Paso Robles Press Magazine • #270 • October 2023

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Pioneer Day Belle Miss Kayla Ireland Degnan of San Miguel Annual Bean Feed Bringing generations together for 93 years INSIDE OCTOBER 2023 Prsrt Std US Postage PAID Permit 19 13Stars Paso Robles CA ECRWSS Local Postal Customer Paso Robles Pioneer Day With 93rd annual Marshal Don Campbell & Queen Margaret Avila
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6050 Flores Road  Atascadero

Located on the desirable West Side of Atascadero, awaits this well-constructed home built by the owner with love, craftsmanship, and attention to detail. This spacious 3100 +/- sq ft 2-story 3-bedroom 3-bathroom home sits on just under an acre of land complete with mature fruit trees, outbuilding, a greenhouse, and colorful flowers of iris, daffodils, and tulips. Driving up the circular driveway you take in the park-like setting leading you along the brick walkway to the front door. As you enter, you are greeted by the grand living room with tall built-ins and large windows. Meandering through this spacious home, you’re met with a beautiful repurposed built-in hutch in the formal dining room, leading to a delightful kitchen with brilliant colors, an island, and custom pantry, and let’s not forget the light and bright breakfast dining area with a French door to the rear deck.The den complete with a brick fireplace, custom cabinetry, picturesque views, and a sliding glass door taking you to lush gardens. Still more with a small sitting room or music room, an office, a laundry room, and bathroom. Upstairs you will find the 3 bedrooms, 2 additional bathrooms including the master suite complete with a sitting area and a full vanity. For you artists, an additional room for all your projects with plenty of built-in drawers and cabinets. This home has so many unique details it is hard to list them all! The exquisite charm and added custom features throughout this home make it a true treasure!


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The 93rd Annual Paso Robles Pioneer Day Parade

The Pioneer Day Parade in Paso Robles promotes tradition and community spirit. Held on October 14, it features activities like the Whiskerino Contest and Children's Pet Show.

93rd Annual Bean Feed bringing the generations together

The Bean Feed on October 14 in Paso Robles City Park is a beloved Pioneer Day tradition, with a generous donation of beans from the late Richard Morgantini.

Celebrating heritage at the annual Old Timer's BBQ

Volunteers and Lions Club members gathered to celebrate Pioneer Day Royalty. The event marked the start of events leading to the Pioneer Day Parade.



Photo by Hayley Mattson
26 24 28 FEATURES CONTENTS Publisher’s Letter 08 Something Worth Reading Round Town 10 Grapevine 12 Paso Robles Main Street Association 13 The Natural Alternative 14 Paso Robles Area Historical Society 15 General Store Paso Robles 16 Kid Friendly Paso 17 Shift'N Gears Paso People 18 Margaret Avila: Pioneer Queen 20 Don Campbell: Pioneer Marshal 22 Kayla Degnan: Pioneer Belle Business 30 Spotlight: Freedom Group 32 Spotlight: Gallagher Video 34 Paso Robles & Templeton Chamber Oak Leaf 36 SLO County Office of Education 38 Behind the Badge 40 Carving Out Spooky Fun Taste 42 Sip & Savor: Make Mine a Merlot 44 Farm Stand: Autumn Traditions Calendar 46 Event: Redwings Block Party 47 Calendar 48 Worship Directory Last Word 50 New Mayor John Hamon 50 Directory of our Advertisers 30,000 PRINTED | 26,700 DIRECT MAILED LOCALLY! Paso Robles 93446 • Templeton 93465 • Shandon 93461 • Bradley 93426 • San Miguel 93451 3,300 DROPPED AT HIGH TRAFFIC LOCATIONS IN SLO COUNTY Hotels • Wineries • B&Bs • Waiting Rooms • Restaurants • High-traffic Visitor Hotspots ISSUE NO. 269 OCTOBER 2023 CONTENTS

A Season of Celebration and Gratitude: The Pioneers of Community Spirit

As the scent of pumpkin spice fills the air and the nights turn from warm to a refreshing chill, we find ourselves in the midst of that special time of year again. Autumn brings a rich tapestry of celebrations that thread our community closer together, and among them, the much-anticipated Pioneer Day Parade stands as a hallmark of community engagement and a testament to the enduring spirit of our citizens.

The festivities wouldn’t be the same without the people who make it all happen. This year, we are exceptionally proud to shine a spotlight on our Pioneer Day Grand Marshal Don Campbell and Pioneer Day Queen Margaret Avila. Both have been pillars of our community, dedicating their time and energy to make our corner of the world better for everyone.

Behind the festive floats, Bean Feed, music, and jubilant faces are hours of hard work and meticulous planning, powered by an army of volunteers whose contributions often go unrecognized. They are the lifeblood that allows this machine of joy and celebration to function seamlessly.

One such individual is Brittney App, an extraordinary photographer whose skillful lens has captured countless magical moments for various local non-profits. Last month, we inadvertently failed to credit Brittney for her photography she donated to FARMstead ED. We are deeply grateful for her work and want to extend our heartfelt appreciation, both from our team and from the organization's founder.

“We are so grateful for Brittany's support in helping us tell our story through her beautiful imagery of our local farms, people, producers, and purveyors," says Lynette Sonne, Founder and Herd Boss of FARMstead ED and the SLO Co Farm Trail. "High fives to you [all] for all that you contribute to our community by telling our stories!”

Stories bring communities together, and individuals like Lynette and Brittney play a pivotal role in weaving the narrative tapestry that captures the essence of who we are.

As we embrace the season of pumpkin hunting, Halloween haunts, and the Pioneer Day Parade, let us also embrace the spirit of community. Whether you are sharing a conversation with a neighbor you have only waved to in passing, volunteering at a local event, or simply thanking those who work so hard to make these events possible, remember that every small gesture contributes to the greater good.

We are incredibly grateful to be a part of your lives and this exceptional community. A big thank you for your continual support, and here's to making more lifelong memories this season.

Warm wishes and happy festivities to all! See you in the parade!

Hayley & Nic

if thou wouldest win immortality of name, either do things worth the writing, or write things worth the reading. — Thomas Fuller, 1727

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Publisher's Letter • Something Worth Reading
8 |
We would like to warmly welcome Dr. JoAnna Vrotsos to our team! Dan Hile, OD ABO Doug Major, OD FAAO ABO Brent Wells, OD Karen Kudija, OD Steve Jio, OD 1112 Vine Street Paso Robles 805-238-1001 2231 Bayview Heights Drive Los Osos 805-528-5333 8105 Morro Road, Suite A Atascadero 805-466-6939 Schedule your appointment online ANYTIME! Furnishings · Décor · Complimentary Design Services Stop by our showroom today, located across the street from Market Walk! (949) 702-3638 · 1732 Spring St, Paso Robles · October 2023 | 9

Through the Grapevine

about backyard beekeeping, observe a beehive, and discover beekeeping practices. Don’t miss out on the honey tasting session to savor the delicious flavors of locally harvested honey.

Art enthusiasts and shoppers will find their haven with a variety of arts, crafts, and miscellaneous merchandise vendors. Explore unique creations and discover hidden treasures from local artisans. The Navy Sea Bees will also be showcasing their talents, adding a touch of maritime flair to the festival.

Golden Oak's Sweetest Celebration: Join Us at the Annual Honey & Pumpkin Festival with Kids’ Flea Market

Get ready for a day of sweet and savory delights at the Annual Downtown Golden Oak Honey & Pumpkin Festival and Kids’ Flea

Market, taking place on Saturday, October 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. UTC-8. This exciting event will be held at the picturesque Downtown City Park, and the best part?

Admission is absolutely free!

One of the festival’s highlights is the celebration of honey and beekeeping. Join the Central Coast Beekeepers Alliance SLO to learn

For those seeking relaxation and wellness, EarthTones will be offering yoga sessions to help you find your inner Zen. If you’re interested in traditional craftsmanship, the Almond Country Quilters will be demonstrating their quilting skills.

Kids are in for a treat with their very own Flea Market. Encourage their entrepreneurial spirit and let them explore the

world of commerce. It’s a fantastic opportunity for young vendors to showcase their creativity and business acumen.

The fun doesn’t end there! The festival will host contests organized by the Optimist Club of Paso Robles, including a spelling bee and the lively Monster Mash dance contest. And for the pie lovers, the pie-eating contest promises delicious chaos.

If you’re a vendor interested in participating in this fantastic event, check out the vendor applications on the official website. For more information or inquiries, feel free to contact the Downtown Paso Robles Main Street office at (805) 238-4103.

Mark your calendars for the Golden Oak Honey & Pumpkin Festival and Kids’ Flea Market on October 21. It’s a day filled with community spirit, sweet honey, artistic inspiration, and endless family fun.

10 |
October 2023 | 11

It ' s Oc tobe r... hold on to your (witches) hat

from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the City Park, your Downtown Main Street Association presents the Golden Oak Honey and Pumpkin Festival, accompanied by the Kid’s Flea Market. More fun for everyone!

Well, here we are, entering the next and last phase of 2023. Get ready for lots of activities all crammed into a three-month period, starting slow and growing quickly to a crescendo welcoming 2024. Hold onto your hat.

In 1886, after the coming of the Southern Pacific Railroad, El Paso de Robles (The Pass of the Oaks) was founded. Yes, 137 years ago, the Pioneers, those who ventured into the unknown or unclaimed territory to settle, landed here and gave us this gift we’re blessed to call home. So let’s celebrate! On October 14, we’re saluting our heritage with the 93rd Pioneer Day Adventure. It’s a day with 92 years of memories in the bank and more to come every year. This is truly a fun and joyful day for everyone.

The following Saturday, October 21,

“Live every day as if it is a festival. Turn your life into a celebration.” — Shri Radha

don’t forget to take some time out. Go to a movie, one of the most tried and true American pastimes. It’s a step out of time to help rebalance you. As usual, Paso has the perfect place to accommodate us. The Park Cinemas is not only in the heart of downtown. It has been upgraded with everything from paint, carpets, lighting, and newer, more comfortable chairs. There is also an added beer, wine, and cider bar. Visit for the newsletter, and go to to see special event accommodations. In their own words, “Come enjoy a bigger, better movie experience.”

We will end the month with our Safe and Fun Halloween on Wednesday, October 31, from 3 to 6 p.m. with Trick or Treat Downtown. It’s a great evening, and it’s even a night out for the witches. Bring your camera!

While enjoying this month’s events,

The October Full Hunter’s Moon appears with a partial eclipse on the 28th. This is also referred to as the Blood Moon. It appears larger than usual and shines in shades from red to yellow. This moon signifies when hunters would forage for food for the winter.

This moon is so “beautiful that even the ocean holds up a mirror” — Ani

Enjoy October! Oscar Wilde said, “with freedom, books, flowers and the moon, who could not be happy.”

Go ahead, shoot for the moon, even if you miss it, you will land among the stars.”
— Les Brown
Round Town • Paso Robles Main Street Association
12 |
Cabinet Refinishing ‧ Wood Staining ‧ Specialty Projects

This month, we are focusing on women’s health and hormones. Every woman is unique, and so is her hormonal balance. Understanding and effectively treating hormonal imbalances requires a whole-body approach, rather than looking at your health as a set of independent issues. This is especially true with hormones, which are all interrelated. The holistic approach we have advocated for so many years is very different from what you’ll see in today’s medical system, which at times can seem hopelessly out of touch with the care that real women deserve.

A hormonal imbalance occurs when normal levels and production of hormones in the endocrine system, or their ratio to other hormones, is disrupted. Some of the symptoms of hormonal imbalances are: mood swings, heavy or painful periods, low libido, insomnia and poor-quality sleep, unexplained weight gain, skin problems, fertility problems, headaches, weak bones and vaginal dryness.

At The Natural Alternative, we carry a variety of products by LifeSeasons that can help a woman balance her hormones at whatever stage of her journey she may find herself in, from puberty to menopause. Pausitivi-T for menopause support, Women’s Vitali-T for libido and mood support, and PreMense-T for PMS support, all which

help create harmony in the body and relieve a variety of symptoms that you may be experiencing.

Wild yam and chaste tree by MediHerb and Herb Pharm are also a great options and have been used by women around the world to treat PMS and menopause. They can be used alone or in conjunction depending on what you are looking to achieve.

Cordyceps by Host Defense are a hormone-balancing powerhouse and have been used in Chinese medicine to treat imbalances and libido issues for centuries.

Bone Strength by New Chapter is one of our most popular women’s supplements and contains clinical-strength organic plant calcium to help reduce osteoporosis risk, with daily calcium plus Vitamin K2 & fermented D3 for better absorption.

The Natural Alternative would also like to announce the addition of our new nutritionist, Margaret Pauls. She is now available for consults and taking new clients. She specializes in women’s health and is a great resource for any issues or ailments you may be experiencing. Give us a call or come into the shop to speak with her or schedule an appointment.

Enjoy 20 percent off Hwy 9 Love Lotion from Be Rooted for the entire month of October.

The Team @ The Natural Alternative




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On the brisk morning of October 12, 1931, the town of Paso Robles opened its arms in a warm embrace, welcoming not just its own residents, but all who wished to join in the festivities of the inaugural Pioneer Day celebration.

With great anticipation, citizens from surrounding towns and countryside converged on Paso Robles to pay homage to the pioneers whose determined spirit had shaped the town’s very existence. As Paso Robles Press declared on October 6, 1931, this celebration was dedicated to those who “blazed the trail” and carved a path through hardships to create the modern town of Paso Robles.

The brainchild of Reverend Charles L. Thackeray, known affectionately as “The Dean,” Pioneer Day was conceived during the throes of the Great Depression. Thackeray, while on vacation, realized the need for greater understanding between urban and rural communities. His vision was rooted in acknowledging the vital contribution of those on ranches and farms to the city’s prosperity. Hence, the idea to hold a grand celebration that would bridge this gap and foster unity was born. Thackeray’s passion for this project was palpable when he shared his idea with a small group at St. James Episcopal

Church on May 28, 1931. Thackeray’s proposal found resonance among various organizations and community pillars. Churches, service clubs, the Woman’s Club, Fire Department, PTA, Farm Bureaus, Chamber of Commerce, and the Business & Professional Women’s Club all rallied behind the idea, setting the stage for a collaborative and inclusive event.

The meetings leading up to Pioneer Day were marked by discussions and decisions and “Pioneer Day” was born. This name captured the essence of the celebration, paying tribute

to those who had laid the groundwork for the town’s growth. Various event chairs were appointed, and plans began to take shape. The celebration would include a parade, games, contests, and even dancing, creating a vibrant tapestry of festivities.

The day arrived with much fanfare and excitement. The parade, a highlight of the Pioneer Day celebrations, showcased five units representing different periods of pioneer history. As thousands lined the streets, the procession wound its way through the town, offering a visual narrative of Paso Robles’ evolution. Sam Eddy led the parade as the first Pioneer Day Marshal, embodying the pioneering spirit.

The heart of Pioneer Day beat vibrantly in Paso Robles City Park, where families gathered for a joyous picnic. Adults were treated to complimentary coffee, while children enjoyed free milk. A belle contest, initiated with a 10-cent-per-vote system, crowned Ann Casper as the Belle of Pioneer Day. Her attendants, Hazel Ernst, Bee Glass, Elizabeth Hibbard, and Olive Street, stood alongside her.

Thackeray’s vision and leadership steered the Pioneer Day celebrations for four successful years until his passing in 1935. Even then, the celebration honored his memory. As the years have rolled on, the legacy of that first Pioneer Day remains embedded in Paso Robles’ identity.

and Museum
14 | Round Town • Paso Robles Area Historical Society

Felted Blossoms

for fall feels

Skip the plastic for these fantastic flowers

There are very few times when we’re completely unable to make a decision. Usually, one of us feels strongly for, or against, a given item, color, or design. Often, it’s just really obvious what would fit in our GSPR world (towels with tomatoes or embroidered cats), and what feels like a reach (Taylor Swift-inspired light-up friendship bracelets). But the first time we encountered the Danish-designed felted wool flowers and branches from Gry & Sif, we just fell in love. Which was a problem, because their blooms come in a ton of colors and designs. Our first batch was focused on winter, and we thought we’d leave the felt for colder months, but then the spring colors came, and the pops of turquoise and plum and pale pink were just too, too lovely.

So we brought them in for spring, too. And for summer.

We found customers were collecting the brightly colored poms for vases around the house, or pulling together sweet little bouquets as gifts. They also used them in guest houses or vacation rentals, or anywhere you’d put a fake plant because real ones just aren’t

practical. So we created our own little flower stand tucked right next to the taper candles, and now we don’t have to choose which ones to carry. We just bring ‘em all in!

The flowers and buds are made from pure New Zealand wool by very skilled workers in Nepal. They start by adding warm, soapy water to the wool, then they press and rub the wool and fibers together, forming a felted textile. As the fibers tighten, the artisans create whatever shape they are working on, and add any colors. Finally, when they have it just the way they want it, they allow it to dry. Each is 100 percent handmade, and we feel like that’s part of what makes them so soulful and pretty.

We also love that the company puts people and planet first by going through the arduous process of becoming certified by the World Fair Trade Organization, which ensures that work environments are positive, safe, and sustainable.

And don’t even get us started on the little felted wool holiday mice in their adorable ski suits. Coming soon! (If you know, you know.)

Here’s to getting cozy!

—The Team at General Store Paso Robles

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The turn of the 20th century in the United States brought progressive reform, a movement to increase the quality of life for all individuals by creating an improved American society with safer places to live. With these changes came the development of dedicated children’s libraries within the public library system, leading to the evolution of children’s storytimes. As early as 1896, a children’s story hour was introduced at the Pratt Institute Free Library in Brooklyn, NY, by Anne Carroll Moore. Francis Jenkins Olcott started a weekly story hour at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1900. A Saturday morning nursery tale hour for little ones was initiated at the Broadway Branch of the Cleveland Public Library under Caroline Burnite, the Director of Children’s Work, in 1906. These women laid the groundwork for public libraries all over the country to provide young people with opportunities to build learning readiness skills and a fondness for reading.

Here in Paso, Capricia “Cappy” Culver has been hosting toddler storytime as a volunteer


Enchanting journey through generations of storytimes

at the Paso Robles City Library since the 1990s. She assumed the position after retiring early from her career as an educator to care for her father. Her love of reading to little ones has lasted over decades and with countless families. She added visual aids to allow the grown-ups to sing along and finger plays to bolster participation. Through songs, stories, and crafts, all selected around central themes, she encourages early literacy and a whole lot of fun.

Held on Friday mornings at 10 a.m., it became so popular last fall, that a second storytime was added at 11 a.m. A master of her craft, she reads her audience well, engaging a room of youngsters with cool flexibility and a deep understanding of child development. Coaxing them along with movement, sound, and expression, she leaves a lasting impression of the joy of learning with each child. Perhaps it is her 28 years of experience as an educator, the contentedness she feels seeing those gleeful faces every Friday morning, or both.

“She has been such a positive influence on my son Rowan. His first taste of a teacher and school was with Miss Cappy. We saw her at the market the other day, and he got a big smile while immediately putting his arms up to sing Mr. Sun,” Natalie Saunders shared about her 2-year-old.

My son Clark, 4, shares the same sentiment. He has been attending Friday mornings since

he was two, and while his favorite thing about storytime is creating crafts with Ms. Cappy and taking them to his daddy’s office (yes, he keeps them all), he often talks about her outside of the library.

“Remember the other day when Ms. Cappy’s radio played the songs twice, and she didn’t get sad? She just said let’s sing the songs again!” he reminisced about her impromptu problem-solving as we were on a drive. The things we unknowingly teach as role models for kids.

“I love storytime, and I love Ms. Cappy,” said Johhny, 3.

Evergreen, also 3, shared, “My favorite part is singing the Wheels on the Bus song with Ms. Cappy.”

Nash, 4, enjoys singing and doing crafts with Ms. Cappy. Clair, 3, says she loves all the parts of Ms. Cappy’s storytime. The name Ms. Cappy has certainly become synonymous with happy childhood memories in our community. She has created a living legacy through her profound impact on the people around her, children and adults alike, making Paso an even better place to live.

Ms. Cappy treasures the families she has met over the years. Please share your sweet memories, photos, or stories of where you are now with Ms. Cappy to

Follow Elisa on IG @pasomommy.

16 | Round Town • Kid Friendly Paso

We are here to offer some monthly tips, tricks, and tales from the automotive industry. Whether you are fellow gearheads, garage aficionados, or maybe you think about blinker fluid (Hint, Hint, you don’t have any blinker fluid), we are here for you. We are Jimmy & Leigh-Ann of Shift’N Gears Garage in Paso Robles. If you don’t know us already, we are both locals who decided to give back to our community and open up an ASE Master Certified full-service auto repair shop.

Holidays & Hearses — OH MY!

The holidays are around the corner with Halloween kicking off the season! Looking for some “spooky table talk”? Here are some fun and possibly useless facts about, THE HEARSE.

Honoring our lost loved ones has been filled with ritual and intrigue dating back to ancient times. The hearse remains a popular choice for the mode of transportation for funerals and other medical-related events. As is with anything death-related, you will find myths and stories galore surrounding them.

“Don’t you ever laugh when a hearse goes by ... ’Cause you might be the next to die.” This morbid western song has many versions with no official origin story; but made popular

during World War I.

The term “hearse” is actually French and derived from Latin origins. Herse refers to a harrow, or a plow. So how did a vehicle carrying the deceased come to be named after piece of farming equipment? Early horse-drawn hearses consisted of a wooden framework with spikes used to hold candles. This candelabra-like structure resembled the teeth of a harrow. The name stuck in the 17th century.

In 1908, the first motorized hearse was ELECTRIC from General Vehicle Company. A year later, Crane & Breed released the first gasoline-powered hearse. Along with everything else, the hearse was evolving to suit the needs of the technological society in the Western world. It was not uncommon for hearses to serve as both funeral cars and ambulances, especially in small towns. But, with stricter regulations implemented in the 1970’s these “combination coaches” became more rare and then obsolete.

Amongst hearse enthusiasts, the 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor hearse is considered one of the most desirable for collectors and recognizable for movie-goers, due to its especially ornate styling and appearances in several feature films, most notably in the 1984 film, "Ghostbusters."

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Carrying on a tradition of community + heritage

Joining over 90 years worth of women before her, Margaret Craspay Avila reigns as Queen for the 93rd Annual Paso Robles Pioneer Day this October. Since the first Pioneer Day in 1931, a Grand Marshal and Queen have been chosen from families who have settled in our area to reign over the celebration.

When learning the news of her title, Margaret said, “It’s really an honor. I was so joyful to receive the title. I never thought it would happen.”

Little Country Kid

Born in Paso Robles in 1932, Margaret grew up attending the Pioneer Day Parade with her mother. Her favorite memory of those days was playing in the park with all of the other little kids, a fun change for a little country kid from the outskirts of town. Decades later, Margaret would watch her own family be added to the Pioneer Day history books. She enjoys reminiscing on when her sister-in-law Gladys Craspay was Queen in 2006 and her granddaughters Crystal and Alicia later served as Belle Attendants in the parade.

“Family, friends, and community coming together sharing the history over the years,” says Margaret of why she has always enjoyed Pioneer Day. “It was a day celebrating our heritage with the littlest ones all the way up to the Queen and Marshal.”

Pioneer Day is a day to embrace heritage, and with heritage comes history. Each member of the Pioneer Day Royal Court brings a thread of family history that weaves into the blanket of Paso Robles’s past and present. Margaret’s thread began in 1901 when her mother came

to California from France. Alongside her aunt and uncle, Margaret’s mother, Marie Bordes settled in Colusa with Marie’s two brothers, John and René.

Marie would marry Joseph Labarere, who came at an early age to the United States in 1884. Joseph became a sheepherder, traveling from Reno, Nevada, to Los Angeles and made his way north to Bradley, where he continued to raise sheep and later become a cattle rancher. Margaret and her two brothers — John, who lived to be 93, and Henry, who was in the Navy and died in January of 1946 — were raised on the Labarere Ranch, formally known as the Alvarado Ranch.

"Growing up on the ranch was truly special, but boy was it work," says Margaret on her childhood. "Playing outside with my older brothers any time my mother would let us was a treat. We would walk down to the Salinas River and go swimming."

But there was plenty of hard work, too, she

says: "We had to haul hay and walk behind the rake. Milking cows wasn’t a favorite chore of mine because it took too long."

And also, plenty of sweets. "Going to card parties and having tea and dessert with the ladies," Margaret recalled. "My mother was an excellent baker and taught me how to make her famous sponge cake, that is still a family secret to this day and highly sought after. Ms. Brinan would make the best candies too."

Margaret started the family tradition of attending grammar school in San Ardo and then heading to King City High School. She later went to Healds Business College in San Francisco. After graduation, she began secretarial work at the Salinas Valley Fair, where she met her future husband, Sam Avila.

A Ranching Family

Following their marriage, Margaret and Sam embarked on a ranching journey at Salispuedas Ranch, which she referred to as "Get Out If You Can!"

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Photo by Becca Sligh

This ranch held connections to the Avila family, having been owned by Sam Avila, Sr., whose father, Cipriano "Cip" Avila, served as a packer and guide. Cip's father, Vincente Avila, had explored Lucia and the Coast, eventually settling at Salispuedas in 1864.

During their time at Salispuedas, Margaret and Sam welcomed their first three children: Linda Padgett, the late Valarie Bassetti, and Joanne Willis. Later, they expanded their family with the addition of four more children: Gary Avila, Vivienne DeVaul, Jeff Avila, and Sam Avila. As time passed, the family relocated to the San Ardo Ranch and, subsequently, to the Labarere Ranch, now recognized as the Avila Ranch.

This is where Margaret calls home today. The Avila family tree has flourished, with 22 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren, all of whom actively participated in both the Salinas Valley Fair and the Mid-State Fair. We asked Margaret what it means to her for her family to be considered pioneers of the Paso Robles area.

"I think they would be proud of it," she says. "Knowing my stepfather Joseph Labarere, along with my mother Marie, started the Alvarado Ranch herding sheep and then, in time became a working cattle ranch. Paso Robles was the place we did all our shopping and socializing, and how it has changed from back then."

The CattleWoman

In 1965, Margaret became a member of the Monterey County CattleWomen. She would go on to serve as president for two years and as second and first vice president for a combined four years. She also assumed the role of director for numerous additional years. Her fondest memories of this period include advocating for cattle ranching at the Cow Palace, where she and fellow Cowbelle members engaged with fourth- and fifth-grade students and their teachers from San Francisco.

In 1987, Margaret joined the San Luis Obispo CattleWomen. Starting in 2014, she held the position of director and actively participated in various committees, such as those for McLintock's, Paso Robles, and SLO 4th-grade field trips; serving at the Cattlemen and Farmers Day at the Mid-State Fair; and organizing events like the Fashion Show at Madonna Inn and Casino Night.

She even went beyond the local level to serve as the California State CattleWomen's president for two years and as second and first vice president for a total of four years.

Sam and Margaret were married for 55 years until his passing in 2005. Still, Margaret hopes the community will remember the heritage they leave behind.

"Sam and I were very active in the community because we believed in helping the next generation, especially when it involved agriculture," says Margaret. "Supporting the 4-H and FFA members at the fair through time and donation was a great joy of ours. I hope people remember the ranch continuing on through the generations as it has evolved from raising sheep to being a working cattle ranch with dry land farming and a vineyard."

Margaret Craspay Avila ascends as Queen for the 93rd Paso Robles Pioneer Day, embodying a lifetime of ranching, community service, and generational heritage.
Historical photos courtesy of Margaret Avila's Family October 2023 | 19


A lifetime of dedication to community & heritage

It was Branch Rickey who once said, “It is not the honor that you take with you, but the heritage you leave behind.”

The American baseball player and sports executive’s quote stands quite synonymously with our own 93rd Annual Paso Robles Pioneer Day Marshal Don Campbell. This year, Don joins an exclusive list of people who have been chosen for their dedication in preserving the history of Paso Robles area pioneers. Many of them were like Don, honored to be given the distinguished title of Marshal, but also more invested in the heritage that surrounds it.

In Don’s own words, he says of being named Marshal that, “It’s hard to describe how it feels. I’m very honored, of course.”

His involvement with Pioneer Day dates back to 1964. While attending Cal Poly, he was invited to attend the parade by the man who was headed the tractor side of things. From there, he was hooked. But Don’s roots in San Luis Obispo County go much deeper than that. So if you bear with me for a moment, I would like to take you back in time to the days of industrial revolutions—to when horses began to run alongside steam.

A Step Back in Time

Starting with Don’s maternal family, his great-grandfather Elbridge Miles set sail in 1850 around the horn to California with his new wife Mary.

If I may, with a quick side note here. Don’s history with America runs even deeper as Elbridge is named after his distant uncle, Elbridge Gerry—a Founding Father who signed the Declaration of Independence and served as the fifth vice president of the

United States under President James Madison. And if that is not enough patriotic history for you, his ancestors also came over on the Mayflower.

After putting together bands of sheep and being established as a herdsman, Elbridge brought his enterprise to the Cholame and Bitterwater area of San Luis Obispo County in 1872. Two years later, he moved further to the coast purchasing land near the Avila Hot Springs, where he built Miles Station on the Pacific Coast Railway.

There, the station was responsible for shipping agricultural commodities out of the Avila pier. In 1886, Elbridge sold Miles Station and decided to begin farming in the Oso Flaco Valley until his death in 1899.

In the mid-1870s, a Nathan King from Pennsylvania came to work at Miles Station and married Amanda Gerry, Elbridge and Mary’s daughter. The couple went on to have six children, one of which is Don’s grandmother, Mabel.

across the great plains from Indiana to San Luis Obispo in 1873. Carpenter by trade, he would also end up developing ties in the Avila area by working for John Hartford to build the Avila Beach Pier.

There they would end up owning a farm in Sea Canyon where Don’s grandfather Frank was born and raised. By the mid-1880s, John went to work for the La Panza mines, and by 1885, he and Isabell purchased the La Panza Saloon. John tore down the saloon and dance hall after several years and used the lumber to build his own saloon just up the canyon under a spreading oak tree called Campbell Tree. To this day, the tree still stands on the La Panza Ranch.

After Frank married Mabel, they moved to San Francisco, where he joined the San Francisco Police Department as one of the first motorcycle police officers in California. But Frank missed the country life, so they moved outside the city to build a new family ranch in Santa Clara. In 1941, Don was born with his sister Jean a few years later. The two were raised on the ranch, where they farmed fruit.

Back to San Luis Obispo County

Agriculture remained an integral part of Don’s life. While in high school, he joined an agriculture exchange program where he spent eight months in Spain with different farming familes. The experience strengthened his Spanish speaking, which he still uses regularly today.

When it came time for college, Don knew that he would be going to Cal Poly, mostly because that is where is family was from and its strong ties to agriculture.

Honestly, he says, “It didnt take a lot of thought.”

Nathan would end up serving as the San Luis Obispo County clerk and recorder from 1875 until his death in 1884. Mabel would go on to marry Frank Campbell (Don’s grandfather) and lived in the San Francisco area where they had two sons, Herschel and Don (Don’s father).

Now, to take a look at Don’s paternal side of the family.

Don’s great-grandfather John Campbell and his wife Isabell would take a different route to California. They rode in a covered wagon

While attending Cal Poly, he married his high school sweetheart Gail and the two purchased a ranch in the El Pomar District of Templeton after graduation. There they raised their three daughters: Kathy, Debbie, and Lori. In 1971, Don earned his Master’s degree in agriculture from Cal Poly and taught agriculture and shop at San Luis High School for seven years.

On his Templeton ranch, Don has farmed everything from grain to hay and now grapes alongside a small purebred sheep operation.

Throughout the year, Don has been extensively involved with the community. He

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Historical photos by Don Campbell

and Gail founded a real estate office in Paso Robles, while he was also a certified appraiser for farm equipment, livestock, and equine. Hailing back to his grandfather Nathan’s legacy, he served on the SLO County Planning Commission for 11 years, representing District 5. He and Gail have several grandchildren and a great-grandchild named Campbell.

Don’s contributions include founding Heritage Oaks Bank, serving on the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce board, leading the Pioneer Day Tractor Committee, being a long-term Rotary Club member and president, a 4-H Club leader, and holding positions in grape growers’ organizations. He and Gail were named Roblans of the Year in 2012.

But being able to be back home where he can walk in his family’s footsteps gives Don a new sense of pride: “It makes me proud that we have that heritage in the area,” he says.

Keeping the Heritage Alive

On Pioneer Day, you can usually find Don with the tractors. In 1963, he ended up trading some fencing work for an old tractor off a ranch in the Edna area of San Luis Obispo. He restored that tractor, and ever since it has made a yearly debut in the parade.

The second Saturday of October is much more than a day of parading down Spring Street for Don.

“It gives everyone a chance to mingle and get to know each other and picnic in the park together and meet other people,” he says. “It’s a tradition and no one will ever let go of it because there is an awful strong committee that puts it on.”

Don has remained dedicated to keeping that tradition alive, always being a familiar face around town. But an integral part of not just keeping traditions like Pioneer Day going, but everything that makes the heart of a community beat, are due to volunteers, which Don has greatly acknowledged.

“Be involved,” says Don. “Learn what you are doing well and become involved with it.”

This year, you can spot Don at the head of the parade for a change—be sure to wave hello when you do!

October 2023 | 21
Photo by Hayley Mattson


Continuing a legacy of pioneer traditions

Reigning as this year’s Pioneer Day Belle is Miss Kayla Ireland Degnan — and she is no stranger to the wonders of the Pioneer Day Royal Court.

Kayla has been awaiting her turn to serve as a Belle for Pioneer Day: “It’s been a historical thing for my family. My mom was a belle attendant, and so was my sister.”

Remnants of Kayla’s family’s contributions to the community can be spotted at some of our most prominent landmarks. The Paso Robles High School senior is representing San Miguel this year, with family names being Ruth, Morgan, Crettol, and Degnan.

Alongside the Pioneer Marshal and Queen, a committee chooses a Belle and attendants to represent different areas of the Paso Robles region. They look for young women whose family has a historical connection to the region, dating back 50 to 100 years. Many of them come from farming families and townsfolk. This year, Kayla will stand as the only Belle with no attendants.

Her family legacy began with her great-great

grandfather, Harold Ruth, settling in the Bryson-Hesperia area of San Miguel in 1912. Harold would build one of the most iconic spots in North County. In the 1930s, he built the Templeton Feed and Grain, later selling it to the Tom Jermin family 10 years later. He also ventured as far as Cayucos, where he and his wife Mary Alice Ruth had a fishing business, Ruth’s Landing, where they launched boats for fishermen.

Kayla’s great-great grandfather, Charles Morgan, arrived in the Creston area when he was a child in the 1920s. Charles grew up to be a ranch hand for many Creston ranchers, and ran his own business in Paso Robles for many years, known as Morgan’s Brake Service.

On another side of her family, Kayla’s greatgreat grandfather, Jess Crettol, immigrated from Switzerland as a young boy, settled in Wasco. In 1933 he moved to San Miguel with his wife, Blanche. Jess was a stonemason and adobe brickmaker who renovated the San Miguel Mission and built and repaired many of the adobe buildings and churches in the North County area in the 30s, 40s, and 50s.

“The mission is something special to our family and especially to me,” said Kayla of her family’s history. “Getting to know that walking around that some of those parts were built by my ancestors and part of my community is special to think of.”

Moving forward in time, Kayla’s great-grandfather, Jackson Ruth, was born in Paso Robles in 1917. Jackson graduated in 1935 from Paso Robles High School, where he lettered in track. He went on to be a successful mobile and diesel tractor mechanic working for many of the ranchers in the North County area. He was also a firefighter and chief in 1945 for the Templeton Fire Department. Jackson married Blanche (Crettol) Ruth in February 1939 at the San Miguel Mission.

Kayla’s maternal grandparents, Richard

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Kayla who is on the cheerleading and stunt team at Paso Robles High School is shown cheering for the Paso Robles Bearcats at a football game.

Ruth and Carolyn (Morgan) Ruth, were both born in North County and married in 1968, after Richard’s tour in Vietnam. Her paternal grandparents, Bill and Anne Degnan, met while Bill was at Mission San Miguel studying at the seminary and married in 1968. They raised their four children in the Los Osos, Morro Bay, and Atascadero areas.

Embracing Paso Robles history is something Kayla feels passionate about, and she looks forward to being a part of it come parade day.

“Without Pioneer Day, our community would look different, and we have to remember where we came from and acknowledge and to move on in the future to succeed later in life,” she says.

Archived photos of Kayla's family who settled in the Paso Robles area as early as 1912. Photos courtesy of the Degnan family

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Bringing the Generations Together

Ranches. Sadly, Richard passed away in February of this year at the age of 93. Prior to his passing, Richard wanted to ensure that beans would still be delivered and donated to the Pioneer Day Bean Feed going forward.

Last year, Richard told Paso Robles Press Magazine he and Joan love to give back to their community and wanted to contribute to the Pioneer Day festivities.

According to his obituary, Richard was born Jan. 23, 1930, in Greenfield, California to Charles and Mary Morgantini. He attended King City High School, where he was an active member of FFA and then served in the United States Navy in a combat construction battalion. For 65 years, he dedicated his life to his passion of farming and restoring vintage tractors.

No Pioneer Day is complete without a pot of beans cooking. Since 1931, enough beans (or stew which was served in the early years) to feed the entire community have been cooked over a fire early in the morning before the Pioneer Day parade. All of this was in effort to bring the community together and has been fondly known as the annual Bean Feed.

Of course, the Bean Feed would not be possible if it weren't for — well, the beans, of course.

For the last two years, the dry beans have been donated by King City farmers Richard and Joan Morgantini and the Morgantini

Richard gave back to his community in more than one way. He was first elected to serve on the Monterey County Board of Education in 1979 and continued to do so for the next 28 years. Before that, he served on the Soledad School Board for 12 years. Richard even found the time to serve on the board of directors for several agricultural related organizations and continued to give back to his community through his church, American Legion, 4-H, and more.

The current captain of the Bean Feed, David Kudija, reiterates that volunteers are what makes the Paso Robles Pioneer Day wheel go round.

"To my mind, the strength of the Paso Robles Pioneer Day committee is its ability to attract young members," he said. "So many of the civic organizations in Paso Robles and surrounding communities, and

I am sure across the country, are suffering and often disbanding due to the age of their membership. Those who have been part of the organization for many years are aged and infirm and, in many cases, no longer with us, and there are no young members joining the group to replace them. A core strength of the Pioneer Day committee is their ability to attract young people to their group."

Richard's dedication to giving back to Pioneer Day and the bean feed inspired another local couple to follow in his footsteps.

Paso Robles locals Ren and April Gomes of A List Properties heard of Richard and decided that was how they wanted to support their community. As a boy, Ren would attend Pioneer Day with his grandparents and bring home a pot of beans for the family. Now, Ren and April, who live in his grandparents' house, have come full circle by covering additional costs for the bean feed.

Ren and April are looking forward to being able to contribute to keeping the heritage and traditions alive in Paso Robles.

"When you think about how many people actually enjoy that day and the tradition and those that are able to interact in that event, it really encompasses such a broad spectrum of ages and groups and bringing families together and appreciating our small town," April said.

David adds, "This ability of the committee to attract young members convinces me that this great Paso Robles tradition will continue for many years to come."

Several dedicated Pioneer Day volunteers have passed away within the last year. These people dedicated many hours to Pioneer Day and loved everything it stood for. So, we would like to dedicate this year's Bean Feed in memory of those who made it special: Richard Morgantini, Harry Ovitt, Tom Flynn, Denise Schinbine Cameron, and Don Keefer.

Beans are served by dedicated volunteers at 12 p.m. on Pioneer Day this Oct. 14. They can be found in Paso Robles City Park across from the Clock Tower on 12th Street.

We look forward to sharing beans and memories with you this year!

Photos by Brittany App

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One thing that we can always count on is the Paso Robles Pioneer Day. On this day every year, the community can look forward to the comfortability and reliability that Pioneer Day brings.

On Saturday, October 14, the communities surrounding Paso Robles will come together for the 93rd Annual Pioneer Day Parade, where we will gather around the bean pot, judge whiskers, and enjoy family and friends.

Pioneer Day Chairman Margaret Wicks, who has been working on the committee for about 15 years, says of this year’s parade day, “We are sticking true to the tradition of what we have always done.”

These traditions began back in 1931 and have since always been held in October on Spring Street, with the Paso Robles City Park sitting as the heart of it all. The first Pioneer Day debuted on October 12, 1931, as a day to bring together the town’s city folk and farmers and give thanks to one another. It is a town homecoming filled with antique tractors and equipment, dancing horses, marching bands, high school sports teams, and community groups.

And while some things may change, the motto will always remain the same — leave

your pocketbook at home.

Leading up to Pioneer Day, we celebrated our Pioneer Day Royal Court, which this year includes Marshal Don Campbell, Queen Margaret Avila, and our Belle Kayla Degnan. Friends and family gathered to celebrate the royals at the Pioneer Day Announcement Dinner and Old Timer’s BBQ back in August, and then more festivities like the Lady’s Luncheon and Kickoff Party in September.

Pioneer Royals are an integral part of the Pioneer Day phenomena, and you will be able to read more about this year’s court in this issue of Paso Robles Press Magazine

Keeping heritage alive in a modern world has become a driving force behind all of the volunteers who work tirelessly all year to make the big day happen. Not only does Pioneer Day hold memories for many of the older Paso Roblan generations, but it has also become a day where newcomers can be brought into the fold and learn about our dear town's creation.

“This is what makes it worth it,” says Margaret when she hears of all the new memories people still make at Pioneer Day, whether it is their first or last parade.

Our favorite Pioneer Day activities will

be returning this year like the Whiskerino Contest. If you have an impressive mustache, be sure to head to the Carnegie Library (Paso Robles Area Historical Museum) in the City Park at 12:30 p.m. where the Ladies of the Barbary Coast will judge for the winner.

And if you have a little buckaroo, be sure to get them to the Park Gazebo bright and early for the Children’s Pet Show and Little Cowboy or Cowgirl contest. Dress up your pet or little one in their best western attire for a chance to be named the winner.

Overall, Pioneer Day is a homecoming of sorts, where Margaret explains you get to see friends you may not always get to see.

It's a community-wide reunion where Margaret says, “You can roll back the clock and be more in the moment.”

We hope you take time to press pause on the clock this Pioneer Day and sit in the present while honoring the past.

If you capture some of these memories this October, we would love to share them with the community. Please send your Pioneer Day memories and photos to editor@13stars. media to be featured in a future issue of Paso Robles Press

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Photos by Brittany App
7 a.m. Traditional Bean Cooking Begins Paso Robles City Park 8 a.m. Children’s Pet Show, Little Cowboy / Cowgirl Contest Paso Robles City Park Gazebo 10 a.m. Pioneer Day Parade Starts at 16th & Spring Street 12 / Noon Free Bean Feed Paso Robles City Park 12 / Noon Carnegie Library & Historical Museum Opens in City Park 12 / Noon Pioneer Park/ Museum Activities 2010 Riverside Ave / Antique Tractor & Wagon Display and Vintage Engine Show 12:30 p.m. Whiskerino Contest Paso Robles City Park 1 p.m. Horseshoe Pitching Contest Paso Robles City Park 1 p.m. Gymkhana Paso Robles Event Center See ya there!
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October 14 Pioneer Day Schedule
Celebrating Heritage & Community at the annual ...
Written and photographed by Becca Sligh
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(From left to right) Pioneer Day Queen Margaret Avila, 2019 Queen Milene Radford and her husband Darrell Radford and Pioneer Day King Don Campbell and his wife Gail Campbell. Top, 2023 Pioneer Day Belle Kayla Degnan. Above San Miguel Lions Club member Elwood Dyke.

August marked the start of the 93rd Annual Paso Robles Pioneer Day festivities, one of which was the annual Old Timers BBQ held in San Miguel on Sunday, August 27. In attendance were participating Lions Club members as well as Pioneer Day volunteers and Pioneer Day Royalty.

One volunteer, Gail Hubbard of the Morro Bay Lions Club, mentioned her and her husband have helped with this barbecue for many years. Gail also explained what the Lions Club does throughout the community, “Lions are the forerunners in vision screenings ... they do blood drives, and their fundraisers include car shows and the bean feed [during Pioneer Day].”

Many volunteers and committee members showed up to help put on this barbecue. Debbie Moore Vandergon, who has been a part of the Pioneer Day Committee for 25 years, gave some insight as to why Paso celebrates Pioneer Day, “It started out with churches [and] business owners downtown would invite the ranchers and farmers in the area into town to thank them for their service and patronage throughout the year.”

While some may just think Paso Robles Pioneer Day is just the annual parade that takes place, there are actually numerous events that lead up to Paso’s Pioneer Day celebration. These events span throughout late August and September and include the announcement of Pioneer Day Royalty; The Old Timers BBQ; The Queen’s Luncheon, which includes a list of specific people invited by the reigning Pioneer Day Queen; the Pioneer Day Kick-Off Party, which is open to the public; and The Ladies Tea which is co-sponsored this year by the Native Daughters of The Golden West. Finally, the week of the Pioneer Day Parade, the second invite-only Old Timer’s Dinner is held at the fairgrounds, and last but not least is the Pioneer

Day Parade that takes place in downtown Paso Robles.

As mentioned above, Pioneer Day names a Queen each year. The Pioneer Day Court is selected based on a long-standing tradition of families who have settled in the area to reign over the celebration. This year, the Grand Marshal is Don Campbell, the Pioneer Day Queen is Margaret Avila, and the Pioneer Day Belle is Kayla Degnan.

“It’s quite an honor," Campbell said about being Grand Marshal. "I’ve been around this a long, long time and I’ve always admired the choice of the Marshal, so it’s nice to be one.”

The Pioneer Day Queen title was given to Margaret Avila, a native Paso Robles resident who was also recognized as CattleWoman of the Year by San Luis Obispo County in 2018.

“Being a queen is something else,” said Avila, who also stated she’s looking forward to the parade and will be riding in the Queen’s Carriage.

This year, Kayla Degnan was named the Pioneer Day Belle. She is a senior at Paso Robles High School, is the captain of the varsity cheer team, and competes on the stunt team. Degnan is also involved in Paso Robles High’s journalism program and hopes to attend Cal Poly as an English major.

At just 17 years old, Degnan is a well-rounded and beautifully spoken young lady who is eager to make an impact during her time as the Pioneer Day Belle.

“[Being the Belle is] a great opportunity and it’s also very bittersweet since my mom and sister were both Belle attendants, so I followed my sister through the process in 2019 and it was really cool to get to do it this year,” she said.

Throughout the year, Degnan states she’s excited to attend functions like these as well as share her family history. Her family comes from a long line of pioneers native to the San Miguel area.

October 2023 | 29

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In 2012, after earning her degree in communications from Fresno State, Sheldon moved to the Central Coast and began working in the insurance industry. While working at Freedom Group for the past nine years, she became a licensed loan originator and has been with Gold Standard Mortgage in Atascadero for five years. Sheldon specializes in personal lines insurance, such

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So many forms of recorded media have been invented throughout the last 100-plus years. Knowing that there are specialists who understand and have the technology for reel-to-reel audio, all video formats, CDs, and DVDs can bring relief to those that want to keep or update their recordings and videos. Ron Gallagher does just that and more. His business, Gallagher Video Services, provides services that include video editing; digitizing slides, films, video and audio tapes; duplication and photo keepsakes.

Coming from a vast background, having studied music at the University of California, Berkeley, as well as working as a radio announcer in San Francisco and then a pilot and flight instructor, Gallagher has achieved a lot. After working for Apple

Computer in Cupertino, he then started his own computer training company. Following his consulting work with a video editing company in the Bay Area, he thought that it would be a successful type of business to bring to Paso Robles, and so he did over 20 years ago.

He understands that images captured on older media have a limited life, certain to decay with the passing of time. To preserve the memories, he converts images and audio to digital formats. Serving SLO County, Gallagher Video Services recognizes that each client’s keepsake is important to them, and so he works closely with his customers, providing one-on-one personal service to ensure that the end result is everything they wanted.

Gallagher finds his profession fulfilling

in that he helps people “save and enhance their precious family memories … When we add music, titles and some special effects, they become lasting family memories for everyone to easily share,” he says.

Gallagher has won national awards for his video editing, including an award for being a Rising Star in the video industry.

“My joy in doing this work is meeting with so may wonderful people over the years, and learning about them as I transfer their older media into lasting memories. I now have thousands of happy customers, and that makes me very happy,” Gallagher adds.

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Shaping Tomorrow’s Leaders

Last month, we officially kicked off our Leadership North County program. You may be familiar with Leadership SLO as they have a wonderfully successful, long-standing program. The Paso Robles & Templeton Chamber of Commerce has revitalized the Leadership North County program and could not be more excited for our up-and-coming local leaders! Participants of the program are interviewed and vetted before acceptance. Engaging and positive personalities are great assets for this group. Have you ever

felt called to help your community but were unsure how to make a positive impact? The Leadership North County class of 2024 could use your help—whether through volunteering or sponsorship donations.

The program started with a weekend long retreat at Cambria Pines Lodge — one of our generous sponsors. Attendees bonded over the weekend with games, leadership speakers, and campfire-filled evenings. One special anecdote we’ve heard from previous program attendees is that they leave this program with life-long friends and colleagues. The alumni continuously rave about how much they loved this program.

The class will spend nine months learning about various complex issues facing our county. From the unhoused population to utilities to youth and education — our class will learn all facets of our county. This program would not be possible without the support of our great community. The participating businesses, mentors, and facilitators are so important to keeping the curriculum current and engaging. Involvement opportunities, special challenges, and demands using forums with current leaders will all be presented.

The class is full of a diverse group of students ready to make an impact on their community upon graduation from this life-changing

program. Ranging from CEOs, to librarians, to nonprofit leaders, to small business owners, and so many others in between, participants will gain a broader understanding of our community and what makes it function. The focus of our sessions is not on specific political viewpoints; rather, several alternative views are shared from experts in these areas. Offering valuable information and access to a variety of resources to help them in their careers, and civic engagement is a large piece of the leadership puzzle. The leadership skill-building, including teamwork, communication, and decision-making, is all provided with this opportunity. At the end of the day, it’s important for our program to give our participants the skills and tools needed to help make our North County an exceptional place to live, work, and visit.

In the words of John Quincy Adams, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

You can make a difference in your local leaders. If you are interested in participating as an attendee or becoming a sponsor for this class or future classes, please call us at the Paso Robles & Templeton Chamber of Commerce at (805) 238-0506 or email

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of career and technical education THE IMPORTANCE

Iwas having coffee in my favorite Paso Robles café and spoke with a local agricultural education teacher describing service as a Future Farmers of America (FFA) advisor. I was surprised at how few people in the group knew about FFA or career and technical education (CTE).

Agricultural education and CTE cannot be considered just an elective class. Our daily needs, such as food, clothing, medicine, and even the paper for this article, require agriculture. The National FFA is one of the largest youth-led organizations in the United States. In 1988, "National" was added to the association's name to represent the large number of participants that have swelled the ranks of FFA members to 653,359, representing 8,568 local chapters throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Tourism, agriculture, and the trades are a significant portion of the county's direct economic output. CTE programs are a gateway to these career pathways. Key economic indicators for our county report that our June 2023 unemployment

rate is 3.5 percent, and our fourth-quarter 2022 taxable sales topped $1.8 billion. These reports reinforce the need for continued support of CTE programs and the demand for local workforce training opportunities. San Luis Obispo County schools embrace the agricultural history of our county and offer high-quality, cutting-edge programs to introduce our youth to advances in agriculture, new technology, and beyond. Several recent valedictorians were actively involved in agriculture, FFA, and CTE.

During the summer of 2023, the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education continued local efforts to upskill San Luis Obispo County community members in three distinct CTE programs. Twenty-two local individuals participated in the summer Modern Manufacturing Bootcamp in San Luis Obispo. The program lasted seven weeks and received sponsorship from Trelleborg, Eduge Autonomy, and ESAero. The program concluded with local employers interviewing the completers to share employment opportunities. Several program participants received additional employment offers, enhanced responsibilities, or increased compensation from current employers. The Modern Manufacturing Bootcamp program focused on adults within or entering the workforce.

The 2023 youth Summer Jumpstart program focused on 16- to 24-year-olds in San Luis Obispo County with three regional programs in the county's south, central, and northern regions. Participants earned a SLOCAL Welcome Customer Service credential. Workplace readiness skills included problem-solving, communication, work ethics, interviewing, resume writing, selfcare, and emotional intelligence. Thirteen San Luis Obispo County businesses partnered with the Summer Jumpstart program from the hospitality and retail sectors. Forty-two participants secured employment, and all recommended the program to others as a valuable tool for employment success.

By embracing programs such as CTE, FFA, agriculture education, and local boot camps, today's educators can create socially interactive environments that maintain discipline, make learning "fun," and teach the positive use of new technologies that benefit future employment. The public can find additional information about our Innovations in Education department and our nonprofit workforce division, SLO Partners, on our website.

As we progress this fall, thank you for your continued support of education, our community, the workforce, and our democracy. It is an honor to serve as your County Superintendent of Schools.

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October 2023 | 37

Fair warning. What I’m going to talk to you about this month is not easy to discuss. I even hesitated if I should write about it. But I feel it’s best to raise awareness about this issue. And that is the issue of child sexual abuse.

Before we begin, I want to give you some facts. It is difficult to measure sexual violence because it so often goes unreported. But according to data from the National Crime Victimization Survey conducted by the Justice Department as well as studies from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), we can get an idea of how prevalent this issue is becoming in the U.S. It’s estimated that one in nine girls and one in 20 boys under the age of 18 experience sexual abuse or assault. Besides the actual physical harm done to the child, there is a heavy emotional toll as well. Stats show child sexual abuse victims are four times more likely to develop symptoms of drug abuse, four times more likely to experience PTSD as adults, and three times more likely to experience major depression as adults.

Here’s one more stat. Among the cases of child sexual abuse reported to law enforcement, 93 percent are acquaintances or family members of the victim.

That last stat brings me to a recent case we had

at the Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office was able to locate a suspected child molester who had been on the run for the past two years. This case actually began in 2021 when we obtained an arrest warrant for David Paul Wilson on multiple charges of child molestation. Detectives with the Sheriff’s Special Victims Unit began their investigation when they received a report of a sexual assault of a juvenile. During the course of the investigation, additional juvenile victims were identified and contacted. It’s believed the abuse happened during the span of several years. Wilson fled the area before the arrest warrant was issued and he was unable to be located. Referring to the 93 percent stat I mentioned earlier, it’s believed the suspect in this case is someone who repeatedly found relationships with single mothers in order to prey on their children. Wilson was facing multiple charges of sexual acts with a child under the age of 10, aggravated sexual assault of a minor, and lewd and lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14. Fast-forward two years, detectives got the break they were looking for and were alerted

that Wilson was living in the Helena, Montana, area. Various details about the subject were obtained which confirmed the subject was Wilson. Days later, Wilson was taken into custody by the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office. Two weeks after that, he was brought back to San Luis Obispo County to answer to his charges.

This case highlights the great work the detectives in our Special Victim’s Unit (SVU) do day in and day out with a very demanding caseload. They are responsible for investigating crimes involving all forms of sexual assault against minors and adults within the unincorporated parts of the county. The unit also investigates child abuse, child pornography, and child exploitation. The Special Victims Unit handles an average of over 200 cases per year.

I know this hasn’t been an easy read, but hopefully, it brought attention to this topic. And I hope it will raise awareness about what’s being done to hold those accountable and help those affected. Because the survivors of child sexual abuse need all the hope we can give them.

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A hard but necessary conversation

Redwings Block Party

Over $40,000 was raised by the horse sanctuary for steeds in need

The Redwings Horse Sanctuary held its third annual Block Party on September 10, attracting a crowd of 350 people and the support of 40 volunteers. The event successfully raised over $40,000 for the Carmel-based nonprofit, which was established in 1991 and currently cares for 86 horses. Executive Director Sarah Parsons emphasized the critical role of such fundraisers in maintaining the sanctuary and its various programs, including a specialized effort aimed at rehabilitating retired or injured Thoroughbreds.

Attendees enjoyed a range of activities, including 4x4 tours, live music, and horse riding and Ferrier demonstrations. Additionally, food and drink vendors were on-site. The event was also punctuated by silent and live auctions featuring high-stakes prizes such as trips to France and Shaver Lake.

Redwings Block Party • Oak Leaf
October 2023 | 39
Photos by Becca Sligh

Spooky Carving Out Local Pumpkin Funwith your Patches

hen the leaves change and the pumpkin spice lattes make their comeback at local coffee shops, that can only mean one thing: It’s fall, y'all!

One of the first fall holidays of the season is the widely anticipated Halloween night. People young and old dressing in costumes to trick-or-treat with the hopes of securing more candy than one can consume in a single sitting is just a social right of passage to kick off the harvest festivities. And nothing screams Halloween more than searching through a big ole’ patch of pumpkins and finding the perfect one to take home and carve.

Upon entering into the spooky season, we spoke with North County’s top pumpkin patches, which are both set to open Oct. 1 and stay open until Halloween, Oct. 31.

River K Pumpkin Patch, located in Paso Robles off of North River Road, not only offers pumpkins but also offers a corn maze and even a haunted house. What started as a 4-H project in Goleta in 1969 by Valerie Reynolds and her brother soon became a seasonal family-owned and operated business when they moved to Paso Robles in 1995.

“The pumpkin patch is basically all run by myself," Valerie

Oak Leaf • Pumpkin Patches 40 |

says. "My nephew does the corn maze, but my almost 91-year-old Dad and 89-year-old Mom still do a lot of the farming.”

The patch in itself is about 4 acres. On average, they estimate about 1,000 people come out to the patch in October.

“It’s wonderful when the kids come out and get to see how the pumpkins are grown and get to go pick them themselves," Valerie says. "We give families a pair of clippers and a wagon and they can go out and pick whatever they want to.” Valerie also mentions they have lots of pre-cut pumpkins available as well.

In addition to the 33 varieties of pumpkins, River K has six varieties of winter squash and a variety of decorative gourds, too.

Jack Creek Farms is a family-owned and operated farm in Templeton.

“We’re proud to share the history with the guests who visit the farm,” says Becky Sumpter.

Becky, who is a part of the fifth generation to run Jack Creek Farms, also mentions that being such a longtime family-owned farm is also what drives a lot of the decisions that are made as to what is grown and how it’s grown.

“It’s our goal to leave the land in better shape for the future generations than we received it,” Becky adds.

Although Jack Creek Farms is open seasonally from Memorial Day through January, a busy season is definitely during the fall when they harvest their pumpkins and other fall varietals. Sumpter reports that, unfortunately, due to all the rain this year, the u-pick pumpkin patch received too much water; therefore, pumpkins will be pre-picked for guests this year. However, the apple orchard will still be available for guests to pick their own apples as well as a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Will you be visiting the pumpkin patches this October? Send your pumpkin photos to for a chance to be featured in a future issue of Paso Robles Press. We look forward to seeing your creations!

October 2023 | 41

make mine a #MerlotMe

Merlot vanished off of everyone’s radar. I love the grape. It is the most exciting red grape to work with as a winemaker. Because you can’t make it any better than the quality of the grapes, like Pinot Noir. Not much you can do. You can manipulate Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache and Syrah; you cannot manipulate Merlot.”

Adam Lazarre was giving his take on this varietal wine which has seen its share of a roller-coaster ride.

I met Lazarre, a noted Paso-based winemaker, at his downtown office to discuss Merlot, the medium-bodied, pleasurable wine that experienced a sharp decline following the multi-award-winning 2004 film, “Sideways.” (If you don’t get the reference — Google it!)

“I’m happy to see the trend back up again, although I hope it never gets back up to the popularity it had in the ’90s,” Lazarre admitted. There was a time, he recalled when he could walk into a friend’s winery and watch him bottling Merlot. “I would say this is garbage, and he says, ‘It doesn’t matter. It says Merlot on it.’ He’s going to sell it out.” The movie, in fact, did a service to the grape. As sales plummeted, what was left behind was quality.

The current landscape of master sommeliers, buyers for restaurants, and retail is dominated by millennials, Lazarre commented, many of whom never saw “Sideways.” “You mention the movie and they say, ‘My dad saw that and told me about it.’ So for a lot of them, Merlot is a fairly new and exciting grape. What is now in the market is much better than what was 30 years ago. The balance is coming into play.”

Indeed, it is. Merlot is trending, earning a respectable spot. And Napa Valley’s Duckhorn Vineyards deserves kudos for ingeniously resurrecting the variety. In October 2013, the Duckhorn family launched #MerlotMe, a movement supported by several Napa Merlot producers. It mobilized a global band of Merlot producers who turned to social media and helped rescue the grape’s reputation. The month of October brings its annual #MerlotMe celebration, culminating on November 7 as National Merlot Day.

Although the Duckhorn Vineyards is no longer funding the #MerlotMe project, the movement continues its global outreach. The #MerlotMe stats, according to Keyhole tracking data, show a total of 268,729,298 social impressions from 2014 to 2022.

Native to Bordeaux, France, where it makes up 60 percent of planting among all the varieties, Merlot is traditionally blended with Cabernet

Sauvignon on Bordeaux’s Left Bank of the Gironde estuary. On the Right Bank, it’s blended with Cabernet Franc, specifically in the regions of St. Émilion and Pomerol, where Merlot reigns supreme.

A thin-skinned grape, Merlot is full-bodied with juicy fruit flavor redolent with plums and black cherries. The tannins are easy and there is often a soft finish that makes it an ideal blending grape. It suits the American palate and is easily pronounced.

Over the past five years, I’ve been following the Merlot trail and the #MerlotMe movement to get a grip on the wine’s evolving status. I’ve reached out to industry professionals in California’s Napa, Sonoma and Anderson valleys and Paso Robles as well as Washington state. I continue to conduct annual Merlot tastings in Paso with local winemakers and explore the variety’s range of flavor expressions from red and black fruits nuanced with savory notes to hints of cedar and mint.

For Paso winemakers, Merlot is popular in blends, especially with varieties such as Malbec, Petite Verdot or Cabernet Franc. This being Paso, a splash of the region’s heritage grape, Zinfandel finds its way along with Cabernet Sauvignon in Ancient Peaks Merlot.

Then some are dedicated to producing varietal Merlot. Winemakers such as Rich Hartenberger, founder of Midnight Cellars, who proudly announces, “I make unapologetically 100 percent Merlot.”

Other local wineries producing varietal Merlot include Daou, Arndt Cellars, Barton Family Wines, Donati Family Estates and JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery.

“It’s softer, with more fruit up front and fleshy on the palate,” said Scott Shirley, winemaker at JUSTIN. At its worst, Shirley noted, it can be thin with no structure. And at its best? “It’s elegant on entry, good mouthfeel mid-palate and a soft finish,” Shirley declared.

According to the California Department of Food & Agriculture’s 2022 grape acreage report, 3,206 acres are planted to Merlot in San Luis Obispo County of which 3,115 are under vine in the Paso Robles AVA.

Merlot’s versatility makes it a popular food-friendly wine pairing with grilled meats, pizza, BBQ and comfort foods like mac n’ cheese. As #MerlotMe swings in this month, check out the range of Paso Merlots at: Hope Family Wines, Four Lanterns, LXV, Fratelli Perata, Castoro Cellars, Opolo, La Vigne, Ecluse, Pear Valley, Hearst Ranch, J. Lohr, Paris Valley Road Estate, Robert Hall, Jada and Cass.

Merlot responsibly.

Taste of Paso • Sip & Savor
42 |
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Embracing Autumn Traditions

October is one of my favorite months on the Central Coast. It brings a more relaxed feeling that fall is here. I love admiring the changing leaves and fall colors popping up all around. We are expecting a baby in mid-November, so we are planning to enjoy this time with our kids before life gets a little more hectic.

Jack Creek Farms and River K Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze are the ones to check out this October in North County. We have made a wonderful family tradition of picking out our pumpkins, enjoying the fun play area, apple picking, and taking beautiful family pictures at Jack Creek Farms every year. River K has a fun corn maze with tons of pumpkins to choose from, and their neighbors often offer wagon rides. We love visiting the farms and supporting all the hard-working, kind families that make this time of year special for our community.

If you are looking for more in-season produce, here is what to look for:


Figs, Melons, Grapes, Apples, Pears, Cranberries, and Pomegranates


Pumpkins, Sweet Potato, Winter Squash, Brussel Sprouts, Peas, Mushrooms, and Celery

We baked pumpkins for the first time last fall and it was way more fun than I thought it would be. My kids had so much fun scooping out the guts, picking out some seeds to roast, and using our blender to make puree. They also love pumpkin pancakes, waffles, cookies, and all the other fun treats we made with the puree. The Pumpkin Apple Bake is always a big hit and is versatile as a delicious breakfast, snack, or dessert. Baking pumpkins, or anything with pumpkin in it, makes the house smell amazing and takes minimal effort. Make sure you get the smaller sugar or pie pumpkins because they taste the best and are easier to work with. Pick out the big ones to make into fun jack-o’-lanterns.

How to Cook a Pumpkin & Make Pumpkin Puree


• 1 (3-6 pound) sugar pumpkin (or pie pumpkin)

• 1/2 tablespoon


melted butter, coconut oil or olive oil (try the cinnamon olive oil from The Groves on 41)

1. Use a very sharp knife to cut the pumpkin in half on one side of the stem (with stem facing upward).

2. Use a spoon to scoop out the pumpkin seeds and discard or save for roasting later. If you have chickens or other livestock, they will happily devour this for you.

3. Rub the pumpkin with melted butter, coconut oil or olive oil. I personally loved using the cinnamon olive oil from The Groves on 41 last year for some sweetness.

4. Place pumpkin flesh side down on a parchment lined baking sheet.

5. Roast at 375 degrees F for 40-50 minutes or until fork tender. Allow to cool for 20-30 minutes.

6. Once cooled, peel off skin or use a spoon to scoop out the flesh and then add pumpkin flesh to a blender or food processor. Process until smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Makes about 4 cups of pumpkin puree (depending on how big your pumpkin is).


Store your pumpkin puree in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze it and just let it thaw the night before you need it in a recipe. I like making 2-3 pumpkins at a time to have a lot of puree.

Pumpkin Apple Breakfast Bake


• 1 cup pumpkin puree

• 3 large eggs

• 2/3 cup full-fat milk (can substitute with non-dairy milk)

• 1 large ripe banana mashed

• 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

• 1 tsp cinnamon divided

• 1/4 tsp salt

• 1 large apple peeled and diced (Use your favorite from the


market or the farm)

• 3/4 cup chopped pecans 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

• 1 tsp cinnamon divided

• 1/4 tsp salt

• 1 large apple peeled and diced (Use your favorite from the market or the farm)

• 3/4 cup chopped pecansthe cinnamon olive oil from The Groves on 41)

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 square pan with butter or oil.

2. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, banana, eggs, coconut milk, pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and salt. Using a hand mixer or immersion blender, beat the ingredients together.

3. In a separate bowl, sprinkle remaining cinnamon on the diced apple and coat the apples. Mix the apples into the wet ingredients and pour into square pan.

4. Sprinkle the pecans along the top of the dish, and place in the oven.

5. Bake for 35-40 minutes. You will want the top to be mostly firm and golden on the top.

6. Let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. You can also chill and store in the fridge for up to a week. Serve warm, cold, or at room temperature.


This is a delicious and easy breakfast, but it also makes a tasty dessert with some whipped cream or ice cream. It is also easy to pack for a lunch treat as well.

Taste of Paso • BeeWench Farms 44 |


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Calendar of Events




5:30 p.m.

Enjoy a music featuring Jump Jax, an electrifying quartet of four professional musicians bringing an energetic and danceable mix of classic jump blues, swing, soul, rockabilly and some originals. There will be complimentary tours of Historic City Hall, as well as wine, beer, and other treats to purchase.




10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Enjoy a parade, followed by activities, including tours of City Hall and the Colony House.

OCT 13

7TH ANNUAL SHOWDOWN CORNHOLE TOURNAMENT Central Coast Challenge "Social" Tournament

All Day


Participate in the Central Coast Challenge "Social" Tournament by contributing a $40 entry fee for a 2-person team (limited to 40 teams). The event starts with check-in at 11am, followed by the 8-team Round

Robin Toss occurring from 12 to 2pm. A break will be observed from 2 to 3pm, leading to the Social Brackets taking place from 3 to 5pm. Notably, the top four teams will earn prizes in the form of cash and trophies.

OCT 14


The Showdown, Main Tournament

All Day


Arrive at 8 a.m. for check-in, followed by the 8-team Round Robin Toss from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. A break is scheduled from 12 to 1:30 p.m., with Advanced Brackets taking place from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. Prizes, including cash and trophies, will be awarded to the teams placing in the top four positions.

OCT 14



10 a.m.

Bring the entire familiy and enjoy viewing running antique tractors, horse-drawn wagons, marching bands, mounted equestrian groups, dancers, floats, fire engines, vintage cars and more. You will see it all at the 2023 Pioneer Day Parade. And the best part? It's free!

OCT 14





Every $1 donated gets them 6 miles of flight to treatment. Each trip from San Luis Obispo to Augusta, Georgia is 2,235 miles. Their total estimated treatment miles is 215,000 to 430,000 miles. For more information visit

OCT 21




10 a.m.-5 p.m.

The festival includes honey, demonstrations, pie-eating contest, monster mash dance contest, antiques, arts, crafts and other merchandise, along with a kid’s flea market.

OCT 28




The event promises Halloweenthemed adornments all around the Zoo, along with a medley of carnival games, a costume competition, Halloween-themed undertakings, a haunted house, and a collection of

tricks and treats to relish. With over 200 residents the Charles Paddock Zoo is the backdrop for this engaging and unforgettable Halloween celebration.

OCT 28




Bounce houses, climbing wall, euro bungee, food trucks, trunk and treat and carnival games. $20 per child 4 yrs and over, adults and younger kids are free, pay at the door.

OCT 31



3–6 p.m.

Trick-or-Treat throughout downtown at welcoming merchants.

NOV 2-5


The annual Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles celebrates Ignacy Jan Paderewski's diverse legacy with concerts, exhibits, wine tastings, youth piano competition, and cultural exchanges, highlighting the region's rich heritage. Find more information on concert times and locations here

October 2023 | 47

The following listing of area houses of worship is provided by the partnership between Adelaide Inn and PASO Magazine. We hope to include all houses of worship in the Paso Robles, Templeton, San Miguel, Shandon, and Bradley areas. Your congregation is welcomed to send us updates and information to make our list complete and accurate. If you have information, please send an email to or call (805) 237-6060. Please include your name, address, phone, service times, and name of spiritual leader of your congregation. Thank you, and stay blessed.


“ABC” Atascadero Bible Church

6225 Atascadero Mall


(805) 466-2051

Sunday 8am, 9am, 10:45

Thursday 7pm, Celebrate Recovery

Pastor Jeff Urke

Awakening Ways Center for Spiritual Living

9315 Pismo Ave.

10:00 a.m. at the Pavilion

Rev. Elizabeth Rowley Hogue

(805) 391-4465

Congregation Ohr Tzafon

“The Northern Light”

2605 Traffic Way

Atascadero, CA 93422

Friday Night Service 7:30 PM

(805) 466-0329

Cornerstone Community Church

9685 Morro Road

8:45 & 10:45 AM

Pastor John Marc Wiemann (805) 461-3899

Hope Lutheran Church

8005 San Gabriel Road, Atascadero

9am Sunday (in-person and livestream on YouTube)

Pastor: Aaron Smith (805) 461-0340


Creston Community Church

5170 O’Donovan Road Service: 9:00 a.m.

Pastor JD Megason


True Life Christian Fellowship

Lockwood/Jolon Road, across from the school in Lockwood Service: 9:30 a.m.

Pastor Erick Reinstedt (805) 472-9325


Heritage Village Church

At The Don Everingham Center Heritage Ranch Service: 10 a.m.

Pastor Brad Brown (805) 712-7265

Hilltop Christian Fellowship

2085 Gateway Drive

Heritage Ranch Service: 10:30 a.m.

Pastor Perry Morris & Jerry Gruber (805) 239-1716

Oak Shores Christian Fellowship

2727 Turkey Cove Rd., at the Oak Shores Community Clubhouse Service: 8:30 a.m.

Pastor Jerry Gruber (760) 304-2435


Apostolic Assembly of the Faith of Christ Jesus

2343 Park St

Bilingual Services: Services: Thursday 7 p.m.

Sunday 2 p.m.

Pastor Miguel Alvarado (805) 610-2930

Bridge Christian Church Centennial Park Banquet Room

600 Nickerson Dr. Service: 9:30 a.m.

Pastor Tim Mensing (805) 975-7178

Calvary Chapel Paso Robles

1615 Commerce Way Service: Sunday at 9 a.m.,

Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Pastor Aaron Newman (805) 239-4295

Chabad of Paso Robles

Rabbi Meir Gordon. 805-635-8684

Monthly - Friday evening at 7:00pm, Saturday morning at 10:00am

Please contact us for address and current schedule

Christian Life Center

1744 Oak St.

Service Time: 9:30 a.m.

Home Groups during the week


Christian Life Early Learning Ctr.

Pastor Guy Drummond

(805) 238-3366

Christian Science Services

17th & Chestnut Streets

Service: 10 a.m. Sunday & 2nd and 4th

Wednesdays 7 p.m.

(805) 238-3833

Church of Christ

3545 Spring St. (Corner 36th & Spring)

Service: Sunday, 11 a.m.

Evangelist Bob Champion

(805) 286-5875

Sam Hogan (310) 602-9516

Delbert Arthurs (805) 238-4412

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

1020 Creston Rd.

Service: 10 a.m.


Missionaries: (805) 366-2363

Covenant Presbyterian Church

1450 Golden Hill Rd.

Service: Sunday, 10:30 a.m.

Pastor Dan Katches


Family Worship Center

616 Creston Rd.

Service: 10 a.m.

Pastor Patrick Sheean

(805) 239-4809

First Baptist Church

1645 Park St.

Pastor Michael R. Garman

Services: 8:30 a.m. & 11 a.m.

Discipleship 10 a.m.

(805) 238-4419

First Mennonite Church

2343 Park St.

Service: 11 a.m.

Pastor Romero

(805) 238-2445

First United Methodist

915 Creston Rd.

Service: 11 a.m.

Pastor Josh Zulueta

(805) 238-2006

Grace Baptist Church

535 Creston Rd.

Service: 10 a.m.

Pastor Gary Barker

(805) 238-3549

Highlands Church

Corner S. River and Niblick | 215 Oak Hill

Services: 9-10 am & 10:30-11:30 am

Pastor James Baird

(805) 226-5800

Live Oak

1521 Oak St.

Service: 10 a.m.

Pastor John Kaiser (805) 238-0575

New Day

1228 11th St (east off Paso Robles St)

Services: Sunday 10 a.m., Wednesday 7 p.m.

Pastor Brad Alford

(805) 239-9998

New Life Tabernacle

3850 So. Ramada Dr. Ste. D

Service: 10 a.m.

Pastor Efrain Cordero

North County Christian Fellowship

421 9th St.

Service: 10 a.m.

Pastor Steve Calagna

(805) 239-3325

Paso Robles Bible Church

2206 Golden Hill Rd.

Service: Sunday 9:30 a.m.

Pastor Mark Wheeler/Pastor Dave Rusco

(805) 226-9670

Paso Robles Church of the Nazarene

530 12th St.

Service: 10:30 a.m.

Pastor Stephen Anastasia

(805) 238-4300

Paso Robles Community Church

2706 Spring St.

Service: 9:00 a.m.

Pastor Shawn Penn

(805) 239-4771

Plymouth Congregational Church, UCC

Thirteenth & Oak Street

Service: 10 a.m.

Rev. Wendy Holland

(805) 238-3321

Poder de Dios Centro Familiar

500 Linne Road, Suite D

Services: Sun. 4:30p.m., Wed. 7p.m.

Pastors: Frank and Isabel Diaz

(805) 264-9322 / (805) 621-4199

Redeemer Baptist Church

Kermit King Elementary School

700 Schoolhouse Circle

Service: 10:30 a.m.

Pastor Christopher Cole

(805) 238-4614

Second Baptist Church

1937 Riverside Ave.

Service: 11 a.m.

Pastor: Gary Jordon

(805) 238-2011

St. James Episcopal Church

1335 Oak St.

Services: 8 a.m. (Rite I), 10 a.m. (Rite II)

Reverend Barbara Miller

(805) 238-0819

St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church

820 Creston Rd.

Daily Mass- 8:30 a.m.

Saturday 8 a.m.

Tues. 7 p.m. Spanish

Saturday 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Spanish Vigil Mass

Sunday 8 a.m. & 10 a.m.;

Spanish Mass at 12:30PM

Father Rudolfo Contreras

(805) 238-2218

The Revival Center

3850 Ramada Dr., Ste. A-3

Service: 10 a.m.

Pastor Gabe Abdelaziz

(805) 434-5170

The Light of the World Church

2055 Riverside Ave.

Services: Everyday, 6 p.m.

Sundays 10 a.m. & 5 p.m.

Pastor Bonifacio Robles

(612) 990-4701

Trinity Lutheran Church

940 Creston Rd.

Worship Service: 9:30 a.m.

(805) 238-3702

Victory Baptist Church

3850 Ramada Dr. Ste D4

Sundays - 10 & 11 a.m.

Wednesday - 6:30 p.m.

Pastor Bruce Fore

(805) 221-5251

Victory Outreach Paso Robles

2919 Union Road, Paso Robles, CA

Services: Sunday, 10:30 a.m.

Thursday, 7:00 p.m.

Pastor Pete Torres

(805) 536-0035


Bethel Lutheran Church

295 Old County Rd.

Service: 9:30 a.m.

Interim Pastor Russ Gordon (805) 434-1329

Celebration Worship Center

Pentecostal Church of God

988 Vineyard Drive

Pastor Roy Spinks

Services: 10:30 a.m. & 6 p.m.

(805) 610-9819

Family Praise & Worship

Located at Vineyard Elementary School

2121 Vineyard Dr, Templeton

Service: 10 a.m.

Pastor Vern H Haynes Jr. (805) 975-8594

Templeton Presbyterian Church

610 S. Main St.

Service: 10 a.m.

Reverend Roger Patton (805) 434-1921

Higher Dimension Church

601 Main St.

1st Sunday: 1:30 p.m.

2nd - 5th Sundays 12:30 p.m.

Pastor Charlie Reed, Jr. (805) 440-0996

Life Community Church

8:30 & 10:30


3770 Ruth Way, Paso Robles, CA 93446 (805) 434-5040

Pastor Brandon Hall

Solid Rock Christian Fellowship

925 Bennett Way

Service: 10 a.m.

Pastor Jeff Saylor (805) 434-2616

Seventh-Day Adventist Church Templeton Hills

930 Templeton Hills Rd.

Services: Saturday 9:30 & 10:30 a.m.

Pastor Zac Page (805) 434-1710

Vineyard Church of Christ 601 So. Main St.

Service: 10 a.m.

Evangelist: Steve Orduno (805) 610-4272

Vintage Community Church

692 Peterson Ranch Road

Services: 9 & 11 a.m.

Coaches: Aaron Porter, Dayn Mansfield (805) 296-1120


Iglesia Fuente De Agua Viva 301 13th St.

Services: 10 a.m. & 7 p.m.

Pastor Mike Duran (805) 467-5500

Mission San Miguel Parish

775 Mission Street

Daily Mass: Monday – Friday, 8:00 am Saturday – 4:00 pm (English) Sunday – 7:00 am (English) • 10 am (Bilingual) • 12 pm (English) • 5 pm (Spanish)

Father Lucas Pantoja (805) 467-2131


Shandon Assembly of God

420 Los Altos Ave.

Spanish Service: Sun. 5 p.m., Thurs. 7 p.m.

Pastor Jim Mei (805)226-9737

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Longtime City Councilmember John Hamon was sworn in as the new Paso Robles mayor after councilmembers unanimously appointed him to fill the seat after the passing of Steve Martin.

During its regular meeting on Tuesday, September 5, the City Council voted to appoint a current council member to serve the remainder of Martin’s term as mayor. A special meeting was scheduled for Thursday night, September 7, to vote on the appointment, swear in the new mayor, and make decisions with how to move forward to fill the newly vacated City Council seat.

On Thursday night, Councilman Steve Gregory made a recommendation without hesitation: “I have worked with this young man next to me for a long time. John Hamon is a wonderful community member and great

John Hamon sworn in as new Paso Robles mayor

volunteer, and the most deserving person in the city to take over this seat over for Steve Martin in my opinion. He has done everything for our community and with our community.”

Hamon was first elected to the Paso Robles City Council in 2006 and is in his fifth term. He was serving as mayor pro tem at the time of his appointment.

Councilmember Fred Strong immediately seconded Gregory’s recommendation to appoint Hamon as the new Paso Robles mayor.

The council then unanimously voted to approve Hamon for mayor, and he was then immediately sworn in alongside his family.

“I wish the circumstances were different at this point in time, but I am willing and able to move forward and move our city with the


This issue of Paso Robles Magazine brought to you by

help of our council to get our city going in the right direction and keep our public happy with what we are doing,” said Hamon following his swearing-in.

Hamon will serve as mayor for the remainder of Martin’s term, which is three and a half years.

He told Paso Robles Press Magazine of his plans moving forward as mayor of the city: “I want to carry on the work of the council. We had goals and aspirations to do different things for the city.”

Though he never intended to run for mayor or be in the seat, he hopes to help move the city forward.

But he feels there are some ways he will not be able to live up to his predecessor. “There is no way I can live up to what Steve Martin was as a vocalist and the way he spoke eloquently about things,” he said.

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Last Word • Paso Robles New Mayor
Then Mayor Pro Tem John Hamon is shown during the Safety Fest in Paso Robles City Park in June of this year. Hamon has been sworn in as the new Paso Robles mayor, taking over for the late Steve Martin. Photo by Trisha Butcher
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