STYLE, ART, CULTURE, + EVENTS OF THE SOUTH VALLEY APRIL 2017
BRUNCH WORTH BITING
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FLORA EX MACHINA
THE NICKEL HOME
Valley Artist Creates ‘Postcards From the Future’
The Road to Three Rivers
Art writer Aaron Collins explores the unique digital work of artist Michael Frank.
8 Letter from the Executive Editor 10 Wordplay
BRUNCH WORTH BITING Très Bien Tailored Cuisine
Chef Elaine Dakessian and her team create a beautiful Mother’s Day brunch worth biting.
12 Refl ections of Visalia: The Wreck of Espee No. 97 20 Day Trip: Pasadena Showcase House of Design 46 Charity: Birdhouse Auction— Building a Community that Cares 50 Hidden Gem: Petersen Automotive Museum—A Tribute to the Love of Cars 54 Happenings
SOUTHERN KOREA Where Tradition Lives On
40 4 LIFEST YLE | APRIL 2017
Cheryl Dieter takes us on a journey through Southern South Korea, where tradition and culture are alive and well.
COVER: The Nickel’s three-story home has six decks, giving it a tree house atmosphere. TOP: The third-floor loft is considered the “party” room and features a wet bar, a large shuffleboard, and a vintage wood stove.
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DMI Agency 801 W. Main St. Visalia, CA 93291 Karen Tellalian Kelly Lapadula Malynda Parsons Greg Bitney Marcie Vagnino Chris Bly Kaci Hansen Aaron Collins Cheryl Dieter Cheryl Levitan Diane Slocum Elaine Dakessian Sue Burns Terry L. Ommen Malkasian Accountancy LLP Gary Malkasian CPA Jeffrey Malkasian EA Maria Gaston Melissa Olson Melissa@DMIAgency.com 801 W. Main St. Visalia, CA 93291 559.739.1747 • Fax 559.738.0909 Lifestyle@DMIAgency.com www.VisaliaLifestyle.com Issuu.com/LifestyleMagazine Facebook.com/LifestyleMag Instagram: visalialifestyle
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Visalia Lifestyle Magazine is published monthly and is distributed via direct mail to nearly 13,000 homes in the upper-middle and high-income neighborhoods in Visalia. An additional 2,500 copies are distributed at various distribution points around Visalia, Tulare, and Exeter. Views expressed in columns are those of the columnist and not necessarily those of DMI Agency or its advertisers. Circulation of this issue: 15,500 © 2017 DMI Agency
The Nickels did most of the landscaping themselves, which includes oak trees, redbud trees, Japanese maples, river rock flowerbeds, and a filtered koi pond. 6 LIFEST YLE | APRIL 2017
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FR O M TH E
t’s April, and we all know what that means; baseball has returned, bringing more joy to our lives. Well, there’s joy, then frustration, followed by outbursts, intense despair, then perhaps by the 9th inning, joy returns. When I hear people say they don’t watch baseball because it’s too boring, I feel certain they have never watched alongside die-hard fans. To the fans of “orange and black,” we wish you a season that extends well into October. To everyone else—you’re on your own. As you can tell, my
guests. Photos of Samantha’s design and more information about the event can be found starting on page 20. But, don’t wait too long—the show closes May 21. While you’re in Los Angeles, you may want to head over to the Petersen Automotive Museum. The Petersen, founded by magazine publisher Robert Petersen, houses an impressive collection of cars and memorabilia in the once-empty Ohrbach’s Department Store, located on Museum Row along the Miracle
Regardless the season, the Lifestyle staff thanks you for being avid readers, advertisers, and contributors. Although we often get the recognition, we know where the heart of our community lies, and it’s with you. E X E C U T I V E
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FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO SUBMIT A STORY IDEA, CONTACT ME AT KAREN@DMIAGENCY.COM
vision for world peace ends just short of the Giants vs. Dodgers rivalry. The more moderate temperatures of spring also usher in the urge for road trips or even Sunday drives. If you’re looking for somewhere out-of-the-ordinary to spend your weekend, Lifestyle has a couple of ideas you’re going to love. First up is the Pasadena Showcase House of Design, one of the oldest, largest, and most successful house and garden tours in the nation. While this on its own is enough reason to go, Visalia native and Redwood High School graduate, Samantha Williams, showcases her inside-outside design, “Cocktails at Five,” in the home’s loggia. This is Samantha’s fourth year to participate, and she is very excited to have created a romantic environment, perfect for entertaining
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Mile. Here, you’ll find yourself in the midst of plenty to do and within walking distance of three other major museums. Turn to page 50 for ideas on how to spend a beautiful spring afternoon only three hours from home. April is also National Poetry Month, and this month’s “Word Play” on page 10 includes quips by Robert Frost, E.E. Cummings, and Robert Burns that help us feel the essence of spring. We appreciate contributing writer, Diane Slocum, for keeping us in-the-know about all things literary. Regardless the season, the Lifestyle staff thanks you for being avid readers, advertisers, and contributors. Although we often get the recognition, we know where the heart of our community lies, and it’s with you. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of it.
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WO R D PLAY News on writing, books + the world of publishing
pril is National Poetry Month and a month when Spring is in the air. Many a poet lends his words to celebrate spring, such as Robert Frost in “A Prayer in Spring,” which begins: Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day; And give us not to think so far away As the uncertain harvest; keep us here All simply in the springing of the year. Or as E. E. Cummings wrote in the first lines of his poem: Spring is like a perhaps hand (which comes carefully out of Nowhere.)…
28 farm workers who for seven decades were known only as “the deportees.” Music that evening will be by Lark. The spring and summer events are sponsored by the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust, Inc. The events are free of charge. Wine and desserts may be purchased. Attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic, lawn chair and blanket. It can get chilly, even when the days are hot. The address is 11605 Old Friant Road (down the hill from current Friant Road).
Or Robert Burns who begins: O WERE my Love yon Lilac fair, Wi’ purple blossoms to the Spring… A few other poets whose words can capture the essence of spring include James Wright (“A Blessing”), Gerard Manley Hopkins (“Spring”), D. H. Lawrence (“The Enkindled Spring”) and Claude McKay (“Spring in New Hampshire”). These and others can be found at poets. org, poetryfoundation.org, and many other sites online. VALLEY WRITERS Carole Firstman leads off the Valley Writers who will participate in the Respite by the River this year. Firstman will be discussing her adventures in writing on April 26 from 7 to 8 p.m. at the River Center on the San Joaquin River north of Fresno. Book sales and signing will follow Firstman’s reading of her works. Music will be provided by Stomata from 6 to 7 p.m. Tim Z. Hernandez will be reading from his latest book, All They Will Call You, on May 18. Through exhaustive research and with emotionally wrenching storytelling, Hernandez has put names and personalities to victims of the plane crash at Los Gatos, which took the lives of 10 L I F E S T Y L E | A P R I L 2 0 1 7
texts to break open narrative desires.” The class will be held from June 26 to July 9. Deadline for application is May 1. “Visual Storytelling: The Art & Craft of the Graphic Novel” will be taught from July 10 to July 23. Deadline for application is May 15. “Sexuality and Love in Creative Writing” will be the topic for July 10 to July 23. Application deadline is May 15. Scholarships are based on need and talent. Details at: blogs.calstate. edu/summerarts/program-details.
WRITING COURSES Deadlines for this summer’s California State University Summer Arts program, to be held at Fresno State, are in May. The in-residence program is designed to build professional skills, gain new insights, and make life-changing shifts in perspective. Fresno writer Armen Bacon is an alumna of this program. “It really fueled my passion for writing and really taught me enough of the craft so I thought I could be dangerous,” she said. The writing classes include “Hybrid Poetics and Narratives,” which is described as “a mingling of images and
Entries for The Malahat Review Far Horizons Award for Short Fiction are due by May 1. Authors who have not published in book form (includes self-publishing) are eligible to enter. The entry may not have been published elsewhere. Maximum length: 3,500 words. Entry fee is $30 for Americans. The prize is $1,000 Canadian. Details at: malahatreview.ca/contests/ far_horizons_fiction/info.html. The Writer’s “Spring Cleaning” contest deadline is May 8. This contest encourages entrants to spring clean their draft folders and polish up stories they have been hanging onto. Maximum word count is 2,000. New stories from the “idea bank” are also allowed. No theme or genre restrictions. Grand prize is $1,000 and publication. Details at: writermag.submittable.com/submit. THE LAST WORD “To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter... to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring—these are some of the rewards of the simple life.” – John Burroughs, 1837-1921.
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This is an actual French Photographer photo showing the damage to the engine. Notice the placard with the number 97 on the side of the overturned engine. The Mt. Whitney Power smokestacks can be seen in the background. [Photo courtesy of Marian Shippey Cote]
THE WRECK OF
ESPEE NO. 97
hen Visalia took root in 1852, the founders obviously liked what they had created and appreciated, even more, the potential that it offered. With that in mind, they went to work promoting their new home. These early settlers knew that one almost surefire way to build a town was to get the attention of a railroad. The arrival of passenger and freight service tended to enhance a community’s image and add significantly to a positive business climate. So the first arrivals worked tirelessly to persuade railroad companies to come. In 1874, after much effort, Visalia’s dream came true and the town celebrated as the first tracks arrived, just 22
years after the town began. Even though Visalia was not on a main line, but only a spur line, it had access to anywhere in the country by rail. But the arrival of the iron horse wasn’t without problems. Of course there was the oftentimes deafening noise generated by the big locomotive engines and the accompanying bells and whistles. And then there were the injuries that were the result of working around heavy railroad equipment, like the time a wayward crowbar went flying against Thomas Foran’s head while mechanical repairs were being made. There were even more dramatic incidents like the one that occurred on June 2, 1914. Although sensational, T EXT
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TE R RY
O MME N
fortunately the notable wreck left only minor injuries and little damage. The event began at about 3 p.m. when Southern Pacific’s westbound passenger train #97 was pulling into Visalia, having left Exeter earlier in the day. Traveling at about 25 mph, the train, operated by Engineer Bert Meigs, was approaching the wide sweeping curve by the Mt. Whitney Steam Plant (now near E. Main just west of Ben Maddox Way). Meigs noticed a brick laying on the track, but wasn’t worried as he had experienced them before and they never had been a problem. They would just push off track as the train’s wheel came in contact. But this time, the brick reacted differently. As soon as the locomotive
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hit it, the engineer felt a jar and he instinctively applied the air brakes. But they had no effect as he felt the engine slip off the rails and skid along the tracks for about 10 feet, then drop down onto the ties. The momentum of the heavy moving train forced it to skid another 200 feet, then the locomotive toppled over. The tender car was tossed across the tracks, but the derailed baggage car and the two passenger coaches remained upright. Early reports suggested Meigs and train fireman Fred Williams were almost crushed to death as they leaped from the out-of-control train cars. Later these claims were corrected
that evening, the tracks were cleared, the damaged cars were removed, and the tracks were ready to resume traffic. The Espee quickly assembled a “Board of Inquiry” to investigate the incident. The board was made up of three railroad officials: J. H. Dodds, Assistant Superintendent, J. Tangney, Roadmaster, and C. W. Jones, Road Foreman of Engines. Two Visalians were also selected to be on the board: William R. Spalding, Visalia lumberman, and Rollins R. Harris, manager of the Cross-Horlock Hardware Company. The board spent the day of June 4 reviewing the circumstances of the incident and hearing testimony. That evening
However, Clyde Lary, local Espee Station Agent, claimed there were two bricks on the track. He said, “There is not the slightest doubt in the world… that the wreck was caused by the two bricks, which were found on the tracks after the accident.” Exactly how the brick or bricks got on the track was not covered in the report. It remains a mystery. The Exeter Sun newspaper publicly reported what others were thinking, “Who placed the bricks there is the question. Some say a wagon load of brick went across the track just a few moments before from which they might have fallen, while others contend that they were
when it was learned that the two wise men stayed in the locomotive hugging the floor as it turned over. The violent crash caused considerable excitement in town. As the dust cleared, the railroad crew and the passengers began to emerge from the wreck. Remarkably, no one was killed or even seriously injured. Would-be rescuers began arriving, but no one needed rescuing. Other than some cuts and bruises on a few people, only fireman Williams was on the injured list. The Southern Pacific, sometimes called the Espee, moved quickly to clear the scene of the accident of debris and equipment. The company “wrecking train” arrived early in the evening, remarkably just a few hours after the accident, and by 10:45 p.m.
they submitted their public report. Their findings were interesting. They called the accident a derailment and placed the exact time of occurrence at 3:18 p.m. Company property damage was determined to be $700 to the engine, $35 to the baggage car, and track damage of $125. The only injury noted was fireman Fred Williams for which he was granted one day disability leave. Their investigation found no defects on the train wheels or the air brakes. Their conclusion was that the derailment was caused by a brick on the track, but not just any brick; a “soft” one that crushed when hit by the train wheel. The thickness of the crushed material caused the engine wheel to rise and derail.
deliberately placed there by someone.” Rail service in Visalia continued for many years. None of the negative aspects of the railroad diminished the benefits it provided. 1916 marked the record high mileage year for railroads throughout the country. But the years that followed saw automobiles, airplanes, buses, and trucks take over, and the glory days of railroading began to subside.
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LEFT: This is an actual French Photographer photo of the accident scene with the passenger cars in the foreground. Notice the curve in the tracks. [Photo courtesy of Marian Shippey Cote] RIGHT: The Southern Pacific Railroad Depot at Church and Oak Streets as it appeared in about 1910. Railroad officials are standing in front and Station Agent Clyde Lary is on the far left.
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C R E AT E S
ou might say that artist Michael Frank occupies something of a catbird seat at the intersection of mediated nature and digital culture. Georgian by birth and raised in Michigan, Frank’s work reflects those two aspects of his adopted home in California: That of both Hollywood, the world’s chief progenitor of digitally-derived cultural output, and of a San Joaquin Valley that is locus and exemplar of the agricultural industry’s biology-on-steroids approach to production. The Fresno-based Frank, who exhibited recently at the Arts Consortium’s soon-to-bevacated gallery in Visalia, uses 3D digital tools to explore scenes comprised of fantastical botanical forms submerged in familiar, yet disquieting, atmospheres. His dislocating effects are countered by highly specific, finely rendered imaginary stems, stalks, pistils, fronds, and stamen all defying classification, struggling for air in a digital medium often known for its airlessness. This creative approach might be termed flora ex machina, in which Frank wrings mystery from a seemingly endless array of biological-mechanical hybrids in acidic, occasionally lurid colors. His digitally-generated plant forms and curious fauna-like structures seem to undulate in landscapes whose subaquatic tones virtually pulse with life, much as the Great Barrier Reef once did. Perhaps it is the recent
demise of the Reef—due to bleaching from increasing ocean temperatures— that plays among the factors making Frank’s work relevant to our times: His artificial realities are computer-
generated stand-ins for a natural world that is vanishing quicker than anyone can catalog the known world and its countless as-yet undiscovered species. Think Avatar-meets-Avalon. But Frank’s vision is distinct from T E X T
Bubblegum and Sawgrass
A A R O N
many futuristic artists who prefer digital tools to convey theirs. His work hearkens back to a more traditional sensibility. American landscape painters, especially from the Hudson River School, such as Martin Johnson Heade, and the Naturalists of the 19th Century, such as Ernst Haeckel and J. J. Audubon, provide inspiration. “I sometimes see myself as a naturalist mapping ‘new territory’ the same way these painters and explorers did, although in my case it is more of a personal, mental exploration,” said Frank. In more contemporary terms, non-digital contemporary artists who also draw on art history— Alexis Rockman, Walton Ford, and his Fresno homeboy Darren Waterston—all come to mind when considering Frank’s work. “Not all digital art involves slick futuristic scenes, and my work is an example of this,” said Frank. “My sensibilities as an artist are strongly rooted in the traditions I learned from. My development and evolution as an artist has allowed me to ART make a strong statement on the NOW parallels and contrasts between contemporary and traditional culture. I'm fascinated with the opportunities to reproduce the look of an old painting with completely modern media. Since my landscapes involve a timeless, dreamlike quality, it's only fitting that I'd liken my imagery to ‘ancient postcards from the future,’ and digital technology is a particularly apt way to do so.”
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The artist creates imagery pieceby-piece from 3D wireframe models that are rendered and then composited in Photoshop. Each image is composed of up to 100,000 objects, arranged in hundreds of layers before being compressed ART and printed. The end NOW product is an image that appears photo-realistic in most aspects, and yet no photography is actually used. Each object is also 3D printable as a sculptural object. In addition, Frank’s “objects” can be animated with filmmaking tools. Frank’s work is generally compelled by an ongoing interest in mapping and identifying the elusive qualities of his dream environments, he says. “For many years I've been recording my dreams and investigating, as it were, the places that have established themselves over time in my psyche. Each image is an attempt to map part of that territory with the idea that the objects themselves are remnants of bigger, deeper symbols. In a general and abstract way, these ideas can be somewhat decoded by the viewer, not as a literal statement, but a kind of story or ‘song without words,’” as he sees it. The dark vision of H.R. Giger, who created a world of monster-machine hybrid aliens (of the eponymous movie franchise note), provides one counterpoint for Frank’s more enchanted, if occasionally jaundiced,
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art. “The amazing success and quality of Giger's work is that it is so immersive and encompassing. The world he created was consistently unique and every detail was expertly crafted. I aim to approach my art making in a similar manner,” said Frank. The spaces he illustrates are made one little piece at a time. “I allow myself to explore and travel in as many different directions as possible, and since I'm doing this constantly, there is a semblance of regularity and similarity in my images and objects.” How does Frank’s art align with and/or differ from the typical tropes of "fantasy" art? Does he see his work falling within this category? Is that classification or fantasy’s conventions limiting in some way, like Pop Surreal with all its now nearlyliturgical conventions, a la Mark Ryden’s Keane-inspired big-eyed children? “Classifying art is in my estimation a significantly different process than, say, classifying the flora and fauna of the world,” said Frank. “Science allows us to be precise, but with art,
it's another matter; a single image or artwork can escape many traditional categories— or straddle them at the same time. I might refer to categories to simplify explanations, but I see my work in several different ways, and those ways constantly change and evolve. Sometimes my work falls within Shells in Grass the ‘fantasy’ category, or ‘science fiction,’ even. It sounds funny to say this, but I've had critics tell me that if I really want to cater to the ‘fantasy crowd,’ I need to concentrate on adding castles and dragons and Celtic scrollwork in order to ‘nail it down.’” So far, Frank has resisted. In what is perhaps a sign of the digital times in which we live, Frank’s piece entitled In Humid Calm was featured on the home page of DeviantArt a couple years ago, when Frank received more than 50,000 page views in a day, along with 26,000 messages from admirers. Digital work as a category may still be overcoming the same critical and academic resistance that "fine art photography" has had to address, but clearly Frank’s images have provoked interest, fanned by the hyper-exposure offered by the internet. The work may be a bit mysterious, and it's possible that deliberate revelations will remain elusive. But viewers have taken to it, invited to enter into the spaces he creates to use their own associative faculties in decoding these fantastical places.
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hen you live in the Central Valley, the occasional day trip is a must, whether it’s to explore the neighboring cities, escape the summer’s heat, or celebrate a special occasion. Over the years, many Visalians have enjoyed heading south to see the Pasadena Showcase House of Design, one of the oldest, largest, and most successful house and garden tours in the nation. And while that in and of itself is impressive, one of Visalia’s own has an important hand—literally—in bringing the Showcase to life. Samantha Williams, a Visalia native and Redwood High School graduate, has been designing one of the spaces on the home tour for four years now. This year, Samantha’s firm, Ederra Design, opted to redesign an indoor-
LIFEST YLE | APRIL 2017
outdoor space, called a loggia, overlooking the Showcase home’s beautiful garden. “Last year we did a 1,500 sq.ft. space that involved a lot of construction, so it was very refreshing to do a space that was more focused on the decorating aspect of our field, and to really create a feeling,” said Samantha. To accomplish this “feeling,” Samantha and her team decided on a “Cocktails at Five” theme for the loggia. They wanted the space to generate a sense of romance, so they used darker hues of blue, rod iron furnishings, elegant outdoor drapery, and gold accessories. While the team implemented more modern colors and fabrics to the space, they kept the home’s English Tudor style architecture in mind when it came to the details. They
added a special gold treatment to the ceiling that resembled an aged fresco, making it appear as though it had been part of the home for years. They also brought in additional plants and traditional planters to achieve an English garden feel. “We wanted to create a space that had a lot of interest, romance, and a little bit of moody color,” said Samantha. “We wanted it to be an atmosphere and environment that people could enjoy and envision themselves entertaining guests.” The home itself is actually what inspired Samantha and her team to take on the loggia. Because of the time-consuming commitment of last year’s Master Suite reconstruction project, they initially weren’t going to do this year’s Showcase. But once Samantha walked through the 1916 Tudor style mansion, she fell in love. “It has a story-book charm to it with big rolling grounds on several acres of land,” said Samantha. “When
“I was sitting in the movie theatre with my mom and my husband, and all of a sudden the scene starts to pan across the loggia,” said Samantha. “This was right after I decided to do it, so I said out-loud in the movie theatre, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s my loggia for Showcase!’ So it has a nice little piece of Hollywood history attached to it.” While the house itself may be the main attraction, the Showcase also features an on-site restaurant, a pub, and a marketplace. With 20 to 30 vendors, visitors can purchase gifts from a variety of shops selling jewelry, clothing, handbags, home décor, and other delights. Samantha says it’s always a great time, and it never fails that she runs into people visiting from her hometown. “It’s so funny, I see people from Visalia every year,” said Samantha. “Sometimes I’ll see people wearing a Tulare Western or Redwood High School sweatshirt, and then I
It has a story-book charm to it with big rolling grounds on several acres of land. When I saw the covered patio that looks out on to the main garden and the pool, I thought ‘you know, I would really love to do an indoor-outdoor space. S A M A N T H A W I L L I A M S
I saw the covered patio that looks out onto the main garden and the pool, I thought ‘you know, I would really love to do an indoor-outdoor space.’” In addition to Samantha’s design group, approximately 20 other firms took on design projects throughout the 7,479 sq. ft. Showcase house, whether it’s reconstructing the kitchen, updating the living or dining room, renovating the master bedroom, or creating a whole new outdoor landscape. Each group puts their own spin on the home’s design while working within a color palette provided by the Showcase organization. One very unique and unexpected aspect of the space that Samantha worked on was that it was featured in the recent Oscar-winning film, La La Land. 22
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happen to meet new people who are also from the valley, so it’s fun.” The Showcase makes for a great day-trip or weekend destination, and it’s also a great way to support the arts in California. Every year since 1965, the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts (PSHA) has presented the Showcase House of Design as their annual fundraiser. As a nonprofit organization, they have raised more than $21 million in gifts and grants that go toward music programs throughout Los Angeles and the surrounding area. The Pasadena Showcase House of Design will run from April 23 to May 21. It’s open to the public Tuesdays through Sundays. More information on parking and tickets can be found online at pasadenashowcase.org.
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219 West Main Street • Visalia, CA 93291 • 559.733.0213 In Beautiful Downtown Visalia Since 1991
THE NICKEL HOME
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T H E R OA D TO
The three-story home is a virtual tree house with decks off every room.
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River rock columns, cozy lanterns, and the shade of billowing trees invite guests inside
riving the road to and from Three Rivers each day might seem long and monotonous for some, but to Gene and Carol Nickel, it’s the peaceful road home at the end of a long day. But it wasn’t always that way; for a long time, the road to Three Rivers was just a dream. Up until they met in 1984, Gene and Carol’s lives were on very different paths, but you could say their roads merged somewhere along the 198-East, bound for the hills. On their very first date at the old White Horse Inn restaurant in Three Rivers, Gene and Carol discovered they had a lot in common, including a mutual, life-long admiration for Three Rivers. “On this date, we found out that we were both skiers, we were both at the same Dave Brubeck concert in 1961 in San Jose, we both had family homes in Cayucos, and we both loved Three Rivers,” said Carol. Fast-forward five months after their first date, and Gene and Carol married, merging their two families 26 L I F E S T Y L E | A P R I L 2 0 1 7
in a true “Brady Bunch” fashion. As a father of two sons, Gene “bravely,” as Carol puts it, moved in with her and her three daughters. Despite the inevitable learning curve of figuring out how to survive in a house full of
women, it wasn’t long before Gene and his sons got the hang of it, and their two families became one. After living in Exeter for several years, Gene and Carol decided to pursue their dream of living in Three Rivers. They spent many weekends
exploring the different areas and rivers before deciding to build on the South Fork of the Kaweah River. “We looked at everything on the river that was for sale,” said Gene. “Several we really liked, but each time we talked about things we wanted to change or tear down. So the bottom line was, why would we remodel when we could build our dream house?” Gene and Carol purchased a twoacre property on the South Fork of the river, where they built a 1,200 sq. ft. cabin before breaking ground on their three-story home. They initially planned to use the cabin as a weekend getaway, but plans changed when their home in Exeter sold much faster than they anticipated. “Our youngest was still going to high school in Exeter and we thought it would take a year to sell the house, so we put it on the market to see what would happen,” said Gene. “And it actually sold immediately, within about two months.” With no place to call home, the Nickels ended up moving into their
The getaway cabin is where Gene and Carol lived for three years while their home was being built.
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wanted each room to face in getaway cabin, where they order to capture all of these lived for three years while their views, so when we met with the house was being built. Despite architect, we told him exactly living in a small space with all where we wanted the rooms.” of their earthly possessions The third floor loft has perhaps stashed away in storage, they the most breathtaking view were finally in Three Rivers; their of the South Fork River and dream was becoming a reality. the mountains in the distance, When Gene and Carol were but the views aren’t the only drawing up plans for their thing the loft is known for; it’s home, they knew they wanted considered the “party” room, it to have a lodge, or even tree complete with a large wet bar, house, feel. The home’s six a vintage wood stove, decks, three-stories, vaulted and a shuffle board. ceilings, and countless windows In addition to the loft, the achieve this feel and flawlessly house displays a variety of bring the outdoors in. unique features, like Gene’s 12“I think what I love about this foot deep wine cellar, which his house is not only the feeling of carpenters constructed from the bringing the outdoors in, but that wood of an you can go out old local barn of any room, they salvaged. any deck, and Throughout find sun or HOME TOUR the house, shade,” said there are also Carol. “And a number every window of beautiful, frame is a custompicture. You stained glass don’t need windows, a lot of art several of on the walls which Carol because of made herself. the views; it’s While the just beautiful home has just in here.” two bedrooms No matter and two where you are Carol makes the steep trek up to her “tree house” several days a week. bathrooms, in the house, it has plenty the rushing of space for river serves as entertaining friends and family. a soothing soundtrack, and each It has been the location for window provides a snapshot of many large holiday gatherings a tree or mountain; it seems as over the last 25 years, and though the walls separating you continues to be a “party” spot from the outdoors disappear for friends and acquaintances. completely to make way for “I call it a gathering house,” nature’s majestic display. said Carol. “We only have two Even the materials used bedrooms, knowing that we have throughout the home bring the cabin for overflow or guests, in an extra element of the and because most of our family outdoors. With pine ceilings, lives close by, we don’t have too redwood siding, red oak wood many people coming from far floors, clear heart redwood away to stay here. We can gather walls, and a fireplace made of a lot of people in this house.” local river rock, the house is Even in the midst of the one with its surroundings. home’s beautiful views, unique “We’re skiers and we love features, and proximity to nature, the lodge look, so we wanted Gene and Carol treasure the a mountain feel,” said Carol. memories most; Carol has also “We actually knew where we 28 L I F E S T Y L E | A P R I L 2 0 1 7
The living room features a vaulted ceiling, a river rock wood-burning fireplace, and large windows to provide plenty of natural light. The area rug and wooden chair (to the right) are family heirlooms, dating back to the 1800s.
The dining room overlooks the South Fork of the Kaweah River.
The guest bedroom is decorated in French Country Pierre Deux wallpaper and furnishings.
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The kitchen remains one of Carol’s favorite spots in the home, as she loves to cook for her family.
brought her own family memories into the home by implementing several décor pieces from her childhood, like her grandmother’s old rug and a chair her great-grandfather made in 1875. “The house is full of memories,” said Carol. “This rug came from my grandmother’s old house in Visalia—the big white house where Green Acres runs into Main Street. This rug was in her dining room and it came from my great- grandfather’s house in Los Angeles. It’s well over 100 years old and might even be close to 150 years.” Both Gene and Carol’s families are rooted deeply in Visalia and Tulare County history. Gene’s family owned Nickel’s Payless Markets throughout Tulare County, and Carol’s biological grandfather was Fred Uhl of Uhl Rubber Company, which still exists today on Main Street in Visalia. When Fred died in the 1940s, her grandmother remarried into the Harrell family, a name that goes back to the 1800s in Visalia. In fact, local historian Terry L. Ommen has written about the Harrell family in Lifestyle Magazine on multiple occasions. While Gene and Carol both have rich family histories in Visalia, they each have shaped their own unique history that has made an impact on the community. 30 L I F E S T Y L E | A P R I L 2 0 1 7
“When I sold the grocery business, I needed something else to do, so I went into farming in the early 2000s,” said Gene. “For whatever reason, I wanted to grow avocados. I originally wanted it to be a hobby, but now I have 40 acres and it has become work; but it’s a lot of fun. I love to be out under the trees.” Gene also grows pecans and a variety
of citrus, so he makes the trek “down the hill” to tend to his crops on a daily basis. And Carol, a retired hospice nurse, also keeps herself very busy acting as board president of the Open Arms House, a nonprofit hospice home in Visalia, set to open this summer. “I go down the hill every day,” said Carol. “I’ve also got some property
that I manage, so I’m down in Visalia a lot. We keep very busy.” While some often question why anyone would want to drive back and forth between Three Rivers and Visalia every day, Carol and Gene both see it as their time to unwind after a day’s work. And really, you can’t beat the scenery. “It’s amazing how many people ask, ‘don’t you get tired of the drive?’ Well, I don’t even try to explain to them that it really isn’t much of a drive,” said Gene. Carol added, “And there are a lot of people who make the drive down to Visalia every day. It’s just beautiful, and there’s some downtime.” Carol also starts her mornings with some downtime at her “tree house,” a lookout spot she built a few miles from their home. Several years ago, Carol discovered the spot while on a run, so she contacted the property owner, purchased the land, and built her very own “tree house.” Even now, she continues to walk the steep, 19 percent grade to the top of her hill several days a week. “This is my special spot,” said Carol. “I walk it in the mornings with the dogs, and I absolutely love it. This hangout is going to be my forever Three Rivers spot. It’s just so peaceful.” The third-floor loft features a wet bar and a shuffleboard.
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Regardless of where the future takes them, Three Rivers will always remain Gene and Carolâ€™s special place; itâ€™s the place where they had their first date, where they built their first house together, and where they formed decades of family memories. The road to Three Rivers will always be the road to home.
The cabin is now used as an Air B&B rental for people who come to visit the Sequoias.
The main deck off of the living room has panoramic views of the mountains and the river.
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Steps from the home lead down to the South Fork River.
Carol stays active by using the endless pool, which overlooks the river.
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biting A BRUNCH WORTH
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very year when Mother’s Day rolls around, it’s easy to feel like nothing we do can truly show how much we appreciate our mothers. While flowers and chocolates are always welcomed, sometimes a thoughtful gesture can communicate our gratefulness on a level that no gift can. This Mother’s Day, take some time to let your mother know what she means to you, whether it’s by preparing a delicious brunch, surprising her with a special day-trip, or simply spending a little extra time with her. If you’re not sure what to make this Mother’s Day, Elaine Dakessian and her crew at Trés Bien Tailored Cuisine have you covered with this beautiful brunch spread. From a light smoked salmon pastry dish to a refreshing beverage with a little kick, this brunch is sure to show your mom how much you care.
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SMOKED SALMON CREAM CHEESE PUFFS INGREDIENTS 5 oz smoked salmon TT salt and pepper 2 tsp freshly chopped dill Capers, optional 4 oz cream cheese, softened 1 sheet puff pastry Eggwash: 1 egg 1 T milk
DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 400° F. Season the salmon with salt and pepper to taste. Whip the cream cheese, dill, and capers in a bowl until well combined. Spread evenly over the puff pastry sheet. Place salmon on top of the mixture. Brush edges of puff pastry with egg wash. Roll lengthwise (note: from remaining puff pastry, you can cut shapes with cookie cutters to decorate your roll). Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, brushing with more egg wash. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
ROASTED FINGERLING POTATOES INGREDIENTS Fingerling potatoes Olive oil Thyme or rosemary DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 375°F. Wash potatoes and toss with olive oil and fresh thyme or rosemary. Roast on a foil-lined sheet pan for about 30 minutes.
PEAR, RADICCHIO & FENNEL SALAD INGREDIENTS 2 Asian pears, sliced into ¼-inch slices 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced or shaved 1 head radicchio, thinly sliced like slaw Pea sprouts Dressing: White balsamic vinegar Olive oil 1 tsp Dijon Salt and pepper 1 T honey DIRECTIONS Whisk all dressing ingredients in a bowl. Toss with prepared salad ingredients and serve.
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PEAR-HIBISCUS COOLER INGREDIENTS 2 C water 2 C sugar 6 hibiscus flowers 1 bartlett pear, cut into ¼-inch slices Tequila Sparkling water or lime soda DIRECTIONS On the stove, dissolve sugar in the water. Add the hibiscus and pear slices and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let steep for an hour. To make the drink, take a Collins glass, fill with ice, add 1-½ ounces tequila, 2 ounces hibiscus pear syrup, and top off with lime soda or sparkling water.
INDIVIDUAL QUICHE IN PROSCIUTTO CUPS Makes 6 INGREDIENTS
24 slices prosciutto 1 C grated Fontina, Gruyere, or cheese of choice 2 tsp fresh chives, chopped Asparagus, blanched and sliced 1 C spring peas, blanched Crème fraîch, to garnish Use a 6-hole large muffin tin, extra deep
Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray muffin tins liberally with nonstick spray. Line each slot with slices of prosciutto all around to form a cup. Whisk together the custard in a bowl. Pour egg custard into each prosciutto-lined slot. Add a sprinkling of asparagus, chives, peas, and cheese. Fill each cup the same way. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes. If you jiggle the pan and it is still loose in the middle but browning on top, lay a piece of foil on top to slow down the browning and continue to cook an additional 5 to 8 minutes. Garnish top with a dollop of crème fraîche.
Custard: 1 C half-and-half 1 egg 1 egg yolk Salt and pepper Freshly grated nutmeg
STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE INGREDIENTS
4 C flour 3 T butter ¼ tsp salt ½ C sugar 5 tsp baking powder 3 C heavy cream or buttermilk Zest of one orange
Preheat oven to 450°F. Sift flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Using a box grater, grate butter into the flour and cut in until it resembles coarse sand. Add in orange zest and cream and mix until dough comes together. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 1-minute. Roll out the dough to a 1-inch thickness and cut with a biscuit cutter. Place in the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. For the berry mixture, place berries in a bowl and add the sugar and liqueur. Let sit for at least 2 hours before serving with the shortcake.
Berry mixture: 1 pint each: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries 1 C sugar 3 oz Grand Marnier
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Haedong Yonggungsa Temple.
S O U T H E R N K O R E A
WHERE TRADITION LIVES ON I
pottery and coral jewelry, while small stalls sold medicinal herbs and barks, which beckoned us over for a look. But we hustled by as it was time to catch the 181 bus out to Haedong Yonggungsa Temple. Haedong Temple was first built in 1376 during the Goryeo Dynasty. Perched on the hills and sporting breathtaking views, it is probably one of most beautiful temple locations I have ever visited. For hundreds of years the faithful have pilgrimaged here to pray. Sadly, the Japanese destroyed the temple during their occupation of the country, but in 1970 the complex was completely reconstructed using both original and new materials. As you enter the temple grounds you are greeted by 12 larger-thanlife zodiac figures that protect the entrance. Beyond it is the eight-story pagoda, the purpose of which is to pray for traffic safety. Heading down the 108 steps to the temple, which are lined by stone lanterns, we soaked in the beauty before us as soft turquoise waters came into view. We passed by the Yacksayeorae Buddha, with mentally and physically ill praying before it in hopes of having their ills healed. Further down, the Golden Buddha guards the sea and protects those
t was Thanksgiving and I was sitting on the warm white sands of Haeundae Beach in Busan, South Korea. Cargo ships swam out on the horizon of Koreaâ€™s largest port city, and numerous small islands seemed to wave in the breeze while old ladies moved slowly to the rhythm of their Tai Chi instructor. The area is very cosmopolitan with expensive condos and exclusive shops lining the beach, but behind the glitz and glam, the city thrives on old-fashioned courtesy. Busan is reminiscent of San Francisco with houses on snaking green hills that drop down into both the Yellow and South Seas. But we didnâ€™t come for the hip and the new; we came for the old and set out to find it. Two blocks from our condo we found the old market that has been in this exact place for hundreds of years. Street food is the name of the game in these alleyways. The smell of saucy chicken dumplings, spicy rice cakes, steamed kimchi buns, and fresh-off-the-boat fish filled the air. We sampled supple sushi rolls wrapped in fresh seaweed, humongous beef sticks, and warm shrimp tempura that filled our bellies, yet left us wanting to sample more. Small family-owned shops glistened with celadon
T E X T PHOTO COURTESY OF THINKSTOCK IMAGES
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whose livelihoods depend on it. Crossing the Half Moon Bridge, we arrived in front of the dragon, which represents the divine god of the East Sea, whose job it is to protect the colorful temple itself. We removed our shoes as we viewed the altar, which held more golden Buddhas, while richly hued carvings and paintings lined the walls. The temple was truly a sight to behold as the silence was deafening out of the respect for the deity. We took the 181 back into the city as the mountains climbed before us. I then headed over to the World’s Mystery Library, the first of its kind in the world. More than 17,000 mystery books, many first editions, line the walls of this fivestory building. The bottom floor houses a café in which patrons snack as they peruse the mystery of their choice. The next day we contemplated a visit to a jinjilhang, a traditional communal
bath and sauna, but were out-voted by the kids who insisted on a trip to the Busan Aquarium. Small and compact, this “jungle of the sea” has many handson exhibits and more than 35,000 species of fish, amphibians, and other sea life. But the best exhibit is the glass tunnel that you walk through as sharks and other sea creatures swim above you. It’s a great way to get up close and personal to your favorite sea critters. We enjoyed dinner at a traditional Korean barbecue, where you cook your meat (bulgogi-beef) on a grill at your table. The bulgogi is then wrapped in lettuce leaves, stuffed with rice and pepper paste, and the entire thing popped into your mouth; oftentimes, the waitress forces the food into your mouth for you. Numerous side dishes of rice, kimchi, pickled garlic and cucumber, lettuce leaves, and other delectables are served. Korean
barbecues are numerous and almost any one you pick is sure to be a winner. After several days, we said goodbye to Busan and took the KTX bullet train straight southwest across the country to the city of Mokpo. I loved the bullet train; it was comfortable, clean, and we arrived at exactly the minute printed on our tickets. We found a taxi to take us to the Fontana Beach Hotel across from the “boardwalk.” As it turned out, our hotel happened to be straight across from the Mokpo Dancing Sea Fountain, which turns water and light into something amazing when the lights go out in the city. Mokpo, a seaside community, is located in the non-touristy part of Korea and gives off a very different vibe of tradition and respect for one’s elders, which is doused with a slight suspicion of modern Korea. After checking into our rooms, we headed to “Museum Row.” Here you will
Busan is reminiscent of San Francisco with houses on snaking green hills that drop down into both the Yellow and South Seas. But we didn’t come for the hip and the new; we came for the old and set out to ﬁnd it. C H E R Y L L . D I E T E R
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Mokpo from the Maritime Museum
Market at Busan
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Mokpo Maritime Museum
Path leading to Haedong Temple Dragon in front of Haedong Temple
Haeundae Beach, Busan
Photo by Kullen J. Dieter
Unlike Seoul, which is large, fast-paced, and loud, Southern Korea is a gentler and kinder place. People here still give up their seats to the elderly, they invite strangers home to dinner, and they are helpful and kind to tourists. C H E R Y L L . D I E T E R
find the National Maritime Museum, The Natural History Museum, the Ceramic Livingware Museum, and the Modern History Museum, amongst others. We started with the dinosaur exhibits at the Natural History Museum. It’s a small collection that leads into taxidermied birds, butterflies, and animals of the region. There is also an impressive rock and crystal collection and some fascinating fossils of the area. Humorous translations of the English language are sure to invoke a laugh or two. We then headed across the street to the National Maritime Museum. Sitting directly on the water, it has stunning views of Mokpo’s port and the West Sea. Reminiscent of the Vasa in Stockholm, the museum hosts two large ships dating back to the 11th century, along with the relics found with them at the bottom of the ocean. A replica of a traditional Korean fishing 44 L I F E S T Y L E | A P R I L 2 0 1 7
village is on view as are a wide array of Korean ships from ancient times. If you are looking for true Korean treasures to take home, the gift shop here is stocked with traditional Korean handicrafts and is a great place to shop. When looking for a place to eat dinner, we skipped the jangeoh tang (spicy eel soup), the nongeo twigim (fried skate balls), and nakji tangtangi (chopped live octopus) for chicken; luck was on our side as we devoured the best chicken we have eaten anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, we did not get the name of the restaurant, but I can remember the exact location. This was some of the best chicken to be found on the planet, and we went back several times just to be sure. The southern region of South Korea gives you a completely different perspective about the country than mighty Seoul, the capital of South Korea
in the northern region. It is more relaxed and the people carry an air of calmness and intent in all that they do. In addition, there are tiny island communities to visit along the coast, each one offering a different feel and their own unique culture. Jeju Island, which lies south between Busan and Mokpo, is the Hawaii of the nation with beautiful hotels and beaches to delight any weary worn traveler. These are the places to visit in South Korea if you want to experience Korea at its best and most traditional. Unlike Seoul, which is large, fastpaced, and loud, Southern Korea is a gentler and kinder place. People here still give up their seats to the elderly, they invite strangers home to dinner, and they are helpful and kind to tourists. This is the part of Korea that holds fast to the kind of tradition and culture that Asia was once known for and can still be found. Go south; you won’t regret it!
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painting large walls and things that were easy for me to see so that I could help to build my home. I've always wanted to own a home and never thought I would be able to. I feel very fortunate.” At the auction, guests were welcomed into the tropics with lush greenery, flower garlands, festive music, and 10 custom-built birdhouses styled to
Program, as well as Habitat for Humanity homeowners, like husband and wife Caroline and Charles. (As part of the application process, prospective homeowners commit to contributing between 250 to 500 hours of “sweat equity” by building their homes or by supporting other Habitat projects.) Tina, a homeowner for the past four
abitat for Humanity of Tulare and Kings Counties is committed to changing lives. Together with dedicated volunteers, professionals, and community partners, the organization renovates, builds, and repairs homes throughout the two counties and helps low-income families achieve what might typically be the impossible dream of home ownership. Every year, the Habitat’s creative Birdhouse Auction helps raise funds to support this critical mission by auctioning off handcrafted birdhouses. This year’s Tropical Fiesta-themed event was held March 31 at Visalia’s Wyndham Hotel, and most of the estimated $45-50,000 in proceeds will be utilized to assist local, low-income homeowners with much-needed repairs. Event chairwoman Venita Jourdan, who began volunteering for Habitat 10 years ago as a Financial Credit Network employee, has been involved with the Birdhouse Auction for three years; this was her first year as Chair. Under her guidance, committee members Armando Apadaca, Andrea Crawford, Sherry Buenafe, Nicole Centafanti, Todd Mackey, Mary Rice, Anita Rodriguez, Yvette Machado, and Deanna Saldana worked diligently to plan each detail of the event, secure donations and decorations, and coordinate volunteers to ensure everything ran smoothly. Volunteers also included students from Fresno State’s Social Work
I never even dared to dream I'd own my own home. Waking up in the morning in your own home is awesome…it shows the power of God and what he can do for you, and I get to show that to my son. C A R O L I N E ,
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years, was happy to be part of the festivities. "If it weren't for Habitat, I don't know where I would be,” she said. “I was having a hard time finding affordable housing, and the City of Visalia told me about Habitat for Humanity. I had just enough time to get my application in on the last day, and I was accepted. I'm legally blind, so the [building] process was a little daunting, but they gave me jobs I could do,
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match the evening’s theme on display. Each of the handcrafted birdhouses were made out of recycled materials and donated by talented local artists, most of whom have participated in the auction for multiple years. Chairwoman Venita shared how the birdhouses make the event something guests look forward to attending each year. "Different types of people come together; it's a more casual event and
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“Pagoda Birdhouse” by Bill Warner (L) and “Tree House” birdhouse (R) by Paul Green and Steve Crotty 46
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H O M E O W N E R
Motion artist Rick Alonzo provided the live entertainment as he painted images
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Living to see her next birthday At 86, Dona was walking over a mile a day. But one day, chest pain that felt like “someone sitting on my chest” hit. She was hospitalized and diagnosed
with four severely blocked arteries and a malfunctioning valve. When she asked what would happen without surgery, she learned she likely wouldn’t live to see her next birthday. She wasn’t ready to give up. Today, thanks to Drs. Araim and Caminha, Dona is back to walking a mile a day and enjoying being 87.
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Wines, Farmer’s Fury Winery, people get to just come and Grocery Outlet of Visalia & relax. And the birdhouses and Tulare, and Shannon Ranch. the creativity that goes into Amy Shuklian, District 3 them...the artists are so talented, Representative from the Tulare and I think that's part of what County Board of Supervisors, keeps people coming back." served as Mistress of Ceremonies. Guests were able to bid on She welcomed everyone and the silent auction’s wide variety introduced the evening’s of items at the beginning of entertainment, motion artist the evening as well. Enticing Rick Alonzo, founder of Rick packages included artwork, Alonzo Ministries. To music that wines, personal care, garden included “The Eye of the Tiger” and birdhouse baskets, jewelry, and “God Bless the U.S.A.,” nuts and foods, a barbeque, and Rick captured the imaginations Rawhide tickets. A beautifully of the audience as he used his refurbished kitchen island was hands, feet, and neon paints to also contributed by Habitat for create three pieces of art, which Humanity’s Visalia ReStore. became part of the live auction. Another draw to the event was Habitat for Humanity’s the food, as 20 local restaurants Executive Director Dirk Holkeboer donated and served an abundant took to the stage to express the array of delicious food to the 300 organization’s guests, volunteers, sincere gratitude and staff. Samplings to the event of their specialties committee, ranged from staff, sponsors, Mexican and donors, and all Southern to Spanish in attendance and Italian, as for their support well as delicious of Habitat for desserts. Thanks Humanity’s mission. to the generous He introduced a donations, plates short video showing were filled to the local volunteers’ brim, and needless “My Garden Birdhouse” recent trip to build to say, the desserts by Steve Green homes in Nicaragua, required a plate and proudly of their own. noted that Habitat for Humanity, Satiated and happy guests “transforms the lives of all of us voted for their favorite restaurant who are able to see the changes and taste experience. The that come from a decent and Southern flavors of Sadie Mae’s affordable place to call home.” Catering, serving at the event Auctioneer Flint Epps for their 10th year, won the enthusiastically took over for the crowd over in both categories. live auction. His energy and All of the generous participating sense of humor kept bidders restaurants included: Applebee’s, laughing and engaged, and Black Bear Diner, Bravo Farms, generated good-natured El Rosal, Goodies Cookies, Henry competition for items like the Salazar’s, Jack & Charlie’s, Javi’s birdhouses, artwork, a seaside Taco Shack, La Piazza Ristorante round of golf, and trips to Puerta Italiano, Mache, Marriott hotel, Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. Maverick’s Coffee, Rosa’s Italian The lively conversation and Restaurant, Sue Sa’s Creative laughter heard throughout Catering, The Lunch Box, The the night was evidence of Southern Pacific Depot, Tahoe a wonderful and successful Joe’s, The Vintage Press, and event, showing how heartfelt Wyndham Hotel. The attendees’ energy becomes tangible when wine glasses were also as full as people gather together to make their plates, courtesy of donations a difference in the world. from ASV Wines, Cacciatore Fine
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The Depot, one of the 20 restaurants at the event, serving delicious food to guests
“What is Old is New Again” by Jerry Jonnum
Birdhouse Auction event chair, Venita Jourdan (R) and her husband Al (L) with Amy Shuklian (center), District 3 Supervisor for Tulare County.
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P E T E R S E N
A U T O M O T I V E
M U S E U M
A TRIBUTE TO THE LOVE OF CARS
he introduction of the Model T in 1908 made car ownership possible for the average man. Henry Ford could not have foreseen that his vision, beyond making Ford Motors a household name, would forever change the American way of life. The timing for this vehicle couldn't have been more perfect. The massive growth of assembly line production in the early 1900s not only ensured that the means for mass production was present, but that American workers would have greater wealth (compared to their European counterparts) in order to afford such a purchase. More car ownership influenced U.S. planners and engineers to skew development away from the former urban centrality (which relied on mass transit) and toward the building of roads and bridges, which led more to urban sprawl. Yet as much as car ownership influenced the American landscape, it had an even greater effect on American minds and hearts. Taking on a much greater importance than a means
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of transport, vehicles have become an extension of their owners’ beliefs and values. Car choice can project prudence or extravagance, off-road leanings or urban eco-friendliness, and casual driver or serious fanatic. Add customization, vanity plates, and stickers declaring anything from family
The Petersen at the corner of Fairfax and Wilshire.
size to social issues, and it’s clear that Henry Ford did more than develop a product. He created a phenomenon— an American love affair for cars. Nowhere is that more evident than Los Angeles where single-driver traffic jams are the norm and scoping out
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rare and luxurious cars a pastime as common as sighting celebrities. Even this year’s Oscar winning hit, La La Land, focuses on a seemingly endless line of gridlocked cars doubling as a multi-leveled stage for the opening scene’s flash mob style song and dance routine. LA has earned its reputation as the epitome of car-centricity, making it the perfect location for one of the largest and finest automotive museums in the world, the Petersen. As much as I appreciate the sleek lines of a luxury car and the adrenaline rush of a powerful engine, my interest quickly wanes as talk turns technical. Torque? Turbo cylinders? I have no idea what those terms mean and honestly don’t care. So what interest does a car museum hold for someone like me? That’s precisely the magic of this place. Whether your interests are to flirt with Lamborghinis and Bugattis, delve more deeply into automotive history and design, understand the process of restoring rare and abandoned cars, get up close and personal with
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cars of Hollywood fame, or HIDDEN understand that “techie” stuff GEM
under the hood, the Petersen has something for everyone. Founded in 1994 by magazine publisher Robert Petersen, its collection of cars and memorabilia was first housed in the Natural History Museum. It moved a year later into the historic, but empty, Ohrbach’s Department Store located in the 1½-mile stretch of Wilshire Avenue between Fairfax and Highland, known as Miracle Mile. A $125 million dollar renovation, completed in December of 2015, added 15,000 sq. ft.
A 1925 one-of-a-kind "round door" Rolls Royce.
like a glowing red neon beast, thanks to its integrated exterior lighting. Inside that dazzling edifice are more than 100 vehicles, memorabilia, and artwork displayed in 25 galleries spread throughout the three floors. The remaining car collection is kept in a basement vault open to visitors for an additional fee. While the sheer volume of content could overwhelm guests, the Petersen instead lays it out in an approachable and predictable manner. The entrance level engages visitors immediately with one extravagant vehicle after another, all chosen to
A 2003 Dodge Tomahawk with 500 hsp Dodge Viper V-10 engine.
with an outdoor sculpture garden, which presents concerts during the summer months. La Brea Tar Pits is the world’s only active, urban Ice Age excavation site (tarpits.org), and the Craft and Folk Art Museum houses an ever changing display of both domestic and international folk art (cafam.org). The area’s must-see sites aren’t limited to museums, however. Bordering on the northeast corner of Miracle Mile is the historic residential neighborhood of Hancock Park. Developed in the 1920s around the grounds of a private golf club, its tree-lined
Almost 20 feet long, this 1989 Batmobile was driven in both the 1989 and 1992 films.
LA has earned its reputation as the epitome of car-centricity, making it the perfect location for one of the largest and ﬁnest automotive museums in the world, the Petersen. C H E R Y L
and transformed this moderately sized display of auto history into the most thorough discourse and assemblage of all things vehicle. With that, it received a new facade to equal or eclipse the inventiveness and quirkiness of the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Previously adorned with 1950s carthemed “fins,” the entire building is now wrapped in sweeping stainless-steel ribbons meant to capture the feeling of constant motion, aerodynamics, and speed. That metal is attached to the building with red aluminum support tubing anchored to the red concrete block walls underneath. During the day those ribbons sparkle like the shiny grillwork of a new car. At night that same facade stops traffic as drivers catch sight of what looks 52 L I F E S T Y L E | A P R I L 2 0 1 7
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showcase automotive artistry. The second floor emphasizes engineering, design, and performance through interactive teaching exhibits, while the top floor chronicles the history of the automobile and car culture of Southern California. The gift shop is second to none for car-themed items and the restaurant, Drago Ristorante, is classic Italian at its best. Part of LA history itself, the Drago family is widely credited for bringing authentic Italian cuisine to LA for more than 40 years. A perfect spot to spend a few hours, the Petersen is located next to three other major museums on Miracle Mile. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (lacma.org) is comprised of a number of mini-museums representing the diverse cultures of the LA area
streets and architecturally distinctive homes definitely warrant a “drivethrough.” Located two miles further west is The Grove with its outdoor shopping, restaurants, and general entertainment space. Attached to the Grove is LA’s historic Farmer’s Market (farmersmarketla.com). Selling fresh produce and meats, the market has restaurants, bakeries, and shops as well. Once home to the Gilmore family’s 256acre dairy farm, the dairy was sold off when oil was discovered while drilling a water well. In the 1930s a small “village” was added at 3rd and Fairfax for farmers to sell fresh produce out of their trucks. Instantly popular, the Farmers Market has become an iconic part of LA’s history, still owned and operated by the 6th generation of the Gilmore family.
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T H E AT R E & A R T S
VISALIA OPERA COMPANY PRESENTS: OMAR NARÉ
ARTS VISALIA PRESENTS
Join the Visalia opera company as Omar Naré thrills audiences with “Sin Mi Mujer Quien Soy.” At times beautiful, pained, brave, and ecstatic, this innovative Nuevo Mariachi concert in a must-see for aficionados and fans alike. Tickets are $35 at the door, $25 online.
Arts Visalia is pleased to host sculpture and installation artist Patricia Rangel who will be building and showing new works in a show entitled "Conectado a Tierra, Grounded.” Patricia collects materials from places that hold personal significance and works with the dirt by mixing, using, reusing, and recontextualizing it. Susceptible to decay in their own way, Patricia’s sculptures serve as an ongoing exploration of growth, change, and loss. When: Now-April 28 Where: Arts Visalia, 214 E. Oak Ave., Visalia Contact: artsvisalia.org
When: April 21, 7:30 p.m. Where: 210 Café, 210 W. Center St., Visalia Contact: omarnare.eventbrite.com
BETTE AND HER DIVINE DIVAS Where can you see Dusty Springfield, Diana Ross, and Bette Midler on one stage? Only at Bette & Her Divine Divas. Sherie Rae Parker is back! In her incomparable tribute to Bette Midler, Sherie has performed on TV, radio, and movies. Direct from Legends in Concert, the longest running show in Las Vegas, and Stars in Concert in Berlin, Sherie joins her talented Divas for an unforgettable evening. When: April 22, 7 p.m. Where: Visalia Fox Theatre, 308 W. Main St., Visalia Contact: foxvisalia.org
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“THE HAPPIEST CONCERT ON EARTH” Join The Mighty Oaks Chorus for their annual show, “The Happiest Concert on Earth.” There will be both a matinée and evening show, so get your tickets now. When: April 29, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Where: Central Valley Christian High School Auditorium, 5600 W. Tulare Ave., Visalia Contact: 901-4615
P r e s e n t s
May 11-13, 2017 at 7:00 pm
May 13, 2017 at 2:00 pm
Valley Life Charter School Auditorium Tickets $10 - Kids 5 and under free Visit www.vlcs.org for ticket information
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LIFEST YLE | APRIL 2017
FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK Every month, the Arts Consortium presents First Fridays to explore the Visalia Art District. During the walk, you’ll experience a diverse range of local art in the downtown Visalia area. Check out the website for more information. When: May 5, 5–8 p.m. Where: Arts Consortium, 400 N. Church St., Visalia Contact: artsconsortium.org
SECOND SATURDAY CRAFT FAIR AT THE LOOKING GLASS From now through October, The Looking Glass in Visalia will be hosting a “Second Saturday” artisan and crafters fair. Come out and enjoy a day of shopping from local crafters. When: May 13, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Where: The Looking Glass, Court and Caldwell in Visalia Contact: thelookingglassvisalia.com
LIFEST YLE | APRIL 2017
DIVERSIONS & EXCU R S I O N S VISALIA NAZ 25TH ANNUAL EGGSTRAVAGANZA You are invited to Visalia Naz’s 25th annual Eggstravaganza. There will be a petting zoo, train rides, pony rides, egg hunts, and a food court. This event is free and open to the public (food court is not free). When: April 15, 9 a.m.–noon Where: Visalia Nazarene Church, 3333 W. Caldwell Ave. Contact: visalianaz.org
DIA DE LOS NIÑOS Join the Tulare-Kings Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for their annual Cinco de Mayo event. They will be combining Dia de Los Niños with Cinco de Mayo in a family-oriented event in Farmersville. There will be bounce houses for the kids, informational booths, and entertainment throughout the day. When: April 29, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Where: Roy’s Park, 783 S. Farmersville Blvd., Farmersville Contact: 734-6020
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LIFEST YLE | APRIL 2017
SPRING MARKETPLACE AT VISALIA NAZ Join Visalia Naz for their Spring Marketplace, where there will be vendors selling a variety of ready-made and hand-made items. There will be a raffle and lunch will be available for purchase. Proceeds will go toward the Naz youth group to help fund their upcoming camp. When: May 5, 5-7:30 p.m. & May 6, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Where: Visalia Naz, 3333 W. Caldwell, Visalia Contact: Judie Casey, 623-1407
DOWNTOWN VISALIA CINCO DE MAYO The Downtown Visalia Cinco de Mayo Event, hosted by the Tulare-Kings Hispanic Chamber, is a battle of the bands with the two hottest local groups: The Band August and Mezcal. There is no cover charge, but attendees must be 21 and over to attend. When: May 5, 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Where: Old Lumber Yard, 300 E. Oak St., Visalia Contact: 734-6020
14TH ANNUAL EXETER GARDEN WALK
The Exeter Chamber of Commerce invites you to their annual garden walk through Exeter. Explore beautiful and unique private gardens in and around the Exeter area, and take time to enjoy some refreshments hosted by Exeterâ€™s 2012 Business of the Year, By the Water Tower Antiques. Tickets are $20 in advance, and $25 day-of. When: May 13, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Where: Start at By the Water Tower Antiques, 141 S. B St., Exeter Contact: 592-2919
C H A R I TA B L E EVENTS HAPPY AND KOSHER PASSOVER 2017 You are invited to join congregation Beit Shalom to hear traditional stories with blessings, songs, and music. Dinner includes Kosher chicken and other traditional foods. The event is $25 for adults, $10 for children ages five to 17, and free for children four and under. When: April 14, 7 p.m. Where: 115 E. Paseo Ave., Visalia Contact: 308-1333
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LIFEST YLE | APRIL 2017
BARK ‘N’ BID BENEFIT Join the Central Valley Rescue Railroad for their 5th Annual fundraiser, where it’s all about the dogs! There will be a no-host beer and wine bar, dinner, music, dancing, a raffle, and a silent and live auction. All proceeds benefit Central Valley Rescue Railroad, a volunteer-run non-profit, no-kill dog rescue. Tickets are $50 per person. When: April 22, 5-10 p.m. Where: Whitney Barn, 30162 Road 192, Exeter Contact: Hayley, 731-0757
IMAGINEU DREAMBUILDER’S BASH Step right up to the biggest event of the year—the fifth annual ImagineU Children’s Museum Dreambuilder’s Bash. A vintage circus comes to town for one night only under the big top at ImagineU in Visalia. Bring your friends to enjoy cocktails, dinner by The Vintage Press, and exciting auctions, all to benefit the museum’s expansion projects.
WORLDTOUCH BOWL-A-THON Celebrant Singers' WorldTouch BowlA-Thon is an annual fundraiser to help send Celebrant teams on their international outreaches. All funds raised during the WorldTouch BowlA-Thon will be used for Celebrant Singers summer ministry outreaches. When: April 30, 2 p.m. Where: AMF Visalia Lanes, 1740 W. Caldwell Ave., Visalia Contact: celebrants.org/bowlathon KENTUCKY DERBY PARTY FOR FOODLINK OF TULARE COUNTY Join FoodLink of Tulare County for their annual “party with a purpose,” featuring big hats and southern hospitality. Place bets on horse races, sip mint juleps, and enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres, all while supporting FoodLink. When: May 6, 1 p.m. Where: Visalia Country Club, 625 N. Ranch St., Visalia Contact: foodlinktc.org
When: April 22, 6 p.m. Where: ImagineU Children’s Museum, 210 N. Tipton St., Visalia Contact: Imagineumuseum.org
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LIFEST YLE | APRIL 2017
EXETER BY DESIGN: A FESTIVAL OF ARTS
This Festival of Arts is Exeter’s 16th Annual Garden Party, the only fundraising event for the outdoor art in Exeter. This year’s event theme is “Touching Up Our Roots” and will feature fabulous food, live music, live and silent auction items, and a lot of fun. When: May 7, 5 p.m. Where: Pine and E. Streets in Downtown Exeter Contact: 359-4644
CASA OF TULARE COUNTY’S “ONCE UPON A DREAM” GALA Join CASA for their annual “Once Upon a Dream” fundraiser, featuring dinner by The Vintage Press, a no-host bar, live and silent auction, and more. This event raises funds to support CASA’s mission to be a voice in court for children who are victims of abuse and neglect. When: May 12, 5:30 p.m. Where: Visalia Convention Center, 303 E. Acequia Ave., Visalia Contact: casatulareco.org
POWER OF THE PURSE FOR UNITED WAY OF TULARE COUNTY Join United Way of Tulare County for their second annual Power of the Purse breakfast. Enjoy breakfast and mimosas while gorgeous guys raffle off dozens of designer handbags. The keynote speaker will be Matt Emerzian, a Senior VP of a major music marketing company. Proceeds support The Literacy Project of UWTC. When: May 12, 7 a.m. Where: Visalia Convention Center, 303 E. Acequia Ave., Visalia Contact: unitedwaytc.org
WALK-A-DOG-A-THON & FURRY 5K Join the Valley Oak SPCA for one of their biggest fundraisers to support their no-kill animal rescue mission. The Furry 5K will begin at 7:30 a.m. and the Walk-a-Dog-a-Thon will start at 9 a.m. Following the event, there will be vendors, raffles, and canine games. When: May 13, 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. Where: Mooney Grove Park, 27000 S. Mooney blvd., Visalia Contact: 624-7227
39TH ANNUAL ARMENIAN FOOD FESTIVAL Come join us for lunch and/or dinner to enjoy a taste of Armenia. You can choose to dine-in, take out, or drivethru. The menu includes a choice of lulu-kebab or chicken kebab, and includes pilaf, salad, peda bread, and bourma. Proceeds go to support the St. Mary Armenian Church of Yettem. When: May 18, Lunch: 11 a.m.–2 p.m., Dinner: 5-8 p.m. Where: The Visalia Elks Lodge, 3100 W. Main St., Visalia Contact: 733-8741
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