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Looking Back: The Lost is Found—the adventures of Oliver Olsen 

Looking Back

Click here to read the full front page of the March 28, 1936 Paso Robles Times.

Excerpt from the March 28, 1936 Paso Robles Times

The average motorist, when he sees some article of value lying along the highway on which he is traveling, will stop to investigate—and if it can be of use to him, or if it possesses a reasonable resale value, he will pick it up.

In this respect, Oliver Olsen might be said to be an average motorist, for that just about describes an incident which he was part several weeks ago.

Off duty for the evening, Olsen decided to drive to San Luis Obispo and return. On his way there he noticed what appeared to be a generator lying by the side of the road. The one in his car was apparently functioning perfectly, but one never could tell. Beside, the thing had a substantial market value; he picked it up, took it home, and temporarily forgot the matter.

A day or so later, it being necessary for him to make a hurried trip to Los Angeles, Olsen borrowed his brother’s newer car, headed for the south via Bakersfield.

It is a long way between settlements on the Bakersfield route, and a lonesome road at night. Motor trouble can be very inconvenient. It was on one of these long stretches that Olsen found his lights growing dim, the reaction of his motor fuel and spark becoming feebler and feebler, until the whole thing “conked out.”

Yes, his batteries were dead. There was no generator in the car! A long walk, an ingenious mechanic, and some hard-earned cash combined to make possible the installation of a misfit, second-hand generator, and the balance of the round trip was completed without further mishap.

On his return, Olsen discovered that his brother had preceded him to San Luis Obispo on that evening several days before; and that generator he had picked up was identically the one made for his brother’s car.

He tightens all bolts and nuts on his own machine at regular intervals, now.

Read previous Looking Back articles

This “Looking Back” view at Paso Robles history comes from one of the hundreds of local newspapers in the Paso Robles Area Historical Society collection. Several local newspapers, dating from the 1800s, have reported on local, national and world events, providing priceless historical views of our community that are not available from any other source. The Historical Society is seeking community support for the multi-phased Newspaper Preservation Project to help fund the transfer of these aged and fragile pages to microfilm and digital images. See the society website for more information about becoming a member or donating to any phase of this project.

The Paso Robles Daily News is pleased to support this important project. Watch this space for future “Looking Back” articles.



About the author: News Staff

The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at