September 28, 2017

Sam Maloof Historic Home & Architectural Tour

oIt’s always fun to take time off work and go on an adventure with DayTripper Tours. Yesterday I joined Tour Director Jennifer and driver Willie as we headed to Rancho Cucamonga. Our first stop was the historic residence and woodworking studio of the late Sam Maloof. I had never heard of this man before and I was in for a pleasant surprise. I knew he was into making furniture out of wood, and that interested me, but I wasn’t prepared for the beautiful pieces he designed and created from the trees. He didn’t use any metal, just lovingly cut and turned the wood and created fittings for the pieces to stay together. We toured his home (no pictures allowed) and saw his first chairs to his last, taking special note of how they had changed as his skill and ideas evolved. In one room was a chair made by his apprentice that we could sit in. I found it amazingly comfortable. It was for sale, but unfortunately I didn’t have $12,000 in my wallet. In addition to his beautiful furniture, each room was adorned with his and his wife’s extensive art collection. The docent was describing the art pieces and who created them and many of the folks in my tour group knew exactly who he was talking about. Not being as familiar I just enjoyed the art for its beauty and how it spoke to me. After a quick stop in the gift shop and a little walk around the gardens, it was time to leave and time for lunch. Back to the bus.

We went a little bit up the road to a place called Victoria Gardens (read: mall). We had the option of getting off here to shop and get a bite to eat or stay on the bus and go across the road to the very huge Bass Pro Shop. I stayed on the bus. I had heard of this store before, but had never had the opportunity to check it out. Known for their fishing, hunting and boating gear, this store was massive. I took a whirlwind tour, stopping to check out the huge fish tank, camping gear and jackets. Wanting to spend my time checking out the store, I had thought ahead and packed a pb&j to eat on the bus later. My big purchase was a bag of chips for my lunch. What restraint, whew.

We all got back on board on schedule and Willie pointed the bus toward Ontario. Along the way, Jennifer pointed out the Fed Ex planes at the airport hub in Ontario. I always wondered why everything had to come thru Ontario. Now I know.

22095989_10214169702622702_7644703137156566820_oA few minutes later, we pulled up to the Graber Olive packing House. I was surprised to see this plant on a residential street. As we got off the bus, we divided into two groups. One group would take the tour, the other would be able to shop. I was in the second group. Soon, we were led by Vincent into the family owned and operated (since 1894) plant. Different rooms held the different (and pretty green) machines. There was the conveyor belt that moved and separated the olives so they could be graded. Next we saw five hundred fifty huge concrete vats where the olives are cured. The olives are then carried by hand from the vats and then poured onto the conveyor belt for inspection. The cans are also carried on a conveyor belt to be washed, fed into a rotating wheel where the olives are scooped by hand into each can, then the cans are sent on another belt to the canning machines. The open cans move to the Panama Paddle Packer where the paddles rotate pushing hot, 200 degree water into each can. The machine applies the lid and it is hermetically sealed. The cans head into the boiler room for sterilizing at 242 degrees for 62 minutes at 12 lbs. pressure. The cans are then cooled in the breezeway for several days before being labeled and boxed for shipping to local stores and throughout the country. Yesterday, the plant was quiet, but will soon ramp up in Oct as they receive the handpicked olives from their fields in the San Joaquin Valley near Porterville.

I really enjoyed this tour. The home of the late Sam and Alfreda Maloof was beautiful and so full of character and the furniture stunning that it isn’t hard to imagine why it had become an historical place. And I can just picture the olive plant in full swing with all the hustle and bustle and noise of the machines as production starts up. The whole day opened my eyes to different things that I had never heard of nor had the opportunity to visit. Thanks Daytripper Tours for another wonderful daycation!

21992960_10214169700022637_7671120463751399054_oDayTripper Traveler Donna Grover
Tour: Sam Maloof Historic Residence Tour

Date: September 26, 2017


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