Tag Archive: Jim Vestal

Jun 24

The filming of Boris Sagal’s “1,000 Plane Raid”

Stunt pilot flys a B-17 bomber at treetop level over a faux English airfield built in Santa Maria for the movie "1,000 Plane Raid". ©The Tribune/Jim Vestal

Tribune librarian Sharon Morem found a set of fascinating 35mm negatives in the bottom of a folder marked with an illegible scrawl. The first glassine sleeve appeared to read “’1,000 P+ei Raid’ Movie #1″ and the rest had less information, only numbered 2-4. The images showed impressive B-17 bomber stunt flying below the eucalyptus treetops …

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Jun 07

San Luis Obispo train station in the early morning, waiting for the Lark

San Luis Obispo train station in the early hours of Feb. 20, 1968. Few customers for the Lark, a Southern Pacific overnight between San Francsico and San Luis Obispo.
©The Tribune/Jim Vestal

Waiting for the Lark. It takes a lot of time to match up photos and articles from the file, and some weeks I don’t have a lot of time. I want to keep the blog fresh with new images and often some would be fun to share don’t need a lot of extra writing. I …

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Apr 26

Lopez Dam construction

Intake pipe (left) rises behind Lopez Dam in early January 1968.
Jim Vestal/Telegram-Tribune ©The Tribune

They did not know they were in a race against time. A year later torrential rains would cause flooding everywhere but downstream from Lopez Dam. There the new structure would impound water filling the reservoir much more quickly than expected. Here workers pour concrete around the intake structure in January of 1968. The facility provides …

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Apr 23

Atascadero State Hospital inmate stories

"In the long run a state hospital is worse than a prison, "  ASH patient. Published 11-20-1965 as part of a multi-part series on Atascadero State Hospital. Jim Vestal/Telegram Tribune.

I have been told by some who work in a prison setting, they prefer not to know an inmate’s history. All they can deal with is the now. It could be overwhelming to reflect on the combined damage a group of mental health patients had caused. In the mid-sixties a then new approach included group …

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Mar 26

Pirate’s Cove before it was a nude beach 1965

1966-07-12-Pirates-cove

Norman Coy, shared a story from his childhood after reading a previous post on Pirate’s Cove. During World War II fake gun emplacements were placed on the bluff to protect the Union Oil facility. Though the “guns” were only telephone poles, aimed at the never to arrive Japanese fleet, live men staffed the positions and …

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Jan 14

Phillips Lane bridge over Southern Pacific tracks bites the dust

The Phillips Lane Railroad bridge had come to the end of the road in 1966.
©The Tribune

How many bridges are there across the Union Pacific tracks in San Luis Obispo today? One at Mill Street, two if you include the pedestrian Jennifer Street bridge. The railroad seems to prefer forcing automotive traffic under their right of way as at Highland, Monterey, Johnson and Tank Farm. Only Marsh, Orcutt and Cal Poly …

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Dec 10

Atomic Adobe, Diablo Canyon construction site

Ruins of adobe near planned Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant from March 2, 1968. ©The Tribune

The nuclear age dawned almost exactly 70 years ago under an abandoned University of Chicago football stadium on Dec. 2, 1942. Physicists Arthur Compton and Enrico Fermi conducted the first nuclear chain reaction. America and Great Britain provided home for many scientists fleeing Fascist oppression. Science thrives with the unfettered exchange of ideas. Ideology is …

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Nov 26

Diablo Canyon adobe and cattle, before construction of the atomic plant

Ruins of an adobe near the planned Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in 1968 before construction licenses were approved. ©Jim Vestal/Telegram-Tribune 3-2-1968

Over forty years ago an adobe ruin was the biggest structure at Diablo Canyon. At the time every major California utility was in pursuit of a nuclear option to serve California’s expanding population. In March of 1968 the construction permits had not yet been issued by the Atomic Energy Commission. By June archeology was underway …

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Oct 25

California Valley barn

California Valley has attracted farmers with big plans but by 1966 this farm had seen better days. ©Jim Vestal/The Tribune

Sunsoaked and rain starved, California Valley is a unique place. This photo was made by Jim Vestal July 15, 1966 but I could not find an article to go with it. The building is unusually tall, perhaps it was built as a grain processing facility. Driving by places like this I wonder what the story …

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Mar 15

Snow blankets the hills on Highway 41 between Atascadero and Morro Bay

Snow covers fields along Highway 41, winter scene at Antone J. Chves ranch between Morro Bay and Atascadero. ©Jim Vestal/Telegram-Tribune

Afternoon papers put special pressure on finding images the same day. If snow fell a phone call might come in before sunrise to get out and find a picture by first light and hustle back to the paper to develop, edit and print so the presses could run at noon with a picture from the …

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