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Looking Back to 1955: Seven youngsters and a slightly damaged dad win soap box derby 

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 Research Director Jan Cannon. Newspaper photography by GiGi Green.

Excerpts from Sunday, June 19 1955, Sunday Review:

400 spectators attend Cub Scout Soap Box Derby

– More than 400 spectators lined 17th Street between Olive and Vine to watch 27 “soap boxes” careen down the steep slope. Cub Scout Pack 66 hosted the soap box derby.

Winners in the seven classes and heats were Ken Davis, Keith Bowers, Dave Balentine, Ostin Moon, Harry Ovitt, Bob Watland and James Corley.

Fats Davis, who reached an estimated 50 miles per hour aboard his son’s sleek racer, crossed the finish line “way out in front,” ahead by several widths, according to Fat, but was unable to brake his car to a halt on 17th Street.

The miniature racer leaped a curb, crashed into a wall flanking the steps of the old school cafeteria, and threw the 250-pound pilot into 17th Street. Fat escaped serious injury but the racer’s front axles were broken and the “entire chassis twisted out of line.”

Paso Robles history in 1955

Click here to read the full front page.

Roblans ask alteration of freeway route

300 petitioners present plan ‘to make city more accessible to tourists’

A petition signed by more than 30 Paso Robles business people will be presented to the city council Monday night, in an effort to alter plans for the new freeway approaches to the city.

Fred Osborne, operator of the Avalon Motel, and spokesman for the group, said that local business men have worked out a set of blueprints and items in cooperation with the city engineer and that these plans, if accepted, “will make Paso Robles more accessible to highway travelers.”

The six points listed in the petition are:

1—Spring Street will remain as an alternate state highway, with the city agreeing to its maintenance.

2—Both the north and south highway separations will be more proximate to the city limits.

3—The highway separations into Paso Robles will be of concrete, in two lane widths.

4—All approaches and access are to be well illuminated and marked.

5—Highway 41 will be continued to Spring Street.

6—The location of the freeway in the Paso Robles area, from a point zero three miles south will be adequately landscaped and kept in neat condition.

Mrs. Hazel Dodd held to answer on murder charge

Mrs. Hazel Dodd of San Miguel was held to answer in Monterey County Superior Court on a murder charge following the preliminary hearing Wednesday.

The fifty-two year old woman was charged with the fatal shooting of her husband, Elmer, on May 30 in their cabin on the Jackson Reinert ranch. She was represented by her attorney, John Hutton of King City.

During the two-hour session held in justice Alfonse Garrisere’s court, the events of the tragedy were reviewed. Assistant District Attorney Joseph H Redmond of Salinas represented the state.

Mrs. Dodd is being held in the Monterey County Jail in Salinas.

Paso Robles elementary school graduates 138 eighth graders

Eighth graders of the Paso Robles Elementary School received their diplomas Thursday night, at the graduation ceremony in the high school auditorium.

The program began with the flag salute led by Barbara Owens, student body president and the invocation by Rev. Paul Brown.

Musical numbers were presented by the Seventh Grade Chorus, the Clarinet Quartet, Alan Gaylord, Judy Peats, Barbara Owens and Harlene Wood, and by the trumpet quartet, Carroll Triguerio, Martin Beaver, Rickey Brandum and Cherri Brown.

Presentation of the diplomas was made by Mrs. William Bader, president of the board of trustees and Glen W. Speck, Principal.

A reception was held following the ceremony at the elementary school auditorium.

Click here to read the names of the graduates.


Read previous Looking Back articles


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.