About the Colony

50 years in Atascadero is your ticket to this exclusive event

Lon Allan
Lon Allan jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

I love this time of the year. Those blistering hot days are over and the morning chill requires, at a minimum, that favorite old sweatshirt.

I also become aware of the impending season because the fallen leaves get blown against my garage door. My stand-alone condo seems as if it is at the end of a funnel where the leaves, paper cups and more are rearranged by the wind.

I also love October because it is a time to reflect on what our communities mean to us. This Saturday, Paso Robles observes Pioneer Days. The following weekend (Oct. 21) will be Atascadero’s Colony Days celebration, and the Saturday after that (Oct. 28), Templeton observes Founders’ Day.

On Sunday, the Atascadero Quota Club will host the Founder’s Tea in the historic Atascadero Bible Church, which was originally built to serve as a community center in 1921. In the beginning, the building served the Federated Church on Sunday, but the rest of the week it was the community center. In fact, the first graduating class from the high school took classes in the community center because the high school wasn’t completed yet.

So, you have a historic building as a site for those who have lived here for at least 50 years to come together for a few hours to reminisce about growing up in the “Colony.”

This year’s royalty, Ed Chidlaw and Doris Reynolds, will be crowned at the event. Popular high school teacher (now retired) Jerry Tanimoto will receive his badge as parade marshal. Not only will the three of them have stories about life in Atascadero in past times, but members of the audience also have memories to share. Most of them will have graduated from Atascadero High School, or were born in the old general hospital up near the entrance to Pine Mountain Stadium.

You hear stories from those who rode their pony to the high school up on the hill or carried a hunting rifle through the downtown on the way to shoot squirrels. Many remember the dances held in the upper rotunda of the City Administration Building. Others recall walking to school past the smoldering embers of the old Mercantile Building on Traffic Way.

This is a day just for the pioneers. Longevity is your ticket to the event. If you’ve attended in the past, you no doubt got an invitation to this upcoming Sunday’s party. If you’ve lived her 50 years and didn’t get an invitation, call Dyann Shephard at 805-466-0947.

This premier event always screams “hometown” for me. Makes me hungry for more stories about the good old days in Atascadero.

Lon Allan’s column is special to The Tribune. He has lived in Atascadero for five decades and his column appears here every other week. Reach Allan at 805-466-8529 or lonallan39@gmail.com.