Sunday, March 3, 2013
CALIFORNIA RANCHO DAYS
…in the Great Central Valley
In grade school about a half-century ago, my classmates and I collectively read “California Rancho Days.” Part of the California State Series – before major publishing houses were ceded tacit control of the curriculum – this state sanctioned, cloth-bound volume contained text and pictures of a pastoral landscape.
Although probably printed in black and white (or maybe brown and white) my vision of the content was a full-color display of rich rolling fields, carpeted with wildflowers and gently grazed by cattle and sheep. In the distance, snow capped peaks towered over and provided sustenance to the verdant valley. Small streams formed rivers that coursed across the fertile plain. Modest hand-hewn houses dotted the valley floor and foothills, each with a well-tended garden and a tiny orchard of ever-blossoming fruit trees. Folks living in that time rode working horses, made tortillas by hand and danced, fiesta style, every evening.
Somewhere in the back of my mind, this harmonious vision still exists for the Great Central Valley of California.
Church of the Open Road Press