt Bobo

Eva and Leslie

L to R: Gramma Emma, cousins Dorothy and
Margaret Diehl, Eva in hat holding baby Norma, and Leslie

For a short time, we lived in a house in Watsonville on Sudden Street across from the playground (Callaghan Park today). My brother, my little cousins, and I would take the waxy bread wrappers and put them on the slide so we could go down faster. The lady in charge of the playground would get mad at us because that was a "no-no". We also took little bits of the tar that was used to seal the cracks in the swimming pool so we could chew it. My grandmother, Emma Macht Bayles, lived in a house at the top of the hill on Brennan Street. I skated down that hill a couple of times.

I attended third grade there before we moved out to Corralitos. One incident that stands out is when I took a graham cracker. The kids who could pay a nickel got milk and graham crackers. I didn't have money so I couldn't have them, but sometimes the teacher had me pass out the crackers. One day, I put a cracker in my pocket to take home. I was so ashamed of myself. My mother probably would have given me money if I had asked. One other time, there was a rumor going around town that the world was coming to an end on a certain date. When that date arrived, I was so scared. I just knew it was going to happen. I remember going out on the front porch in the evening to wait. I woke up the next day, though, and we were still there. My mother bought a magazine called "The Delineator." I couldn't wait for it to come because it had paper dolls in it. I'd cut them out with their little clothes and I'd play forever with them in my little world.

When we moved to Corralitos, Bobo and Uncle Clint had property on Browns Valley Road just up from the bridge (Raposa property). We lived by them in a tent until a small house could be built for us on their property nearer the creek.

We were poor when I was growing up, but I didn't realize it then. Everyone else seemed to be the same. It was the "Great Depression" years, but I didn't know that at the time. My parents always managed to do things for us and we were happy. Our house only had one bedroom. The ceiling was open rafters. Often at night, when Norma and I were in our bed the calico cat would jump down from the rafters onto our bed. It scared us every time. Once, when I wore shoes with the soles worn out I put pieces of cardboard inside them. Then, roller skates fastened to the side of your shoes. My roller skates fell off a lot when I had the cardboard soles. I think I was one of the first to wear tennis shoes. They were ugly and gray, nothing like today. They weren't for sports. They were for everyday.

We walked to and from school. There was a big water pipe that ran across the creek near the bridge. Sometimes we would go by way of the pipe and other times we would climb up or come back down the hill by the bridge. The schoolhouse was on Aldridge where Aldridge Lane Park is now. We had to walk past (Eng Chung's) apple dryer buildings. (To the left of the present day Woman's clubhouse.) They were old and the place looked scary. I didn't like going by there. I don't remember ever seeing people working there.

I was in a third and fourth grade class and Ruth Karstedt was my teacher. One hot day, I decided to roll down my long cotton stockings. I was scolded by the teacher who saw me. She made me roll them back up. I was so embarrassed. I didn't know I wasn't supposed to do that. Games we played were tag, kick the can, hop scotch, red line, jacks, marbles, hide and seek, and baseball. One time Annie Antonovich accidentally hit me in the head with a baseball bat. Dorothy Bradley, who was older, took me to the restroom and put cold paper towels on my head. She rubbed my forehead so hard that it broke out in a rash. Nothing else was done. I don't remember if they even told my parents. When I had the mumps, I was teased about it at school. Ruth Bradley ran around blabbing about it. Her brother, Paige, used to tease me all the time, too. I didn't want to go out for recess because I was so bashful.

In the fifth-sixth grade, Clara Munson was my teacher. All I remember is that we got to watch the eclipse of the sun through a piece of colored glass.

In the 7th and 8th grades, Elma Bradley was my teacher. By then, we were in the new school that was built on the same property. I was in the harmonica band. We went on a few trips. One trip was to San Jose to play at a radio station. Another time, we rode an old bus to San Francisco to Golden Gate Park. On the way, I bought a couple of candy bars to take home to the kids. I had to carry them all day. They were slightly melted by the end of the trip. On Arbor Day, when I was in the seventh grade we planted a tree in front of the school. We put mementos into the hole. Every May 1st, May Day, we would fix little baskets of flowers and hang them on special people's doorknobs. We always had a May Pole. We held on to colored streamers coming down from the pole and danced around it. In eighth grade, I was the editor of our school newspaper C.U.S. (Corralitos Union School.) I still have a couple of issues of that.

Each year all the schools in the county would have a playday at Soquel grammar school (the same one that is there today). My mother always managed to make me a new dress to wear. When I graduated from eighth grade, I was salutatorian. My good friend Ella Marie Brodin was valedictorian. Each one of the graduates received bouquets of flowers. I received about 8 or 9 beautiful bouquets. My graduation dress and hat were pale lavender. We had gone to San Jose to buy it. The sales lady gave me the matching hat at no charge. I felt very grown up. Our graduation was held at Ceschi Hall. My best friend in grammar school was Annie Antonovich. We were like sisters. She lived far up Eureka Canyon off of Rider Road. One summer, we worked up there pitting apricots. We were just young girls, but Annie had to work hard. She couldn't run around with us. She didn't go on to high school with me.

8th grade graduation

Ceschi Hall, once on Corralitos Road

At home every Sunday, my Mom would make a chocolate cake from scratch and fix a large meal with pot roast, gravy, potatoes, etc. for us and it seemed like when we were ready to eat some of our relatives would come to visit. Seems like we always had enough to eat when they came, though. One of my pet peeves in relation to preparing food was that I had to mix up the margarine (oleo) by hand. It came white with a little packet of yellow dye and I had to mix in the color to make it look like butter. This was only about ten cents a pound. We couldn't afford to buy real butter. My hands would stay yellow nearly all day.

My mother had certain days that she did things. Monday was washday. In the early days, she scrubbed clothes on a washboard and then rinsed them in clean water. She used Fels Naphtha Soap. We always had beans for dinner on washday. Tuesday was ironing day. Everything was starched so the clothes had to be dampened before ironing. I helped do that. Until we got electricity, she used two heavy irons heated on the stove. The handles had a claw hook to pick up the irons. When one cooled down, she would get the other one. It took a long time to iron and wash clothes in those days. Before the weekend, we would clean house and dust everything in case company came on Saturday or Sunday. I also helped her by babysitting and taking care of my grandmother, Emma, when she stayed with us. I remember one time when I went to Scott's store for my mother to buy $0.25 worth of hamburger. Our cousin, Glenn Dufer, was the butcher at the time. I knew there was a one-cent sales tax, so I asked for $0.24 worth of meat so I would have a penny for the tax. When I gave Glenn my quarter, he gave me a penny change. I asked about the tax, and he told me there was no tax on food. He laughed about that, then he gave me a dill pickle for being so smart. I loved those dill pickles.

We kids always had fun things to do. I liked to read. My favorite books were Zane Grey and the Wizard of Oz stories. I think I read them all. Once in a while, if my Mom had ten or fifteen cents she would buy me a movie magazine. We didn't have a radio to listen to until I was in 7th or 8th grade. We had swimming holes in the creek just below our house. I was in 4-H, so every year I got to go to summer camp at Camp Loma. Once when I was 11 or 12, we went to San Francisco with Bobo and Uncle Clint. We got on a streetcar, but I don't remember where we were going. We were sitting behind the conductor and I got carsick and threw up. Uncle Clint teased me and said it went all over the conductor. Several weeks later we went to the city again. We started to get on a streetcar and Uncle Clint said it was the same conductor. He said he didn't think he would let us ride because he remembered me (Ha!) We did get to ride, but we sat clear in the back. Everything went fine, and I still don't think it was the same conductor!

I went to Watsonville High School. We rode a bus driven by Mr. Munson for a couple of years. Mr. Burgess, who also owned a turkey ranch (that's another story), took his place. When I started high school I met the Pybrum family. They had come to Corralitos from Madera and moved into a new house on Blake. The two oldest boys, Ed and Ray, hung out with my girlfriends and me. My close friends were Ella Marie and Connie Brodin, Garland Bradley, Pearl Kryger, and my cousin Dorothy Diehl. There were other friends, but I mostly did things with those five. Garland lived up on the cliff above our place. (Near where the CDF station is today) Her parents had carved out a space on the side of the hill so they had an outdoor area like a big camping site above the creek. Garland always wanted me to come over to sleep out there. I was too afraid to be away from home all night, so I never did.

L to R: Garland Bradley, Ella Marie Brodin, Irene Zolezzi, Mildred Berry,
Liddie Mae Gray, Annie Antonovich, Muriel Algeo, Bea Gray, Eva, Pearl Kryger

L to R: Grace Bradley, Connie, Olive, Ella Marie Brodin,
Ruth Bradshaw, Gwen Manchester, Thelma Bradshaw, Dorothy Diehl

L to R: Dorothy Diehl, Garland Bradley, Eva and Connie Brodin

Often in the evening, the boys would join us and we would skate from Scott's store (Corralitos Market) to the Five Mile House. We skated around the 5-mile button that used to be in the middle of the road at the intersection and skated back. Other times, we just sat on the sidewalk at the store and talked if we didn't have anything better to do. The boys pulled pranks all the time. That is were the turkey ranch comes in. It wasn't beyond them to steal a turkey around Thanksgiving time. My mother even cooked one of their turkeys. The kids all brought the rest of the food. The kids hung out at our house most of the time. One time, I remember eleven boys there visiting my mother more than anyone else. (I know they weren't visiting me because that was after the senior picnic at the beach. I was sunburned so badly I could barely have a sheet around me it hurt so much.) That time it was Ed, Ray, Vernon Mackleheny, Willis Tindall, Harold Vorheis, Bill Bruin and some town boys and maybe a couple of cousins, probably. They liked to talk to my mom. She gave them popcorn and sometimes they played cards.

Besides school friends always being at our house, our cousins were often with us, too. Dorothy and her sister Margaret, who had been with us in Colorado, Bobo and Uncle Clint's daughter, Gwen, and a few other cousins were there now and then. Ed and Ray's cousins sometimes, too. My dad worked for the Southern Pacific railroad. He usually worked nights and slept during the day. There was just a thin wallboard separating him from all of us. I don't know how he slept. Sometimes, when he got up to go to work, he would drive some of the kids home first.

During the summer, I usually had a job besides all the fun things we did. For a while on Saturdays, I worked for two hours doing housework for Randolph Bradley's wife for $0.25 an hour. (The house is still on Hames Road across from the entrance to the mobile home park). Ella Marie and I pitted cots together for Jim Work. We were in 4-H together, too. We took sewing from Irene Ceschi at her house at 554 Corralitos Road. Mrs. Ceschi would show us how to do something, but if we couldn't do it right she would do it herself. While in 4-H, I had swimming lessons. We were taken to the Boardwalk and used the pool called The Plunge that used to be in the area where the miniature golf is today. I loved to swim. One of the instructors told me I had strong arms, and the way I swam I could be in the Olympics. We always had a water hole in the creek when the weather got warmer. We would dam up the stream to make it deep enough to swim. The creek would usually dry up during the summer.

There is one time Ella Marie and I both remember. Garland was with us and we were sitting at the store talking when Ed came by driving his mother's car. He took us for a ride up Hames Road. The road wasn't paved. It had ruts and potholes. When we were coming down from the top of the hill by Gramma Roddy's (Catherine Rodrigues) house, the rear axle broke and the car went off the road. We three girls jumped out, left Ed, and ran for home. We must of thought we were in big trouble. We ran down to the store. Ella Marie lived in the house at the corner at that time. Garland and I continued to her house up the road. Her mother was very mad. I guess Garland wasn't suppose to ride in a boy's car. My mother just grinned when I told her. (Ella Marie and I are friends to this day. She e-mails me often and comes to visit from her home in Saratoga.)

My Mom knew Ed. He spent a lot of his free time at our house. He used to do things like borrow money from her to take me to a movie. He and I saw our first "talkie" movie together Min and Bill starring Marie Dressler and Wallace Beery. She won an Academy Award for it. Usually, when Ed and I went on a date it was with the gang or to a movie and Brownie's for a soda. (Some will remember where Landis's was in Freedom. That used to be Brownie's.) We used to get a free dish each time we went to the movies. I don't know how many we collected, but if you went often enough you could get a set. You could do the same thing with Duz soap. When soap started being sold in granular form there would be a dish inside the box.

The Rippy children

In September when I was fifteen, my sister, Joyce, was born. All my friends and I were so much older but we couldn't wait to see her. The next day after she was born, I brought all my gang to the house. Everyone wanted to hold her. She was a real blessing to our family because when she was 1 years old my brother, Leslie, became ill and passed away. Doctors made house calls then. One day, three doctors came and had a consultation with my mom and dad. Leslie had to be taken to a hospital in San Francisco to be treated for a severe ear infection involving the mastoid area. His death was very hard on all of us. Leslie had made friends with everyone, old or young, and everyone liked him. His illness effected the whole community. Elma Bradley even let him drive her car once. He was a great teaser. He used to drive us crazy with his teasing. One day when we were doing dishes, he made me so mad I threw dishwater all over him. I almost had to run to Watsonville to get away from him. He was so mad. One year, he and I went alone to Pagosa Springs on the train. We got free passes because our dad worked for the railroad. On the train, Leslie worried me because he made friends with every one he met. Once when the train was stopped so everyone could get out to look at the Grand Canyon, I couldn't find him. He didn't come back to our seat. The train left and I was so scared. I thought that I had lost him. He had met someone and, while talking, got into the next car.

Also, when I was sixteen, the Corralitos Grange was organized. Meetings were held at the schoolhouse. Then, we had all our activities at the schoolhouse or at Ceschi Hall, which was just down the road from the store. My family was involved with the Grange. I had a lot of fun helping with the fundraisers to build the new hall next to the school property. Uncle Clint was the first master there. I was seventeen when I joined. I was in the drill team and got to wear pretty formals. I also held the office of Ceres. It was my job to carry in the American flag at the beginning of the meetings. When I was nineteen, the Grange sponsored me in The Goddess of Liberty contest in Watsonville during the 4th of July celebration. Winning was based on who could sell the most tickets rather than on beauty or talent. We did have to walk across stage in evening dresses, though. We went to luncheons, articles were written about us in the newspaper, and we were in the parade. I didn't win, but it was sure fun. I still have those newspaper clippings.

Corralitos Grange Hall 1934

Another memory I have is of getting my first permanent. The gal hooked me up to a machine that had about 10 clamps connected to electricity to heat. She then would part your hair in sections and put one of these hot clamps on each section. It got a little warm and your hair came out rather frizzy and dry but it was a perm, as such. When we did get our hair styled, it was called a Marcel. Usually, I wore a bob and my mother would cut my hair. Two things my mother hated were walking on spilt sugar and picking up bobby pins from the floor. With three girls around the house, that was common. As for nail polish, our Dad would hit the ceiling if we even opened a bottle near him. The odor made him sick.

Norma, Joyce and Eva

Eva dressed for the prom

After high school graduation, I went to Hartnell College in Salinas for one semester. I had a chance to work at the telephone company, and that was what I wanted to do. We didn't have a phone, so when I applied at Pacific Telephone and Telegraph, I asked Elma Bradley if I could use hers for a reference number in case they called me. She was one of the few people in Corralitos that had a phone at the time. She lived between the Free Methodist Church and us. Then we lived in the house at 109 Brown's Valley. When they did call me to work, she came down to the house to tell me. When we got a phone, our number was 8y5. It was a party line with five other families. When the operator rang 5 short rings it was our phone.

I worked for Pacific Tel. and Tel. for six years. In the next few years, I went to work for the Southern Pacific Railroad in Watsonville as a PBX switchboard operator and connected with my school friend Annie Antonovich again. We continued to be best friends until her passing.

Eva with Ruthie Brodin at a Southern Pacific booth at the auditorium once on Second Street in Watsonville.
Others in photo: Mr. Tucker, E.K.Springer, Mrs. Lee Williams, W.E. Luidsten, H.L. Sopher (engineer), and Ed Duebner

Eva and Ann Antonovich Clay at Watsonville depot

I didn't date very many fellows. My mother made me go on a date with Phillip Benson once. His mother took us to the Boardwalk. I think I said two words to him the entire time. A boy named Don Herda used to come to our house with his folks. He had red hair and freckles and he really liked to tease me. I usually hid under the bed. He gave me a string of red beads once. He would sing to me. "Just Eva and me and baby makes three…." I really hated that! I was so bashful and shy, my mother had to make me go places. I remember going to a dance at Ceschi Hall, but I don't remember who I was with. I think I went with my girlfriends. I didn't dance. There were older boys there, Fred Frederick, Eugene and Eddie Spain. Eddie had the back seat wired in his car so that when a person sat down they were shocked. Garland and I got into the back seat only once!

All through high school, Ed was mostly my boyfriend. After high school, I dated Gordon Shaw. He was a dreamboat. I still have photos of him. I was still dating Ed most of the time, though. He went to Hartnell and then worked at Fort Ord. Eventually, I married him. We settled in Corralitos. At first, for a short while, we lived with my parents. They had moved to 547 Corralitos Road. We rented the house at 3 Blake before we bought our apple ranch at 354 Hames Road from the Rodrigues family.

Ed and Eva on a date

A dance at the Grange hall.
L to R: Norma Rippy, Connie Brodin, Eva, Patty Howe -others not identified

A few years after we were married, Judy was born. A few years later, her brother John was born. Then, we lived at Route 5 Box 610 (46 Blake) in the same house Ed's mother had bought when his family moved here. Actually, I've lived in Corralitos in about ten different places. Most all of the houses (some remodeled) are still here, too, just like me.



On June 14, 2005, our precious Eva Rippy Pybrum passed away gently in her sleep surrounded by family. Having spent over eighty years as a resident of Corralitos, she will be remembered especially for her kindness and her wonderful smile.


Childhood Memories
By Barbara Hatton Wall

Joseph and Jewel Hatton and daughters Dolores and Barbara were early residents of Paradise Heights, which was to become known as "Crow's Nest." It was the early thirties and it was very hard to find work. At first, Joseph hauled sand and gravel for Mattie Dye* who was starting to build the Home Grocery store at the corner of Varni and Amesti Roads. She paid him in groceries for his time and labor. Later, he and his next door neighbor Bill Creek got jobs working for WPA at $30.00 a month.

The Hatton Family - Barbara is holding her dog, Nancy

It was told that the Hatton's house was the second house built in Ed W. Crow's apricot orchard. The earliest payment receipt found signed by E.W. Crow was dated August 13, 1934 on lot 13. Price of the lot $250.00 with 6% interest and taxes payable at $2.00 per month. Another receipt described the lot as #13, Crow subdivision, Bowen Tract, Santa Cruz County, California. The Hatton home began with three rooms including a kitchen, front room, and dining room. Also, there was a closed-in porch. Two bedrooms were added later, and a bathroom.

In the early establishment of Crow's Nest, there was a community well in the apricot orchard from where the families carried water by a bucket to their homes for household use. Memories recall how the smaller kids loved to run through the apricot orchard behind folks carrying buckets of water from the well. They would wait until they were close to home to throw dirt clods into the water bucket and then run as fast as they could. After much frustration with a return for more clean water, small bottoms were paddled good and this fun stopped.

People used little outhouses in the beginning. It was much fun to watch someone go inside and then lock them in and wait for the begging to be let out. Also, a fun pastime was to borrow a roll of toilet paper and string it around a lot of trees in the apricot orchard. Toilet paper was hard to come by in the early days, and imagine the folks' delight to get up in the morning and see toilet paper everywhere. The apricot trees were big ones and with big fruit in season. What fun to go search for pieces of resin from the sap on the trees and then have a really good chew. This was another favorite pastime.

Water, electricity, telephone service, and mail service by a rural route driver were made available. I believe Mr. Roy Stump was one of the rural mail carriers. The first telephone service was the party line and every family lifted their receiver to listen and join in a conversation, or certainly listen. Later, it advanced to where there were just two parties on one line. Someone was always lifting the receiver and asking you to get off the line as they wanted to make a call.

John and Mabel Gray with daughters Roberta, Glada Bell, and Dolores lived in the second house starting up Crow Avenue. Johnny built the house himself. Their house backed up to the Hatton lot. He also built a nice garage for the Hattons with a washhouse attached. They were also one of the first families living in Crow's Nest. Mabel Doty Gray was a wonderful seamstress and made all the family clothes. I remember she made me a beautiful dress with a box pleated skirt in wool material in a beautiful shade of powder blue. I was so very proud wearing it at my eighth grade graduation from Corralitos Union School in 1945. I felt very proud standing with all my classmates in the Corralitos Grange Hall with our teacher, Mrs. Elma G. Bradley, looking on.

Barbara with Maudie Bell Morford
Dressed for a school program at the Corralitos Grange Hall.

Johnny Gray loved to talk and always had a cigar in his hand or mouth. He seemed to know everybody in the area. He never saw a stranger. He was a well-known character in the Corralitos and Watsonville areas. He had a lot of friends. The saying in those early days was, "Here comes Johnny", as he was a talker. He worked for the Santa Cruz County Road Department for years.

Johnny Gray with Joe Hatton at 6 Hatton

Johnny made trips to Corralitos to the Clint Manchester store (At the corner of Aldridge Lane and Corralitos Road, same building today) where he bought groceries and gas on credit. He would load all the kids into the car and off we would go to Corralitos to the store. In to the store all us kids went behind Johnny. If it was payday, we all were treated to penny candy. Johnny always bought out the punch board sitting up on the counter. Most often it was a prize of a big box of chocolate candy which he shared with all of us. A lot of nice prizes were won on the punch board at that time. He also took us all along when he drove his old sedan car up the back road to Mt. Madonna to gather firewood for the stove. He took the back seat out of the car and us kids all stood up in the back as we traveled up into the hills. I can remember years of fun adventures with our neighbors the Gray family.

In the apricot orchard in Crow's Nest
L to R Roberta Gray, Barbara Hatton, Dorothy and Jessie Smith

Faye Standridge with Barbara

The Smith house backed up to the Hatton lot and faced Bowen Avenue. There were two children in this family named Dorothy and Jessie. The second house on Hatton belonged to Bill and Callie Creek and their daughter, Erma Lee. There was a family living down about the middle of Hatton. I can't recall their name. The man owned a milk cow and milked every evening. It was a gathering place for some of us kids as he gave us a glass of warm milk with the foam still on top. I now wonder how he enjoyed his audience, with dirty faces and bare feet, gathered around him as he tried to milk into a metal pail. I can still hear the sound as the milk hit the pail. Directly across from the Hatton residence was a two-story house belonging to the Morford family. As I remember, the mother and father lived there with grown children. There was a large Morford family living in Crow's Nest then. I remember the names Earl and Steven. Lennie Morford and family lived on Crow Avenue just past Whiteman Avenue. The children were Leonard and Maudie Bell. Maudie was my school chum and friend. Down on the left far corner of Hatton lived the Munn family. Their daughter, Patty, was a bit older, but I remember her as such a nice and interesting older friend. In the early days, Tony and Isabel Raposa lived further up on Crow. Their little daughter, Barbara, always looked so cute. She had long finger curls, cute dresses and white boots. The Mehnke family lived on Crow, also. The Robert Pettigrew family lived on Whiteman. Some of the children were grown, but still at home were Bobby, Buena, Melba and Frankie. They were a very nice family. I spent a lot of time with Buena. Bobby and Max Bare lived at the beginning of Bowen. Up in the center of Bowen lived the Coates family. Their children were Merlene and Sammy Sue. Their cousin Faye Standridge lived with her family at the very end of Bowen. Joe and Flora Velazquez had their home on Velazquez (sic) Avenue with daughters Dolores and Ruby. Joe owned houses both on Velazquez and Bowen acquiring the most number of one family owned houses in Crow's Nest. They were one of the early families. Ruby could play the piano by ear and could play just about anything anyone wanted to hear. She was born with natural music talent.

While living in Crow's Nest in the early years, there wasn't a school bus to take the kids to the Corralitos grammar school. We all had to walk and it seemed a long way. The route was down Amesti Road to the corner of Brown's Valley Road and then down across the bridge over the Corralitos Creek and past the water works to the center of Corralitos and on to the school. (At that time on Aldridge Lane). We usually grouped up three or four to walk to and from school. I was always in dread that the teacher would keep me after school and that I would have to walk home alone. When it did happen, I would run all the way and think that long road would never reach home. At certain times during the year, the caravans of gypsies would travel the road and camp down in the creek area. I remember once having met their wagon on the road when I was alone with my dog, a white wire hair terrier. They stopped me and were going to steal my dog. I remember how frightened I was and how fast my dog and I started running. We children were afraid of them when we met them on the road or in the creek area. We often took short cuts across the creek to school. We walked down Amesti Road and down across land to the creek. We took off our shoes and waded along the creek and came out on Corralitos Road across from the Jensen home and orchard. Then we walked up to Manchester's store and then on to school. Many a good time was spent playing in the creek over the school years. Eventually, a small school bus was started and the Crow's Nest children could then ride to and from school, unless you were kept after and then it was a long walk home.

Mrs. Roberta Brodin's class

1944 7th grade

1944 8th grade

1945 7th grade

1945 8th grade

8th grade group includes L to R
Front row - Delvin Frazier, Bobby Bare, Barbara Hatton, Ruby Velazquez, Joyce Rippy, Buena Pettigrew
Middle row - Martin Vegar, twins Joan and Jean Nesgil, twins Stella and Ella Key, Billy Hester
Back row - Bobby Pettigrew, Robert Shaw, Charles MacDonald, Louis Emerson, Steven Ruiz and Fern Olson

8th grade boys 1945

8th grade girls 1945

(Some names of the children in the photos are available. Please e-mail or voice mail to inquire.)

These families were some of the early names I now remember. The children were my friends and classmates at school and playmates during grammar school days. Times change and faces change, but memories remain. Many families moved away and new people came to Crow's Nest. Around 1960, the Hatton property was sold and later the old house was torn down. A new house was built on the lot and another family started life there.

*Mattie Dye married Waldo F. Mielke, mapmaker

(Read about Mr. Ed W. Crow in the Country Roads section)


Memories of the Eureka Canyon School
By Ruth Tindall Dunlap

Eureka Canyon School was a one-room country school that I attended all of my eight years of grammar school. My mother, Gertrude Tindall, was clerk of the school board for most of that time. At no time, do I remember there being more than twelve students in the whole school and two were my brothers. Most of the time I was the only one in my grade.

Once a week, a music teacher from the County School office would come in the afternoon and we would have "music." We sang and after we got to 4th grade we would learn to play a "flute." As I remember, it was a small black potato-sized instrument with finger holes. We got to keep it and my folks made me practice outside.

The classroom was very large. It had two anterooms, one on either side of a stage at the front of the room. One side was for boys and the other side was for girls to hang coats and keep our lunch boxes. Twice a year, at Christmas and graduation, we would have a potluck dinner followed by a play put on by all grades. We would have rehearsals in the afternoon for weeks before the big performance and everyone had to take part in it.

There was a very large pot-bellied stove in the back of the room that was used for heat in the winter. My Dad, Weldon Tindall, would keep the woodshed full. In the coldest days we would use powdered milk to make hot chocolate for our lunches.

One spring, each student was assigned a certain section of the chain link fence along Eureka Canyon Road to plant a garden. Then we planted sweet peas all along the fence. It was just beautiful when they bloomed. We received a plaque from the Superintendent of Schools office for "beautification" of our school. We were all very proud of it.

The upper grade students were appointed as janitors for a month at a time. We would stay after school to sweep the floor, empty waste baskets, and clean the chalkboards and erasers. We got paid for it and really looked forward to our turn.

My eighth grade was during wartime and there was a shortage of teachers. My teacher was Miss Edith Osgood, a librarian from Santa Cruz. She got a teaching credential because of the shortage. Her 80-year-old mother came with her every day, so it was like having two teachers for three students. Most of our teachers who lived out of the area stayed in the little house by the mailboxes at Rider and Eureka Canyon Roads.
Teachers were Virginia Barry for third and fourth grade, Miss Barker for fifth and sixth grade, Bertha O'Leary for seventh grade, and Edith Osgood for eighth grade.

I was the last one to graduate from Eureka Canyon School. We had only three students most of the last quarter of the year. One was my brother, George, and the other was Dee Ann Rutherford who lived on the Pruden Ranch. There was no prospect of other students to keep the attendance up any higher so the County decided to close the school. That last two weeks of school, a bus was brought up every day with a group of students from Corralitos, so we could get credit for having more students and keep the school open long enough for me to graduate. I went down to Corralitos and graduated with the class at the Corralitos School.

(There are photos of the schoolhouse and Mrs. O'Leary and students in the Mementos II section)


Childhood Memories
By Marie Mengol Kell

My first visit to Corralitos Union School took place when I was, I think, five years old. I was staying with Mr. and Mrs. Burhman while my parents were away. Pretty Miss Ruth Plummer, a teacher at the school, was staying there, also. She asked me if I would like to visit the school with her, so we took the "bus" one morning. The "bus" was a wagon drawn by one or two horses.

I started first grade mid-term when I was six and a half years old. Miss Chapin, a friend of my mother's, was the teacher. Mother had already taught me to read by sight reading. The phonic method was taught in school, so it took me some time to master this method.

I was never a very healthy child, so whatever illness I had at this particular time kept me home for a while. A newcomer to Corralitos took over my desk in Miss Chapin's classroom. When I returned to school, I was really upset, but the occupant and I became best friends. We still are. Beatrice Dickie Benich is her name.

Other teachers there were Mrs. Brodin, Mrs. Munson (She and I both celebrated 4th of July birthdays which made us closer friends.), and the 8th grade teacher was Mrs. Bradley. Memories of the old schoolhouse (Second schoolhouse on Aldridge Lane) are pleasing to me, but my mother was determined to get a new schoolhouse. She even went to Sacramento to emphasize the need for one in Corralitos. She took along with her a picture of the school with the *American flag flying upside down. (This was about 1929)

Mrs. Ceschi always would "emphasize," "Your mother got a new school for Corralitos." Mrs. Ceschi, bless her heart, taught cooking to some of us future homemakers. This took place in her kitchen. (554 Corralitos Road) It may have been a school project or 4-H Club project. Dino and Hector, her sons, were very nice boys except that Hector used to pinch my earlobes in route to piano lessons in Watsonville.

Laura and Frank Selleck really appreciated Mother's effort to obtain a new schoolhouse. Mrs. Selleck's father lived with them. He was a member of GAR (Grand Army of the Republic), having fought in the Civil War. He was a dear man. I remained close to the Selleck's for many years.

I was always awful at sports, so my effort at baseball was a big laugh for a young boy who delighted in laughing at me. This young man was Norman Phillips. Years later, I introduced him to my friend, Lois Martin, and they married. We have remained friends for many years.

My father, a well-educated, wonderful man, would drive "his delicate daughter" to school in a 1918 Buick. He would then pick me up to take me home for lunch until I was stronger. Oh, how I wanted to be a ballerina! I was taking dancing lessons long before starting school. When my father realized how serious I was, he stopped the lessons explaining that a ballerina's life was a difficult life, but then, so is keeping house!

There were performances at school. I remember one. Harold Vorheis and I were the main characters. We were in costume. Mother made mine. Harold wore a little white suit. He was Prince Charming. My friend, Mikiko, lived across the road.** Mikiko and I were together a lot. I was devastated when she moved away. I never forgot her, but I didn't know where she went. Many years later at a Watsonville High School reunion, this pretty little lady approached me, saying "Marie, I'm Mikiko." Our eyes filled with tears. She married Tom Eto who had been a student at Corralitos School and graduate of WUHS in 1934. Mikiko said she had saved a picture of me in a dancing costume my mother had made.

Four students including Connie Brodin, Bea Dickie, Fred Jennings, and I were selected to skip the seventh grade. We did, although, my father was opposed to this believing, rightly so, that I was too young. It would have been better to have spent another year at Corralitos School.

The Depression took place. There were devastating changes across the country. There were changes in Corralitos, as well. I truly believe, at the present time and always, that there is no other area in the world as lovely as Corralitos.

Marie and sister, Virginia, playing with friends at the Mengol's house on Brown's Valley Road.
Eva Rippy in background, Leslie Rippy at the left.

Marie on the right and Eva Rippy center at the beach with friends

* The American flag can only be flown upside down as a distress signal. The photo of this is on page 132 of the Corralitos book.
** The Mengols lived on Brown's Valley Road a couple of houses up from the old Methodist Church on the opposite side of the road. Their house is no longer there.


My Memories of the Little Redwood School
Excerpts from *Anna Belle Aldridge Edwards

Redwood School was located about a mile up Redwood Road. The school district was established March 6, 1893. It closed the spring of 1919. The building was torn down and the land went to Peter Battinich. It had been a part of his ranch before it became a school. The children were taken to Corralitos School by bus that was drawn by horses. At that time, Corralitos also took in Brown's Valley School.

My father's family moved to the mountains in 1884. My father and his brother had to go to Hazel Dell School. Later, when Redwood School opened his younger brothers and sisters attended there. Some of them graduated from ninth grade there.

There were only four families of children at the Redwood School. The Kirkman family had eight children. The other families were Battinich, Cikuth and Aldridge. It was seldom that every one came to school, but my brothers, Creston and Spellman, and I were always there.

I had looked forward all summer for school to start. I was so anxious to go to school. My Aunt Ranghild, Uncle Lafe Aldridge's wife, took me with her to Hazel Dell School a few times so I would know what school was like. She taught at Hazel Dell for a few years. Mama made me some pretty play dresses. Dad decided it was too far for me to walk to school, so he bought a two-wheeled cart and put a bigger seat on it so all three of us could sit. The first day of school we kissed Mama and Dad goodbye and headed for school in our cart. When we reached the school, Creston found a good place to tie the horse for the day and Spellman took me into the schoolhouse. The teacher met us at the door and Spellman told her who I was. She was a very good teacher, although she had just graduated from high school and had no college.

Not long after school started, I needed to leave the room. Now no one had told me what I was supposed to do. So, I just slipped out. I had done this several times when one day the teacher missed me. So, she went looking for me in the outhouse. Now there was no bathroom tissue furnished for us. The teacher cut newspaper in small squares at home and brought them to school. She hung them on a nail in the outhouse. I had decided to look through the paper. Way at the bottom, I found a picture that interested me. So, I had pulled all the paper off the nail so I could see it better. She put the paper back and told me I must ask permission to leave the room, and I must leave the paper on the nail. Then we went back to the classroom.

There were so few of us that we all had to play together. One day we were playing "Run Sheep Run". I was knocked down and was unconscious. The teacher made me a bed on the floor of the coatroom with coats. When I regained consciousness, Creston took me home. I remember lying on the floor of the cart. Mama was upset, but I was all right.

One day we heard bells ringing. We all ran out to see what it was. Beulah Kirkman got all excited and insisted Santa Claus was coming. But soon a team of horses and a big wagon appeared coming down the road. Poor Beulah was so disappointed. When Christmas really did come, Santa Claus did come. It was Corine Redo dressed in a red suit. Most of us recognized her right off. She had a bag on her back. She gave us each an orange and a stick of candy. Now that was really a treat for us! The teacher, Miss Adams, boarded with the Redos and had bought the treats for us.

After the cart broke, Dad thought I was old enough to walk to school. We picked wild strawberries along the road. Sometimes we played in the creek. Sometimes we played around the old coal mine. It was alongside the road before we got to the school. My brother, Spellman, used to sneak matches from home. He would light one and go in the mine a ways. I was afraid and never got further than the opening. Dad would have really landed on us if he had known we had even gotten near it.

Mama and Dad worked very hard to get our school consolidated with Corralitos School. They wanted better trained teachers and more advantages for us. In the fall of 1919, we were taken to Corralitos School by the horse drawn bus, but our happiest memories are of our little Redwood School.

*A photo of Anna Belle is in the Country Roads section. She was telling about the Redwood School at the time the photo was taken.


Writings by Marion Proctor Wees Farley
Excerpts taken from writings by Marion Proctor Wees Farley, a niece of Emma Coon, (Mrs. Eugene Bradley). At one time, Emma was the librarian for the library in her home across the driveway from the current Cultural Center Library. Children walked from the school on Aldridge Lane to get books.
Marion was born January 14, 1901.

It had been planned that my cousin, Florence, and I would ride a new (to us) horse to Aunt Emma's the next day to deliver a note from Grandpa. They still lived up the creek about two miles at Brown's Valley. Bright and early, Aunt Nettie got us mounted bareback, showed us how to ply our way with only one rein. She was too stubborn to let us use two reins, as we were used to. After turning in circles a few minutes, we got the hang of it, and with our note we started. We got along fine part of the time, but we'd forget about the single rein and the horse would start to go in circles again. After we crossed the bridge over Corralitos Creek, the little community was pretty populated. The very first house we came to the horse stopped at the mailbox. This happened at every house and we couldn't get him past one mailbox without stopping. Finally, we figured out why. Uncle Eugene had given us the horse. He had delivered mail and had retired, and the horse had always automatically stopped at every box on this route. It took us hours to get there and return and Uncle Eugene thought it was a big joke.

Our closest friends and neighbors were a Chinese family just across the street. Mr. and Mrs. Eng Chung had two girls, Annie (DeLaPena) and Rosie, and a boy, Loy. They lived in a tumble down shack attached to the apple dryer building. (The Eng Chung family's home was about were the Woman's Clubhouse is today, with the dryer going towards the market) They had several peeling and coring machines which were worked by hand. Whenever we could be, we were there. They ate with chopsticks. We were never able to master that, but we loved the nuts, candied ginger, cookies, and all the other goodies that came from China. Their house didn't look like much, but what exciting treasures it housed. I remember how I loved the little dolls of paper mache in their lovely silk traditional costumes, the grinning bare-bellied billikens, birds, and bells and all the things made of brightly painted paper--parasols, lanterns and kites. They were a happy family, singing hymns loudly to be heard over the noise of the machines. They spoke only Chinese to each other as the mother spoke no English. Even their singsong language was fascinating to us. The children went to Corralitos School and to church. We were sad when Mrs. Eng Chung died. My grandmother asked the father why they took food to the crypt and he replied, "Why do you take flowers?"

Years later, we returned to see our old home and it was still there. The house is not nearly as large and grand as we remember it. To us it was a mansion. The cherry trees are gone, also the two huge cypress trees which were in the front yard. The Water Company had replaced the apple dryer with a beautiful garden and waterfall. There is a Woman's Clubhouse on the property, also. The little store is still there and gas pumps have been added, there is a nice new school replacing our one room school. The Grange Hall is there now and years later we attended Aunt Emma's 90th birthday celebration at the Hall. It was the only place large enough to accommodate the Bradley and Coon families. Corralitos is still a lovely quaint little town.

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