Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Nevada to Exeter Connection

People don't often think of Nevada and Exeter in the same sentence. That may be because there aren't many similarities between them. Nevada is often thought of as the land of casinos and powder-filled ski slopes, while Exeter is the city of murals often described as charming and quaint.

But we have two men to thank - Kenny Guinn and Robert List - for establishing the Nevada to Exeter connection. Remarkably, both men graduated from Exeter Union High School and went on to serve the great state of Nevada as governor. This very unusual and coincidental career path was recently called "mind-boggling" in a Sept. 12 article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

List served as governor of Nevada from 1979 to 1983, while Guinn served as governor from 1999 to 2007. Guinn, who passed away in July at the age of 73, was even named one of the nation's best governors by Time Magazine.

Both men were great examples of the hard working people of Tulare County. Not only did they work hard, they made people want to know more about our great county. They were two of Tulare County the Greats.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ralph Moore and His Roses

It's been almost a year since we said goodbye to this Tulare County great - Ralph S. Moore, the "Father of the Modern Miniature Rose." So, it's only fitting that we should take a minute of our day to thank Ralph Moore for the great work he did in Tulare County. Not only did his work earn us national recognition, it still inspires us today.

A native of Visalia, Ralph Moore set up shop back in 1937, at Sequoia Nursery at Noble Avenue near Lovers Lane. The nursery closed several years ago, and only remnants of it are around today, but it was once the place where Ralph spent more than 70 years creating over 500 varieties of roses.

He won many awards for his work. So many, in fact, it's hard to name them all. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame time and time again. He won numerous gold medals, nine of the first 10 Awards of Excellence ever given out by the American Rose Society and his work brought every serious rose person in the world to Visalia.

All of his life, Ralph Moore worked to create the perfect rose. And after every beautiful accomplishment, he would strive to create something better. It was amazing to be in the presence of someone who worked so selflessly and with such determination. He was so determined that before he passed, Ralph Moore had the foresight to ask that his work continue. That's exactly what's happening today at Texas A&M University. The university's horticultural sciences department has Moore's plants, including 80 rose patents, and the department has added miniature roses to its breeding program.

Ralph S. Moore was truly a Tulare County the Great.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Visalia Rescue Mission: A Tulare County Lifeline

Sunday is a chance for Tulare County the Great to take a look at one of the many great organizations in Tulare County. The Visalia Rescue Mission is one of them.

Established in 1981, Visalia Rescue Mission helps those who are homeless in Tulare County. It also lends a hand to those who are trying to get back on their feet after being in jail, or those who need help getting past addictions.
More than 200 volunteers a week - many from Tulare County - help Visalia Rescue Mission get the job done.

Like many similar organizations, Visalia Rescue Mission is stretching to serve those who need help in 2010. This year, the organization's meals are up 13 percent over last year. That's saying a lot if you look at its 2009 stats. In that time, Visalia Rescue Mission served more than 180,000 meals and provided more bed nights to more people than in its 29-year history.

Visalia Rescue Mission is just one of the many organizations that make Tulare County the Great. If you need more information on Visalia Rescue Mission, please visit the organization's web site: www.vrmhope.org.

Up tomorrow on Tulare County the Great: find out how Tulare County is getting healthier!