Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Secrets of Salida

Photo: Sunrise in Salida by Katherine Borges
There's something about Salida that the Modesto politicians don't know or realize, and that's our valued autonomy and identity as Salidans. Just because we're not incorporated, doesn't mean we don't have a sense of identity as a community.  We're not just some bedroom community north of Modesto, nor a commuter community for the Bay Area. Sure, we do have commuters who live here, just as Modesto does, but many have come to love the quiet, small-town life in Salida and they've put down roots here. My next door neighbors are a prime example.  They moved here from Oakland in 2002 and commuted for awhile, but eventually found local employment.

Salida also has many 'secrets' that contribute to our sense of identity and community that Stanislaus County and the rest of the world don't know about, and I'm about to spill some so it may get busy around here! The best, and quite possibly the biggest chicken-fried steak in Stanislaus County, or even the Western Hemisphere can be found in Salida at Salida's Kountry Kitchen. Also, I don't know why providence has shined on Salida like this, but Salida has "stolen away" the best Chinese restaurant in San Joaquin County and that's Golden Bowl; which used to be located in Ripon. Now I know that may be a heavily contested statement I just made since everyone has their own favorite Chinese restaurant, but I'll tell you now, don't even think about debating this with me until you've had Golden Bowl's Honey Walnut Shrimp. Once you've tried it, then we'll talk.  

Another big 'secret' of Salida is the Nick W. Blom Salida Regional Library. If you haven't been there, then you don't know how nice of a library it is. Housed in the old Brunners furniture building, the library is large with a bright and cheery atmosphere. The library has many offerings like "date night" for adults and reading times for the little ones among much more.  

On Sisk Road
And Salida is home to Salida Veterinary Hospital whose veterinarian makes house calls!  Where else in Stanislaus County do you know of a vet who makes house calls for dogs and cats?

The last secret I'll share for now and one of the best kept ones, is how marvelous Salida Rotary Club is. You cannot walk any stretch in Salida without seeing the imprint of Salida Rotary's good works for the community.  Salida Rotary isn't the kind of club that will "fee" you to death either and there's nowhere else that I know of where you can go at 6:45 in the morning and be guaranteed a laugh.  A great way to start the day!

When I read this "Secrets of Salida" page to Stanislaus County Supervisor Terry Withrow, he asked, "What would change about any of this?" My reply was, "We would be Modesto and not Salida." I do see what he's saying though, that at least initially, most of these things probably wouldn't change if Salida were annexed by Modesto.  Maybe over time, the name of the library might drop the name Salida and become something like "Nick W. Blom North Modesto Branch Library".  But even if Terry's right, I was saddened that the words I've written here failed to convey Salida's individual identity to him because that was my goal. I guess you have to live in Salida to understand it.

If Salida is annexed, I would guesstimate it would be within a generation, possibly two, that Salida's individual identity would fade into history. Perhaps the Estanislao Chapter Clampers will erect a plaque commemorating where the town of Salida once was so its not completely forgotten when "old timers" like myself have long since passed.

But we haven't faded into history just yet.  There's still time to save Salida.

NEXT POST: "What you can do about the annexation"

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