you believe that these are all the original structures here in Franklin
after fifty years?
Structurally, they haven't changed significantly, from the way
fifty years ago, this goes for the skating rink as well.
Finally, this is the number three
business and used to be called Luttig's Market. Five years ago, it
was still a
market and it was run by people of mid eastern heritage. Today,
is an auto repair, dismantling shop and yard. Not a very pretty
one at that. Still, like the other businesses shown, the original
When the school was adjacent to Franklin Blvd., we were allowed to go
over to the "Luttig's" market and buy treats at lunch time. It was
for me because it was my first volunteer duty as a road crossing
sentry. Two of us would be positioned on either side of the road
with stop signs attached to 6 foot long poles and "crossing guard"
banners hung across our chest.
Our duty was to wait for a car to
come and then hang out the stop signs and then laugh as they had to
come to a screeching halt. We would then walk across the street
changing places and lift
our signs. It also worked well if a fellow student (especially a
cute girl) actually needed to
cross the road.
I have to remind you, this was before Franklin
even had one stop sign so traffic would barely
slow down as it came through. Franklin presently has the
appearance of being Elk
Grove's skid row
except for the absence of the homeless people. It seems to me to
be even more sparse and just a place in the road, even more so then it
was 50 years ago. It still has the atmosphere (smell) of being a
farming community. It is nice that some things stay the same.
is the sign posting for my old grammar school.
I graduated from
Franklin Grammar School
in 1956 amongst a fledgeling class of
19 total students, into Elk
Grove High School with a huge Freshman class of 200. Talk about social
shock. This was also the transition from my nick name of "Dick"
What happened to my original nick name is that the teachers in my freshman class would dream up their own nick names for us kids, rather then ask. Since I was
registered as "James,"
at roll call time the teacher would call out "Jim?" After about
the 79th correction, I gave up and became "Jim." So, 18 people from Franklin in my freshman class, called me Dick and the rest (181) called me
This was sad to me as I actually preferred my original nick name. That's
the one I am bonded to. Why Dick? Because my middle name is
Ritchard and my Mom preferred a nick name relative to my middle name,
rather then be reminded that I was named after my father (John
James.) So for my first 13 years, I went by Dick, only.
Yes, I know how to spell Richard, and my mother did too. Ritchard
was the last name of my father's buddy. I am yet another kid to
get stuck with an unconventional name at the whim of mis-guided
parents. At least they didn't name me Xilia or Sue.
There was a Chinese influence in our area, mostly
concentrated in the City of Locke,
on the Sacramento River. If we wanted fire crackers, we could
always get the illegal ones in Locke. (The older neighborhood boys would pass
this tradition down to us younger kids.)
Now Locke is known more
for it antiques as it gets discovered by various "back roads" flavored
shows. Their economy always enjoys an upsurge after one of these
shows spot light the City of Locke. If you want to visit Locke,
go north from Walnut Grove or south from Courtland, on the levee road
between the two towns. Locke is about midway between the
The actual Chinese shops are located on the face of the levee so you
have to drop down off of the levee to actually view and visit the shops
I can't resist going through grave yards. It is
interesting to find people you know. It's like reading the obits
after the fact. This one in particular bought back very warm
Dr. Primasing was our family doctor and he actually
made house calls. When you consider how rural our area was, it
was really fortunate that any doctor would make house calls. I saw
him at our house twice, once when I had pneumonia and again when I
had blood poisoning in my right hand. I also remember waiting in his
office for hours with my Mom. He probably was the preferred
doctor for a 100 square miles, at least it seemed like it.
At this grave yard, I was actually looking for my third grade teacher, Mrs. Maish.
She was a significant positive influence in my young life. One memorable
incident with her teaching, was a chalk board math lecture which I was bored with. While she was lecturing, I went to
reading a book about "Black Beauty" instead. She threw three
chalk board erasers at me before hitting me with the fourth and getting
She was trying to get my attention away from the book
I was reading to pay attention to the lesson at hand. Lucky for me, I knew the
answer to her question and from then on, much to the delight of my
giggling classmates, paid a lot more attention to the current
lesson. Black Beauty would just have to be hitched up and read about later, for the
It is additionally strange when you run across a stone marker of a classmate and or even younger kids, .
This was one of the kids I grew up with that actually lived in
Franklin, with an
apparent acquired zest
for golfing and a father of a loving family. The Kloss family (his parents) used to have a ranch/dairy
in Franklin but the ranch seems to have melted into the background of
the New Franklin. His being two years younger, meant our paths
cross that much as kids. Cont.