Sunday, June 28, 2:00-3:30 pm

John Steinbeck Library, 350 Lincoln Avenue


One Salinas: Making a City

Neighborhood Stories

The National Steinbeck Center under construction in 1998

A community conversation that explores the stories of Salinas’ neighborhoods and the challenges of making one city, will take place on Sunday, June 28, from 2:00-3:30 pm at the John Steinbeck Library. “One Salinas” is the latest in a series of community conversations convened as part of the Salinas Stories program, exploring local residents’ experiences during important events in the history of Salinas.

During the first hour of the program, Salinas residents will relate stories about their different neighborhoods, where many people define their community, their identity and their loyalties. This will be followed by a conversation, “Making a City,” led by Salinas Mayor Dennis Donohue, exploring what it might take to knit these disparate storylines into a tale of one city.

  • Theodore Cominos Sr. will tell stories of Oldtown Salinas as seen from the Cominos Hotel, one of Salinas’ oldest landmarks (established in 1856—at the intersection of the two stage routes, between Monterey and San Juan Bautista and between San Francisco and Los Angeles) in an area later the location of downtown Salinas. The hotel was owned by the Cominos family since approximately 1913, and Theodore Cominos worked at the hotel while in high school in the late 30s and remembers the vital life of Main Street. The building was severely damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and was torn down shortly afterward. The former building’s site is now the parking lot in front of the National Steinbeck Center. (The Monterey County Historical Society provides a history of the Cominos Hotel at http://www.mchsmuseum.com/halfwayhouse.html)
  • City Councilman Tony Barrera will relate stories of East Salinas, the neighborhood known as The Alisal, where he has lived for thirty years. In addition to his representation of the Alisal on the City Council and other philanthropic activities, for twelve years Barrera has served on Parent Patrol, monitoring the streets in the mornings as Alisal students go to school.
  • Ron Cacas will tell tales of growing up in South Salinas in the late 40s and early 50s, when he would ride his bicycle all the way from South Main to Leidig’s grocery store, and play with lots of friends in the neighborhood.
  • Stories from North Salinas will be presented by Roger Patterson, former owner of Roy’s Drive-In, a Salinas landmark and center for hot rods and milkshakes for forty years. Roy’s Drive-In was founded in 1962 by Roger Patterson’s father-in-law, Roy Kreeger, who bought the drive-in in 1976 and ran the family business until it closed in 2004. The site is now La Costa Taqueria.

No comments: