Sierra Sun Times

Leroy Radanovich's Mariposa Life
 



JOAN GLOOR

A very good friend has ended her suffering. I can not feel worse at
the loss, except for the knowledge and understanding that life ends
in many ways, some of them requiring more courage than others. A few
weeks ago I called her to plan a visit as we had done so many times
before. She said not today.

Joan and Herb Gloor became part of my life through knowing her
mother, Agnes Zirker who had purchased the Mariposa Auto Court,
probably late in the l960's. This historic property had been one of
the first, if not the first, of any size at the time of the opening
of Highway 140. Consisting of some cabins, and if you ask I can
point out one to two still scattered around Mariposa, and eventually
a couple of motel like units. The entrance was on Bullion St. when
that street was Hwy 140. The Auto Court had been started by Robert
Camin on land that had been owned by the Gallison family. The cabins
were of various sizes, scattered about the property with a couple of
large water oaks providing shade. There is one house on Bullion St.
that faces what had been the driveway still existing. Nothing else.

Joan, whose ancestors were related to the Helm group of Fresno and
by extension White Rock of our county, was raised in a family that
had various health problems. Her mother, Agnes, was very hard of
hearing. None the less her handicap did not prevent her from having
an accomplished life. I suspect the outward expressions for the
plight of many people was somewhat misunderstood because of her very
direct way of approaching life in a very serious manner. Mother
Agnes cared more for the world around her, her family and the people
she came into contact, than her self. Like her mother, Joan shared
her life with all of us. Her love of her dogs and generosity to many
causes and individuals comes from the toughness of her mother.

Under Joan and Herb, the Mariposa Auto Court became the Mariposa
Lodge. The change took place just at the time when tourism was
beginning to grow rapidly before the days of Best Western and the
other large motels. She had a vision for the future and her family,
and she was right. The first post war motel in Mariposa was the
Pines which is now Mother Lode Lodge. Still living in Berkeley, Joan
and Herb embarked on a program of converting the old Auto Court into
a first class establishment which still serves as a standard of
hospitality in our community. For many years, each period of time
saw the removal of the old and installation of the new units. Even
this last year, along with son David, the main building once again
underwent remodeling. The success of their venture in our town
became evident.

The Gloor's greatest contribution to our town, however, has been
their constant positive evolvement in the lodging industry. Herb's
background is banking. Joan's was family and her community. She
seldom took a leadership role but instead provided that leadership by
bringing together people of all stripes to encourage them to solve
the problem of the day. The Mining and Mineral Museum became her
passion almost from the day it arrived in our town. We were not able
to realize her dream of a new museum on property that they donated
and for that I am very sorry. Perhaps at some point a project of
even greater benefit to our community will evolve from her concerns.
Her support of many of the projects that we undertook was
unquestioned. Support of her friends and those she loved was without
compromise. We spent many hours on the phone visiting about many
things, her council was always valuable. She introduced many ideas
and concepts to Mariposa. I remember a dinner at her house, not a
small get together, to introduce a gentleman from UC Davis who was a
leader in historic preservation. She gathered data from her guests
and had Bob Borchard produce the first economic survey that woke us
up to the value of the visitors to our county. She had me decorate
some of her first new rooms at the Lodge, thus helping a struggling
photographer to continue to not be a pharmacist. She insisted on
beautifully landscaping her properties setting a standard of
appearance seldom challenged. She cared that her town was clean and
inviting to our guests.

She cared about us, our town, our county, but in a more personal
way, she cared about her friends. Many challenges to her health left
her with only one person to blame as she said, herself. She told me
a few times that she wished she had never smoked, although she had
not for years. She is not the only one in our lives with courage to
recognize that sometimes we are a product of our own choices. But
none the less, her difficulties did not slow her down. I will miss
her council and friendship very much. My sincere condolences to my
good friend Herb and their family. She now becomes a large part of
the legend of Mariposa.

Leroy Radanovich


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To Read More By Leroy Radanovich:
Leroy Radanovich's Mariposa Life Archives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 



To learn much more about Mariposa County along with
historical photos:
A signed copy of "Images of America" - Mariposa County,
By Leroy Radanovich can be purchased at his web site:
Radanovich Galleria & Books



This is a early day photo of the Mariposa Mine in
Mariposa County that is mentioned in the article to
the left by Mr. Radanovich.

This photo and others can be purchased in various sizes.
All prints are archivally printed on fiber based paper, given a selenium wash which renders the photographs permanent with a warm tone ready for framing
Radanovich Galleria & Books



Mariposa in 1920

This photo and others can be purchased in various sizes.
All prints are archivally printed on fiber based paper, given a selenium wash which renders the photographs permanent with a warm tone ready for framing
Radanovich Galleria & Books




Mariposa County Courthouse written by Leroy Radanovich and
Scott Pinkerton is a book about the oldest courthouse in California that is still in use today.
The book is signed by Leroy Radanovich.
To purchase the book:
Radanovich Galleria & Books




Mariposa in 1860

This photo and others can be purchased in various sizes.
All prints are archivally printed on fiber based paper, given a selenium wash which renders the photographs permanent with a warm tone ready for framing
Radanovich Galleria & Books

 

October 11, 2007
All articles copyrighted by Leroy Radanovich

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