I hope my readers weren’t misled by the title of my article. This isn’t going to be a review of an old movie starring Yul Brenner and Charles Bronson. The title refers to the seven wonderful people that were inducted into the Vista Historical Society’s “Hall of Fame”. These are seven people that have greatly influenced our Vista community.
Thanks to the Eckert family (Diane and Paul) the Vista Historical Society held their annual luncheon at the beautiful Vista Valley Country Club on Saturday June 4th. The event drew 130 guests to honor and induct the “Magnificent Seven”.
VHS President Carolyn Chiriboga called the meeting to order and after an invocation by VHS Board member Michele Moxley, a very delicious lunch with choices of a Cobb salad, a pastrami sandwich, or a grilled chicken pear salad was served.
But I’m fairly sure you aren’t reading my article to find out what I ate. You want to know who the “Magnificent Seven” are. Okay, here goes…
The 2016 inductees in the Vista Historical Society Hall of Fame
Thomas J. Adams (1891-1974)
John Barrett (1909 -1993) Gene Barrett (1909-1993)
Paul Louis Vincent Campo (1922-2007) and Dorothy Maxine Campo (1920-2008)
Daniel Bennet Carr (1939-2010)
Marjorie Cosh (1926-2016)
Patricia Hope Richardson
Now I’m sure my readers that are good at math are saying, “That’s nine names, not seven.” The Barretts and Campos were very community active couples and were known to be best friends as well. They were described as “Doing everything together” and they were nominated together so the selection committee felt it was fair to induct them together.
The Barretts owned and operated the Buy and Save Markets. They built an adobe home, “El Adobe Casa”, with the help of their son, Richard. They also owned and flew their own airplane which caused some to refer to them as ‘The Flying Barretts.” Many of the early families in Vista, Fallbrook, Carlsbad, Oceanside Escondido, and Encinitas remember shopping at their stores. The Barretts were introduced by sons Jim and Bob.
The Campos family moved to Vista in 1954. Paul had a long career at nearby Camp Pendleton where he became the “Director of Natural Resources” because of his expertise in water management and hydrology. His favorite quote was by Mark Twain, “Whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting over.” He served on the Board of the County Water District, as a trustee for the Vista Unified School District, and on the Board of the Vista Irrigation District. His wife of 57 years and best friend, Dorothy worked as a Defense Plant Manager and after WWII, for the Vista Unified School District. She founded the California School Employees Association and served as the first president of that group. While working on campus she was known for having money in her desk for children who forgot or didn’t have lunch money. Former City Council member and attorney, Paul V. L. Campo, introduced his parents.
It was Granddaughter Judy Biber who introduced Thomas J. Adams. He was the longest serving member of the Vista Irrigation District. His leadership is credited with creating the facilities and water rights that allowed for the area’s tremendous growth. When the primary water source for Vista, Lake Henshaw, nearly dried up, he oversaw the drilling of 31 wells that keep the lake full. He was also instrumental in the building of a water treatment plant in conjunction with the City of Escondido that resulted in Vista residents receiving fully treated water for the first time.
Daniel Bennett Carr arrived in this country at the age of 16 and moved to Vista in 1942. He was a very successful businessman and apparently somewhat innovative. His Carr’s Auto Parts was one of the first auto parts to offer delivery service. He added machine shops to his enterprise, and established the North County Warehouse. He was well remembered for helping stranded motorists even at the wee hours of the day. He served a year as President of the Vista Optimist Club, was a Planning Commissioner for the City of Vista, and was elected to the Vista City Council where he eventually served as the Mayor for the City of Vista. Carr was also one of the founding members of the Moonlight Amphitheatre. His daughter Tammy spoke fondly about her father.
George Cosh was the speaker for his mom, Marjorie. Her community work was described as a “Lifetime of community and family service.” Some of the organizations where her influence was felt included the Friends of the Library, the Vista Historical Society, the Grace Presbyterian Church Woman’s Association, the Vista Boys and Girls Club, the Vista Chamber of Commerce, the VUSD Board, the Tri-City Hospital Woman’s Auxiliary, the Patrons of Palomar College and the Palomar College Foundation. Her generosity and leadership served these organizations well.
Patricia Hope Richardson attended the luncheon but had asked her good friend Donna Estevante introduce her. Over many years she worked part-time jobs while raising her three children. Her volunteer work benefitted the Vista Boys and Girls Club, the Vista Historical Society, Rancho Buena Vista, Tri-City Hospital, and the Vista Garden Club. In the short time we’ve lived in Vista I’ve run into Pat at many of Vista’s events.
It was fitting that Velia Villasenor-Tellas was the last inductee to be introduced. Her son Danny told us why this was. The Villasenor family got their business started in Vista because of a bank loan made by Marjorie’s husband George Cosh. Over the years the Villasenor family purchased food from the Barrett family and auto parts from Carr’s Auto Parts. In turn these families would patronize the Villasenor business we all know now as the Peppertree Frosty. Danny likened the Vista community to one big family and he should know. The Villasenor family had brought 27 members to the luncheon to see Velia inducted into the hall of fame for her community work that includes; The Vista Community Clinic, the Rancho Guajome Adobe, the Carlsbad Museum of Making Music, the San Diego Botanical Gardens, and a steering committee for redevelopment in the City of Vista.
This was by far the largest attendance of the Vista Historical Society’s Annual Lunch. Former Mayor Morris Vance, current Mayor Judy Ritter and Deputy Mayor Amanda Young Rigby enjoyed meeting old friends. Artist Chuck Rouse, Vista Boys and Girls Club CEO Matt Koumaras, Retired Shoe repairer and candidate for Vista City Council, Tom Fleming were just a few of the notable guests at this celebration.
The Vista Historical Society maintains the Vista Historical Society Museum and holds events throughout the year. Their next function is their very popular Ice Cream Social. The Ice Cream Social will be held on the Museum grounds on July 16 (2 to 4 pm). This year in addition to the unlimited ice cream and root beer floats there will be vendor booths to browse while satisfying your inner child. However, if it’s real food you want don’t miss the old fashioned Pit BBQ that is being held at the Museum on August 27th. There is live music and a bounce house for the kiddos. The Vista Historical Society web site has all the details.
If you want to meet members of the Vista Historical Society and get flyers of their upcoming events, you will find them in their booth at the Tractor Festival being held at Vista’s other Museum, the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum. The dates for this event are June 18, 19, 25, and 26. They will also be at the AGSE Museum Fall festival on Oct. 15,16, 22 and 23.
Every December the Vista Historical gives residents of Vista a gift. It isn’t wrapped and it can’t be found under the Christmas tree. The VHS Annual Christmas Tea with holiday entertainment on stage and tables full of delectable goodies. Coffee, punch and water are available but strangely I’ve never seen any tea. This event is free to the public.
Every year the Vista Historical Society selects people for the Hall of Fame like they did this year. If you know someone like one of the “Magnificent Seven” you should contact the VHS and ask for a nomination form. The nominees that were by passed this year are still in contention for next year. Get your nomination right now.