The process begins

By Pat Orr
Apple Valley Review

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly has begun the process to run for Governor of California in 2014.

He is moving up and down the state holding small “get to know you” meetings. Based on his Facebook page, he already has a campaign logo and is working on a few themes.

It’s hard to imagine what the “profile” of any Republican would have to be to have a real chance at winning state office in California, so why not Tim? We’re fresh out of old GOP legislative leaders who want to leave private sector incomes to spend two years fundraising and we’ve probably seen the last “willing billionaire” who’ll lay down $60 million to come in second. Thanks to the “Top Two Primary” system, there may not even be a Republican choice on the ballot for governor in 2014.

Governor Sunspot hasn’t declared, but it seems as though Assistant Gov. Noose-em is going to run. That might get Attorney General Kamala Harris to come out of hiding and throw her beret into the ring. As an African-American female state leader, the chance to run while Obama is President — who may campaign for her as well — could be too hard to resist.

Considering the firepower it’s going to take to make a serious run at any of the ensconced liberals, it is well that Donnelly is such a defender of the Second Amendment. He will need to be loaded for bear — California Bear that is.

The best dirt salesmen in Apple Valley
Back when “rocks were soft,” George Newton and Tex Meeken were a team of young hot salesmen who worked for Newt Bass at Apple Valley Ranchos selling lots. Both men have spent their lives in our town helping transform it from a wide spot in the road to a pretty darn nice place to live and raise a family.

George built several successful businesses and still owns commercial property around the valley. He “officially” retired when he and wife, Mary, sold Newton’s Outpost Cafe a few years back. Now they split their time between their Baja beach house and their Apple Valley Rancho.

Meeken and his wife, Gretchen, have now moved into a senior living complex and sold the home they lived in for 35 years after a lifetime in real estate and education. The Newton and Meeken families both were early founders and supporters of churches here in town and Gretchen was the moving force behind the creation of St. Timothy’s School.

They have regaled those of us lucky enough to get them started talking — usually with help of an adult beverage or two — with stories about the early days and the steak fry dinners where very well oiled customers would be driven out into the desert to buy their own slice of the west. But unlike the “quick buck” real estate speculators of other eras and towns, these guys came to stay and make a life as did many of the Rancho executives. The Apple Valley Inn, the movie stars flown in, Roy and Dale — they were all a part of the show, but it was more than show.

A lot of land has change hands since George and Tex stopped selling for Newt Bass in these parts, but as the years move on it’s always valuable to look back at our past to appreciate those that have helped build our future. In this town we like to keep alive our Western work ethic that focuses on hard work and honesty in part because of the fellas who sold us the dirt it’s built on.

Pat Orr is a local business owner, community volunteer and political junkie.