Tasha Wilson – Modestoview https://www.modestoview.com The Independent Guide to the Modesto Area Since 1997 Wed, 28 Jul 2021 16:21:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 87300716 ChefView: Magnolia Southern Kitchen https://www.modestoview.com/chefview-magnolia-southern-kitchen/ Wed, 04 Aug 2021 17:33:00 +0000 https://www.modestoview.com/?p=25410 ChefView: Magnolia Southern KitchenBy Tasha Wilson I walked into Magnolia Southern Kitchen on a bright Thursday afternoon, and I felt right at home! Upon opening the door, the aroma of the soul food almost knocked me down, (in the best kind of a way)! It was as if I was walking into my grandma’s kitchen […]]]>

ChefView: Magnolia Southern Kitchen
By Tasha Wilson

I walked into Magnolia Southern Kitchen on a bright Thursday afternoon, and I felt right at home! Upon opening the door, the aroma of the soul food almost knocked me down, (in the best kind of a way)! It was as if I was walking into my grandma’s kitchen in Fairhope, Alabama. You see, I was born in Alabama, and aside from my mom’s cooking, it has been a long time since memories from my childhood summer vacations hit me with such a positive rush!


As I continued to stroll in, I was immediately greeted by the employees who were standing behind the serving counter. Each of them grinned and hit me with that good-ole, southern kind of hello. You know, it’s the kind of greeting that makes you feel all warm and mushy in your heart. And you’ll never believe this? The employees aren’t even from the south! I guess the food turned each of them into the epitome of down-home southern charmers!


While waiting to meet with the owners, MsTrace Tedde-Vega and Mr William “Dyno-mite, aka Dyno” Ross, I soaked up my surroundings. There was art on the walls, blues coming out of the speakers, and honestly, I felt like I was in a real Juke Joint! I mean, this place is not just a “VIBE” – IT IS A WHOLE MOOD! Then, my plate arrived, and I was in “The Clean Plate Club” rather quickly! I have braces on my teeth, and even those couldn’t slow me down! I was eating so quickly that an older gentleman passed me while in route to the restroom. He slowed up next to my table, looked down, and said to me, “Mmmm, mmm, that must be good!” Boy, was it ever! The fried chicken was seasoned through and through. Every bite of chicken was flavorful. The fish was amazing. I never eat fish, but it looked so good, that I decided to try it. It was pure perfection!


Magnolia Southern Kitchen has been open for a little under a month now. I heard about this restaurant through word of mouth. Shout out to my bay area friend, Feliciano Good, for letting me know about it!


The name of the restaurant came about because Tedde liked the fact that “Magnolia” is the state flower of both Mississippi and Louisiana, and she loves both places. I assumed Tedde was from the south, but instead, I found out that she hails from the Northern Part of the United Kingdom. She grew up in a restaurant family and then started her career in the culinary realm, (cooking European food), but her former in-laws were from the South and her ex-husbands “Southern Mother” told her, “Your food is good, but it’s time for you to learn how to cook “RIGHT!” Literally, anyone from the southern states knows exactly what her mother-in-law meant. Most southerners feel that the only way to cook is the “Down-South Way” so Tedde allowed her mother-in-law to teach her!


William “Dyno-mite” Ross got his nickname as a child when he fell out of a two-story window. The Doctors told his parents that it was a miracle he survived and that he was going to be a “Dynamite Kid.” Apparently, the doctor knew what he was talking about because Dyno-mite is a graduate of the CA Culinary Academy of San Francisco before they changed the name to Le Cordon Bleu.


Trace and Dyno-mite met eight years ago at The French Chamber of Commerce Competition in San Francisco, CA. Randomly, they were chosen to be on the same team and ended up winning the competition. While making names for themselves as private chefs, they stayed in contact throughout the years. Eventually, they decided that together, (as a team), they could be even greater and Magnolia Southern Kitchen was born!


There are so many menu options to choose from but call ahead to inquire about the specials happening on the day of your arrival. Here is the menu that was served on the day I arrived: Macaroni and Cheese, Black-eyed peas, Cornbread, Collard Greens, Red Beans & Rice, Chicken & Sausage Gumbo, Fried Chicken, Fried Fish, and (including a Po’Boy Fish Sandwich), New York Steak, Brisket Cheeseburger, and Tamale Pie. And please, don’t get me started on dessert! There was: Old Fashioned Banana Pudding, Bread Pudding, Apricot pie, and much more.


Tedde and Dyno-mite are excited to be serving soul food here in Stanislaus County and they feel so welcomed by the people. Let’s get the word out Positive Peeps.


Finally, I asked our signature question: Rolling Stones or The Beatles? Tedde said, The Beatles and since she is from the Northern Part of the United Kingdom – Doesn’t that just make sense?

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AuthorsView: Soccer is Everything and more https://www.modestoview.com/25073-2/ Wed, 02 Jun 2021 15:48:00 +0000 https://www.modestoview.com/?p=25073 AuthorsView: Soccer is Everything and more By Tasha Wilson As one of the first nurse practitioners in Stanislaus County since 1977, author, Kathleen Leatherbarrow has lived an exciting life. Even as a mother of five, she attended the UC Davis Nurse Practitioner Program, and is still working part-time at our county Opiate Addiction Clinic. Clearly, […]]]>

AuthorsView: Soccer is Everything and more

By Tasha Wilson

As one of the first nurse practitioners in Stanislaus County since 1977, author, Kathleen Leatherbarrow has lived an exciting life. Even as a mother of five, she attended the UC Davis Nurse Practitioner Program, and is still working part-time at our county Opiate Addiction Clinic. Clearly, she is no stranger to hard work. However, along with her hard work, comes a deep love and compassion for others.

Her love for others reaches outside of the United States and extends into Africa. There, her brother started an orphanage in Malawi. Through the years, Kathleen’s love for others has also led her to volunteer at some of the clinics in Mexico. Her time spent there inspired her to write the following children’s books: Soccer Is Everything and Her Soccer Story. Kathleen and her husband coached the first coed soccer teams here in Modesto and they believe strongly that sports are a necessity for both the mind and body. Even more so, she believes that when it comes to children and their well-being, sports are of the utmost importance.

Kathleen wrote Soccer Is Everything, after pondering deeply about the fact that most American children have all the amenities they need if there should ever come a time when they would like to play a sport. Here in the United States, it is easy for kids to find the needed equipment, a place to play, and plenty of support within our community. Unfortunately, the luxuries we receive here, are not as easy to come by in other countries. “I watched the children kicking balls made of rags and scraps with determination and bare feet,” she said.

In front of Kathleen’s home sits a free library. You know, the ones you see around town lately? They look like little houses filled with books inside, and they are so cute. The one in front of her home is there in honor of the daughter her family lost. The little house of books allows the family to continue sharing their daughter’s love by giving back to our community, (even though she is gone). The free library has been there since March and so far, it remains active.

I asked Kathleen if she had any advice for those interested in having a book published? She replied, “Amazon has great instruction for self-publishing. YouTube has good instructions also. There are so many books on Amazon that promotion can be as difficult, if not more difficult, than the writing. My best advice: Write, if it gives you joy. Stop, if it is a burden. Life is short and writing should bring you pleasure, whether read or not!”

Finally, when I asked our signature question, “Beatles or Rolling Stones?” Kathleen said, “The Beatles for sure. They sound good on my Ukulele.”

If you would like to order a few books from Kathleen Leatherbarrow, you can find them on Amazon via her first and last name, or the following link: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=kathleen+leatherbarrow&i=instant-video&ref=nb_sb_noss. Happy reading Positive Peeps!

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CommunityView: Save Souls Skate Bowls https://www.modestoview.com/communityview-save-souls-skate-bowls/ Sun, 28 Feb 2021 15:22:00 +0000 https://www.modestoview.com/?p=24619 CommunityView
By Tasha Wilson

Hey Positive Peeps! After taking at least a 25-year break from roller skating, I am back at it strong and loving it! With that being said, I hear an awful lot about what goes on in the skating community here in Stanislaus County. People share stories about finding places to ice skate, rollerblade, and skateboard here in our city. Recently, I learned of a group taking skating to new heights with random acts of kindness. They give away skateboards to at-risk youth in and around our area. There are quite a few moving heads that started this group. Four, to be exact! There is Devin Dorrity, Erik Baus, Carlos Carrasco, and Charles Insco. Together, these men have begun an exciting new movement!



Carlos Carrasco had already been giving away skateboards and joined Devin after hearing his vision. Charles Insco oversees the networking aspect of the group. This project began with a friendship between Devan and Erik. Both had difficulties during their childhood. Often in their adult years, they brainstormed about ways they could start something to help struggling youth in and around Stanislaus County. During a conversation about their newfound passion, Erik jokingly said, “We’re out here saving souls and skating bowls!” They laughed and Devin thought: “That should be on a shirt!” Devin was serious about Erik’s phrase, and he reached out to his friend, Erika Vega. Vega made the tee shirts and Save Souls Skate Bowls launched! Devin went on to tell me, “Erik and I discussed coming from a broken past and how we would enjoy helping the youth. Each of us have a different reason as to why we do this work, but the same end goal in mind. We want to reach our participants on an emotional level.”

When the skateboards are given out, the guys usually offer a skate lesson as well. There really is no rhyme or reason about how or where they decide to take skateboards. They just go – Sometimes as far out as Sacramento, California!

Due to COVID-19, kids are just stuck in the house and battling depression and anxiety so badly. Thankfully, Modesto has four great guys trying to level up the emotional support to youth who may otherwise fall through the cracks. Devin Dorrity, Erik Baus, Carlos Carrasco, and Charles Insco are putting a halt to some heartaches by bringing joy to the children in our community – One skateboard at a time! To date, the group has given away about 60 skateboards and by the end of the year, their collective goal is to have a fully running Non-Profit organization that will continue helping at risk youth within our local community.

If you have any skateboards and would like to donate to this heart-felt cause, please take your gifts to Yours and Mine Sports in Modesto, California, or take them to Wild Wood Skate Shop in Lodi, California. If you would like to contribute in other ways, please email them at Savesoulsskatebowls@gmail.com Or find them on Facebook or Instagram: save_souls_skate_bowls and they thank you in advance!

 

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Positive View: Modesto Skates https://www.modestoview.com/positive-view-modesto-skates/ Sun, 31 Jan 2021 17:38:00 +0000 https://www.modestoview.com/?p=24105 PositiveView: Roller Skating is BackBy Tasha Wilson Roller skating is back, and it is right on time! Why? Well, because face it Positive Peeps, 2020 WAS A LOT! At the forefront is Covid-19. This disease has affected an unfathomable number of human beings globally, and here within Stanislaus County, many have been hit hard. During […]]]>

PositiveView: Roller Skating is Back
By Tasha Wilson



Roller skating is back, and it is right on time! Why? Well, because face it Positive Peeps, 2020 WAS A LOT!


At the forefront is Covid-19. This disease has affected an unfathomable number of human beings globally, and here within Stanislaus County, many have been hit hard. During 2020, there were so many political disagreements and civil unrest. I sometimes found myself wondering how the world was ever going to make it to 2021. However, thankfully, there is an upside to every down. We see sunshine after every storm, faces smile soon after tears dry, and eventually, every broken heart heals! 2020 just made us stronger!

We must also remember that 2020 was not all bad. It gave us the chance to focus on our family. Plus, I am happy to share that skating has “rolled” over, (pun intended), from the tail end of 2020. With it, brought an amazingly talented, jam skater who goes by the name of Brian Cromwell. Brian is well-known in the roller-skating community and his love of skating reaches way back to the Roller King days of his childhood.


The fire Brian has for roller skating has never burned out and for that reason, he came up with an idea to gather a bunch of roller skaters together, once a week, for an outdoor skate night. All of his roller-skating events are free! On some nights, there is a deejay, and when the deejay cannot attend, Brian wears the deejay hat as well. His skate group is called “Modesto Skates” and during the beginning of the pandemic, (as you can see from the photo), the group was fairly small. Today, there are more than eleven hundred online members!


Roller skating is just fun! It allows everyone to come together and enjoy the outdoors and fresh air while spending time with friends and family, (even during California’s Shelter-In-Place order)!


Brian Cromwell earned many medals during the years he was a roller-skater at Modesto’s beloved Roller King. Years later, the rink has come and gone, but the love Brian has for roller skating has never wavered. Roller-skating is in his bones and he plans to continue growing his skate group. Soon, it will be one of the largest skate groups in the state of California!
If you would like further information, please send a join request to the “Modesto Skate” Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/4674800462560441   

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Nineties Phrase that Paid https://www.modestoview.com/nineties-phrase-that-paid/ Thu, 01 Oct 2020 15:25:00 +0000 https://www.modestoview.com/?p=23564 Nineties Phrase that Paid(not really) By Tasha Wilson Hey Positive Peeps! It’s been a while and in order to keep in step with the 90s theme for this month, I have decided to give you all a look back at local community members who all grew up here in Modesto during the 90s. I know […]]]>
Nineties Phrase that Paid(not really)
By Tasha Wilson

Hey Positive Peeps! It’s been a while and in order to keep in step with the 90s theme for this month, I have decided to give you all a look back at local community members who all grew up here in Modesto during the 90s. I know each of these individuals personally and we all attended Fred C. Beyer High School. Each person will take you on a journey back to this 90s era that was filled with nothing but laughs and baggy clothes. There were quite a few submissions and making my final selections turned into a long and arduous task. Though I feel confident in my choices, it is my hope that these photos and reflective memories bring a joy to your heart as you reminisce about the good-ole-90s!


There were only three requirements I needed to be fulfilled. Request 1: Provide me with your 90s yearbook photo. Request 2: Share a 90s phrase that never leaves your memory. Request 3: Explain to me why you still remember that phrase. Needless to say, my responses were overwhelming, and each submission was creative. Still, I had choices to make. I decided to go with the phrases that were clean enough to publish in our family-friendly magazine.


Let us begin with world-renowned Artist, Muralist, and Professor, Francisco Franko. He and his partner, Susie, are the proud parents of two little ones – A boy, and a girl. Before his successful career began, I knew him simply, as “Frankie,” and he grew up here in Stanislaus County, before traveling the world with his art. You can find his catalog of work at FranciscoFrancoStudios.com. In the meantime, check out his yearbook photo! Clearly, Francisco Franko knew, (even back then), that he would be leaving a memorable mark on this earth! There was a focus in his eyes that not everyone had in high school. When I asked Frankie, “What was your favorite 90s phrase, and why does it still remain in your memory?” He replied, “My favorite phrase was, “Don’t get it twisted,” simply because it was the most poignant way to convey and call out someone who misread the facts.”


Next, we have my friend Julia (Rose) Wright. Mrs Wright teaches at Modesto High School and is adored by her students. She has a heart of gold and is always looking for ways to help others – (even though she and her husband James always have their hands full as the parents of 4 highly successful young men)! Julia’s phrase of choice was “Totally Awesome!” She loved that phrase because it expressed a way of giving the highest praise to absolutely anything! She went on to say, “This phrase could be used to describe a cool pair of jeans. It could be used to reference a party from the previous weekend, or it could be used when you were excited to attend an upcoming concert. All of those things could be: TOTALLY AWESOME!


Holly Gilton is yet another Beyer High School 1990s graduate. She and I have known each other since Junior High School, where we attended Somerset. Holly has three sons and is a Stanislaus County Social Worker Supervisor. She does a phenomenal job helping to create safe environments for those who may not feel so safe at times. Even in her tough and demanding position, she found the time to provide me with her photo and phrase. She chose the phrase, “As if!” She went on to say, “As if was one of those phrases that could be used for just about anything. It was a catch-all for all the things that you would never do. As if (!), I would ________, (fill in the blank. . . . go see that movie, go out with that guy, and/or take a bite out of that), etc.! It was such a universal and versatile phrase!”


This leads me up to my friend Julie Richardson. Julie was my very best friend in High School, and she is one of my (S)hero’s today, (as she single-handedly raises five), children as a single working mom! In between her work hours and school time, you can always find her somewhere, sharing positive words of affirmation to anyone she can! Curious about her phrase choice? “Talk to the hand!” This phrase was used for someone not into the drama and quick to end a conversation that was quite possibly going nowhere!

Finally, my phrase choice: “You buggin!’” I took it from the 90s Martin Lawrence TV Show, “Martin,” and I believe the phrase is self-explanatory!

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ChefView – Doc’s Q’In Pit Stop https://www.modestoview.com/chefview-docs-qin-pit-stop/ Thu, 13 Feb 2020 17:35:56 +0000 https://www.modestoview.com/?p=22368 Chef View Doc’s BBQ By Tasha Wilson Hey Positive Peeps! It has been a while since I have shared a “Fun Food Ride” with you guys and it sure feels good to be back! I couldn’t have returned at a better time either, because I’m covering my favorite food subject: SOUL FOOD! Nothing says, “YAAAAAAAS,” […]]]>

Chef View
Doc’s BBQ
By Tasha Wilson
Hey Positive Peeps! It has been a while since I have shared a “Fun Food Ride” with you guys and it sure feels good to be back! I couldn’t have returned at a better time either, because I’m covering my favorite food subject: SOUL FOOD!

Nothing says, “YAAAAAAAS,” like some good old-fashioned Soul Food and nothing says Soul Food, like Modesto’s own Doc’s Q’In Pit Shop! Doc’s restaurant has the best barbecue in the Stanislaus County and with the business being open here locally for more than fifteen years – that has to tell you something!

Doc’s Q’In Pit Shop came about by way of the owner, Derek Taylor’s uncle. Mr. Taylor’s uncle was known as a great cook and people always told him how much they enjoyed his food. As time passed, numerous people encouraged him to open a restaurant and finally, he did.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of different factors that come into play when I attempt to explain the wonderful thoughts that cross my mind when describing my opinion about the elements of flavor I experience from the very moment that I begin to enjoy an extraordinarily delicious meal. I mean sure, we all enjoy eating good food, but at Doc’s, things are a little different. . . .

First of all, the meat, seasoned to absolute flavorful perfection, is out of this world! Honestly, I have a hard time explaining it without telling you that you simply MUST go and try it out for yourself. Otherwise, you just won’t believe me! I’m talking ribs, tri-tip, hot links, chicken, fried fish, black eyed peas, collard greens, yams, barbecue beans, macaroni and cheese, and peach cobbler! You can never exclude their peach cobbler! Is your mouth watering yet? I know it is! But you need not worry, I’m going to provide you with the address shortly!

Erika Taylor, the owner’s stunningly beautiful and gracious daughter was kind enough to talk with us while I continued eating my desert, (a bowl of peach cobbler)! I say “us” because as usual, I was not alone on my “Fun Food Ride.” This time, my regular food companion, (famed local photographer), Michael J Mangano, was unable to join me. Instead, I asked Modesto View Magazine’s very own Middagh Goodwin to come along. It’s always a treat spending time with Middagh because he and I share the same off-brand type of humor. He enjoyed his meal just as much as I did. Chicken was his pleasure, while I enjoyed the ribs! He passed up on desert though, and to this very day, I cannot understand that! Who skips peach cobbler at a Soul Food Restaurant? Still, I respect his will power, that’s for sure!

As Middagh and I continued to converse with Erika, I asked her what she loved most about being at Doc’s through the years. She responded, “The people. I love seeing them enjoying our food. That’s what keeps me happy.” Her happiness is contagious too. Erika’s smile is genuine and meaningful.
So if ever you’re coming down Highway 132, (on a Tuesday through Sunday, between the hours of 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM), stop in and have a meal at Doc’s Q’In Pit Shop. Located at 421 Maze Boulevard, Modesto, CA 95351, the food will have your taste buds jumping for joy and craving more! Stop in and have a chat with Erika! I promise – you’ll be glad you did! For more information, you can visit their website at: docsqnpit.com/.

Chris Murphy’s note: I have actually stopped on the way back into down, ordered ribs, and have eaten them right there on the old of my car before going home. These are so good. Thanks Tasha and Middagh, Great job!

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Seven Guitars at Gallo Center for the Arts https://www.modestoview.com/seven-guitars-at-gallo-center-for-the-arts/ Thu, 13 Feb 2020 01:14:12 +0000 https://www.modestoview.com/?p=22358 Seven Guitars at Gallo Center for the ArtsBy Tasha Wilson This month is almost over. However, you have just about 48 hours – Enough time for you to go out and get your tickets to see August Wilson’s Seven Guitars! It’s playing at the Gallo Center for the Arts this weekend! The show will go […]]]>

Seven Guitars at Gallo Center for the Arts
By Tasha Wilson

From left to right: John Griffin III, Tasha Wilson, Pastor Greg Savage, Elizabeth Garmon, John Ervin, and Cheryll Knox.

This month is almost over. However, you have just about 48 hours – Enough time for you to go out and get your tickets to see August Wilson’s Seven Guitars! It’s playing at the Gallo Center for the Arts this weekend! The show will go for three consecutive days beginning Friday night.

The pertinent information is listed below:
Friday evening, February 14, 2020, at 7:00 PM
Saturday evening, February 15, 2020, at 7:00 PM
Sunday, February 16, 2020, at 2:00 PM


The Sankofa Theatre is bringing the Stanislaus County yet another August Wilson production to the Gallo Theater for The Arts. Sankofa Theatre was founded by four friends whose hearts are filled with the love of the arts. The company consists of co-owners, John Ervin, Cheryll Knox, Pastor Greg Savage, and Elizabeth Garmon. All but one, (John Ervin), will be featured in this month’s Gallo Theater production.


This production, written by playwright August Wilson, is a dark comedy set in the year 1948. Most of the show takes place in the backyard of a Pittsburgh tenement where friends have come together in an effort to mourn the loss of their friend, blues guitarist, Floyd “Schoolboy” Barton. The story follows flashback scenes explaining the situations that lead up to Floyd’s untimely and disastrous demise!


A photo of the original cast is in this month’s Modesto View Magazine, (you can pick one up almost anywhere in town)! Since the original cast photo was taken, a few changes have been made to the cast. For that reason, I wanted to take a few moments to introduce you all to the full cast – In its entirety! Each of the actors is excited about this show and are looking to keep you highly entertained with great props and costuming provided by Modesto Junior College and CrossPoint Community Church!


This year, Sankofa Theater selected Samuel John Mellor as the Director. Sam is a high school educator who has done quite a bit of theater with Modesto Junior College in the past. The Stage Director is the lovely Jazmine Knox. Jazmine’s class and grace are always noticed. She is also the daughter of cast member Cheryll Knox, (Ruby). Taking the place of John Griffin III, (as Floyd “Schoolboy” Barton), is Mr. Willie Williams. Williams is a local Minister and no stranger to the stage! He has done shows with Sankofa in the past and plans to continue performing in shows going forward. Replacing Sankofa co-owner, John Ervin, (Hedly), is Reginald “Reggie” Wilkins. He hails from the bay area, (Oakland to be exact), and like Willie Williams, is no stranger to the stage either! Wilkins has numerous plays, voice-overs, and films in his professional repertoire. In fact, he begins his next role, as the lead, in an independent film at the end of this month! Michael Baldwin, (Red Carter), is new to the stage. Don’t be fooled though! You will not even notice, as he will definitely keep you laughing! He has a smooth and suave way about himself, as he glides across the stage, filling the room with all of his charm.


Now, a bit about the remainder of the cast. . . Pastor Greg Savage, (Canewell), is a preacher here in Modesto, and a well-known local photographer. In fact, he took the photos for Willie Williams, Reginald Wilkins, Michael Baldwin, and myself. Cheryll Knox, (Ruby), is an Elementary Teacher at Don Pedro Elementary School. Knox has a kind and soft-spoken way about her that is heartwarming and endearing to everyone she knows. Surely, her students feel the same! Elizabeth Garmon, (Vera Dotson), is a teacher. She teaches Drama and English at Enochs High School. She is passionate about everything she does and appreciates the time she spends teaching, as well as the time she spends acting in her  own productions outside of the educational world. And then there’s me, (Louise), I love life and it keeps me extremely busy. I work at Modesto Junior College but I act and sing every chance I get! I will begin my next independent film on February 28th with the local production company, Aberrant Films. Oh, and I write for this magazine! Most importantly, Sankofa Theater is bringing this show to you from the bottom of their hearts and this show is meant to bring you entertainment and a fully enjoyable evening. This particular show is a period piece and it is set in the year 1948. Some of the topics of discussion in this production may be a little heavy on the heart for some. However, none of the dialog is intended to offend. So Positive Peeps, please, upon your arrival, do me a favor; Sit back. Get comfortable. Consider the decade in which the play was written. Escape to the past within your mind, AND ENJOY!


Tickets are between $15.00 to $25.00 and you can purchase them at the door or online here:
https://www.galloarts.org/

Samuel John Mellor, Director
Jazmine Knox, Stage Director
Michael Baldwin, (Red Carter)
Reginald “Reggie” Wilkins, (Hedley)
Willie Williams, (Floyd “Schoolboy” Barton)
Pastor Greg Savage, (Canewell)
Elizabeth Garmon, (Vera Dotson)
Cheryll Knox, (Ruby)
Tasha Wilson, (Louise)
 

Willie Williams (Floyd “Schoolboy” Barton)

Reginald “Reggie” Wilkins

Michael Baldwin, (Red Carter)

Jazmine Knox, Stage Director

Samuel John Mellor, Director

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Interview: Sterling Fountain https://www.modestoview.com/interview-sterling-fountain/ Fri, 07 Feb 2020 01:22:50 +0000 https://www.modestoview.com/?p=22316 By Tasha Wilson I should not be doing a simple article/interview on the history of the family lineage that Mrs. Sterling Fountain has here in Modesto, California. Instead, I should be writing a book about her life! Better yet, I should be drafting a movie script! Surely, her story would follow-up with an Oscar Award-winning […]]]>

By Tasha Wilson

I should not be doing a simple article/interview on the history of the family lineage that Mrs. Sterling Fountain has here in Modesto, California. Instead, I should be writing a book about her life! Better yet, I should be drafting a movie script! Surely, her story would follow-up with an Oscar Award-winning film.

I have had the privilege of knowing Mrs. Fountain since I was a child. Still, I had no idea about her beautifully rich African-American family history. She began sharing it with me, during an easy and laid back Friday afternoon conversation, held at Modesto’s King Kennedy Center, (where she serves, as a member of the board).

For me to give you a full picture of why an interview with Mrs. Sterling Fountain is important to have for the history of Modesto, and why her genealogy is so relevant for the African-American youth in our community, I must start from the beginning. So get comfortable, and allow me to introduce you to Mrs. Sterling Fountain. Here, you will learn how Modesto, California came to be a precious piece of the heart and soul that lies within her.

ModestoView: How did your family first settle here?

Sterling Fountain: My grandmother, Mrs. Willa Mae Williams, came here initially from Ventura. The family she worked for was related to the owners of the JC Penny Company and when they were asked to transfer to the Modesto JC Penny Company location, my grandmother came too. My father didn’t come at first, but arrived in 1936, at the age of 15.

MV: What obstacles did African-Americans face during the early days in Modesto?

SF: There were quite a few that I can recall. It was sometimes made difficult for blacks to better themselves here. In 1955/1956, the city was expanding and the freeway would soon be going through the area where my grandmother’s house was located on 6th and K Street. Due to the upcoming construction of the freeway, her family received a settlement. The settlement enabled them to purchase about four acres of land where they would soon have contractor’s build them a new home – from the ground up! Sadly though, (as a black buyer), in order for her to view the property, she had to see it at night. There was no way for her to view it in daylight because the neighbors would not have been able to accept the shock of seeing the first black family having the possibility of living on their street. Well, when it finally came to the move-in date, the neighbors thought my grandmother and her family were the help! When they found out that she was actually the homeowner, the whole street got together and financially offered her the amount she paid to purchase the home – in order for her family NOT to move in. She refused the offer!

MV: Wow! It sounds as though your grandmother was business minded even back then! She turned what was meant to be an obstacle, into a major milestone! What other milestones did your family make after getting their feet planted here?

SF: Very often, there were a lot of fun things that black people couldn’t do in this city back then. My grandmother made sure that black families had a place to go. At the time, black people were forbidden to stay in hotels, so my grandmother made sure she kept one room in her home open for black families who were passing through, and she always made sure there was a pot of food too!

MV: I know that for me, it is very heartwarming and enjoyable to hear these stories about your grandmother. I love the fact that you have similar qualities in your personality that your grandmother instilled within you. Can you tell me more about the milestones your grandmother achieved here in Modesto?

SF: Yes. In the 50’s, there were many places that we were not allowed to enter. There was even a roller rink and a public pool that were closed to us. But my grandmother changed all of that! She decided to build a pool in her back yard! Kids would come and swim for 10 cents, a nickel, a penny, or for free – (if they couldn’t afford it). My grandmother just wanted to make sure everyone felt loved and included.

MV: That helps me understand where your kindness comes from even further! Do you think Modesto is thriving now, compared to the way it was back then?

SF: Yes, I think Modesto keeps getting better and the unity we have within the African-American community is what keeps us strong!

MV: Thank you for sharing about your family and my final question is our Modesto View Magazine signature question. I am always required to ask it at the end of every interview. This question comes from the editor himself, Mr. Chris Murphy: Beatles or Rolling Stones?

SF: What? Neither! And please, tell Chris to instead include four choices in the future. For example; Aretha Franklin or Ray Charles OR Beatles or Rolling Stones.

On a personal level, I would like to end this article with a story about Mrs. Fountain’s first name. The beautiful name “Sterling” is not a common one, and the way her name came about is yet another beautiful story. You see, prior to her birth, her mother had given birth to two other children. Both children were born with disabilities. On her day of birth, the doctors were looking her over and informed her parents that their new bundle of joy was completely healthy. Her parents repeatedly asked, “Are you sure? Is she really okay?” They would have loved her just the same, but naturally, they were anxious and concerned. After her father had calmed with his questions, the doctor turned to him and said, “Yes. She is perfect. She is Sterling!” That is how she got her name.

The dictionary defines the word this way: ‘Sterling: (of a person or their work, efforts, or qualities) excellent or valuable, conforming to the highest standard.’ The story behind Mrs. Fountain’s name means so much to her heart and she tries to live her life matching that definition. Everything she does is “sterling” and for that, she is one of the most highly respected and loved people in Modesto’s African-American community and she 100% lives up to her name. We thank you, we honor your life, and we love you STERLING FOUNTAIN, we really do!

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ChefView: For Great Q it’s Doc’s https://www.modestoview.com/chefview-for-great-q-its-docs/ Mon, 03 Feb 2020 17:19:32 +0000 https://www.modestoview.com/?p=22286 Hey Positive Peeps! It has been a while since I have shared a “Fun Food Ride” with you guys and it sure feels good to be back! I couldn’t have returned at a better time either, because I’m covering my favorite food subject: SOUL FOOD!]]>

For Great Q it’s Doc’s

By Tasha Wilson Photos by Middagh Goodwin

Hey Positive Peeps! It has been a while since I have shared a “Fun Food Ride” with you guys and it sure feels good to be back! I couldn’t have returned at a better time either, because I’m covering my favorite food subject: SOUL FOOD!

Nothing says, “YAAAAAAAS,” like some good old-fashioned Soul Food and nothing says Soul Food, like Modesto’s own Doc’s Q’In Pit Shop! Doc’s restaurant has the best barbecue in the Stanislaus County and with the business being open here locally for more than fifteen years – that has to tell you something!

Doc’s Q’In Pit Shop came about by way of the owner, Derek Taylor’s uncle. Mr. Taylor’s uncle was known as a great cook and people always told him how much they enjoyed his food. As time passed, numerous people encouraged him to open a restaurant and finally, he did.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of different factors that come into play when I attempt to explain the wonderful thoughts that cross my mind when describing my opinion about the elements of flavor I experience from the very moment that I begin to enjoy an extraordinarily delicious meal. I mean sure, we all enjoy eating good food, but at Doc’s, things are a little different. . . . 

First of all, the meat, seasoned to absolute flavorful perfection, is out of this world! Honestly, I have a hard time explaining it without telling you that you simply MUST go and try it out for yourself. Otherwise, you just won’t believe me! I’m talking ribs, tri-tip, hot links, chicken, fried fish, black eyed peas, collard greens, yams, barbecue beans, macaroni and cheese, and peach cobbler! You can never exclude their peach cobbler! Is your mouth watering yet? I know it is! But you need not worry, I’m going to provide you with the address shortly!

Erika Taylor, the owner’s stunningly beautiful and gracious daughter was kind enough to talk with us while I continued eating my desert, (a bowl of peach cobbler)! I say “us” because as usual, I was not alone on my “Fun Food Ride.” This time, my regular food companion, (famed local photographer), Michael J Mangano, was unable to join me. Instead, I asked Modesto View Magazine’s very own Middagh Goodwin to come along. It’s always a treat spending time with Middagh because he and I share the same off-brand type of humor. He enjoyed his meal just as much as I did. Chicken was his pleasure, while I enjoyed the ribs! He passed up on desert though, and to this very day, I cannot understand that! Who skips peach cobbler at a Soul Food Restaurant? Still, I respect his will power, that’s for sure!

As Middagh and I continued to converse with Erika, I asked her what she loved most about being at Doc’s through the years. She responded, “The people. I love seeing them enjoying our food. That’s what keeps me happy.” Her happiness is contagious too. Erika’s smile is genuine and meaningful.

So if ever you’re coming down Highway 132, (on a Tuesday through Sunday, between the hours of 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM), stop in and have a meal at Doc’s Q’In Pit Shop. Located at 421 Maze Boulevard, Modesto, CA 95351, the food will have your taste buds jumping for joy and craving more! Stop in and have a chat with Erika! I promise – you’ll be glad you did! For more information, you can visit their website at: http://docsqnpit.com/.  

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FilmView:Aberrant Films https://www.modestoview.com/filmviewaberrant-films/ Sun, 03 Nov 2019 20:03:28 +0000 http://www.modestoview.com/?p=21521 More than likely, you’ve already heard about Modesto’s 20 Year Plan. Well, brace yourself because this up-and-coming, Moguls in the making duo, are destined to change the trajectory of said plan! Allow me to introduce you to Sky Tallone and Jon “Spider” Santana. ]]>

FilmView: Aberrant Films
By Tasha Wilson

More than likely, you’ve already heard about Modesto’s 20 Year Plan. Well, brace yourself because this up-and-coming, Moguls in the making duo, are destined to change the trajectory of said plan! Allow me to introduce you to Sky Tallone and Jon “Spider” Santana. Together as partners in business, (and in love), they have created a locally successful company called Aberrant Films.
The two met while attending The Academy of Art in 2007. Initially, a friendship emerged over their love of competitive pool. To this day, neither can agree on who is better at the game. At any rate, one thing is true, they both share a love of film and a great desire to develop their craft by making it huge here, in Stanislaus County.

Sky and Spider are a strikingly attractive couple. To look at them, you end up wondering why they don’t just cast themselves in the starring roles of their own films. Each has done their fair share of acting, but their true passion is in writing and directing. I tease them about their good looks because, with those great faces, you would never think that the two of them would write such dark scripts and stories. I call their writing style, “Very dark, (with a smile).”

Sky and Spider’s film company have already garnered them multiple awards for the films they have created together. Their repertoire consists of numerous films, including “Vox Populi” and “Citizen Cube.” Although they work closely with their friend Tyson, an illustrator and one of their buddies from The Academy of Art, many of the early productions were created in the home of Sky’s mother and father. When it came time to shoot, often, it was a family affair.

Sky’s sister Sierra, also acts in a few leading roles, including, “Finn Stein.” I co-starred alongside Sierra in “The Top Room” for the 2019 Modesto 48 Hour Film Competition. Aberrant Films was awarded “Best Student Film.”

Aberrant Films is lighting up Modesto’s entertainment sky with stars in the making and we have Sky Tallone and Jon “Spider” Santana to thank for it! If you have a passion for acting and are interested in auditioning for Aberrant Films in 2020, reach out here: Central Valley Filmmaker Meet-up: http://meetu.ps/c/4c2bK/JNp76/d or on youtube.com and search “Aberrant Films.”

Finally, our signature question – Beatles or Stones? Sky laughs, “Beatles because my dad brainwashed me to love them!”

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