Turlock’s Yesteryears by Scott Atherton

Turlock Historian Scott Atherton reminds us of what was going on in 1938 around this date.

Turlock Daily Journal, Dec. 24, 1938:

Look What Santa Brought!

            Typical of the scene that will be viewed in hundreds of Turlock homes tonight and tomorrow, Nancy Johnson, 3, is pictured as she opened a package at the American Legion Christmas party here. Her parents are Mr. and Mrs. Dehard Johnson.


Turlock Daily Journal, Dec. 24, 1938:

Who Says There’s No Santa Claus?

            Laughing at the skeptics who doubt the veracity of good St. Nick is Buddy Kinser, 3, pictured here shaking hands with Santa [aka W. Earl Bradley] at a Christmas party and program sponsored by the American Legion and Auxiliary for Legion youngsters.

            One hundred and fifty tots and children were on hand to receive gifts distributed by Santa from beneath a 16-foot lighted Christmas tree in Legion Hall.


Turlock Daily Journal, Dec. 24, 1938:

French, Smith, Marty Xmas Trees Win First In Turlock Contest

            Dr. C. P. French, J. H. (Cantaloupe) Smith, and Ernest Marty are the winners in the three divisions of the outdoor Christmas tree contest sponsored by the Downtown Merchants Association of the Turlock Chamber of Commerce, the contest committee announced today.

            The judges, Mrs. Francis Fiorini, Mrs. Roy E. Weaver, and Leonard Dow, awarded first place in the first division to Dr. French’s tree, situated at his home on Denair Highway; Smith, also on Denair Highway, took first honors in the second division, and Marty (Denair Highway again) won top laurels in the third division.

            First division was for trees under six feet high, second division entries were trees more than six feet high, and the third division was for gardens and other outdoor decorating.

            In the first division, the second place award went to Robert Julien’s tree, 318 Canal Drive; the third prize went to Alfred Nordeen, 308 Lucust Street.

            Runner-up and third place awards in the second division went to Mrs. Harold Hjelm, 724 East Main Street, and to J. C. Fernandes, 516 East Main Street, respectively.

            Judges presented second place award in the third division to C. K. Sanders, 227 East Marshall Street. In this division, there was no third prize offered.

            The judges agreed after the contest was over that their task, because of the general excellence of the decorations and the merit of all entries, was a difficult one.

            “Christmas decorations, on trees, homes and grounds, were so beautiful and artistic that it was very difficult for the judges to decide on the proper awards,” the judges’ committee said. “There should have been more prizes, as many deserving entries had to be passed up.”

            Upshot of the judges’ conviction that there weren’t enough prizes to go around to all the deserving contestants was the announcement of a list of entries which were accorded honorable mention by the judges. They were those of:

            The First Christian Church, 619 Crance Avenue (the Rev. L. C. Sunkler, pastor); Mrs. W. M. Fockler, 412 Park Street; R. E. Penney, 516 Minaret Avenue, and Enoch Christoffersen, 601 Florence Street.

            Fifty dollars in cash prizes were awarded.

            The contest, first of its kind ever held here, was sponsored as a part of a drive conducted by the California Outdoor Christmas Tree Association, and received the co-operation of the Turlock Garden Club.

            Members of the committee which had charge of the contest were Penney, chairman; Hugo Peterson, R. E. Wilkinson and Fockler.


Turlock Daily Journal, Dec. 24, 1938:

Local Families Have Holiday Celebrations


By Renee Mattingly

            The excitement of visits from friends and relative, and the breathless suspense of waiting for Santa Claus together with that over-stuffed feeling so peculiar to dinner on Christmas, today had left hundreds of Turlock families who now are beginning preparations for New Year’s Eve.

            Christmas was pleasantly celebrated by Supervisor and Mrs. C. C. Crowell, who entertained at a family reunion in their home on Yosemite Avenue. Mr. and Mrs. Samuel H. Hackett were hosts to friends at Christmas dinner in their East Main Street home.

            Both friends and relatives were bidden to the John Littler home on Almond Avenue.

            Two parties were given by Postmaster and Mrs. M. M. Brame, and Dr. and Mrs. Albert Julien entertained their daughter’s house guest from out of town.

            Mr. and Mrs. L. L. Miller invited friends and relatives for dinner, and Dr. and Mrs. C. P. French entertained family members at Christmas dinner.

            In addition to traditional Christmas celebration, the Charles A. Lindblom home was the scene of a wedding when Miss Rose Lindblom and Warren Lewis of Banning exchanged vows at a candlelight ceremony at 4 o’clock Christmas afternoon.

            The sound of wedding bells chiming in with Christmas anthems sounded on Christmas Day south of here when a Turlock couple, Miss Irene Wilson and Percy W. Johnson, were united in marriage in the home of the bride at Sanger.

            Kenneth Rapp and Dorothy Christoffersen also chose the mistletoe season for a wedding when they were married yesterday.

            The younger set will be entertained this week when Miss Mary Meikle is hostess at a luncheon.

            Mr. and Mrs. Henry Sonntag invited friends and relatives to celebrate Christmas with them at a goose dinner.

            A party was featured at the Will F. Anderson home Christmas Eve and Messrs. and Mesdames Roy Peterson, Max Dillon, and Reuben Anderson and their families gathered for supper and to open gifts. The Will F. Andersons left early Sunday morning to spend Christmas with relatives in San Francisco.

            The Floyd B. Piersons spent Sunday quietly. On Monday they gathered at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Claire Ross for a family reunion with Mr. and Mrs. Howard Rose of Madera. Mrs. Rose is a sister of Pierson.

            Mr. and Mrs. Harold L. Hjelm entertained Assistant United States District Attorney and Mrs. G. B. Hjelm, and Dr. Howard J. Hjelm of Sacramento during the holidays. On Sunday night they held open house for the G. B. Hjelms.

            Mr. and Mrs. James F. McCoy entertained friends and relatives at dinner on Christmas Day, and the Roy Weavers also were hosts to relatives at Christmas dinner.

            In hundreds of other Turlock homes Christmas tree lights twinkled, friends gathered, and wreaths and holly and mistletoe symbolized that Turlock observed the spirit of Christmas.        


Today’s articles and pictures are provided by Scott Atherton, general manager of Turlock Memorial Park & Funeral Home. If you have memories or pictures you’d like to share, he can be reached at 632-9111 or by e-mail at satherton@turlockmemorialpark.com.

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