G entle reader, young and old, longtime Maderan, or a recent citizen, please ride with me, a kid just turned 12, on my Schwinn bicycle on a summer Saturday morning in the late 1950s along what was known as F Street or Highway 99, now called Gateway Drive.
After riding all the way from the city limits at Schnoor Avenue I found myself at Cleveland Avenue and F Street. Not too many cars. At Paul Simonian’s gas station I looked to the north and gazed at the red Spanish tile that covered the Adobe Motel and restaurant.
It was time to head to town. I passed the fairgrounds, the fence right at the edge of the street. Come fair season my friend Steve Jack and I would jump that fence to save the 50-cent admission so we could spend it on corn dogs.
At the Fresno River, a Division of Forestry fireman stopped cleaning an engine long enough to wave. Earlier this summer, he had let me sit on the bank behind the station to watch the speedboat races on the reservoir formed by construction of a temporary earthen dam downstream...