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AUGUST 10, 2018

San Juan Bautista remembers el vaquero

A Celebration of Heritage A supplement to the Hollister Free Lance

RANCHO ERA San Juan Bautista

AUGUST 10, 2018

evokes a special time in California history when it brings back Vaquero Heritage Days Aug 19-21.


iva el aquero


Horsemanship and artistry of the pre-statehood California cowboy revived BY WALLACE BAINE PHOTOGRAPHS BY ROBERT ELIASON


odeos take place all over California and the West. There are scores, probably hundreds of cowboy- and horseman-related events going on all across the country throughout the year. to the 1840s. And, while every California elementary school student learns about the missions, the vaquero has been largely absorbed into a more contemporary culture of the American cowboy. But at the serene 73-acre St. Francis Retreat near San Juan—on the site of the old Rancho San Justo land grant—the vaquero’s unique approach to ranching and living in pre-American California will come alive, at least for a couple of days. “As soon as you start winding up that narrow road,” said the event’s founder and director Jane Merrill, “it really is like stepping back in time.”

AUGUST 10, 2018

But what happens in San Juan Bautista the weekend of Aug. 19-21 may be a one-of-a-kind cultural experience. It’s called Vaquero Heritage Days and it’s designed to evoke a specific period in California history and a specific kind of California rancher. At its center is the image of the vaquero, the cattleman embodying the rancher culture that thrived in the decades before California became a part of the United States. The age of the vaquero coincided with the age of the Spanish missions (and the Rancho Era that followed), roughly from the 1770s




HISTORIANS Vaquero Heritage Days features silversmiths, saddle makers, rawhide braiders, bootmakers and leather artisans.

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Vaquero Heritage Days will feature historians of the era, as well as artisans and craftspeople offering a wide range of goods manufactured with a reverence for the old ways— silversmiths, saddle makers, rawhide braiders, bootmakers, leather artisans and more. The event will also host a number of demonstrations of techniques in horsemanship in the vaquero style, along with live music, food, art and informational booths. Musical performers include veteran cowboy singer/ songwriter Dave Stamey, and Central Valley-born singer/songwriter Juni Fisher. Among the horsemen participating is Buddy Montes, a fifth-generation vaquero who has employed many of the old techniques of livestock maintenance and the bridal-horse tradition

from the vaquero era into his work as a rancher today. “He knows no other way,” said Merrill of Montes. “It’s all he’s done. It’s all his ancestors have done for five generations.” The style of the vaquero in the era of enormous land grants and no fences eventually evolved into what we today recognize as American cowboy culture (the slang term buckaroo is believed to be an English corruption of vaquero). But many key components of the older ways were left behind in the Americanization of California. The weekend begins with a Friday night concert by respected cowboy singer Dave Stamey. Saturday’s signature event is a Rancho-style dinner followed by another outdoor concert from singer and rancher Juni Fisher. A lunch ➝ 6

O& A






Head to the 54th annual San Juan Bautista Antique and Collectibles Fair, featuring vendors, nonprofit booths, an antique appraiser, food booths and music. Enjoy shopping for bonafide antiques, collectibles, memorabilia and nostalgia (items produced prior to 1975) with all proceeds going toward the Rotary Club of San Juan Bautista’s community grants, projects and more. Sunday, Aug. 12, 8am-4pm in downtown San Juan Bautista. For more information, visit rotarysanjuanbautista. com.




ART SHOW Don’t miss the Hollister Art League’s Art Show and Reception, featuring local artists, at the Art Annex. Attendees will have an opportunity to view and purchase art, and a percentage of profits will benefit art scholarships for local area graduating high school students. Sunday, Aug. 12, noon-5pm at Art Annex, 217 Fifth St. For more information, visit

AUGUST 10, 2018

Don’t miss a chance to view the Perseids meteor shower at Fremont Peak’s astronomical observatory. According to NASA, the Perseids offer the potential to see about 60-70 meteors per hour. Head to the Fremont Peak evening public program featuring an informative media presentation and take the opportunity to observe the night sky with a 30-inch telescope. Saturday, Aug. 11, 8:30pm-midnight at Fremont Peak Observatory, San Juan Canyon Road. For information and updated program times and availability status, visit

Head to the 2018 Gilroy Rodeo, the first Gilroy Rodeo since 1956, and enjoy a mix of traditional rodeo and ranch events, kids corral, pony rides, special guests and more. Also enjoy special exhibits and demonstrations including Escaramuza Charra, woodcarving, horseshoeing and cow milking, and food, educational, art and western wear vendors. Everyone is welcome Saturday, Aug. 11 and Sunday, Aug. 12 at Furtado Ranch, 7955 Ferguson Road. For information and tickets, visit




AUGUST 10, 2018

RIDER Chantz Albrecht demonstrates the moves of a Vaquero horseman at the 2016 Vaquero Heritage Days in San Juan.


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on Sunday will also be offered. Throughout the weekend, artisans will be on hand to talk about their work, and expert bridal-horse riders and vaquero-style ranchers will be hosting presentations of working with horses. “We really focus on the horsemanship aspect of it,” said Merrill. “But the other important portion of it has to do with these 30 artisans and gear makers. There are not many gatherings where these particular artists can come together and talk about why they continue to use all the handmade gear and how so many of them have adapted these old techniques into today’s world. These are people who generally aren’t out there marketing themselves too much. They do it because they understand the history and the significance of it, and they love what they do.” The festival began in 2010 and continues on an every-other-year schedule. Vaquero Heritage Days is not a theatrical event as much as it is an educational one, said Merrill. “We’re not doing re-enactments,” she said. “That’s not what we’re about at all. It’s really just about celebrating the earlier

vaquero ways and keeping their legacy going. It’s also about educating people and making sure that the people who do love this way of life feel comfortable because they are around like kind, and maybe meet new friends.”

VAQUERO HERITAGE DAYS Aug. 19-21 St. Francis Retreat, 549 Mission Vineyard Road, San Juan Bautista $10 entrance fee daily; $60 Friday evening grand opening concert by Dave Stamey; $160 weekend pass including Stamey concert and Sunday Rancho Dinner and Juni Fisher concert. Proceeds benefit St. Francis Retreat. For more information, visit:

AUGUST 10, 2018



AUGUST 10, 2018



The Vaquero Heritage Days include a show and sale featuring Vaquero-style art, gear, exhibits, horsemanship demonstrations, entertainment and more. Catch the Vaquero Horsemen presentations and take in the historic grounds where early vaqueros gathered herds of livestock in the mid-1800s. Also enjoy raffles valued at $1,000 and more, special guests and nightly dinners and concerts; tickets sold separately. Proceeds from this event benefit St. Francis Retreat on Historic Rancho San Justo. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 17-19 at St. Francis Retreat, 549 Mission Vineyard Road, San Juan Bautista. For ticket information and event schedule, visit

HOLLISTER PAINT PARTY Bring the little ones to Mars Hill Coffeehouse

for an exclusive Mommy/Daddy & Me Paint Party. Participants will be lead in a step-by-step creative painting process and will

take home two 11-by-17 canvases. Food and drinks will be available separately, and participants can answer trivia questions during the event. Seating is limited; purchase tickets ahead to ensure attendance. Saturday, Aug. 11, 10am-noon at Mars Hill Coffeehouse, 610 San Benito St. Visit ycqmge3m. ROCK EN ESPAÑOL Get up and dance to Sin Dokumentos as they cover music from Latino rock, cumbia and salsa with contemporary English pop and rock mixed in. Enjoy lots of food and 40 beers on tap Saturday, Aug. 11, 7-10pm at Grillin & Chillin Alehouse, 401 McCray

St. For more information, visit CLASSIC COUNTRY Witness the best of cowboy country with Terry Brown and the Classic Country Kings. Born and raised on a ranch in Oklahoma, Brown lets his country roots shine through his music. Enjoy the finest classic country and rock from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s as well as Brown’s award-winning original songs Thursday, Aug. 16, 6:30-9:30pm at The Grove, Léal Vineyards, 7511 Pacheco Pass Highway. Visit JEWELRY MAKING Be a part of an exclusive Dichroic Glass jewelry making party at ARTI-


Take home gorgeous art in support of independent journalism at Mexico de mis Amores: Art Auction, benefiting Voices of Monterey Bay, the Watsonville Film Festival and Tara Home, a Buddhist-based hospice service. Enjoy art, food, performances and more at this silent auction featuring items such as Mexican pottery, alebrijes and tapestries. Thursday, Aug. 23, 6-8pm at Jardines De San Juan, 115 Third St, San Juan Bautista. For information and to register, visit

PAICINES EQUINE YARD SALE Save the date for a unique yard sale of horses, tack, riding clothes and more. Bring along friends and family and enjoy

a day at The Yard viewing horses for sale, shopping for great deals, and enjoying local Paicines wine and a barbecue. Saturday, Aug. 18, 9am-5pm at The Yard Equine Center, 270 Browns Valley Road. For more information, visit tinyurl. com/y82huvfc.

GILROY EVENING OASIS Head to Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park for a special Oasis After Dark event, where guests ages 21 and over are invited to dance the night away with live music, after-hours water slides, games and more. Food, beer and wine will be sold a la carte, and the park and rides will

Don’t miss the 24th annual South County Railroad Days in Morgan Hill, Gilroy and Hollister. Join Model Railroad enthusiasts as they present their stunning model railways running through spectacular backyard gardens to benefit the St. Joseph’s Center and Community Pantry. Everyone is invited to visit five backyard gardens during this public event that raises money for a worthy cause. Saturday, Aug. 18, 9am-3pm in Morgan Hill, GIlroy and Hollister. For information, address and the 2018 Tour Book, visit

close at 6pm. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 10-12, 7-10pm nightly at Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park, 3050 Hecker Pass Highway. Visit SAFE SPACE LGBTQ+ youth and young adults are invited to join the monthly drop-in Safe Space group at the Gilroy Public Library. Safe Space is open to queer, trans and ally youth and young adults ages 13-25, and is a place where attendees can be themselves, participate in discussions, find community, play games and have fun. Tuesday, Aug. 14, 6:30-8:30pm at Gilroy Library, 350 W. Sixth St. For information, visit DOWNTOWN LIVE Make the

scene for Gilroy’s final Downtown Live of the summer. Dance the night away to the sounds of Sweet Daddy and the Bad Cats, and bring an empty stomach to enjoy cuisine from a variety of food trucks. Bring the whole family Thursday, Aug. 16, 5-9pm on Fifth Street in downtown Gilroy. Visit tinyurl. com/y8on3jrb.

SAN MARTIN GOAT YOGA Disconnect from day-to-day stress, illness or depression and focus on happy vibes at the original Goat Yoga that started it all. This experience is part yoga, part animal-assisted therapy and completely fun ➝ 11

AUGUST 10, 2018

Culture art studio. Dichroic glass is multicolored with reflective properties similar to the appearance of colors seen when oil mixes with water or rainbow patterns that shift within a soap bubble. Participants will learn how to fuse dichroic glass together and create their own pendant or earrings. Friday, Aug. 17, 6-8pm at ARTI-Culture, 910 Monterey St. For more information, visit tinyurl. com/y9actwmy.



AUGUST 10, 2018


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9 MT. MADONNA OVERNIGHT Join the Bay Area Ridge Trail for the first Mount Madonna Overnight. The Ridge Trail will create the space; participants just need to bring food, tents and sleeping gear. Join hikes for all levels of hikers on both Saturday and Sunday, and enjoy complimentary Saturday night s’mores at the community campfire, fresh coffee provided by Andytown Coffee Roasters Sunday morning and supplies for Sunday trail lunches. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Saturday, Aug. 18, 4pm-Sunday, Aug. 19, 1pm at Mount Madonna County Park, 7850 Pole Line Road, Watsonville. For information and tickets, visit


Join Schleeter’s Academy of Martial Arts as it presents a free women’s self-defense class. Participants will learn how to properly defend themselves through the use of grappling, kickboxing, sparring, chokes, joint locks and more. While this class is geared toward young women who are heading to college, it is open to girls and women of all ages. Saturday, Aug. 11, 10am-noon at Schleeter’s Academy of Martial Arts, 618 San Benito St, Hollister. For more information, visit

for everyone. Enjoy 30 minutes of Goat Yoga followed by Goat Happy Hour Saturday, Aug. 11, 5-6:30pm at 12660 New Ave. $35 per person. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit sfbay.

DANCE ROCK Enjoy high-energy, grooving, dance floor-packing rock and roll as Kid Dynamite rocks the house at Daisy’s Saloon. Dance along to tunes the from the ’80s, ’90s and 2000s with a mix of classic rock favorites and

SOULFOOT BAND Share an evening with Soulfoot and its excellent brand of classic rock covers and original music. Soulfoot is a four-piece band launched in 2015 that plays rock, funk, blues, pop, jazz and a little country. Rock out with Soulfoot and enjoy great music, dancing and a funfilled time Friday, Aug. 17, 7-10pm at Grillin & Chillin Alehouse, 401 McCray St, Hollister. For more information, visit

WINE PAIRING Save the date for a Twisted Cedar wine tasting and food pairing event. Twisted Cedar Wine supports the Cedar Band of the Paiute Indian Tribe in Utah, and a tribal representative will be in attendance. Space is limited and attendees must be 21 or over. Saturday, Aug. 18, 6-10pm at The GardenShoppe, 364 Seventh St, Hollister. For more information, visit MATTRESS FUNDRAISER Support the Second Annual San Benito High School Band Mattress Fundraiser. Purchase a new mattress from quality name brands including Simmons Beautyrest for up to 50 percent off. This sale is one day only, and all profits

QUILTING 101 Quilters of all skill levels are invited to Family Threads Quilt Shop for an eight-week Quilting 101 class. Participants will begin with fabric and color selection and work through a variety of basic quilting techniques to create a traditional sampler quilt. This class will feature all aspects of quilt construction, quick piecing, hand piecing and applique, finishing and more. Quilting 101 will be held Tuesdays, Aug. 21 - Oct. 9, 6:30-9pm at Family Threads Quilt Shop, 107 The Alameda, San Juan Bautista. Visit DOC MCSTUFFINS Experience “Doc McStuffins: The Exhibit,” the first-ever museum exhibit based on Disney’s Peabody Award-winning series. Families are invited to help Doc perform check-ups and diagnose toy patients while learning healthy habits, compassion and nurturing care in this interactive English and Spanish bilingual experience that provides opportunity for children to become comfortable in healthcare settings. This hands on exhibit runs through Sunday, Sept. 16 at the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, 180 Woz Way, San Jose. Visit PARKS CHALLENGE Get outside and get engaged in healthy activities this summer with the REACH San Benito County Adventure Parks Challenge. This free game is hosted by the San Benito Parks Foundation and invites teams of two to four players to sign up and participate in outdoor adventures in any one of the regional parks, with the winners receiving prizes. Take the challenge through Thursday, Sept. 20 at San Benito County Regional Parks. For more information, visit

AUGUST 10, 2018


current hits Saturday, Aug. 11, 9pm-1am at Daisy’s Saloon, 213 Third St, San Juan Bautista. Visit

RIBBON CUTTING Join Flying Colors Dance and Fitness for its open house and ribboncutting event. Check out the new downtown location and facility, enjoy refreshments and celebrate. Guests will also have an opportunity to register for classes, with the first 25 students to register receiving a free gift. Saturday, Aug. 18, 1-4pm, ribbon cutting at 1:30pm at Flying Colors Dance and Fitness, 320 Fourth St, Hollister. For more information, visit flyingcolorsdanceandfitness.

will go directly to the San Benito High School band. Sunday, Aug. 19, 10am-5pm at San Benito High School, 1220 Monterey St, Hollister. Visit



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Songs of yesteryear

MUSICAL MEMORIES In pre-television days, families would gather around the radio to hear the latest songs.

Music lovers grace Live Oak By CHERYL HUGUENOR

some who play the piano or guitar, and others who perform in a band. They tend to perform the music of yesteryear, songs they know our seniors will remember and love. It is such a privilege seeing the joyful face of a memory-challenged senior as he or she sings all the lyrics to a song they loved decades ago. It recently dawned on me that these songs have changed as the years have gone by. When our center opened back in 1993, some participants here had

Cheryl Huguenor is the program director at Live Oak Adult Day Services in Gilroy. For more information visit

AUGUST 10, 2018


once heard a comedian commenting that today’s youngsters will someday be older people hanging around the senior center, dancing to hip hop and gangster rap. It is a funny image. Although he was joking, it is true that the music of our teenage and high school years tends to be what we are most familiar with, and nostalgic for, as we age. Here at Live Oak Adult Day Services, we have enjoyed 25 years of musical guests, some who sing,

actually been born in the late 1890s. Their high school days took place during World War I. They loved the music of that era, songs like “Over There” and “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary.” Performers like Al Jolson were popular and in those pre-television days, families would gather around the radio to hear the latest songs. Music stores were full of sheet music that one could buy and play on the home piano. The young people of that era who attended Live Oak as seniors were so nostalgic about the music. One woman loved to teach us how to do the Charleston, a popular dance of the time. Now, 25 years and a few generations of seniors have gone by. We cared for many who were young during the Depression, when songs like “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” were so evocative of hard times. Then we met those who came of age during World War II. They were invariably big band fans, fondly recalling songs like “In the Mood,” and others by Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey. They attended parties and dances populated by scores of men in uniform. More than a few women told us about their marriages to servicemen they had only met a few weeks earlier. Now we are serving later generations, those who grew up loving Elvis, the Beatles and the Temptations. They recall the Civil Rights era, anti-war marches, the Summer of Love and the disco era. Even those raised in other countries intimately know our rock and roll classics. I overheard two of the men here were recently bonding over their shared love of Bob Dylan songs, and I was acutely aware of the passing of the years, all celebrated in song. As Sonny and Cher used to sing, “…and the beat goes on.”



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Friday, August 10


Friday, August 10