Good stuff

Classic children's show

  • "The Secret Garden" -- 7:30 p.m. Fridays, 7 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. matinees Saturdays and Sundays through March 9 at Firehouse Arts Center. "The Secret Garden," the childhood classic is brought to life with a musical production. Orphan Mary Lennox returns to England to live with her reclusive uncle and his invalid son, Colin, where she discovers a magical secret garden. Tickets are $12, $15, $18; Child or Senior: $6, $9, $12. Tickets available at www.firehousearts.org, 925-931-4848, or at the box office, 4444 Railroad Ave. in Pleasanton.

    Past Times

    March 6, 1953 Top story of the Pleasanton Times

    Headline: "McKinley Park Dedication Recalled Along With Early-Day Bond Issue"

    This week in talking about the bond election for the proposed new water reservoir, the question as to when the old reservoirs in McKinley Park were constructed came up. Mayor James W. Trimingham went to Thomas H. Silver, the city treasurer, who knows all the answers about early days in Pleasanton.

    Silver said it was two or three years after the dedication of McKinley Park, named in honor of President McKinley, who was assassinated the year previous to the dedication of the park. Mr. Silver then went home and found the framed telegram sent to Pleasanton by President Theodore Roosevelt on the McKinley Park dedication day, Feb. 14, 1903.

    It was sent to Mayor Frank Lewis, Thomas H. Silver and Arthur Platt, and it read: "I congratulate you on the oak planting in McKinley Park, I like to see all encouragement of tree-planting generally, but of course, in this case particularly."

    The telegram was signed simply, Theodore Roosevelt.

    That, Mr. Silver says, was a great day in Pleasanton. Stores and schools closed and the people, led by a band, paraded out to the park, the site the city fathers bought from W.H. Cope for a park for the townspeople and for water reservoirs to be placed on the hill. Trees were donated and planted, but on the day of the dedication a half-dozen special oak trees were planted, and today five of those trees are there and are now huge oaks.

    Those oaks, then little seedlings, were sent to Arthur Platt by his brother from England, and they came from Sherwood Forest, of Robin Hood fame. The consent of the Earl of Portsmouth was secured to get the seedlings. In fact the earl wrote a very nice little note about the trees, but it has been lost.

    The park dedication was in early 1903, but the land was bought in 1898, and there was a small reservoir down in the park the city used. This was not adequate for the town, and so the first bond issue of the Town of Pleasanton was approved for $40,000, with 40 years to pay off the bonds. This amount was deemed sufficient to put in the first water and sewer systems.

    Real Estate: Pleasanton. Twenty-six miles from Oakland, 6 miles from the atomic plant at Livermore, in an up-and-coming community. Building a fine bungalow with two bedrooms, one-and-a-half baths, maid's room, bath, basement, two-car garage. Will take $5,000 down. Private owner.

    Groceries: Hagstrom's. Large eggs, 55 cents a dozen; Velveeta, two-pound loaf, 79 cents; and prime rib roast, 55 cents a pound.

    At the Movies: Roxy Theater. Cecil B. DeMille's "The Greatest Show on Earth," starring Betty Hutton, Cornel Wilde, Charleston Heston, Dorothy Lamour and James Stewart.

    Trivia Question: The number-one movie of 1960 was directed by Alfred Hitchcock, what was it?

    Answer to last week's question: On Feb. 26, 1953, Dr. Jonas Salk announced a vaccine to prevent polio.

    Contact Louise Hartman at lhartman@bayarea-newsgroup.com.