At the end of 1956, the small town of Fallbrook started to work its way into my heart. I was in high school and my family moved to Fallbrook. This was the start of my love for this town and the joy it would bring me for many years to come. I can remember the first day in Fallbrook, Dale Peterson and Rick Wells asked me to attend a basketball game with them. I was instantly surprised by the friendliness of this community and even Ralph Foster showed me around my first day. Everyone was so welcoming. I made friends right away. During the course of my junior year of high school, I quickly began to appreciate the caring teachers and support of all within this community.
By my senior year, I was already a part of the town of Fallbrook. I had made incredible friends including Dick Uchimura, Nick Arico, Leland Hurty, Don Hasson, Neil Fields, John Denyes, Frank Vernaci, Fred Tagenaga, and many more. The list could go on and on. We had such fun events in high school. The dances, the football games and the time with friends at Richardson’s Drive In. I loved being a part of the football team and even remember the time my mom fixed chili after one of the games. One thing I loved about Fallbrook was that although some of us had different religions, backgrounds, or political perspectives, we easily respected each other’s views and all remained friends. It was wonderful.
In high school I had the opportunity of working at Lockmiller Avocado with Bob Lochmiller for two years and at Buy and Save Market for one year. The manager was Mr. Sayre. I also worked at Foster Avocado for Gordon Foster. They were great men that helped instill in me a strong work ethic and values that would stay with me throughout my life.
In February 1958, my family experienced a tragedy of our house burning down. Once again, Fallbrook surprised me and rallied together to support me and my family. Mike Port, Bob Lochmiller and the rest of the community stepped in to offer anything they could to help my family.
After high school, I met another person new to Fallbrook named Robbie Crowell. I would have never guessed that this incredible woman would become my wife. We got married November 25, 1960 at the old Methodist Church. At the insisting of her parents, we waited until she was 18. We took the very first opening at the Church after her 18th birthday. Robbie was the smartest woman I had ever met and I felt incredibly blessed to be her husband. After one year of marriage, I got my draft notice. I went in the U.S. Airforce. Robbie and I moved to McCoy Airforce Base in Orlando, Florida. I made very little money but thankfully Robbie got a great job at Martin Murrieta Defense Plant. Her job saved us! When I got out of the Airforce, we wondered where we would go next. We were in agreement that the small town of Fallbrook was where we wanted to raise a family. We were thrilled to move home.
Once in Fallbrook we decided to start our own business, East Brothers Grove Service, with my brother, Gary East. Gary was only able to stay on a few years and then it was just Robbie and I. She took care of the books and I took care of the field. This was a forty year adventure that expanded into a Landscape service, tractor service, asphalt work, and even a Farm store. For me, it was more than my job but it was about being a part of the community of Fallbrook that I truly loved.
Fallbrook was an incredible place to do business. I look back on this time and really hope that I gave to the town as much as I know the town gave to me! I had the privilege of being involved in helping the Youth in the town, Ag Boosters, the Planning Committee, the Design Review, the Fallbrook Historical Society, the Chamber of Commerce and many other organizations. I loved serving with people like Bill Rienstra, Karl Bakken, and many other great people.
We have spent the last number of years in Arizona. My grandson and son in law had some health issues which led to us all congregating there to support each other. Although this was the right thing for my family and where we needed to be at this time of our lives, I will always feel like Fallbrook is my home. I look back on all that this unique community gave to me and my family and am just so grateful to have been a part of it. It was an honor to have been a part of this community for 52 years!
THANK YOU very much!!!