The first week of October we celebrated Cheryl and Deana's birthday by meeting Dan & Deana in Hemet for lunch. We have celebrated for 41 years so we have to keep the tradition going.
We enjoyed our stay at Silent Valley in the nice weather, warm pool and bubbly Jacuzzi. We had a visit from Elks friends Laurie and also Dave; got to see friends Greg and Kim whom we haven’t seen in a long time up here. Daisy made friends with Marion & Dave (a sweet elderly couple) and their shy little Mandy. Every afternoon Daisy wanted to go visit them as we all enjoyed the afternoon warm sun.
We left Silent Valley for Orange County today (10/25) because Cheryl’s 50th high school reunion is coming up at the end of the month. Our Elks lodge RV park was occupied with a special event so we camped at the Orange County Fairgrounds. They had full hook ups including 50 amp electric. It was convenient and quiet, worth coming back.
It was interesting to see the fairgrounds from a different perspective than we normally see it during the County Fair or for the weekend Marketplace. There is a lot of history of this land and Orange Coast College across the street (former Santa Ana Army Air Base), where Cheryl attended classes in 1967-68. Some of her classes were in the old wooden Army buildings.
The fair first took place in the year 1890 and consisted of some minor exhibits in Santa Ana and a horse race and livestock shows, but around 1900 new carnival-like attractions were added and the fair become a yearly occurrence. The fair was located in Santa Ana, except for a brief interval after World War I, when it was moved to Huntington Beach.
Starting in 1916, the fair was managed by the Orange County Farm Bureau. A County Fair Board was elected in 1925, and the fair was moved to Anaheim with the addition of a rodeo and carnival. Following World War II the 32nd District Agricultural Association was formed by the state of California, and it took on the task of running the fair. The state purchased land from the Santa Ana Army Air Base and set some of it aside for use as a new fairgrounds. In 1949 the fair became a five-day-long event and was relocated to the old army base, which quickly became the permanent location.
The fairgrounds property was once part of the nearly 1,300-acre Army base, which served as training grounds from 1942 to 1946. May 7, 1945 V-E day was the close of the fighting in Europe. Suddenly Santa Ana Army Air Base's role changed 180 degrees and it worked around the clock to become a separation center. By November 1945 81,000 combat veterans had been returned to private life. In late 1945 Japanese aliens from the alien internment camps being returned to Japan by the Immigrations and Naturalization Service (INS) were housed here while awaiting transportation to Japan
Orange Coast College officially became a viable entity on Jan. 27, 1947 by a ballot measure establishing the Orange Coast Junior College District. The first classes were offered on Monday, Sept. 13, 1948. A total of 533 students were attracted to the college that first semester with thirty-three faculty members. The new college was located on a 243-acre parcel of land carved from a deactivated World War II military installation, Santa Ana Army Air Base. The base had served as a pre-flight training facility for Army Air Corps cadets.
When the college opened, it sat as a lonely sentinel in "the middle of nowhere," far from residential and commercial outposts, in an unincorporated area -- derisively labeled "Goat Hill" by long-time residents -- on a plateau above the Pacific. The plateau featured little more than a collection of sweeping bean fields, some scattered wooden farmhouses and cottages, and what seemed like a million tumbleweeds
From where we were camped we could see school children arrive daily to visit the farm animals located in the “Farm”. One morning we walked over to see the immense ox that was nibbling on the clover in the grass after his morning shower. He was so sweet but SO VERY BIG.