Lives & Times Of Valley Folks

by Steve Sparks, January 5, 2012

Dear Readers: To cut to the quick: Whilst I have thoroughly enjoy conducting these interviews over the past three years, it is a weekly commitment that I feel I need to take a break from.

It has been a very interesting project indeed and one warmly received by subject and reader alike. Every single person I have interviewed has either shaken my hand or given me a hug at the interview’s conclusion, yet the majority, when initially approached by me, would ask, “Why would anyone want to read about me?” or “My life has not been that exciting,” or something to that effect. This, I pointed out to them, is not at all true. Everyone has a story and this has been emphasized every week to me in person and undoubtedly to the very supportive readership of the column. Besides that, these interviews are not only providing people with a way to learn a little more about their neighbors and/or friends, but they also give the reader an insight to the Valley, its character, and its uniqueness.

Many, many people have told me how much they enjoy reading the interviews and getting to know someone a little more than they normally would by simply chatting briefly at the Post Office or in the local store. Bruce Anderson, the AVA editor, perhaps put it best when he wrote, “Steve is introducing the Valley to itself.” That is my reward for doing this, along with the sharing of any fresh insights to the Valley's history, its present, and the future.

Anyway, after much deliberation, I have decided to take a break from conducting and writing the interviews. I have done 146 in the last 155 weeks. I feel a little jaded and in need of re-charging my batteries. I have a list of over 100 more Valley folks whom I have not got to, and there are no doubt others who I have not written down as potential candidates, but for now that is all I can do.

I wish to thank the many people far and wide who have sent comments regarding either their pleasure at reading about people they had lost touch with or other positive remarks about the interviews. I should like to express my gratitude to those in the local community both for their supportive remarks to me personally and for their many messages of encouragement upon reading these small windows into the Valley’s community from week to week. Most of all, I wish to thank the 146 interviewees to-date who have shared their stories with me and whose interesting and informative tales have provided so many of the AVA’s readers with a wide variety of the “lives and times” of Valley folks.

Finally, I would like to express my appreciation for the support of the AVA’s Bruce Anderson and Mark Scaramella throughout this project to-date.

To read the stories of Valley Folk, visit the archives at On this website they are listed under ‘Select Category,’ in alphabetical order of first names.

Here is a complete list of the interviewees, in the order they appeared in the AVA.

1. Emil Rossi, 2. Captain Rainbow, 3. Amy Bloyd, 4. Gloria Ross, 5. Carroll Pratt, 6. Billy Owens, 7. Mary Aigner, 8. Eva Holcomb, 9. Buckhorn Bob Wright, 10. Lauren Keating, 11. Jerry Cox, 12. Joyce Murray, 13. Alicia Garcia, 14. Danny Kuny, 15. Ted Bennett, 16. Eileen Pronsolino, 17. Bruce Hering, 18. Freda Fox, 19. Tom Smith, 20. Vince Ballew, 21. Helen Papke, 22. Johnny Schmitt, 23. Benna Kolinsky, 24. Mitchell Holman, 25. Rod Basehore, 26. Dick Sand, 27. Mike Shapiro, 28. Val Muchowski, 29. David Norfleet, 30. John Hanes, 31. Barbara Goodell, 32. Ernie Pardini, 33. Milla Handley, 34. Cyndee Hollinger, 35. Kevin Burke, 36. Don Shanley, 37. Kirk Wilder, 38. Rodolfo Ibarra, 39. Hayes Brennan, 40. Barbara Lamb, 41. Mary O’Brien, 42. Ross Murray, 43. Alice Fashauer, 44. Guido Pronsolino, 45. Bobbie Peterson, 46. Christine Clark, 47. Peter C. Boudoures, 48. Larry Smith, 49. Elwin Maxey, 50. Doug Read, 51. Uncle Donn Jaekle, 52. Gloria Abbott, 53. Bob Mathias, 54. Kay Clark, 55. Pat Hulbert, 56. Bud Johnson, 57. Bo Hiatt, 58. Judy Long, 59. Bob Nimmons, 60. Tom Towey, 61. Jill Derwinski, 62. Andrea La Campagne, 63. Fred Wooley, 64. Wallen Summers, 65. Bill Holcomb, 66. June Lemons, 67. Leslie Hummel, 68. Butch Paula, 69. Via Keller, 70. Kurt Schoeneman, 71. Bruce McEwen, 72. James Gowan, 73. Tom English, 74. Sheila Hibbs, 75. Tom McFadden, 76. Cheryl Schrader, 77. Mark Fontaine, 78. Patty Liddy, 79. Karen Ottoboni, 80. Dave Evans, 81. Jim Clow, 82. George Bennett, 83. Tex Sawyer, 84. Efren Mendoza, 85. Loretta Houck, 86. Mary Pat Palmer, 87. Charlie Hochberg, 88. Pilar Echeverria, 89. Susan Spencer, 90. Mike Crutcher, 91. Elaine Busse, 92. Lee Serrie, 93. Betsy Taylor, 94. Doug Johnson, 95. Mike Reeves, 96. Harold Perry, 97. James Dean, 98. Bruce Patterson, 99. Dick Browning, 100. Mark Scaramella, 101. Kent Rogers, 102, Allan Green, 103. Jim Nickless, 104. Bill Kimberlin, 105. Maria Goodwin, 106. Diane Heron, 107. Tim Bates, 108. Gene Herr, 109. Michael Hubbert, 110. Muriel Ellis, 111. Tom Rodrigues, 112. Rene Auberjonois, 113. David Eyster (DA), 114. Bill & Gail Meyer, 115. Sandy Creque, 116. Kelley Hiatt, 117. Bill Harper, 118. Judith Dolan, 119. Wes Smoot, 120. Nadia Berrigan, 121. Stephen Sparks, 122. Maire Palme, 123. Heidi Knott, 124. Tom Allman (Sheriff), 125. Fred Martin, 126. Ben Van Zandt, 127. John Leal, 128. Jim Hill, 129. Ellen Ingram, 130. Manuel Soto, 131. Beverly Dutra, 132. Antoinette von Grone, 133. Clyde Price Jr, 134. Florianne Weyrich, 135. Deanna Apfel, 136. Jose Luis Orozco, 137. Keith Martin, 138. Bob Klindt, 139. Beverley Bennett, 140. Linda Boudoures, 141. Bullet / Dep. Walker, 142. Lanny Parker, 143. John Scharff., 144. Eva Johnson, 145. Susan Newstead, 146. Terry Ryder, 147. ???????.

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