Share your fondness of Lodi in a story for all to
read and enjoy.
The stories below have been shared by fellow Lodians --
family histories, remembrances of times past, great moments in
Lodi history. We hope that you will
submit yours as well.
Making it Happen
By Richard Prima
As a Stockton native through high school (A.A. Stagg, '68), I
thought of Lodi as the place with the Lake and the Stadium. Both
have aged, but then, so have I. I wound up coming to Lodi - to
stay as it turned out - when I returned to Stockton in 1975 to
work in the City's Engineering Division, and moved to Lodi in
1981. After more than 30 years of work, raising a family and
being involved in various activities, I look forward to another
30 years or so. (Well, not the work part for that long...) The
people's desire and actions to make Lodi a good place to do
these things is very special.
Lodi's Downtown has always been a fabulous place. From my
early days with with the City to right now, Downtown has been
great for walking around, shopping, eating and being
entertained. I remember going to the Turnage Market, at Church &
Pine where the City Hall parking lot is now, and having morning
coffee. It seemed as if it was a staff meeting of many
Department Heads and senior managers and I felt almost
privileged to be there. We were often joined by Paul Zimmerman,
who wrote a column at the News Sentinel. There was no need to
issue press releases - we just told Paul!
Once commercial development started to take place on Lodi
Avenue, Ham Lane and Kettleman Lane, Downtown always has, and
probably always will, need care and attention. But many people
have taken actions - not just talked - to keep Downtown going.
Such things as:
- Efforts to convince the Post Office to renovate the main
office rather than build a new facility elsewhere.
- Building and keeping public facilities Downtown, such as
the Courts, City Hall, the Library and the Police Building.
- Convincing the railroad to leave the depot intact when
they considered tearing it down.
- Forming the "United Downtown Improvement District" in
the 1980's to reinvest in Downtown. Maybe the "hot tubs"
weren't the greatest idea, but they did make it easier for
pedestrians and it certainly generated some interest!
- Renovating the Hotel Lodi (although I do miss the Tokay
Players and the little theatre in the dining room.)
- Keeping transportation facilities Downtown - Lodi
Station - I clearly remember walking with the depot as it
was moved across Pine Street. That was a mini event in
itself, drawing hundreds to watch.
- The "Central City Revitalization" project, which took a
lot of discussion, public meetings at which hundreds of
people participated, the phone bank to contact property
owners who were being asked to foot part of the bill, the
"Visualize ~ Revitalize" T-shirts and buttons. And, I'll
never forget seeing the first yellow concrete come out of
- Building or renovating other properties for new or
"reuse" - for example, the Toggery Men's Clothing became
Hazel's (now Rosewood), a plumbing shop became a restaurant
and is now School Street Bistro, and of course, the Lodi
Stadium 12 Cinema. And there are many others.
- Lodi's first "public art" project - the sandhill crane
sculpture in the Lodi Station fountain.
- Building Lodi's first, and probably not the last,
So, I hope we keep "visualizing" a better place, but more
importantly, work to make it happen!
Returning to Lodi
By: Elida L. Manna Harris
In 1940, I was born to parents that had lived here since
1914. The population of Lodi at that time was approximately
11,000 folks. I lived in the country, in a cute little house, to
enjoy the blossoms in the spring and the rains in the winter.
I don't remember a lot of the early 40’s, but my parents
lived on a farm in Acampo and we were raised with different
kinds of animals, and even raised chickens. I was raised in a
very simple life, but my parents made it so special for us (also
with a sister and a brother). Both sets of grandparents, who
originally came from Italy, lived nearby. Whether it was making
mud pies, playing in the vineyard in the ditches, having many
family get-togethers, or whatever, we were clothed and fed by
very concerned parents. No computers, no cell phones, etc. Our
lives were filled with love, fellowship, and time together at
the kitchen table, doing family projects or making wonderful
My Father was a farmer (and owned a small winery in our yard)
and my Mother a housewife. She was an excellent cook. They both
showed us a lot of love. We participated in many of the local
events growing up. The Lodi Grape & Wine Festival was a
highlight, along with attending monthly dinners with parents at
the Lodi Italian Club, active in Lodi Woman’s Club, and other
fun things that were happening in Lodi in the 50's.
After I graduated, I moved to San Francisco where I totally
enjoyed 35 years in the Bay Area.
I have moved "back home" (now more highly populated) and love
this little town for so many reasons. I still have a Mother
living here (nearly 90 years old) and brother and family, along
with many wonderful friends. Our children and grandchildren come
visit us and really love it here!
When I returned home to Lodi, my husband opened his shop in
Lodi and loves being a part of this area too.
I love being involved in all Lodi activities and also the
activities at Hutchins Street Square, where I presently am
employed as a "part-time clerical floater."
It is so wonderful to run into folks that I have not seen for
many, many years, and it feels like I never did leave Lovable,
May the upcoming years in this area be fun for all and
participation in local events should be a highlight of all
families. There are a lot of wonderful events presented here.
I am so proud to say that I was a graduate of Lodi High in
1958...those were the good old days!
Walking in Lodi
By Jacqueline L. Taylor
Slipping on my sneakers, I rise before the sun, eager to
greet a fresh new day – a Saturday ritual that reaps its own
rewards. Walking south, I’m able to make it to the Lodi Arch in
time to see the golden bear sparkle with the dawn of the new
day. I enjoy looking at the bungalow homes and quaint gardens
located downtown, the fresh air delivered by the Delta breezes
of the previous night.
Making my way east, I spot birds in the park, delighting in
the rewards offered by the newly watered grass. Few others are
out at this time of day, but for us there seems little reason to
rush. There is plenty of time for a courteous nod and a morning
greeting as we pass.
As I head north toward home, I enter the lake for a single
lap. Filled with music, fireworks, and thousands of people on
the Fourth of July, the park seems especially quiet and
peaceful... the traffic here consists of geese swimming by as
they primp their feathers in the warming sun.
Having finished another beautiful walk in Lodi, it occurs to
me that in life we often come full circle. Raised in a small
town, I left to make my way in the world, and eventually
returned to my home... Lodi.