Two of my siblings (my brother, David, and my sister, Sharon) were born in Bishop - I was not so lucky! My dad worked first in a dairy in Bishop and later as a school bus driver.
While researching old photos for this blog, I found a postcard written by my Dad and sent from Bishop to family. The postmark on the reverse of this postcard is July 29, 1948. That would have been my first trip to Bishop, even though it was impossible for me to enjoy the beauty of the area. I was born on January 4, 1949 so I hadn't yet seen daylight but I was definitely along for the ride.
|Main Street in Bishop 1948, looking north.|
And that is very much what Bishop is all about; the great outdoors, fishing, hunting, and just enjoying creation.
Not exactly the same angle, but here is Main Street in the early sixties. Notice Schats Bakery on the Left. This bakery is the home of the famous Sheepherder bread and is still in operation. They have changed location to a larger facility on the north end of town but the bread remains the same. The drugstore on the right was now a Rexall Drug. They had a soda fountain and we always went there for ice cream sodas when we first got into town.
|Bishop, CA, Main Street (Hwy 395) early 1960s|
|Bishop, CA, Main Street April 2010|
My first memories of vacation involve Bishop. Daddy was always in a hurry to get going - he didn't want to waste one minute of his vacation time. His excuse was he wanted to get across the desert before it got too hot. But we all knew that he just wanted to get to the stream and start fishing.
We had two main destinations as we headed towards Bishop. The first was the camping part and that was most always Fish Springs. This was just a small creek located near Big Pine, Ca. Not quite to Bishop but we would make it there in a few days. Back then, there was no campground, just a wide dirt area next to the creek where fishermen could camp and enjoy the creek. We were always the only ones there. We camped first in a tent and many years later in a 13' camp trailer. Daddy's first act upon arriving was to get out the dipper and head to the creek for that first taste of pure mountain water - wouldn't do it nowadays but back then the water was pure and clean. This is an old slide taken on one of our camping trips in the late 50s. Pardon the quality. I am the girl on the left, and the rest are the Kirby kids, Gene, Myra, and Stanley. The Kirbys were our best friends and we had many fun camping trips together.
|Donna and the Kirby Kids playing in Fish Springs|
|Tinnemaha County Park (used to be Fish Springs)|
After several days at Fish Springs, we would head on into Bishop. There we would stay with our friends Bob and Opal. Bob and Opal ran the local Indian Mission for the Paiute tribe. It may be more politically correct to say "native American" but this is not how it was in the middle of the last century. The people referred to themselves as "Indians" and so we did as well. I mean no disrespect when I use that term now - it is just how it was.
It was behind this mission that I caught my first fish. We went back in 2007 and found that old mission and my favorite 'fishing hole". To say the mission has changed is a huge understatement. It still has a cross on the front but it is dilapidated and overgrown and I doubt that it is still a mission. We did not see anyone around at all.
|Former Paiute mission|
|In the corner of that concrete structure is where I caught my first trout.|