Steve Wilson
Steve Wilson

We’ll get to the title of this week’s column, kinda, but first I offer up mention of a television program both to conjure a memory in the likeminded and to inform a younger readership; if one exists.

When I was a kid laying on a linoleum floor watching our Blackenwide* TV set, one of the early shows of what is now called The Golden Age of Television was “The Millionaire.” The weekly storyline was an eccentric millionaire, one John Beresford Tipton, sent his emissary with a certified check for $1 million to some unsuspecting soul somewhere in the USofA; how each recipient handled this colossal windfall was a study in human nature. I was, and still am, fascinated by the concept.

There have been, to my recollection, two people, one just down the road in Morro Bay and one down in the beach area of SoCal, here in the state who have won a billion dollars with the purchase of a lottery ticket. Even if the payout is two-thirds of that, it is still a sizeable chunk of change, a walloping wad of ones.

Today, just as the little boy in front of the TV, I fantasize about what I would do with such money. Well, if I were younger, richer, stronger and better looking**, I would spend a good deal of it (post family, of course) no doubt on foolish pursuits of one nature of another. Not now. Now I would set up a foundation, out of which I would establish smaller foundations in the following for the following:

In Greenfield, a Natatorium, an indoor, multi-pooled swim facility accommodating wading for mothers and infants and the young, lap lanes, recreation, aquarobics and diving with competitive programs in conjunction with the high school. The facility would operate as both Greenfield residents only and public use on a year-round schedule. A facility bus would operate on a schedule to best serve Bradley to Gonzales and outlying areas. Also, to assist Greenfield Oak Park District to upgrade and enlarge their swim area. The mission statement of this foundation would include the simple idea that everyone should have the opportunity to learn to swim.

In King City, the foundation would support the existing Southern Monterey County Center for the Performing Arts in establishing a performing arts center with state-of-the-art stage and audience areas; costume, make-up and green rooms. Separate buildings would accommodate instruction and practice rooms with studio theatre. In addition to this I would do all possible to purchase outright the Auditorium and the small parcel of land south of it for expansion of facilities in compliance with American Disabilities Act. The foundation would bring performers of all genres to both these theatres for both instruction and entertainment. The foundation would financially support all existing professional and amateur/nonprofit arts programs.

In both Greenfield and King City, the foundation would purchase land and begin construction on either satellite campuses for both high schools, or establish new high schools. Greenfield campus would be somewhere in the northeast section of the city, north of Walnut Avenue and Third to Second streets. In King City, the campus would be situated east of First Street and south of Bitterwater Road.

The foundation would establish tutoring and scholarship programs so every resident would have the opportunity to attend a college, university, technical or trade campus. The foundation would support existing programs and underwrite new programs for working and retired residents.

The foundation would establish travel programs tailored to accommodate residents of all ages allowing young and old to experience cultures from around the globe.


The second part of today’s title lends itself to a wee bit of deception, or at least misdirection, because I think the double use of the abbreviation is fun. The interns noted are found down at San Lorenzo Park and consist of four high school students who recently began a year-long stint for the Monterey County Rur … ach, MCARLM, but they really aren’t assistant interns because in this case ASST stands for Aubree, Samantha, Samantha, Taylor. See, that was fun.

Taylor and Aubree and SamC are newly installed, while SamR is returning for her second year. Since inception, the Museum intern program has offered social interaction opportunities through leading tours and assisting at public events along with personal enrichment projects in the form of a history project for each intern. Four juniors or seniors from both high schools make up the team, and now it is Aubree and Taylor and Sams C and R’s turn to take on the responsibilities of the program. Two of them on rotating weekends are always ready to make any visit to the Museum more interesting and enjoyable, so head on down and meet these young ladies some weekend.


*My family purchased our first TV set for Christmas 1957 when I was in kindergarten in Greenfield; I have a brief memory of being in the store with my father on that day up in Soledad. “The Millionaire” ran from 1955-60, color sets were unheard of in town, so my young ears misheard “black and white” as all one word. We owned, to my belief, a Zenith Blackenwide television set. (The argument I was not the quickest lad on the uptake was one-sided.)

**I don’t know when I first heard, or used, the words strung together, but at a reunion 30 years past high school I uttered the phrase to Debbie Jo, a classmate since kindergarten, and she said if I had been all the words indicated, she would have married me. Debbie Jo had a great sense of humor.

Take care. Peace.

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King City and Greenfield columnist Steve Wilson may be reached at [email protected].


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