Courtesy of Madera County Historical Society
Madera County Coroner Roy Broomfield returned the favor of a haircut that he received from Deputy Association President Joe Arnold. The two men, along with Deputy Pat Majeski, cut their hair to protest state budget cuts 25 years ago.
25 Years Ago
Week of Aug. 20, 1992
DEPUTIES TO PROTEST STATE CUTS — Following the footsteps of Supervisor Rick Jensen’s hunger strike, three members of the Madera County Sheriff’s Association have shaved their heads to protest state budget cuts. Sheriff’s Coroner Roy Broomfield, Deputy Sheriff’s Association President Joe Arnold, and Deputy Patrick Majeski said today that their decision to cut their hair to the nubbins is an effort to vent their frustrations against continuously dwindling state funds. The Sheriff’s Department is facing a $200,000 shortfall in revenues for 1992-1993. Already two reserve officers have been laid off and further cutbacks are almost certain.
POOL HONORED BY PEERS ON RETIREMENT — The autographed poster of his Boeing Steerman biplane will be a tangible reminder, but the flyover by his pilot comrades during a surprise retirement party of aviator Ray Pool is sure to be a living memory. Saturday found the longtime crop dusting pilot the center of a celebratory flyover at Pool’s airstrip on Avenue 16. Six planes made a low pass over Pool’s head, with his “Old 33” dipping low in a fond salute. The farewell celebration caught the taciturn pilot by surprise. Stories about Pool tend to repeat themes of fierce loyalty, stunning courage, calm in the face of disaster, and his true grit in handling an airplane.
HARPER ANXIOUS TO RUN NEW SOUTH CAMPUS — The new Madera High South Campus has many in the community fired up, not the least of which is Perry Harper. Harper, who has been at the north campus since 1957, is looking forward to the challenge of running the new school. He will direct the entire educational program at the school. Bill Dabbs will be the assistant principal. Harper welcomes the move after working out of the same office for 22 years. “For the past 22 years, I have been in an office with no windows and only one door. Now I am moving to an office that’s all glass and has a beautiful view of the entire campus. I am ready to go to work,” Harper said.
JENSEN ENDS HUNGER STRIKE — At noon today, Rick Jensen ate lunch. And with a humble cup of yogurt, granola bits, and pineapple juice, the District One Supervisor ended a 15-day-old hunger strike and one of the strangest protests Madera has ever seen. Jensen, 38, stopped eating on Aug. 11 as a revolt against the then 46-day-old budget impasse. He has been subsisting on water and various juices. But now, after more than two weeks, 12 radio talk shows, 14 pounds, and some significant CNN coverage, Jensen is throwing in the towel so he can return to the business of politics, a job the strike has impeded recently. Jensen said he can afford to quit now because he has made his point.
GREAT FAJITA COOK-OFF CALLED A SIZZLING SUCCESS — Making fajitas is a good excuse for a family gathering, and Saturday Madera became one, big happy family through the first Annual Great Fajita Cookoff. Part of Yosemite Avenue was blocked off so that the public could enjoy the festive music, visit the craft and food booths, and of course take in the fajita-cooking contest. Maria Espinoza won $500 for placing first in the fajita cooking. Her father, Angel Bustamante, was her partner. Herman Perez won $275 for the best booth. Due to the success of the event, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is planning another fajita cook-off for next year.
50 Years Ago
Week of Aug. 20, 1967
BURGLARY SUSPECT FELLED BY SHOT — Madera County Sheriff’s deputies and officers of the California Highway Patrol today are searching for a man who made a poor choice in picking a store to burglarize. The missing man and his partner, Joe Perez Alva, broke into a grocery story at Avenue 13 ½ and Wood Street. The owner of the store, Gilbert Bowlin, told deputies he heard a disturbance in the store. He picked up his shotgun and crossed the road from his home to investigate. Bowlin said he saw Alva standing in the doorway of his store and dropped him with a blast to the groin from his shotgun. He fired another shot at the second man as he jumped from the window.
MADERA WILL HOST NEW RODEO IDEA — Madera will become the testing ground for a novel concept in rodeo. Ralph L. Jensen, long interested and active in the rodeo circuit, is the creator and backer of the new venture—the American Boys Rodeo. Only boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 16 are allowed to participate, and instead of full-grown animals, calves and Shetland ponies will be featured. According to Jensen, this concept of matching small fry with smaller animals has never been tried before. The event will be staged at the Madera District Fairgrounds on Aug. 25, 26, and 27. Three local judges will choose the best performers.
THRIFTY OPENS OUTLET HERE IN SEPTEMBER — Thrifty Drug Stores will open its first store in Madera in September, it was announced by company officials. The unit, located in the Bethard Square Shopping Center at the intersection of Olive Avenue and South I Street, will cover 20,043 square feet. Beginning with one small store in Los Angeles in 1929, Thrifty is the largest drug and variety department store chain in the West. Each Thrifty Drug Store carries over 25,000 separate items of merchandise. The store will feature a 10-day grand opening sale.
ST. JOACHIM PLANS $90,000 SCHOOL PROJECT — Plans for a $90,000 multipurpose room and appointment for a new principal for St. Joachim School were announced Tuesday. The new sister superior-principal is Sister Mary Marceline, who came to Madera from a 16-classroom high school in Long Beach. The eight-member faculty will also include two other new sister teachers for the first through eighth grades taught at the school. The new building will be an auditorium. Plans call for the structure to house a cafeteria, faculty room, sick room and library. The Parents Club and the Madera Council Knights of Columbus announced they will co-sponsor construction of the auditorium.
WOMAN IS NAMED TO REPLACE MORDECAI ON DRAFT BOARD — Mrs. R.S. Chavin has been named to a seat on the Selective Service Board for Madera County. She is the first woman named to the board and will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Brooke Mordecai. The appointment came from Gov. Ronald Reagan. The Selective Service board meets once a month at the office located in the basement of the Post Office building. Other members are Jay Bondesen, Albert Miller, Michael O’Meara, and R.B. McConnel.