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Looking Back to 1956: Teamsters picket Nacimiento Dam 

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.

Excerpts from Thursday, May 17, 1956 The Paso Robles Journal

Three picketeers make mystery appearance

The “Three Picketeers” came to Paso Robles Nacimiento Dam early yesterday morning in the form of members of the International Teamsters Union who threw up what one official of the International Union of Operating Engineers described as “an authorized picket line.” No one at the dam site was able to come up with a reason for the mystery picket line.

Teamsters Union officials in two counties could not be reached to confirm the authority for the picket line, or where the pickets came from.

Dick Holman, business representative for the operating engineers and Tod Smith, Union district representative in three counties including San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura, were at the dam site today on what Holman described as “a routine check.” They arrived from San Luis Obispo yesterday morning and discovered the picket line.

“I am of the opinion this whole thing comes out of L.A.,” Holman told the press today, referring to the appearance of the Claude W. Fisher Co. of that city, at the site yesterday.

Looking Back Paso Robles history

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He added that there may be some question as to use of heavy equipment being used by the engineers and that being used by the Fisher Company. He said the engineers started work on the site last October and November, using the same type of equipment they are now using. He said that the Fisher Company is using the same type of equipment his engineers are now operating and added, “What we want to know is why wasn’t our equipment questioned long ago … before the Fisher Company came into the picture.”

He did not elaborate, but speculation was that the dispute may stem from teamster’s use of certain heavy equipment brought in by the Los Angeles contractor.

No information relative to the number of teamsters involved on the dam work was available at press time. It could not be immediately determined whether a walkout by the teamsters would create a major slow up of work at the site.

Traffic accidents, injuries and a stolen car

Two persons hospitalized by crashes

William Junior Davis, 20, of Paso Robles ran off a private road north of Paso Robles after falling asleep at the wheel. Passengers George James and Johnnie Welch of Castle Air Force Base were injured. Davis received minor injuries. Welch was hospitalized with major injuries at Paso Robles War Memorial Hospital.

A truck driven by Jerry Peterson of Hayward, Calif ran off the road one and one-half miles north of San Miguel, spilling a number of large rolls of newsprint on the highway. He was cited for excessive speed.

A car driven by Margaret N. Cole of San Francisco ran off the road, overturned and pinned the driver. The accident occurred on US 101 north of Old Creek road. The driver was admitted to Paso Robles War Memorial Hospital with major injuries.

Trailer flips, smashing pickup truck

A trailer carrying a pickup truck and pulled by a pickup truck driven by Ben Tison, Jr. broke loose and flipped over on its load Monday. Extensive damage was reported to the pickup that was loaded on the trailer.

A vehicle driven by Stewart Ross, 18, collided with the rear end of a vehicle driven by William Seebert, 17, both of Paso Robles. Both cars were traveling south at 15th and Spring streets. No injuries reported.

Noel Washabaugh, 32, of Paso Robles, collided with the rear end of Miss Elaine Goodale’s auto as she was stopped to make a left hand turn off of Spring Street. Minor damage to both vehicles.

Youth escapes in stolen car

The car of Nellie Dell’Anno, which was stolen by an escapee from the Paso Robles School for Boys at noon Monday, was recovered at 1:25 p.m. by the Monterey Sheriff’s department in San Ardo.

The youth who was on a work detail was not missed with the group stopped for lunch, and is said to have take the car shortly before noon. He is held in the Salinas county jail for return to the school.

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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, (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,, (805) 227-0440.

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About the author: Reporter Jackie Iddings

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