Monday May 14 2012
Editor's View: From Texas, Folsom vacation turns to homecoming
By: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
For many, planning a spring or summer vacation could mean a trip to the coast or one of the popular amusements parks such as Disneyland. That wasn?t the case for Corpus Christi, Texas, resident John Stalmach ? he just wanted to visit the town his parents once called home. The 65-year-old had no recollection of Folsom, having left with his parents when he was only 18 months old. But his mother had kept a meticulous baby book full of yellowed photographs and a copy of the Folsom Telegraph from 1947. That newspaper ran a photo of his father Burgess Stalmach, who owned a Plymouth and De Soto dealership in town at the time. The photo shows him and Pioneer Festival committee chairman Ward Estelle in front of what would now be considered a very classic car. John said he and his parents discussed returning to Folsom many times, but they never took the trip. His parents have since passed away. So, he decided to make the trip himself following the death of his wife. ?I was born in Sacramento and my parents lived at 408 Figueroa St.,? he said. ?For the first 18 months of my life, I lived here. Then in 1948, my parents moved back to Texas.? He said he was never given a reason why his parents left, but he believes it had to do with the death of his uncle, who was ?one of those killed in (an) explosion in 1947 in Texas City.? ?In 2010, I lost my wife so in 2011, I found a bed and breakfast at the Bradley House on Figueroa. I spent two days here in Folsom (and) walked by the house where I lived,? he said. ?I visited with the (current) owner for about an hour.? He returned to Texas, but the draw of Folsom pulled again. ?I met my (current) wife, who had lived and worked in Grass Valley in the 70s,? he said. ?So, now we?re here on our honeymoon. Yesterday (May 9), we drove up to Auburn, Grass Valley and Nevada City. ? While he said he has no recollection of Folsom, everything just seems right. ?I don?t consciously remember (Folsom),? he said. ?But it just feels like home, just natural.? He said his father, Burgess, served in the Army Air Corps and was stationed at Mather Field in 1941. ?Mother came out by herself to get married,? he said. ?They owned Stalmach Motors.? On behalf of many of the people of Folsom, John, I?say welcome. We hope you return. Don Chaddock is the Telegraph?s Managing Editor. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter @anewsguy or read his online blog, The Saturday Skinny, at folsomtelegraph.com.