GreetingsView – Fall Memories and Possibilities

Greetings Friends

I don’t really know if we are at the mid-point of the COVID pandemic or not, but with all that is happening and the uncertainty out there, it has been really good for us at ModestoView to be looking back through Modesto’s 150 years, a decade at a time. It has been a fun and historical look back and I really hope that you have been enjoying it and hope it brought back some great memories. This month we are looking back at 90s and Modesto really started to change during this decade and downtown began to come back to life. This look back has also been therapeutic as wall it brings back some of the reasons we are doing things today and to see how far we have come. It also helps focus on what is important and what we can do, in good times and bad, to make our community better.

The 1990s were an exciting time. The 90s were a big decade for me and our family. It started off with the birth of our daughter Madison and soon after we found ourselves back in California after living in Seattle for most of the 80s. I was still in the cycling business with Specialized, basically working all over the world with our manufacturers, distributors, dealers, mountain bike races and pretty much on the road all the time. When Abbey was born in 1995, it was time for a change and we began our transition to our family Sierra Pacific warehousing business here in Modesto. We returned to Modesto in late 1996 and so much had changed since we left in the mid 80s. It was new exciting time and I dove headfirst into the community, working in my kids’ classrooms, doing fundraisers, joining the Modesto Chamber of Commerce, where as chair of the Info-tech committee, helped build the Chamber website. After learning about the 10th St Place project, we installed a webcam on the roof of the Chamber (Old JC Penny’s) to watch the demolition of the old Hotel Covell and the construction of 10th St Plaza. ModestoView, then called “PlazaCam” was born. We installed a camera on the roof of the Doubletree, put another camera on the new Modesto Police Station and ModestoView, began to be the place were people came for good and positive local information. That is still our mission today, “Serving Civic Pride Daily”.

I was convinced then, as I am today that our community is what you make it. Modesto is a unique place in that it is large enough to have the amenities of a big city, but it is small enough were people can really get involved, and actually move the needle on making things happen. I have been fortunate to be one of those people and soon after I returned to Modesto, teamed up with the GIFT (Graceada Is Fun Time) Committee to help rebuild a neglected Graceada Park Playground. It was amazing how the community responded to make this happen, enabled by the team work of the city, it was a great partnership and in 1998 a new park was christened, bringing families and people back to the park. There are examples of this all over our community with many different people. The College Area Neighborhood Association is very active and the LaLoma Neighborhood is installing a new playground this year at East LaLoma Park. People like Darin Jesberg, Chris Guptill, Julie Shearer, Jeremiah Williams, MaryAnn and John Sanders, Lou and Kenni Friedman, just to name a few, embody and inspire volunteerism and Love Modesto helps us all show what we can do as a team for our city. Best of all, a new generation is following in their footsteps and we are building a Graffiti USA Museum! It is really up to us to make a difference.

My kids had a great time growing up in Modesto, with community service, great educations, musical and event opportunities and a sense of feeling both needed and proud of our city. I am fortunate, that out of all the places in the world, my kids grew up here, both going away to Cal Berkeley, chose to return and bring their talents and energy to Modesto. There are many stories like this here in town.

So here we are in October, with a virtual MAMA Awards, and a Saturday Halloween on deck and many of our normal fall fundraisers are also virtual. I am confident that we support these organizations and can find a safe way to distance and have a safe Trick or Treat. I am sure there will be some innovative ways to do contactless trick or treat! We need to live local and support our local business so much right now. I know and do it.

Thanks for being a positive part of our community.

Chris Murphy
Founder and Publisher, ModestoView<>



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About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.