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The Territorial Dispatch
July 10, 1996

I liked Yuba City because it seemed to be "small town", friendly, rural.

If the Yuba City metropolitan area hadn't been dragged kicking and screaming into "citihood" it probably would have qualifed on it's own pretty soon, what with the opening of the new, fancy schmancy Staples store where Ernie's Toyland used to be and the super, state-of-the-art Larry Geweke Ford automobile dealership on Highway 99. These two places definitely have the appearance of "big city".

I'm still undecided as to whether I think it is better to be at the bottom of the big-place list or at the top of the small-place list.

When I came here 27 years ago this month I liked Yuba City because it seemed to be "small town", friendly, rural. Consider for a minute the changes in the past quarter of a century plus.

After arriving here, while still living in the Vada Motel... which still exists in the very same spot... waiting escrow on the house we had purchased, one of the first things we did was to attend the grand opening of the water purification plant north of Yuba City. It was way out on the edge of civilization in those days. The city has grown out to surround it.

The sewage processing ponds were just off Market Street back of where the little league ball field is now. That operation has been moved to a big modern facility by the bigger league ball field in the southeast part of town. Everything at the old spot has dried up and nothing is left in the "craters" except a hundred-cabillion frogs that all sing together to seranade the ballplayers or those attending functions at the Twin Cities Rod & Gun Club.

A drive-in movie that was along Market Street is no longer there. It was just south of the trailer park that is south of the ball park. If you had lived in the park in those days you could watch the movies but not hear the sound too well... remember? Old drive-ins had speakers-on-a-stick not stations on your car radio like now days.

I thought it was great when they introduced the one-price-per-carload fee. It meant we didn't have to stuff the kids in the trunk anymore!! ...JUST KIDDING! It would have been impossible to hide anyone in the station wagon we had anyway!!

Twenty seven years ago the store next to our room at the Vada Motel was a Grand Auto Store. Later it changed to a Super Auto and then became the quick lube place that is here today. Quick lubes and convenience stores have sprung up all over the area like mushrooms on a warm summer evening.

Speaking of warm summer evenings when we first arrived here we spent time at the Yuba Sutter Fair because it was way more fun than sitting in a motel room with three kids, two dogs, 75 tropical fish and an ant farm. Now, in addition to the Fair this area sports wonderful festivals such as Bok Kai, California Prune Festival, Highland Games, Beckwourth Frontier Days and various other seasonal events.

I remember when the Chamber of Commerce was under the water tower on Plumas Street in Yuba City... and you could get an area map there... Free!

A Volkswagon dealership was where Burger King is now. Carbos space on Colusa goes back through a chain of eateries... chicken, donuts, burgers. Remember when MacDonalds didn't even have a cover over the front of the store... now you have a choice of two locations, and Taco Bell will soon have four locations in the local area.

The cannery is gone from the south end of Plumas Street, Town Center is taking root, and there is talk of building straw houses at the north end of that street. And now Yuba City/Marysville/Yuba County/Sutter County has a great presence on the World Wide Web.

What qualifies places to be listed as cities is the population of a metropolitan area, and the Yuba City area binds together Marysville, Yuba City and the surrounding portions of Sutter and Yuba counties.

Twenty seven years ago we weren't even considered a possibility for ranking.

What outsiders don't undertand is that the Yuba City Metropolitan Area is different from any other place in the entire world. And that's not a put-down. It's a fact. And it can be good or bad depending on your view of a situation.

Quote of the week:
If you can make it work in Yuba- Sutter you can make it work anywhere in the world.
&emdash; Gordon Tom
Area businessman

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