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Looking Back

From the files of the Loomis News
By: Compiled Howard Mehl and Howard Stitt
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50 YEARS AGO (Feb. 27, 1959 Issue) The First Congregational Church of Loomis honored the choir in their worship service. Frank Law led the congregation in the reading of the “Litany of Thanksgiving” and Mrs. H. Carlisle read the 19th Psalm. Both were members of the choir, under the direction of Al Schweigert. 25 YEARS AGO (March 1, 1984 Issue) Two Del Oro students were named to the All-Sierra Foothill League varsity boys and girls top basketball team. They were Del Oro senior center Brett Littlefield, who averaged 20.3 points per game, and Eagle junior guard-forward Becki Whitney, who averaged 11.0 points per game. The 6-foot-5-inch Littlefield was Del Oro’s only first-team selectin. In addition to the league average, he also had rebounding score of 11.3 per contest and shot 53 percent from the field during the season. He averaged 53 percent from the freethrow line. Del Oro coach Bill Barker said, “Brett, to me, is probably the best player in the league.” 10 YEARS AGO (Feb, 25, 1999 Issue) Services were held for Isami Matsuda, 99, a native of Hiroshima, Japan. She came to America at the age of 11. She and her family had been in the Penryn area for the past 88 years. Isami was a homemaker and worked with her husband as fruit ranchers for over 56 years. She was a member of the Placer Buddhist Church and Placer Buddhist Funjin Kai. Andrew Bonner, a 1998 Del Oro graduate, turned over 47 sports banners to his alma mater, completing a task he had undertaken as his senior project. Del Oro opened in 1959 but the only championship sports banners hung in the Paul Yokote Gym were from 1978 forward. The project allowed Andrew to give something back to his school and honor his own family. His grandfather, the late Bob Bonner, was Del Oro’s first football coach and had league titles in 1960, 1961 and 1962. Andrew’s father, Ed, and uncle, Rob, were on championship football and track teams in the late 1960’s. The story of the Pacific Fruit Express Company was featured at the Placer County Courthouse Museum. PFE, a subsidiary of the Southern Pacific Railroad, was opened in 1909 to manufacture ice for refrigerator cars. The plant provided ice for thousands of refrigerator cars each day. This readily available supply of ice allowed Loomis Basin growers to ship their fruit out of state, and this area became one of the primary fruit production areas in the country. Local women were to be honored at a special Women’s History Month program, “Standing Among Great Women.” The event was sponsored by the Agape group of the Loomis Basin UCC Church. Special honorees were Pat Rathbone, activities director of the Loomis L.I.F.E. Center; Maxine Sunada, Loomis Blood Drive and WEAVE Project; Vivian Adams, Eden Project and meals at St. Vincent’s; Mildred Naylor, Roseville Auxiliary and Loomis UCC; and other “Trail Blazers” at the Loomis Basin Congregational Church. Del Oro orators competed in the annual Loomis Lions Club student speaker contest. The winner was Andy Hill, followed by fellow students Sara Howell, Julia Dunning, Amy Rhodes, Dustin Simmons and Ben Sewell. The topic was “Cloning: How Far Should Science Go.” Students Ryan Fuhrman, Christine O’Brien and Adam Collete modeled clothes to promote a fashion and art show sponsored by the Del Oro Parents Club.