Keeping up with the Joneses

Frances Bushman, left, and former Valley Center resident Ramon Navarro in the 1925 silent classic Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.

Seventh Annual North County Farm Tour

Time for Farm Tour 2016,

Time for Farm Tour 2016,

Farmers will open their gates and give tours of their farms, showcasing San Diego County’s diverse agriculture during the seventh annual Farm Tour Day, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, ept. 17 Hosted by the San Diego County Farm Bureau, this event is an opportunity for locals to spend a day in the country, in their own backyard.

The tour is mapped in and around Fallbrook and Valley Center, where we will feature six unique farms. Crops and products include vegetables, cut flowers, wine grapes, avocados, citrus, native plants and more. Attendees set their own tour schedule by driving themselves to each farm to experience a day of rural fun.

This is an opportunity to get into and explore farms that are not typically open to visitors and guests. See how food and flora are grown, how it gets from the farm to the store, and learn tricks of the trade from the farmers themselves. A nearly two-billion dollar industry in San Diego County, farming is a key part of our local culture, yet is unseen by the majority of residents.

Purchase tickets and find more information at

The San Diego County Farm Bureau is a non-profit organization supported by more than 2,500 dues-paying members. The mission of the Farm Bureau is to represent San Diego agriculture through public relations, education, and public policy advocacy in order to promote the economic viability of agriculture balanced with appropriate management of natural resources.

— Taylor Zumstein

Valley Center History Museum: Ben-Hur and the Olympics aren’t going anywhere

Valley Center History Museum salutes Ben Hur and the Olympics this month.

Valley Center History Museum salutes Ben Hur and the Olympics this month.

A new version of the motion picture “Ben-Hur”, the third since 1926, opens Aug. 19, and the Valley Center History Museum is mounting an exhibit noting that two local residents played important roles in the previous versions of the classic film. Parts of the earlier films will screen as part of the exhibit.  All three movies include the famous chariot race.

In the first filming of the motion picture 90 years ago, Ramon Novarro played the title role.  His mission-style home on Lilac Road still stands. The 1959 version of “Ben-Hur”, which starred Charlton Heston, was produced by Sam Zimbalist whose adobe home on Fruitvale Road remains.  Both Novarro and Zimbalist have since died. They are among several dozen celebrities who have called Valley Center home over the years.

The Olympic Games in Rio have ended, but an Olympics exhibition at the Valley Center History Museum has turned out to be a crowd pleaser and will be held over until Oct. 1. Museum president Earl Brown said average daily attendance has doubled during the show.  The display was scheduled to end at the end of August.

Centerpiece of the exhibit is a collection of mementos and memorabilia, including a Gold Medal, on loan from Valley Center resident Bernie Wrightson who won the coveted prize in diving at the Mexico City Games in 1964.

Also on view are Olympics-related items spotlighting the careers of local residents Raymond Malott, one of the world’s best runners, and John Uelses, who set a world record in pole vault.  Mallott, who died last year at age 95,  was sidelined by measels during the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, but returned to the same stadium two years later to defeat the German champion.

Uelses, now 78, set  a world record in 1962, but surprisingly did not qualify for the U.S. Olympic team.  However, he was featured at the time on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine.  Photos and documents highlight the accomplishments of both athletes.

The museum at 29200 Cole Grade Road is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 12 noon to 4p.m.  Admission is free.  For more information, visit or call (760) 749-2993.

— Robert Lerner

Bonsall Woman’s Club begins new season

So Rare.

So Rare.

The Bonsall Woman’s Club (BWC) will open their new season on Sept. 1. The Club meets at the Golf Club of California, 3742 Flowerwood Lane, Fallbrook.  Lunch will be Grilled Chicken with Pesto Cream Sauce, mixed green salad with Balsamic dressing, warm rolls and butter, and dessert.

Deadline for reservations is August 22nd.  Social hour begins at 9 a.m.  Cost is $22.  Coffee and tea will be available and is included in the price. To make your reservations, contact Jeannie @ 760-295-6618.

The program will feature “So Rare”, a group of local entertainers whose philosophy is simple:  “To have fun putting on a good show, and to put smiles on the faces of our audience. Their music ranges from Broadway Show Tunes, Classic, Modern Country, Do Wop, Blues, Rock and Roll, to Rock Ballads.

“So Rare” has a long list of crowd-pleasing performances and will now have the Bonsall Woman’s Club to add to their list.

You are sure to be tapping your feet to the sounds.

Gail Golden

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