Category Archives: April 2012

aussies, caches & del taco

Last Tuesday, April 24, we headed over to Barstow (an hour and a half drive) to attend a geocaching meet & greet and go to the original Del Taco in Yermo. Also on my to-do list was visiting another Del Taco in Lenwood, just south of Barstow, that is owned by the man who started Del Taco.

The original Del Taco is now Tita’s Burger Den. The original Del Taco sign is intact and I don’t think anything else has changed, either, except the menu.

~ Lookit, Stevie! The original Del Taco! ~

Forty years ago I discovered Del Taco while living in Anaheim, California. The only thing was, the closest Del Taco at that time was in Costa Mesa… 20-30 minutes away. But that never stopped me from grabbing my little brother (that would be Stevie), who was 7 at the time, and heading on over there for a Del Beef Burrito whenever a craving hit.

A few years later we moved to Hawthorne. Now it was a two hour drive.  Of course, that didn’t deter me and Steve from cruising down to Costa Mesa once in a while. It wasn’t long until we had a Del Taco nearby, but it just wasn’t the same.

The original Del Taco owner, after selling the Del Taco chain, decided to open his own Del Taco in Lenwood (above). I was hoping to meet the owner, but he only comes in on weekends. <insert boo-boo face>

After visiting the two Del Tacos, we grabbed a couple of caches, stopped at two post offices and visited a nice NYFD memorial in Barstow before heading over to the meet and greet.

Now, meet our hosts at the Aussie’s on Route 66 (GC3CBTV) meet & greet:

Thanks to Warren, Ralph & Paul (Sol de Lune, Albida33 and Mtrax), geocachers from Australia, we went to to an area we hadn’t been before, met lots of cachers we’d never met and visited with one that came to our event last January. We had a great time.

p.s. We also got a date stamp at the Barstow post office. Yermo closed at 4:30 so that one will have to wait for our next trip to Barstow Las Vegas. If we hadn’t chatted with two nice young men at the Burger Den (the owner’s son and an Army pilot) for so long, we might have gotten to the Yermo post office before it closed.

santa barbara farmers market

Last Saturday we headed over to Santa Barbara to go to the farmers market to find out if it was as great as I’d heard/read. It was a beautiful day for the two hour drive past small towns, fields of strawberries and groves of oranges and lemons.

We bought strawberries, apple cider, a pummelo and two strawberry plants. Even though there were a lot more vendors than our local farmers market, I like ours better because there are benches and little tables where you can sit and visit with a friend or eat something you’ve bought from a vendor. Or people watch, my favorite thing to do. Santa Barbara has no prepared food vendors (such as bbq, sausages, gyros) and no place to sit… and it doesn’t have that relaxing, I-want-to-hang-around-here-for-a-while vibe. So we didn’t. Hang around, that is.

We left the farmers market and headed for a pizza place that came highly recommended by yelpers (people who post reviews on and sounded like the perfect place to have lunch. It was.

Olio Pizzeria makes just about the best pizza I’ve ever had. Pizza from any mom & pop place in New York City is still the best, but this comes within a hair of being just as good. The pizza pictured above is the umbra pizza (truffles and mushrooms). We also got the quattro formaggi pizza (four cheese). Both were fantastic. We also had squid ink calamari for an appetizer (it’s black and looks like it was burned up, but it was so good) and chocolate hazelnut panna cotta (chocolate pudding) for dessert . The next trip to Santa Barbara will be to have lunch at Olio’s again.

Olio’s pizza makers: top left, twirling the dough in the air (he never missed); top right, a smile for the camera in between twirling pizza dough; lower photo, pulling the pizza out of the pizza oven. These two guys kept us entertained while we waited for our pizza.

On the way home we stopped at several roadside fruit stands and bought more strawberries, some avocados and a bag of oranges. A pretty good – and healthy – haul and a wonderful day overall.

Titanic remembered through geocaching

Yesterday a blogging friend, Al from Thoughts of Houdini, posted about this year being the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking, and that jogged my memory about a virtual cache we found in Hawaii a few years ago, GC584A – That Sinking Feeling.

Lucy Parrish was a survivor of the Titanic disaster. When she died in 1930 she was buried in Oahu Cemetery in Honolulu. See that white square in the upper corner of her headstone? Someone named Michael B. Romero placed that on her headstone. I’ve googled him several times to find out who he is and why he did that, but have never found anything. Geocaching quite often takes us places we would have never known existed (this beautiful cemetery being one of them) and shows us things we would have never known about (such as this memorial plaque for Lucy Parrish… or even her grave). Click on the photo below for a larger, clearer image of the plaque.

Mike, being a history buff, was very excited by this find and he stills mentions it from time to time. I’m not much for history, but even I was excited about it.

A few months ago I discovered a beautiful Titanic geocoin that I knew HAD to be in our collection, and it’s always a hit at geocaching meet & greet events. Here’s our gorgeous geocoin, made by geocacher mo pirate in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster:

If any geocachers see this post and want to discover this beautiful geocoin, please do. I left the number visible on purpose because it has its own logo, like the photo on the right.

more information:

kathy fiscus

Kathy Fiscus – August 21, 1945 – April 8, 1949

Kathy Fiscus is the little girl I’m named after. Kathy was three years old when she fell down a well in San Marino, California on April 8, 1949. Friends, neighbors and strangers worked for more than 48 hours to rescue her, but when they finally reached her it was discovered that she had most likely died within a short time after the fall. Her rescue attempt was the first live television & radio coverage of an event, with  KTLA reporter Stan Chambers (shown in the center of the photo below holding a microphone) there throughout the ordeal.

My mom was so upset by Kathy’s death that she decided that if she ever had a little girl she’d name her Kathy. Three years later I was born… and mom named me Kathy, just as she had said she would. I wonder how many other little girls were named Kathy in honor of her?

After Kathy’s death the well was capped and the field where it’s located is now part of  San Marino High School.

Among the tributes to Kathy was a song written and recorded by Jimmie Osborne titled The Death of Little Kathy Fiscus, which sold over a million copies. You can hear it here on YouTube.

Find A Grave Memorial Page for Kathy

pancho barnes’ last home

Boron, California… not exactly the place you’d expect to find the last home of a famous aviatrix, stunt pilot and friend of many of the most famous test pilots in American history, but it was where Pancho Barnes lived out her final days.

The house, at the corner of Anderson Street and Kern Avenue, is in very bad shape nowadays. People in the aviation field have talked about restoring it, but nothing has been done yet.

We didn’t go inside the house this time, but we most likely will in the future. Mike would love to see the inside, although we’ve heard it’s been trashed and is crumbling. It’s a sad ending to the life of a woman who would easily qualify as one of Reader’s Digest’s Most Unforgettable Characters. Mike and I both wish we’d been lucky enough to know her.

If you have the time, read about Pancho Barnes and watch the documentary film about her, The Legend of Pancho Barnes and the Happy Bottom Riding Club. She was a very interesting lady.