December 2, 2002
Hanson: This is an interview with Bob Holcomb at his home in San Bernardino
and this is December 2, 2002, and this is Joyce Hanson for the San Bernardino
Oral History Project.
Hanson: Mr. Holcomb, you have a long history here. Your family has a long
history here. We were just talking about San Bernardino and you told me
that San Bernardino is known as a trade center--it was a trade center.
Why don't we talk about that a little bit? Tell me how it got to be a
HOLCOMB: Well, all I know is that most of the mountain community would
have to come to San Bernardino to do their heavy shopping, same with the
desert community, and to some extent, the smaller cities in those days;
Colton, Fontana, Rialto, and even as far as Banning and Beaumont, a lot
of trade went on there in San Bernardino.
Hanson: Yes, there were a lot of hotels here.
HOLCOMB: Yes, there were. There, four or five hotels at least and maybe
even more, so-
Hanson: Let's go back, why don't you tell me a little bit- tell me about
your family and how your family got to San Bernardino. I know they came
HOLCOMB: Yes, my great grandfather headed up from the mountains in 1860,
in Big Bear. Did some gold mining. Discovered some pretty good gold over
in an area now named after him- Holcomb Valley. He spent, I think two
winters up there, living in a log cabin, and my grandfather was born up
there, in a log cabin. They were snowed in the first year from a, I think
October to March they couldn't get out of the Valley, the snow was so
deep. My great grandfather had three other sons and a daughter and they
lived for the most of their early lives here in San Bernardino. A couple
of them moved to other areas. My father was the mayor of San Bernardino.
He had- he was the only child, married my mother who was a classmate at
Stanford. My mother was born in Bodie, California. I don't know if you
know anything about Bodie?
Hanson: Very little. I'm new to California.
HOLCOMB: Well, Bodie was considered to be one of the wildest mining towns
in existence, made famous by a letter a little girl wrote to someone who
said say, 'Say goodbye to God, we're going to Bodie.' It had average,
for the most part, at least, one killing a night in barroom fights. It
was a very hostile climate. It was an interesting place. If you ever get
a chance to go there, it's a, it's a well-preserved ghost town. Now it's
a state park. And a lot of the older buildings are just about the same
as they were back in the late 1800's, and a then they continued to mine
there right up into World War II.
Hanson: I didn't know that.
HOLCOMB: My grandmother on my mothers side had a Mercantile business and
a stage line in Bodie, and they, to this day, they still have the old
Bodie reunions, not many of the old timers still around, but their children
still go up there and have a good time doing the Fourth of July. We've
been there with our kids. They love it. We love it. But, it's not San
Bernardino. But if you want to get into some interesting history, Bodie
Hanson: Well, I think San Bernardino has some interesting history too.
HOLCOMB: But, San Bernardino, when I grew up, was a pretty enjoyable place
to live. We had a lot of open spaces. Everyone had fruit trees and grapevines
and live off the land if you wanted to. Vegetable gardens. My grandfather
had a, almost an acre of vegetables that he planted every year, but that
was not uncommon. Almost everyone had a vegetable garden.
Hanson: What part of San Bernardino did you grow up in? What area?
HOLCOMB: I grew up at 20th and E Street between D and E. My grandfather
had his home at 9th and F Street and he owned I think about ten acres
there. Some of it he farmed for a while and parts of it he leased out
to other people; Orientals that leased his land and grow vegetables, potatoes,
other small crops. The big thing in San Bernardino was the Orange Show
in those days. It was really something. Everyone looked forward to it-
the kids in particular, the Orange Show, made the, probably the most exciting
time of the year was the Orange Show because the carnivals and the various
rides that would come in. Swimming, was a lot of places you could swim
and we had places like Warm Creek was flowing year round and there was
swimming holes there. Swimming holes up in the wash north of 40th Street,
where they put in the flood control dikes. Generally, water in some of
those flood control ponds year round. Kids would go up there and go swimming,
do a lot of wild parties up there.
Hanson: (Laughter) Okay, now we get to the good stuff. The parties.
HOLCOMB: The interesting thing about San Bernardino is really how it,
it expanded it's boundaries. For the most part it was because of water.
Sub dividers could not very well- sub dividers, they didn't have water,
and so they'd annexed the city. Some of them started their own water companies
and the wells were shallow and didn't have sustained production during
the dry cycles so the wells would go dry and the people would have to
annex the city for water. And, San Bernardino would be probably twice
as big as it is now but for the fact that a special water district was
formed- the East San Bernardino Water District, was formed to provide
water to the areas of growth. The city boundaries had not caught up with
them. A lot of development in the east of town all the way into the Highland
area so as they subdivided the land they would annex not to the city,
but to the water district to get water, and San Bernardino really missed
the boat if- we’d be twice as large today if we'd had a little more
foresight in, and aggressively putting water into the area as it developed.
But, for some reason, there was the board of Water Commissioners, which
pretty well made policy for the water department as well as the city as
far as water. They had people on there who really didn't the city to grow.
They like nice little city, not a bigger city, and that had, I think,
a very negative effect, as far as San Bernardino is concerned, because
we'd be one big city today rather than San Bernardino, Highland, Muscoy,
and San Bernardino did annexed land that they couldn't have annexed but
for the fact that the wells went bad on the areas and so the people had
to come to the city for water and city counsel had to approve them getting
water and they had already said well, you have to annex to get the water.
So we did annex quite a bit of land. There's an interesting story about
the Mormons and what the city would have been like had the Mormons not
been recalled to Salt Lake. I'm sure you've heard about that.
Hanson: No, tell me. No one's told me this.
HOLCOMB: Well, this a lot before my time, but back in the, I guess is
the, this is before the Civil War, the Mormons thought they were going
to be attacked by the United States Army and that they'd be at war. See,
Brigham Young wanted to be an independent country so to speak, and the
United States was having all kinds of problems with the Mormons and they
were sending troops to Utah and Brigham Young called back all the Mormons
who came here and settled the city. And they did a fantastic job of laying
out the city; wide streets, parks, public spaces and they did a lot of
very positive things. One historian once speculated what the city would
be like had the Mormons stayed. And I think they would have done a real,
real good job.
Hanson: They were very good at planning.
HOLCOMB: Yes, and after the Mormons left, the planning really went downhill.
We got parts of the city that's really, really embarrassing. Go around
the west side of the city where a- in the black neighborhood, real narrow
streets, no- they put no parks in over there for years, it was completely
neglected. No library, and we inherited a lot of problems as a result
of a lack of foresight by the city council, particularly in the planning
area because the developers would want to build as cheaply as they could
and lots of narrow streets and, and they got away with it because they
knew the system, how it worked. They put pressure on the local councilmen.
And another thing about San Bernardino is the strong mayor forms government
with the ward system has had a lot of impact on San Bernardino, both pro
Hanson: Tell me about some of those. What are the, what are the pros of
HOLCOMB: Well, pros, we were able to, well, we're a charter city as opposed
to the general law city. And you know the difference between the two?
Hanson: Tell me.
HOLCOMB: A charter city is self-governing and is not dependent upon the
legislature for various laws that you need to run the city. The legislature
set up a system of laws for cities and they'd be called general law cities.
A charter city can pass their own laws and do anything that's a municipal
affair. If it's not a municipal affair they can't do the, their own laws,
but for years and years and years, California could not issue Industrial
Revenue Bonds and the developers were always complaining that they were
competing with other states who issued Industrial Revenue Bonds as far
as getting industry and growth. When I was mayor, I took the position
that the city of San Bernardino was a charter city for the issue of Industrial
Revenue Bonds if they passed a number of warehouses, making it a municipal
affair and we did that. We had a test case in court. The court said we
had the right to do that. And we waited until the appeal period expired
and then it started issuing Industrial Revenue Bonds left and right. Couldn't
believe it. We were issuing bonds for other cities, charging them a fee,
making money, just almost obscene because we issue- have a bond issue,
we charge one percent of the issue, as I- all it took was the couple of
public hearings in the city council and we pocketed millions and millions
of dollars. One of these days I'm going to try to figure out how much
the total, but I think we- over the years, maybe fifty to a hundred million
dollars in fees and before the legislature saw what was going on and so
they opened up the field that all cities, but the head start we had put
us way out ahead of them. But, I don't know why I got on that subject,
except as a charter city, we were able to pioneer in many areas, and even
before- not just when I was mayor but when other people- had one bad effect
is that, the charter city, the initiative process enabled police and fireman
to put through charter amendment for 186. I don't know if you know what
Hanson: Tell me about 186.
HOLCOMB: It's, it's a formula that sets the pay and benefits for the police
and fire and it takes all the discretion away from the city council and
the pay wages and retirement benefits and health benefits just really
skyrocketed in cost, which is fine if you were police and fireman, but
wasn't very good for the taxpayers, because it ended up in requiring the
city to in order to make these big pay increases, it had to pass the utility
tax. We were one of the first cities in the state to have a utility tax
and it was a great source of revenue. It still is. But also, the big impediment
to people wanting to annex to the city, so, whenever the city tried to
make overtures to annexing land, good land, that would have really been
nice to have, the resistance would always be over the utility tax, so
we were unable to annex a lot of areas, but, I don't know how we got off
on this, but the charter city is able to do a lot of things that the other
cities cannot do. And I can't off the top of my head recall all the things
we did, but the most spectacular, of course was that Industrial Revenue
Bond, and as a result a lot of the development you see around San Bernardino
occurred. The- all that Hospitality Lane area, all the industrial properties
out northwest up by state college, all that area and a lot of the residential
growth came about with the tax exempt financing and during the crunch
when money was almost impossible to borrow, if anything within reason
when rates were up 15, 18, 20 percent, we were doing low interest bond
financing and kept our growth moving pretty, pretty well. But, going back,
I think you're interested more in the ancient. I was, I was born in 1922
and just kind of took the city for granted. Go to shows every Saturday.
Watch the serials, you know how the old days, I don't know if they did
that, they had serials, they last oh, about twelve weeks so if you wanted
to be happy you had to go every Saturday to the shows to see the serials.
Hanson: That kept people coming back.
HOLCOMB: Yes, but the Orange Show was the big thing during the year and
then the summertime it was just putting on bib overalls and going barefooted.
Going around on your bicycles. Everyone had a bike. You tried to live
Saturday to Saturday because school was a bore.
Hanson: Where did you go to school?
HOLCOMB: I went to Elliot Grammar School, which is on Highland Avenue
and E Street. I went to Arrowview Junior High School and to San Bernardino
High School. High school was fun from the standpoint, you know, you had
cars then, a lot more freedom dating girls. But it wasn't the very good
study environment, at least for me.
Hanson: No? I'm surprised.
HOLCOMB: Well, we were having too much fun. We had clubs called Junior
Exchange. We were always up to something.
Hanson: Like what? Give me an example. What did you do?
HOLCOMB: Well, when we- it was kind of like a fraternity. You had to be
asked to join and then those who were asked would always jump at it because
it was the thing. But the thing that I remember the most is the initiations
that we used to hold on- out of the old boy scout house that was built.
There was a WPA build a lot of things in San Bernardino, and one thing
they built was a boy scout house in the wash out north of 40th Street
out of wash materials, the boulders and sands and they had a great big
fireplace and it was abandoned after the flood of '38 because the flood
came through there and wiped out all the doors and windows and I think
it even took the roof off, but it had big strong walls and it had this
fireplace and that's where we'd hold the initiations. The initiations
were really an ordeal because they paddled you and other things that weren't-
not easy to go through.
Hanson: And you don't want to tell me about those (laughter).
HOLCOMB: Well, I'll tell you. You'd be blindfolded, get a rock about the
size of a medium cantaloupe, tie a cord to the rock and then tie a- everyone
was naked and then tie that on to the testicles and, they had the count
of three, throw this rock up over the banister, there were still some
old- not banisters, but supports and, but then at the last minute they'd
take a pair of scissors and cut the cord, but, that would put the fear
of God in all the initiates.
Hanson: I bet.
HOLCOMB: But that, you know, more of a social experience than a learning
experience for a lot of us. But, we'd used to have BB gun wars.
Hanson: And what were those? I'm almost afraid to ask.
HOLCOMB: The big thing was playing gangster, going around town and shooting
up Christmas tree lights during the Christmas vacation, and let's see,
oh yes, there's a positive side, we got along well with most everyone
in school except the Perecleans, and they were the real students, you
know, the ones that really studied hard. We resented their setting the
example that the teachers wanted us to follow. But, outside of the- enjoyed
growing up in San Bernardino. Loved a lot of the things that it had, the
swimming opportunities and the shows, the Orange Show. I never regretted
it and always wanted to come back to San Bernardino, I've enjoyed my life
here and never thought of living anywhere else.
Hanson: Let me turn the tape over now. Okay, when you were in high school,
you said that was fun because you had cars and girls and dating. Tell
me about what kind of cars you had.
HOLCOMB: How many had cars?
Hanson: Well, how many, but what kind of cars were they? What were the
most popular cars?
HOLCOMB: Oh, right. Most of them were Mo- well the most common car was
Model T, a few Modal A's, Dodge touring cars, on 18th Street in front
of the high school, it was almost solid with cars kids would own. If you
had a car, you know, you had a lot of freedom.
Hanson: That's right. And I'll bet you had a lot of friends.
HOLCOMB: We did, we'd go camping. If you had a car, you could go fishing,
you know, up in the mountains. A lot of good fishing in those days. Fish
were a, in Waterman Canyon, and fish over in City Creek, even had fishing
down at Warm Creek, because in those days the river, well, the Santa Ana
River ran year round and you could take a boat and go all the way down
to almost to Newport, canoe. You had to be a shallow draft. In '38 I borrowed
a kayak from a friend of mine with the idea of taking it down the Santa
Ana River, and then in March, during Easter vacation, and in March, you
know, the big flood hit, so I took it down Sierra Way from about 21st
Street clear down to 3rd Street and at 3rd Street I had to jump for my
life to the water down there was just rolling five, six feet deep and
I was maneuvered over to the side of the road and jumped out and grabbed
a telephone pole and hung on to it for dear life and someone came and
reached out with their arm, they hung on to a fence or something, reached
out with their arm, and pulled me in out of that current then the last
I saw was that kayak bobbing across the a, 3rd Street, Never did make
it down to the Santa Ana.
Hanson: A real dare devil, huh?
HOLCOMB: But we were doing things that were never done, camping up in
the mountains, going fishing up in various parts of the mountains. The
opening day of trout season- we didn't have year round fishing, it was,
fishing was closed from October to May, and opening day of trout season
we always went up and set up a camp. This was in high school when we had
the cars. '38, went fishing on the opening day and had this old Model
T and we came- a friend of mine and I, coming down the mountain decided
to go down the old, the switchback road down through Waterman Canyon,
and when you got down to where the highway crosses now, it was all washed
out. We couldn't get any further. So we were stuck there for the night
because the Model T didn't have the power to get back up the switchbacks
that we came down, so we camped there that night and had no food except
a box of pancake flour and a little bit of baking grease, so we made us
some pancakes out of flour and water and used the baking grease, and this
friend I was with, Wilbur Riche, he was doing the cooking of the pancakes
and he got the first pancake made and he was tossing it over his head
out in the sand. I said, 'What are you doing?' 'Oh, my mother always throws
away the first pancake.' A lot of people do that, you know, but I was
so hungry, you know. We had about enough batter for two medium sized pancakes
a piece and then the next thing I did was got a flashlight and was out
looking for that pancake. Found it, dusted all the sand off, and boy,
did my hardest. It was a good a meal as I'd ever had. Well, that's pretty
Hanson: Alright, if- you mentioned girls and dating, so I can bring this
up. What was a typical date? Where did you go? What did you do?
HOLCOMB: Oh, we'd go to the show. Yes, we'd go up to the romantic spots
like at the top of Shandin Hills and park and look at the lights.
Hanson: Uh huh (laughter). I heard about a place called Inspiration Point.
HOLCOMB: That's further out up there. And then there was the east valley
reservoir where there was this giant swing out over the reservoir and
go up there and try to get the girls to put on their bathing suit and
go on the swing and dive off, with the, parked over the water and the
real dates would do that, but-
Hanson: The real dates. So, I know you said that your father was mayor.
Hanson: Okay, is that how you got involved in politics?
HOLCOMB: No. Well, my great grandfather was very involved with pan- politics,
my grandfather was not, my father got in politics for one term. I got
involved in politics over the big water battle we had here with MWD. And,
I'm glad I did but it was very expensive. I spent a lot of money. I was
involved in starting the first cable company; T.V. cable company in San
Bernardino. And, ended up after about five years in sold it out, paid
all my bills. During the big water battle, I started a little newspaper
to tell the real truth. I started a committee called the Water Truth Committee
just to answer the newspaper who was saying if we didn't join the Metropolitan
Water District we were going to perish and they were running some of the
damndest stories about water. I happened to get to know of, of Pat Row
a water hydrologist, and also a man named Riley Thomason who knew an awful
lot about the water situation in San Bernardino, and he convinced me that
the- we didn't need to join the water- Metropolitan Water District to
meet our water requirements. And so, one thing led to another and when
the water campaign started in earnest, I don't know if you ever heard
about the newspaper started- we were under a court order to cut our water
consumption- water production, not consumption, water production through
the city water department had to cut it by about thirty percent. The court
ordered this, but they gave two years grace period to find other water.
Well, the newspapers solution was to join the Metropolitan Water District
and ironically, the newspaper took us out of the district. We were one
of the charter members of Metropolitan Water District and when the original
plan for the Colorado River Aqueduct was to bring the Aqueduct down Cajon
pass, and then go, you know, right passed San Bernardino, so we'd have
the aqueduct at our elbows, so to speak. Well, then the board of directors
changed their mind and decided instead of bringing it down that route
to take it over the end of the mountain at Beaumont, goes through Beaumont
and go under the mountains over to Lake Perris, so the newspapers said
we were betrayed and that we had, for our own integrity, withdraw from
the Metropolitan Water District and they led a big crusade to vote us
out and they had a lot of ammunition. We were paying taxes to L.A. that
we wouldn't have to pay and so the voters, very substantially, voted to
withdraw out of it. I remember my father didn't want us to withdraw. He,
he thought we ought to stay in. He fought the newspaper in that election
and then we started into a prolonged drought. A lot of the well were going
down, down and the publisher panicked and said we got to rejoin or we're
not going enough water for our future. So, he started another crusade
to take us back in. And Thomason and Rowe kept telling everyone we didn't
need to go back, and so we didn't, but then the Orange County water district,
I think acting as a- on behalf of Metropolitan, they're the ones that
filed suit against the city saying we didn't have the right to take as
much water as we were taking. That the only water rights that we had were
prescriptive rights, and prescriptive rights had to be perfected over
five year periods. And, so, they won the lawsuit saying we were taking
more than our share of the water and that we had to cut back to our prescriptive
right which meant the five years of growth that had added considerably
to the water usage by the city water department had to be cut back five
years to the five year period. That's what had everyone worried about
where we're going to get water. So, after the- considerable publicity
in the newspaper and a lot of editorials about the need to find water,
the solution was to rejoin Metropolitan, so the newspaper started the
year before the injunction was to go into effect. Let's say the court
order was going in effect on June first, 1949, fifty- I forget what it
was, they started a little column on the first page of the Metro section
and started out three hundred and sixty-five days to water rationing.
Then the next day it was three hundred and sixty-four, and they had a
little squib under each, in front of the boxes that Metropolitan Water
is enjoyed by 85 percent of the population of the southland and there's
no reason why we- you know, things like that. There may be high mineral
content but high mineral water is drinkable and is better than no water
at all and all that kind of- and Guthrie had the Chamber of Commerce would
do his beckoning, just as, all he had to do was call in the president
of the Chamber and tell them what to do and the Chamber would do it, and
the Action was the same way. I was a member of both the Chamber and the
Inland Action ended up voluntarily leaving the Board of Directors of the
Chamber and I was asked to leave Inland Action because I was the only,
only member in Inland Action that wasn't behind joining the Metropolitan.
So as the campaign heated up, Thomas and I started our own paper, a weekly,
to give the other side of the story, and we formed a committee called
the Water Truth Committee, and it, we put out bumper stickers. It said,
'MWD no, no' and then a great big 'no.’ Well, when it was all over
with, voters turned down joining the Metropolitan Water District so the
Sun newspaper wrote an editorial about this- one of the darkest days of
the city's and that traitors that brought this about should now step forward
and solve the water problem. So, I called up the newspaper and said, 'Okay,
if you want the solution, it will be at next council meeting of the city
council, next meeting of city council. So I asked to be on the agenda
for the solution to the water problem and asked that they asked the City
Water Board to present. And, of course, a lot of our supporters just jammed
city council chambers, just mostly people who were on our side in that
water campaign. So, when the mayor asked me to come forward and present
the solution, I said, 'We need to have the present water board resign,
and I want to be appointed to the water board, and I want you to make
me the chairman with the freedom to select two other board members.' They,
he was trying to be resistant and the crowd was getting kind of, upset
when he was saying he wanted to think about it and things like that. They
wanted it up and over with. To make a long story short, the water board
did- he asked them to resign, they resigned, he said, okay, I'm going
to appoint W.R. Holcomb to the water board and then he can select the
other tow, so I selected Harold Willis and Margaret Chandler and everyone
was happy. We had our first meeting that, I think the same day, or I guess
we had, we had to go to a regular scheduled meeting, but at the first
meeting, we started doing all kinds of things that we said could have
been done during the year of the political battle. One of the first things
we did was to refill Seccomb Lake. They'd let the lake go dry and it had
it's own well that used to keep it replenishing. We found out that the
well had been plugged with cement so that we couldn't operate the well
immediately, had to get that plug out of there. Just as a symbol that
we had plenty of water, we kept telling everyone there's plenty of water
under the ground, it's just find legal ways to get it out. As an- the
most important part about this whole story is but for what we did, there'd
be no university here now. I don't know if you ever heard that?
Hanson: I wanted to ask you about that because I know you were, you were
in charge of that committee, to bring the university here.
HOLCOMB: Thomason was very visionary person and there was legislation
passed to the effect that the state would establish a college somewhere
in San Bernardino county but the boundary was not, it would not include
San Bernardino, so Ryland got the state assemblyman who represented us,
this area, Assemblyman Stan Shaw, changed the legislation to include San
Bernardino in it. Well, everyone, as it got closer and closer to select
a site for the college, the city wasn't even going to s- try, and the
Chamber of Commerce, I went to the Chamber of Commerce and asked them
to, you know, for a committee and let's get a college in San Bernardino.
We don't have a chance. They still said we don't have the water, you know,
and this was a after the city had voted down MWD. They were starting-
they're going- they had a committee, but soon as the voters turned down
joining, the Chamber just said we don't have a chance. We don't have any
water. I said, 'You have plenty of water.' No, so anyway, my job, I formed
my own committee to bring the state college. My primary job was to convince
the state that we had the water and get the water problem off the agenda
so that it wouldn't shoot us down like everyone thought it would. Oh,
I started studying water law and became somewhat of a specialist, I guess,
in my short time there studying it. And then on top of that, we went to
one even further, forgot the three or four large land owners controlled
all the land out there, so meeting with them, got to agree on a very reasonable
price for their land and I got options from them that they would sell,
you know, if the state selected San Bernardino, they would sell their
land, and do up formal options at a fixed rate to which is below market
at the time. Got the city to lay out the road system and to a engineer
the sewer system and engineer the water system and then so all this was-
and then they did all the testing that you'd normally for a developing
of university- like soil tests. We had all those things done and we had
a private engineering firm do a lot of work that would be normally done
by the state. They get it all out of the way so the answers were there.
The board of trustees was meeting, I think was up in San Jose to, and
that would be one of the items on the agenda was to select a site. So,
I went up to the meeting. I tried to take a low profile and asked another
attorney friend of mine Bill Hilliard to make our presentation because
the board, and the people at chamber just hated, hated my guts and so
did the newspaper. Well, we- all the other cities that were in competition
would have to start out, and I said, 'One thing, we have plenty of water.
We can give you all the water you need.' And they all used that as their
main selling point. And that all of them would suggest that San Bernardino
didn't have enough water to serve their residents, let alone a new college.
But, the attorneys that were advising the state, I don't know if it was
the attorney general or who, they were satisfied. I went to see them and
showed them how the water thing was okay. So they said, well they were
satisfied the water should not be a problem. And so the rest of it was
slam dunk. Staff is normally, you know, probably cheering like that, the
staffers recommendation is the continue the public hearing for a month
then give them chance to study it and then, then make a recommendation.
The president of the state- the state college boards was an architect
by the name of, I think, Charles Leckmen. Shoot, why that's just a waste
of time. He says, we don't have any- there's no competition. San Bernardino
is so far a head of all the other sites that, that we don't have to worry
about how much it's going to cost, we don't have to worry about where
the roads are going to go, and he says, I think we should get it over
with today and not waste any more time, and so they voted that day to
put it here- San Bernardino.
Hanson: What about the question of the earthquakes though, and fires?
Wasn't that a concern for them?
HOLCOMB: Not a big- because it was just all the chaparral would be removed
and you'd have plenty of open space and a- there's a little bit of concern
about the wind, but on the other hand, they said at least the wind will
keep the smog out, because we had a lot of smog in San Bernardino, in
those days. But, it just, it was just, they just couldn't turn it down.
They'd look stupid because we had it- had all our answers that normally
you have to have done by, you know, their own experts.
Hanson: So San Bernardino actually went in doing all the work that, that
would have been done the months after.
HOLCOMB: That's right. Look at the options, you know. They knew how much
it was going to cost and it was way below what they had normally paid
if they had selected the site and then went out and started buying up
the land. It was not necessary. All they had to do was go into escrow
and close the escrows, and these property owners, all- I got them all
to give fairly substantial donations for a scholarship fund. I think the
average was fifty thousand to a hundre- the larger ones gave a hundred
thousand, the smaller ones gave fifty thousand.
Hanson: Wow, that's good.
HOLCOMB: So, I don't know, that wasn't a big deal in the overall long-term
scheme of things it- the land was, getting that size of land. Not many
college campuses have that much land.
Hanson: You're right, you're right...That's a lot.
HOLCOMB: There's even more offered to them, but they cut it down to 430
I think, I'm not sure. It'd be fun to find the paperwork that we did and
presented to the state. I don't where- it ever happened to it.
Hanson: Probably archived in some place. We'll hunt that down, we'll find
HOLCOMB: Well, I think the minutes of the meeting of the Board of Trustees,
Hanson: Yes, It would be-
HOLCOMB: Yes, Board- Charles Leckmen was president of the Board of Trustees.
Hanson: Yes, that would have to be in the archives.
HOLCOMB: Well, I think they kept verbatim minutes, I'm sure, of the testimony,
I would guess-
Hanson: Yes, they always do.
HOLCOMB: If they didn't take verbatim, they'd probably have them recorded.
Hanson: Good, okay, I think we're going to end here today because we're
almost out of tape, and thank you.