Fresno, California ~ May
(subject to change)
NOTE: Attendees must arrive Wednesday even if they
are not attending the board meeting. Wednesday will be the time to pick up
registration packets with tickets for the tours, name tags, etc. since tours
start early Thursday morning.
Wednesday, May 14
Board Meeting @ 8:30 A.M.; Those
coming early can rent a car a half block away, and there will be
suggestions in hospitality room or contact Frank ahead of time (818 - 884
Thursday, May 15
Welcome breakfast and
orientation….6:30 a.m. sharp (tours start early)
Collection tours and underground
gardens; Bus leaves at 8:00 a.m.; lunch included
Yosemite tour: Bus leaves at 8:15
a.m., lunch included
Dinner on your own
Warnor’s theater tour and concert; bus
leaves at 6:30 p.m.
Friday, May 16
Breakfast on your own
Collection tours and underground gardens; Bus
leaves at 8:00 a.m.; lunch included
Yosemite tour: Bus leaves at 8:15 a.m., lunch
Dinner on your own
Pumper contest @ 7:30 p.m.
Meeting after pumper contest
Saturday, May 17
Breakfast and lunch on your own
Sunday, May 18
Optional open house tours
When my family went on camping vacations
before WWII, Fresno was just another farming community on the way to Yosemite.
It had probably a population of about 10,000 people, and maybe one stop light in
town. There were two gas stations with old time pumps with a glass container on
top. Gas was pumped into this container which held 10 gallons to be released
into your tank. At that time, and for a long time after, you wouldn’t see a
light in town after 9:00 p.m. Farmers went to bed early and got up early.
The San Juoaquin and Sacramento Valleys were considered the bread basket of
America with all kinds of fruit and nut orchards, corn and cotton, truck crops,
and dry land farming of oats, wheat, and barley extended across the Valleys from
the Sierras to the coast Range. Cattle, hogs and sheep were raised in large
numbers. Fresno was the raisin capital of the world for many decades with
When Shirley and I were married in 1954, I was finishing my BS Degree at Fresno
State. We of course, moved to Fresno and figured we’d spend our lives there or
somewhere similar. By this time the population was nearing 40,000. When the
Federal Offices came to town Fresno went to over 500,000 population.
Fresno has a very interesting history of theaters (Vaudeville) and of sports
(The West coast Relays were held there, a track event that attracted athletes
from around the world.
One of the big things to come from Fresno was when Bank of America launched
their Bankamericacard in 1958. This was the first successful credit card, and it
eventually spun off to the Visa card.
Fresno isn’t the sleepy little town anymore. It has grown into a modern,
up-to-date city, but still has a lot of Architectural wonders, which have been
lovingly kept over the years. A walking tour of downtown will take you back in
time to another era.
Getting back to the convention in 2014, we’ll see Yosemite, one of the most
spectacular and beautiful National Parks in the world - Yosemite. We’ll have
lunch at the famous Ahwanee Hotel and have time to explore the area with
wonderful scenic views and many waterfalls, which should be running fast at this
time of year. The foliage should be spectacular, too.
On another trip, we’ll be entertained by the wonderful collection of American
and European instruments at the home of Mike Argain, many of which you just
don’t see in most collections, and all are expertly restored. Mike has been
restoring instruments for collectors all over the country for 40 plus years, and
does a fantastic job The up and coming collection of Rick Shaw will be another
treat. Rick is putting together a really nice collection, redoing his home to
accommodate it. These collections are not easily accessible, and we are very
fortunate to have them open for us.
Other events include a trip to the famous Forestiere Underground Gardens, and a
tour of the 1928 Warnors Theater, (no, that’s not a misspelling, and you will
hear why during the tour) with an organ concert. This was originally a Burlesque
theater, and has its’ original Wurlitzer organ. Of course, we’ll have a pumper
contest, a mart, workshops, and a banquet.
We will be staying at the lovely Radisson Hotel for only $99. This includes FREE
parking and airport shuttle from Fresno/Yosemite international Airport. All
this and more answers the question “Why Fresno?”.
Don’t miss this convention. We have never been in this area before, and it is
lovely. You will be sorry if you miss it. Because of space and other
considerations, registration will be limited to 160, so register early.
Sunday open houses and attractions include the home of Rick Shaw’s aunt and
uncle in Visalia. Their collection includes a working carousel, cars, clothes,
music, and a large home organ, with other treasures mixed in. It’s all for fun
Stephen Kent Goodman is opening his home and collection also. Stephen has done
some great arranging for rolls for various machines. He is quite talented, and
does restorations also.
There are also the Japanese Gardens, two mansions from the early Fresno era, and
other attractions. All this adds up to “Why Not Fresno?” Hope to see you there.
Examples of rare, beautifully restored instruments to
be seen and heard, along with things to do in the Fresno area.