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Vista Historical Society Inducts Twelve New Members to VHS Hall of Fame

By   /  May 18, 2023  /  No Comments


TR Robertson – The Shadowridge Country Club Conference Room was the scene Saturday for the induction of 12 new members to the Vista Historical Society Hall of Fame. A full house of members, guests, Hall of Fame members and dignitaries enjoyed a luncheon and presentations by a variety of individuals detailing the contributions the newest selected Hall of Fame members have made to both their profession and the City of Vista.

VHS President Eleanor Hutchins got things started with the Pledge of Allegiance followed by welcome and introduction of dignitaries at the event. VHS Treasurer Terry Moxley then led the group in the invocation, followed by the luncheon. Master of Ceremonies TR Robertson, reporter for The Vista Press.com. then began the program with the introduction of the first speakers for the first inductee.

L-R: Rita Geldert, Cathy Brendel, Kathy Bromacher

Introducing the first inductee was former Vista City Manager Rita Gelbert and producer/director and founder of Moonlight Stage Productions Kathy Brombacher. Both ladies spoke about the accomplishments of the first inductee Cathy Brendel. Brendel worked for the Parks and Recreation Department for the City of Vista for 30 years and was a major reason for the establishment of Moonlight Stage Productions. Gelbert and Brombacher spoke about her dedication, perseverance, and drive to accomplish projects for the city and to get things done. Each inductee had a chance after their induction to address the audience and thank the Vista Historical Society.

Dr. David Cowels and Daughter Nannette Stamm

The next speaker introducing the second inductee was Nannette Stamm, daughter of the second Hall of Fame inductee Dr. David Cowles. Dr. Cowles was a longtime superintendent of the Vista Unified School District and a Vista City Councilman. He worked to establish the Vista Education Foundation. After his retirement he served on the Board of Trustees for the Vista Community Clinic, the Board of Directors for the Moonlight Cultural Foundation, and the Board of Directors for Operation Hope. He served as a Vista City Councilman for four years and remains active in the community.

L-R Sandi Graham and Alan “Spike” Harvey

Sandi Graham, friend of the next inductee, was the next speaker, introducing the third inductee, Alan “Spike” Harvey. “Spike Vista resident and businessman. He has supported and been a member of many local organizations. He has been involved in the Vista National Little League, the Vista Junior Chamber of Commerce, on the Board of Directors for the Vista Chamber of Commerce, the Vista Host Lion’s Club, the American Legion Post 365 and on the Board for the Vista Historical Society. “Spike” is also very active in his church.

L-R: Randall Hickman, Carlotta Malone and Doug Davis

The next speaker, Carlotta Malone, introduced the fourth and fifth VHS inductees, Randall Hickman and Doug Davis. Carlotta told many amusing stories about Randall and Doug from the time they moved to Vista, roomed in Carlotta’s home, and became involved in the theater scene in San Diego County. Doug and Randall co-own the Vista Broadway Theatre on Broadway in Downtown Historic Vista. They have run and continue to run numerous performance programs for adults, teens, and kids. Randall has appeared in over 40 Moonlight productions. As well as acting, Doug is known for his amazing sets and drops, painting the fireman mural on the Curbside building and the newest painting outside the Broadway Theatre. He also runs the popular Opportunity Drawing held during intermission of productions at their Broadway Theatre.

Hall of Fame Members Pat and Connie Hubbard with presentor David Hubbard (son in middle)

David Hubbard, son of the next inductees Pat and Connie Hubbard, introduced his parents with a wonderfully creative and funny reading he had written detailing the friendship and joy in growing up in Vista surrounded by friends and family centered around his parents. Pat and Connie have been a part of the community both as residents and as business owners for 60 years. They have been active members of a variety of organizations like They joined the Lions Club of Vista in 1959, helped start the boys & Girls Club of Vista, and established Hubbard’s Meats. Connie is a member of the Children’s Home Society and a docent at Rancho Buena Vista Adobe. Raising four children, the couple also took part in PTA’s, coached sports teams and took part in numerous community events.

Hall of Fame Member Dr. Frank Trotta – Presentor Dan Trotta (son), Mary Trotta (Dr. Frank Trotta’s wife)

The next speaker was Dan Trotta, who spoke about the next inductee, his father Dr. Frank Trotta. Dr. Trotta was the first cardiologist at Tri-City Medical Center, who passed away from cancer in 1990. The Trotta family moved to Vista in 1961. He served as a captain in the U.S. Army from 1956-1958. Dan pointed out that his father was loved by his patients for his willingness to listen to his patients and treat them with a personal touch. All of the six Trotta children went to school in the Vista School system. Dan also pointed out that his mother has remained an active member in community, serving formerly on the Palomar College Board of Trustees, a PTA President at Vista High School, and a grief counselor at St. Francis Catholic Church.

Hall of Fame Member Inductees the 1923 1st Vista Irrigation District Board – Presentor and accepting VID Board President Jo MacKenzie in middle and members of the Vista Irrigation District

The final inductees for the Vista Historical Society are the first Board of the Vista Irrigation District. The Board included Chester D. Gunn, George S. Henry, Harry S. Merriam, F.J. Knight, and Jules J. Delpy, who has already been inducted into the VHS Hall of Fame. VID Board President Jo MacKenzie spoke about the importance of the work these gentlemen did in bringing water to the City of Vista in 1923 and to the farmland of the area. She spoke of the difficulty and negotiations they went through to make all the agreements and connections necessary to establish hooking the area of Vista up to water from other regions.

President Eleanor Hutchins and outgoing board member Carolyn Chiraboga

The final items on the agenda included the approval of Board members for the Vista Historical Society and the honoring of an outgoing board member, Carolyn Chiraboga. Carolyn has been a member of and served on the Vista Historical Society Board for 15 years.

President Eleanor Hutchins brought the induction to a close by listing some of the upcoming activities of the organization. These included the July 1st Big Band Jazz Hall of Fame Orchestra that will be performing at the VHS location at 2317 Old Foothill Dr. in Vista. Since there will not be a Vista Fireworks Show, this Jazz Orchestra will present a Celebration of the Music of America. On July 22, at the VHS Museum on Foothill, the annual Ice Cream Social will be held. The annual VHS BBQ will be September 23rd with music by The Ride. The Brick Fundraiser is still underway to purchase a brick with up to three lines engraved to be used for a walkway at the VHS Museum.

For more information about all these events or for membership go to www.vistahistorialsociety.com or call 760-630-0444.


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