To the youngster who had just “run away” from his North G Street home, the neighbor’s woodpile must have looked like a good place to hide. There was a little tunnel through which he could crawl to the center, and his sister, Pattee, would never think of looking for him there.
In truth, the lad was probably right, and he might never have been discovered had it not been for the fire he lit to keep himself warm. He built a little kindling pile right in the center of his hideaway, never thinking of the danger. As it turned out, Mr. Richardson, the owner of the woodpile, saw the smoke and in a moment Ronn Dominici, the “young runaway,” had been found out.
No one knows for sure what prompted Julius Dominici’s youngest son to take off on this late afternoon adventure, but there is no doubt about the result of his escapade. He had to face his father who had formed some very firm ideas about how one ought to live one’s life.
By the early 1950s, the elder Dominici was firmly established in Madera. He owned the Flying A service station on Gateway Drive and was a partner in the Town House Restaurant. As a successful businessman, he took an interest in numerous civic affairs and was recognized as one of Madera’s more influential citizens. That’s why he would brook no nonsense when it came to upholding the family name, and building a fire at the center of a woodpile did not fit his definition of maintaining a good reputation...