If your speakers are turned on, you're listening to The Ballad of Jesse James, a not-so-famous piece that remembers a convicted 19th century killer and thief. The sons of a Baptist pastor, Jesse and Frank James proved God's grace isn't inherited. Their wake of robbery and murder in the Midwest earned Jesse the title of America's Most Famous Outlaw.
Their visit to Paso Robles in 1868-69 is detailed in a 1996 Pioneer Pages article written by Bill Dellard. Thanks to the Pioneer Museum, Pioneer Day organizers and city planners for NOT capitalizing on this unusual connection. Paso doesn't need bloodshed, vengeance, mayhem and robbery glorified in a Jesse James Day or Jesse James Festival.
Pioneer Day glorifies the pioneer spirit and enterprise that has given the area a history to be proud of. Early hardships, strong faith in God and hope for their kids and grandkids molded a 'can do' philosophy and ensured growth and stability even in the once wild west.
Hats off to this year's Grand Marshal, Dave Rowe, whose commitment to family and community should be an inspiration to both friends and strangers. His friendship and generosity to Yours Truly will never be forgotten as well.
Staking claim to a piece of street or sidewalk real estate is a tradition etched early in the lives of these two. I think daddy is a cop, so they had the best place ever at 13th and Spring.
Old friends are best friends. That's Lyle on the left and Mr. Busi on the right. I can't remember the fellow in the center. Each of them had a story.
Lyle and his wife, Peggy, live east of Paso. Lyle lived in a little berg in Minnesota that he helped incorporate. He became its first chief of police. In the early 40's, he headed for California to try his hand in Golden State law enforcement and decided to stay.
You guys who are regulars at Vic's Cafe probably know Lyle, but haven't seen him since so many of his friends aren't in the land of the living any longer. Maybe you could invite him to join you sometime and listen to a few new stories.
Bean counters are our best friends today. This tribe of early morning volunteers throw in all but the kitchen sink to mix up their secret brand of chili beans. The overheard banter, joking and joshing are worth as much as the beans. These guys could start their own MacDonald's rivalry. MacBean's has a certain 'ring' to it. Or is it a certain 'toot'?