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Tracing Tracy Territory

Thoughts on bikes, landmarks and coffee routine

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I haven’t exactly received an avalanche of messages from Tracyites interested in becoming a “bike angel.”

The lone response to the recent article reporting former Tracyite David Maciel’s involvement with the Community Bicycle program in Cloverdale, Sonoma County, has come from Ian Stewart.

“I can probably lend a hand,” he wrote in his email. “Where do I start turning up bikes?”

I thought I might receive at least a handful of responses from bicycle enthusiasts in a town nearing 100,000 residents. Repairing used bikes and providing them at rock-bottom prices to families unable to afford new bicycles for their children sounds like a solid community project. I haven’t given up hope — yet. We’ll have to see if any surface.

Roger recalls the rock

And then there’s that painted round rock in the front yard on West 10th Street. I know I’ve been accused of beating the subject to death, but Roger Rehn, who grew up in Tracy before returning here at Wells Fargo Bank as a manager, phoned me a few days ago to report that he grew up in the neighborhood near the rock.

“I knew Mr. Walsh, who lived in the house with the rock,” he said. “We used to play hide-and-go-seek around it.”

Roger recalls seeing the boulder unpainted in the 1930s, but remembers it was painted sometime in the early 1940s. Those were the years David and Anne Walsh lived at 307 W. 10th Street, home of the rock, which in recent years has continued a long tradition of periodically sporting different colors. Roger’s report should just about do it for the rock — at least until it takes on a new color, or even multi-colors.

No more sips for Sarge

After a number of cool mornings, even on days that have turned warm in the afternoon, the more temperate mornings of late are bringing new life back to an important start of my day — sipping coffee across 10th Street from Barista’s coffee shop.

The steel benches fronting the Bank of America parking lot has afforded me a place to sit and sip, while other coffee-sippers stand around under the shade of the curbside trees.

One change in our across-from-Barista’s coffee gatherings is the loss of our Tracy Police presence. Sgt. Steve Beukelman, who has stopped by most mornings to join us for a sip and a chat, is retiring this week, ending 27 years in law-enforcement including the last 22 years with the Tracy PD. We’re going to miss Steve and wish him well in his retirement, which means dangerous days lie ahead for South Dakota pheasants.

• Sam Matthews, Tracy Press publisher emeritus, can be reached at 830-4234 or by email at

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