The Territorial Dispatch
July 10, 1996
I liked Yuba City
because it seemed to be "small town", friendly,
If the Yuba City
metropolitan area hadn't been dragged kicking and screaming
into "citihood" it probably would have qualifed on it's own
pretty soon, what with the opening of the new, fancy
schmancy Staples store where Ernie's Toyland used to be and
the super, state-of-the-art Larry Geweke Ford automobile
dealership on Highway 99. These two places definitely have
the appearance of "big city".
I'm still undecided as to
whether I think it is better to be at the bottom of the
big-place list or at the top of the small-place list.
When I came here 27 years
ago this month I liked Yuba City because it seemed to be
"small town", friendly, rural. Consider for a minute the
changes in the past quarter of a century plus.
After arriving here,
while still living in the Vada Motel... which still exists
in the very same spot... waiting escrow on the house we had
purchased, one of the first things we did was to attend the
grand opening of the water purification plant north of Yuba
City. It was way out on the edge of civilization in those
days. The city has grown out to surround it.
The sewage processing
ponds were just off Market Street back of where the little
league ball field is now. That operation has been moved to a
big modern facility by the bigger league ball field in the
southeast part of town. Everything at the old spot has dried
up and nothing is left in the "craters" except a
hundred-cabillion frogs that all sing together to seranade
the ballplayers or those attending functions at the Twin
Cities Rod & Gun Club.
A drive-in movie that was
along Market Street is no longer there. It was just south of
the trailer park that is south of the ball park. If you had
lived in the park in those days you could watch the movies
but not hear the sound too well... remember? Old drive-ins
had speakers-on-a-stick not stations on your car radio like
I thought it was great
when they introduced the one-price-per-carload fee. It meant
we didn't have to stuff the kids in the trunk anymore!!
...JUST KIDDING! It would have been impossible to hide
anyone in the station wagon we had anyway!!
Twenty seven years ago
the store next to our room at the Vada Motel was a Grand
Auto Store. Later it changed to a Super Auto and then became
the quick lube place that is here today. Quick lubes and
convenience stores have sprung up all over the area like
mushrooms on a warm summer evening.
Speaking of warm summer
evenings when we first arrived here we spent time at the
Yuba Sutter Fair because it was way more fun than sitting in
a motel room with three kids, two dogs, 75 tropical fish and
an ant farm. Now, in addition to the Fair this area sports
wonderful festivals such as Bok Kai, California Prune
Festival, Highland Games, Beckwourth Frontier Days and
various other seasonal events.
I remember when the
Chamber of Commerce was under the water tower on Plumas
Street in Yuba City... and you could get an area map
A Volkswagon dealership
was where Burger King is now. Carbos space on Colusa goes
back through a chain of eateries... chicken, donuts,
burgers. Remember when MacDonalds didn't even have a cover
over the front of the store... now you have a choice of two
locations, and Taco Bell will soon have four locations in
the local area.
The cannery is gone from
the south end of Plumas Street, Town Center is taking root,
and there is talk of building straw houses at the north end
of that street. And now Yuba City/Marysville/Yuba
County/Sutter County has a great presence on the World Wide
What qualifies places to
be listed as cities is the population of a metropolitan
area, and the Yuba City area binds together Marysville, Yuba
City and the surrounding portions of Sutter and Yuba
Twenty seven years ago we
weren't even considered a possibility for ranking.
What outsiders don't
undertand is that the Yuba City Metropolitan Area is
different from any other place in the entire world. And
that's not a put-down. It's a fact. And it can be good or
bad depending on your view of a situation.
Quote of the week:
If you can make it work in Yuba- Sutter you can make it work
anywhere in the world.
&emdash; Gordon Tom