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Celerating Our Twelve Month History With Twelve Interesting Tidbits

Sep 27, 2015 09:44PM, Published by Brandi Barnett, Categories: In Print, Community



Terrific 12

October 2015

1. The 1993 comedy “Son In Law,” starring Pauly Shore, was filmed in Visalia. The farmhouse scenes were filmed at the Good Goods property off of Road 168, the square dance scene was filmed at the Green Acres Airport off of Goshen Ave. and the Ag scenes were filmed at the Ritchie Barn.


2. Actor Kevin Costner lived in Visalia during his teenage years and attended Mt. Whitney High School. Earlier this year, he starred in the movie “McFarland” as Coach White, which takes place just 45 miles south of Visalia. He attributes being able to relate to the McFarland story because of his Visalia roots, having been coached by Jim Barnett and playing sports with friends in similar situations.  


3. Actress Ann B. Davis, best known for her role as Alice from the sitcom “The Brady Bunch,” once lived in Porterville. She appeared in approximately 22 shows at the Barn Theatre, including traveling shows throughout the valley. In addition, she was the Barn Theatre manager, box office director and she offered voice lessons at Porterville High School. Davis left Porterville after three years when an actress recruited her to Hollywood.


4. Sequoia National Park is home to giant sequoia trees that date back more than 150 million years to the Jurassic period – a time when the great plant-eating dinosaurs ruled the land and the ocean was stocked with ichthyosaurs and long-necked plesiosaurs. The park is also the home of General Sherman, the largest tree in the world.
Actor Richard Kiel, who played the villain “Jaws” in the James Bond movies, lived in Coarsegold and Clovis for 34 years. Throughout his acting career, Kiel had roles alongside Adam Sandler in “Happy Gilmore,” Clint Eastwood in “Pale Rider” and with many others, including Harrison Ford and Gene Wilder.   


5. Actor Richard Kiel, who played the villain “Jaws” in the James Bond movies, lived in Coarsegold and Clovis for 34 years. Throughout his acting career, Kiel had roles alongside Adam Sandler in “Happy Gilmore,” Clint Eastwood in “Pale Rider” and with many others, including Harrison Ford and Gene Wilder.   


6. Guitarist and vocalist Tom Johnston of the Grammy award-winning rock group The Doobie Brothers was born and raised in Visalia. At age 12, Johnston discovered the guitar and at age 14 he formed his first band, The Rivington Quintet. They performed at high school dances in Visalia, Tulare and Woodlake.


7. Ninety percent of the world’s almonds are produced in the Central Valley. There are approximately 6,000 almond growers who create more than 97,000 local jobs. These almond growers ship to some 90 countries worldwide.


8. Singer and actor Cher has roots in Fresno. Her father, John Sarkisian, has family from Fresno and she attended grammar school while once living there.



9. Bass singer Avi Kaplan from the acapella group Pentatonix is from Visalia. Pentatonix won the third season of NBC’s “Sing-Off,” earning a recording contract with Sony Music. Since then, they’ve earned a Grammy along with gold and platinum albums. Kaplan performed in a jazz acapella group Change Up while attending Mt.Whitney High School and  most recently played a role in the movie “Pitch Perfect 2.”


10. Dinuba is home to the only replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall on the West Coast. The permanent wall, featuring more than 58,000 fallen Vietnam troops, is located in the Rose Garden at the Dinuba Memorial Hall and is open to the public seven days per week.


11. Singer Steve Perry of the band Journey was born in Hanford and lived there until age 14, when his family moved to Lemoore. Perry grew up watching his parents perform in local musicals and began performing in bands while attending Lemoore High School. After graduating, Perry attended College of the Sequoias in Visalia, where he enrolled in choir, band and speech classes.


12. Major League Baseball left-hand pitcher Bob Ojeda attended Redwood High School and College of the Sequoias in Visalia. Upon graduation, he was signed to the Boston Red Sox and most notably to the New York Mets. Ojeda is best remembered as a Mets anchor in the 1986 World Series Championship. He was also a pre- and post- game analyst for Mets broadcasting.




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