From the emails, voice mails and other sources:
DISCOVERY SHOP – Some time ago, the Discovery Shop in north Modesto received a donation of a painting by legendary Modesto artist and teacher Isabelle Shrock Barnett.
The Discovery Shop raises money for the American Cancer Society, with 97 cents on the dollar from sales going directly to benefit cancer patients and their families, volunteer Phillip Goodwin said.
They stored the 1971 painting, which she titled “Rural Roadside Near Ulm,” with the shop’s Aug. 21-22 Artful Discovery art sale in mind.
“We’re trying to price it,” Goodwin said. “Her address was written on the back of the painting in what we believe is her handwriting: ‘2716 Scenic Drive.’”
She indeed lived at 2716 Scenic Drive in Modesto, the city she called home for six decades. He also said there is a handwritten price on the back of the painting: $275.
Schrock Barnett, who died at 92 in July 1995, helped found the Central California Art League in 1949 and led Modesto High’s art department in the 1940s and 1950s. She helped develop scores of local artists not only with her enthusiasm for them but also through her own works. She produced more than 1,000 pieces, many of which won awards. Her works were displayed in the San Francisco Museum of Art, Sacramento’s Crocker Gallery, the Oakland Art Museum, the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., and other venues.
She drew on her personal experiences, traveling to every continent except for Antarctica, according to a story in The Bee when she died.
HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN – As agenda items go, this one seemed a bit out of place. The consent calendar for Monday night’s Riverbank City Council meeting included a resolution endorsing the scenic designation of Highway 132, aka Yosemite Boulevard, as The John Muir Highway.
Why would Riverbank, with Highway 108 being about eight miles north of 132, endorse another route to Yosemite? The city of Waterford, which 132 does cut through, asked the county and its nine other cities to support its resolution. The highway continues east through La Grange to Highway 49 at Coulterville – home to the John Muir Geocultural Center. Naturalist John Muir’s route into Yosemite basically followed what is now 132. The designation would encompass the entire length of 132, including west through Modesto to Interstate 5 near Vernalis.
“With the most cities already on board, and more in the next two weeks, the county will consider it on Aug. 18,” Waterford City Manager Tim Ogden wrote in an email on Monday. “Then the (Stanislaus Council of Governments) board will consider its approval, and then lobby for Caltrans support.”
Would Muir have been honored to be so honored? After all, he opposed man’s encroachment on nature, including major roads and dams (See Hetch Hetchy). But since the highway exists, anything that brings dollar-dropping tourists through the area for the local economy.
ROLLING ALONG – In my Aug. 3 column, I wrote about how Jeremy Matthews is trying to see if he can bring a roller rink back to Modesto. Roller King, co-owned by his mother-in-law, Cecilia Locke Michelini, closed in 2005. Like so many Modesto-area residents – but not enough to keep it going – Matthews spent countless hours there as a child. By the number of comments when the column posted on The Bee’s Facebook page that day, and by the number of phone calls and emails I received, there is interest in a new rink. Parents want healthy activities for their kids, if only to break up their computer screen/cellphone trances. So Matthews is running the numbers, looking at possible sites and financing. He secured a couple of domain names for Web pages, and will announce those addresses as soon as they are up and running.
BRIDGE UNDER TROUBLED WATERS – The old Parrotts Ferry bridge across the Stanislaus River near Columbia State Park generated quite a bit of interest in May when hazard buoys were attached to warn boaters it was about to come out of the water for the first time since the mid-1990s. It’s now well out of the water.
So when will the buoys foretell the same for the old Melones bridge a few miles downstream? The bridge on old Highway 49 currently rests 70 feet below the surface. Folks at the Bureau of Reclamation expect it to poke out of the water sometime in September or October. It hasn’t been out of the water since the spring of 1993 or so. Dale Batchelor of Sonora photographed the old bridge as the new Archie Stevenot Bridge was completed in 1976 and was gracious to share it with The Bee.