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Looking Back to 1936: The lost is found — the adventures of Oliver Olsen 

Looking Back Paso Robles

This look back at Paso Robles history comes from local newspapers in the Paso Robles Area Historical Society collection. News for this column is selected with the assistance of the society’s Vice President Nancy Tweedie and Research Director Jan Cannon.

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. Besides, the thing had a substantial market value; he picked it up, took it home, and temporarily forgot the matter.

Looking Back

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

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.


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Thank you to sponsors of Looking Back

Paso Robles Pioneer Museum – Come take a real look back into local Paso Robles history. Open Thursday through Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. 2010 Riverside Ave., Paso Robles, CA 93446, www.pasoroblespioneermuseum.org (805) 239-4556.

Estrella Warbird Museum is an aviation museum dedicated to the restoration and preservation of military aircraft, vehicles, and memorabilia. Woodland Auto Display is also open. Hours: Thursday through Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. 4251 Dry Creek Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446, ewarbirds.org, (805) 227-0440.

Creative Concrete & Design delivers the highest level of professional concrete work. Operating in San Luis Obispo County since 2002, Karl Rush brings 35 years of concrete experience to every job and will ensure that you receive the very best quality work. Over the years they have completed a great many works on residential homes. They are very creative and willing to explore options for your next project. Concrete projects have many factors to consider to bring your vision to life. creativeconcreteanddesign.com, (805) 896-1384.

Golden Anchor Financial Services is committed to helping you find the right mortgage product for your needs. They understand that every borrower is different, and offer a variety of products to meet individual requirements. They make the process of securing a mortgage simple and straightforward by offering you the latest in financial tools that enable you to make sound financial choices. Call them at (805) 473-7733 on the Central Coast or (559) 473-7733 in the Central Valley.

1800 El Pomar is the site of a historic Templeton ranch located just three miles east of town. The property features an iconic, aged redwood barn, 3 story tank house, original farmhouse with an outdoor garden, original water tank structures, and many other original ranch buildings. Set on 20+ acres of vineyards, the 360-degree views of rolling oak-studded hills and surrounding vines are a photographer’s dream. A prime ceremony location exists in the vineyards behind the barn between two beautiful oaks. The northwest-facing location creates plenty of shade for your guests in an early to late afternoon setting. A perfect venue with plenty of open space to customize your wedding or event. www.1800elpomar.com.

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About the author: Reporter Jackie Iddings

Jackie Iddings is a contributing reporter and photographer for the Paso Robles Daily News.