July 21, 2013

2013 Summer Night Lights


 The last of six events in the Alpaugh/Allensworth Summer Night Lights series takes place at Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park on Saturday, July 27, 2013.

A collaboration between the communities of Alpaugh and Allensworth, Summer Night Lights events are designed to provide safe free entertainment for community youth over the school summer vacation. Other Summer Night Lights events include: a resource fair and family fun night, a sports night, two movie nights and a carnival.  

Alpaugh and Allensworth are one of 10 Tulare County communities putting on Summer Night Lights programs this summer.  The Tulare County Summer Night Lights program began in 2011 with three cities participating. This is the second year that Alpaugh and Allensworth participated in the program; last year they had two events with a total attendance of 140 people.  So far, this year’s events have averaged 100 to 150 youth per event.  

The free Family Fun Day at the state park includes food, games and music at Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park from 3 to 7 pm. For more information contact Robert at 661-849-2401.

July 11, 2013

The Lost Tribe of Black Okies

“…James Dixon sleeps on a 50-year-old bed of iron with a barley sack for a pillow.  The bed isn't quite long enough for his 5-foot, 5-inch frame, so the 95-year-old Dixon rests his pillow on a beekeeper's wooden box.  He draws heat from a potbellied stove, burning the last limbs of a pecan tree his uncle planted years ago.”

This depiction of dire poverty comes from former Los Angeles Time reporter Mark Arax’s 2002 story A Lost Tribe's Journey to a Land of Broken Promises.  It is the story of James Dixon, his neighbors Beulah Benton, Martha Williams, Robert “Boots” Parker, Luke Etta Hill and the other Black Okies who in the 1940s settled in Teviston, California, “a glorified squatters’ village” about  12 miles east of Allensworth.

Mark Arax and photographer Matt Black spent nearly two years chronicling the lives of the Teviston residents.  During this time Mark and Matt spent countless hours with the Teviston residents; listening to their life stories, visiting their homes and attending their church services.

This past weekend (July 6-7) was Bakersfield’s Weekend on C-SPAN.  Bakersfield Weekend is part of the C-SPAN 2013 Cities Tour.  During these week long tours, the Book TV and American History TV staff and crew visit local literary and historic sites and interview historians, authors and civic leaders in the selected cities.  During the C-SPAN team’s week long visit to Bakersfield Mark Arax took the team on a tour of Teviston. 

After watching the Teviston segment of the Bakersfield Weekend (below) take a few minutes to view Matt Black’s riveting “The Black Okies” exhibit at his online gallery which happens to include three photos taken in Allensworth.

July 08, 2013

New Parks Director Visits Allensworth

State Park Interpreter III Steven Ptomey posted on FaceBook that retired Marine Corps Major General Anthony L. Jackson stopped at Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park last week. General Jackson made the unofficial stop at Allensworth while traveling on vacation.

Governor Brown appointed General Jackson as the 19th Director of California State Parks on November 13, 2012 and Natural Resources Agency Secretary John Laired swore him in on November 16, 2012. During his remarks after the swearing-in, General Jackson told the audience "I had been offered great opportunities, other places also within the state, but I love the California State Parks."

You can watch the swearing-in ceremony on the California State Parks website.

July 03, 2013

Colonel Allensworth 5K Run Walk for Health

Colonel Allensworth 5K Run Walk for Health

It’s time to gather a group of your family and friends and start training for the 6th Annual Colonel Allensworth 5K Run Walk for Health. The 5K run walk starts at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 12, 2013, at Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park. 

Proceeds from past 5K run walks have provided vital support to the programs at Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park, to include a cell phone tour of the park, a custom Colonel Allensworth puppet, and a host of other items that you can see on the Colonel Allensworth 5K Run Walk for Heath website. 

Register online or fill out the registration form and mail it to:

     Colonel Allensworth 6th Annual 5K Run Walk for Health
     P.O. Box 161704
     Sacramento, CA 95816-1704

For those who cannot make the trip to the park, donate $20 or more and receive a t-shirt by mail.

For additional information call (916) 3466-4767 or email info@allensworth5krunwalk.org

What:    Colonel Allensworth 5K Run Walk for Heath
When:   Saturday, October 12, 2013
Time:    9:00 a.m.
Where: Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park
Cost:     Adults - $20
             Seniors - $15
             Youth (12 and under) $7

For those who want to run their first 5K check out the free training plans at Runners World, the Mayo Clinic, or JeffGalloway’s site. Jeff Galloway was a member of the 1972 Olympic team and has won the Peachtree Road Race, Honolulu Marathon, and Atlanta Marathon. You can download Galloway’s free workout music mixes at the Motion Traxx website.  The workouts start with run-walk intervals and build up to full 5K workouts.