Galt His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety turns 30

Lodi News-Sentinel - - Opinion - DURLYNN ANEMA Have a story? Let me know. Email: durlyn­nca@gmail.com

“Peo­ple don’t seem to look back in this age. And that’s too bad be­cause his­tory is so im­por­tant.”

These words were spo­ken by Don Not­toli, Sacra­mento County Su­per­vi­sor, at the 30th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion of the Galt His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety on Oct. 8 at the Rae House. Mem­bers, res­i­dents and Galt High School alums were among those present.

The cel­e­bra­tion was held at an ad­van­ta­geous time. Alums had re­turned for their re­u­nion held the pre­vi­ous evening and also were in­vited to the an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion. This year’s re­u­nion was in honor of the Class of 1967 with grads from the 1940s to the present. Over 200 peo­ple at­tended. Each year the Galt High School Alumni As­so­ci­a­tion holds the re­u­nion with ex­tra money go­ing to Galt High School schol­ar­ships. Last year $6,500 went to schol­ar­ships.

Ralph Cortez, sec­ond vice pres­i­dent of the his­tor­i­cal so­ci­ety, was in charge of the so­ci­ety’s photo table at the re­u­nion. Pho­tos of past events through­out Galt were dis­played. He was es­pe­cially touched when a woman be­gan to flip through the pic­tures and then ex­claimed, “There’s my sis­ter!” Then she be­gan to cry as her brother joined her.

As peo­ple looked at the pho­tos, Cortez men­tioned that if they knew any­one in a photo to let him know. He also said he would love to add to so­ci­ety archives these oral in­ter­views. Sev­eral peo­ple vol­un­teered to do oral in­ter­views.

A large crowd gath­ered for the so­ci­ety’s an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion as Ja­nis Barsetti Gray, pres­i­dent, opened the cer­e­monies. “We are here both to cel­e­brate the 30th an­niver­sary of the His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety and to honor one of our founders, Eugenia Ol­son, who passed away this year, by plant­ing a rose for her do­nated by Ida De­nier.”

Barsetti Gray then men­tioned some of the so­ci­ety’s high­lights. It was founded by Ol­son, Orvell Fletcher, Beatrice Orr Smith­son and Mar­garet Greer and quickly grew from 61 mem­bers to over 500 dur­ing the years. The Rae House was ac­quired in April 1988 at which time the so­ci­ety went into ac­tion, rais­ing over $192,00 to re­store it. Then in Novem­ber 1988 the Sacra­mento County Parks and Recre­ation Depart­ment asked the so­ci­ety if they would con­sider restor­ing and pre­serv­ing the His­toric McFar­land home on a 99 year lease. The so­ci­ety quickly said yes.

Fol­low­ing Barsetti Gray’s re­cap of so­ci­ety projects, Louise Loll Dowdell, who was the first pres­i­dent of the so­ci­ety, spoke. She quickly charmed the au­di­ence with her announcement that she was born in 1918 seven miles east of Galt. At that time Galt was a town of 500 and be­gan to grow after World War I. She re­mem­bered the dairy farm that was part of the Rae House prop­erty, and three rel­a­tives who are buried in the El­liot Ceme­tery. Cur­rently the so­ci­ety’s cor­re­spond­ing sec­re­tary, she was pres­i­dent nine times and is great-aunt of Not­toli. A smile wreathed her face through­out as she re­called so many past mem­o­ries.

Then came the rose plant­ing with both so­ci­ety mem­bers and Galt High School alums shov­el­ing the dirt. Barsetti Gray and Not­toli first shov­eled fol­lowed by past pres­i­dents, rel­a­tives of founders and Galt High School alums. Ev­ery­one en­joyed them­selves and meet­ing those around them. Barsetti Gray summed up the feel­ing of the crowd when she said, “Our vol­un­teers to­day have the same pas­sion as our founders and char­ter mem­bers, to pre­serve the ir­re­place­able for gen­er­a­tions to come. Thank you all for com­ing and help­ing us to cel­e­brate.”

The so­ci­ety’s lat­est project is Snap­Shots of Galt on Face­book. Dan Tar­nasky, his­to­rian of the so­ci­ety who han­dles all archives, is in charge of this project. He en­cour­ages any­one in Galt to look through the snap­shots. If they iden­tify with a photo com­ment on it so he can add it to the archives.

••• Some in­ter­est­ing com­ments/quotes I found dur­ing the week:

Rus­sell Baker in his book “Grow­ing Up” said this after the end of World War II (page 230): “Tonight, it’s al­most like a mir­a­cle to think that nowhere on the en­tire earth is there one sin­gle, in­signif­i­cant lit­tle war be­ing fought.

“That is some­thing ut­terly new in my life­time, per­haps even in yours. Cer­tainly, this is a strange new era loaded with im­mense la­tent pos­si­bil­i­ties. Let’s hope that we can make the most of this op­por­tu­nity at least.”

And? We all know what hap­pened next. Guess hu­mans have a dif­fi­cult time mak­ing this hap­pen.

“Peo­ple are united by ques­tions. It is the an­swers that di­vide them.” — Elie Wiesel

“Do not waste time ask­ing for peace; get more fear­less peace into your souls, then you will be some good — and peace will fol­low.”

— Anony­mous

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