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Looking Back to April 1956: Southwest will start service here on Sunday, trailriders return 

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. Newspaper photography by GiGi Green.

Excerpts from Thursday, April 26, 1956 Paso Robles Journal:

Four flights daily will be scheduled

Southwest Airways officials in San Francisco admitted this morning that flight services from the Paso Robles airport will commence Sunday, April 29th.

They refused to release details of service, saying an official press release for all media will be put in the mail this evening.

However, initial plans, announced previously to the first of two efforts by the City of San Luis Obispo to block the terminal switch from the airport there, called for two flights daily, north and south.

Final authorization of the change in terminals for service the San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles area was handed down by a decision of the Civil Aeronautics Board in Washington, D.C., April 13th.

It was the second time since last December that the CAB was forced to override objections to a shift by the county seat.

The CAB decision in both cases favored Southwest’s contention they would be able to offer better service to the area through a local airport. The airline contended that safety was the main factor in its preference, that the county seat airport is ringed with hills, has more fog and does not possess the landing aids, which Paso Robles Airport has.

Paso Robles history

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Trail riders return late Wednesday

Weather-beaten and saddle-sore, 100-plus members of the Paso Robles Trail Riders Association rode into town shortly after 2 p.m. Wednesday to end the 15th annual four-day ride.

Traditional finale of the annual event will be a five o’clock barbecue at the Paso Robles Inn, after the riders have had a chance to unsaddle and stable their mounts and remove the trail dust.

Yesterday’s ride which took the group from Santa Margarita Ranch to the ranch of Trail Ride Association President Al Franscioni for an afternoon visit wound up at the Juhl Corrals in Santa Rita Canyon for the final night and the traditional Kangaroo Court.

Franscioni was prevented from accompanying the ride during the morning but rejoined the group in the afternoon. Also absent for the first time in many years was Dick Kleck, who was forced to withdraw by a back injury suffered several days ago.

Don McMillan was judge of the Kangaroo Court, while John Lichti served as prosecuting attorney and Bill Simpson as attorney for the defense.

Among those sentenced by the court were Don Orcutt, Sr., who drew a two dollar fine for leaving the ride with insufficient cause; Tom Wilcox and Larry Woods, who were convicted of setting a fire under Ray Hartley; Fred Ragsdale for failing to feed his horse; Howard Claassen, who was accused of knocking down an oak tree and a half-acre of feed; Tom Barry who lamed his own horse, took the horse of a guest and sent the guest home, paid a $1.50 fine; Dane Rowe, who was fined $1 for wearing a cap; Fred Johnson, who paid a $2 fine for being from Carmel; Fred Waybret, who was fined $1 for letting Barry saddle his horse.

Jim Madden was accused of riding ahead of the trailmaster and was fined $1; and Dr. Ernest W. Werbel was fined $2 for winning at poker.

Read previous Looking Back articles

Thank you to sponsors of Looking Back

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About the author: Reporter Jackie Iddings

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