Tag Archives: sacramento

West Sac man one of nation’s oldest — and liveliest — stadium vendors

Howard Lowe shares some moves on  Westacre Road  (By AL ZAGOFSKY for the News-Ledger)

Howard Lowe shares some moves on
Westacre Road
(By AL ZAGOFSKY for the
News-Ledger)

NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 18, 2015 —

By Al Zagofsky
Correspondent

The “Nation’s Oldest Stadium Vendor” is what a Bay-area publication calls 74-year-old Howard “Crazy Legs” Lowe of West Sacramento.

While Lowe is both embarrassed and humbled by this claim, he nonetheless loves the publicity and the adoration he receives from the many fans he garnered while selling Kettle Corn in Raley Stadium and the major ballparks of San Francisco.

Crazy Legs loves to dance, and when he’s vending his sweet and salty Kettle Corn in stadiums like the Giants’ AT&T Park, and the loud speakers play out a country or rockabilly tune, he gets happy feet and rubber knees, and gets down—free styling to the music. And soon, the kids are up out of their seats shaking their booties along with him. Their parents soon follow and the whole aisle is a-groovin’.

Before the bankruptcy of Tower Records, Lowe worked in their West Sacramento warehouse, a job that had the unique benefit of periodic concerts from the recording artists. He remembers Allison Krauss, and the rapper Coolio, “who strutted through the warehouse with his entire entourage,” Lowe said. “The owner, Russ Solomon, liked to promote young bands, and he would have the musicians come out and play a set for the employees. We used to look forward to that all the time.”

A lifetime baseball addict, when he learned that the River Cats were coming to Raley Field, Lowe applied to work at the concessions—even before the stadium opened. During construction, he toured the stadium several times.

“May 15, 2000 was the first game for the River Cats,” Lowe remembers.  He was assigned to sell beer. It was a night game and drew a crowd of 15,000 people, and most of them had to stay in the concourse watching the thunder and lightning. “It was the most miserable weather. It was pitiful that night. Everybody hung out on the concourse eating food and drinking beer.”

Not liking beer, he transferred to guest services as an usher, transferred again into food service, and became a server. As a server, he would deliver meals from the kitchen to the patrons in the seating bowl.

“The first time I was doing this, I was carrying three or four cups of hot chocolate on a tray,” he explained. “I was trying to be really careful, and wouldn’t you know it—a foul ball landed right in the middle of the tray, right in the middle of the hot chocolates. I saw it coming but I couldn’t react fast enough.”

Lowe took to vending hotdogs, french fries, lemonade— just about everything that the vendors hustled, but as he started reaching his later 60s, he switched to “kettle corn because it was the lightest thing to carry.” He carries 15 to 20 bags in an old Crackerjack bag turned inside out.

While ushering and standing around and waiting, he started tapping his feet to the bluegrass song, Cotton-Eyed Joe.  “I felt the beat. I felt the music and I decided to be me,” Lowe said.  “I love people and I love music and I love sports. It just happened.”

Lowe always loved dancing, but it was at a bluegrass festival in South Sacramento Beach Lake Preserve where he became famous. “They started calling me Happy Feet, Rubber Legs, and Crazy Legs—and the name Crazy Legs stuck.”

Vending at Raley Field was tough work. “In the summers,  it can get really hot—sometimes over 100° in Sacramento, and almost as hot in the Bay area. I put crushed ice in a cloth underneath my baseball cap to keep cool.”

As Crazy Legs approached his 70th birthday in 2010, he was told that the River Cats concessions no longer required his services. Fortunately, during the times that the River Cats were on the road, he found vendor work at several stadiums in the San Francisco area.

And so, if you go to AT&T Park or some of the other stadiums in the Bay area, look for Crazy Legs, spring for a bag of his Kettle Corn, and shake your booty with the granddaddy of the stadium vendors.

  Do you like what you see here?

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  You can even try it for free for two months if you live in West Sacramento. Just send your name and mailing address to FreeTrial@news-ledger.com (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2015

West Sac man one of nation’s oldest — and liveliest — stadium vendors

Howard Lowe shares some moves on  Westacre Road  (By AL ZAGOFSKY for the News-Ledger)

Howard Lowe shares some moves on
Westacre Road
(By AL ZAGOFSKY for the
News-Ledger)

NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 18, 2015 —

By Al Zagofsky
Correspondent

The “Nation’s Oldest Stadium Vendor” is what a Bay-area publication calls 74-year-old Howard “Crazy Legs” Lowe of West Sacramento.

While Lowe is both embarrassed and humbled by this claim, he nonetheless loves the publicity and the adoration he receives from the many fans he garnered while selling Kettle Corn in Raley Stadium and the major ballparks of San Francisco.

Crazy Legs loves to dance, and when he’s vending his sweet and salty Kettle Corn in stadiums like the Giants’ AT&T Park, and the loud speakers play out a country or rockabilly tune, he gets happy feet and rubber knees, and gets down—free styling to the music. And soon, the kids are up out of their seats shaking their booties along with him. Their parents soon follow and the whole aisle is a-groovin’.

Before the bankruptcy of Tower Records, Lowe worked in their West Sacramento warehouse, a job that had the unique benefit of periodic concerts from the recording artists. He remembers Allison Krauss, and the rapper Coolio, “who strutted through the warehouse with his entire entourage,” Lowe said. “The owner, Russ Solomon, liked to promote young bands, and he would have the musicians come out and play a set for the employees. We used to look forward to that all the time.”

A lifetime baseball addict, when he learned that the River Cats were coming to Raley Field, Lowe applied to work at the concessions—even before the stadium opened. During construction, he toured the stadium several times.

“May 15, 2000 was the first game for the River Cats,” Lowe remembers.  He was assigned to sell beer. It was a night game and drew a crowd of 15,000 people, and most of them had to stay in the concourse watching the thunder and lightning. “It was the most miserable weather. It was pitiful that night. Everybody hung out on the concourse eating food and drinking beer.”

Not liking beer, he transferred to guest services as an usher, transferred again into food service, and became a server. As a server, he would deliver meals from the kitchen to the patrons in the seating bowl.

“The first time I was doing this, I was carrying three or four cups of hot chocolate on a tray,” he explained. “I was trying to be really careful, and wouldn’t you know it—a foul ball landed right in the middle of the tray, right in the middle of the hot chocolates. I saw it coming but I couldn’t react fast enough.”

Lowe took to vending hotdogs, french fries, lemonade— just about everything that the vendors hustled, but as he started reaching his later 60s, he switched to “kettle corn because it was the lightest thing to carry.” He carries 15 to 20 bags in an old Crackerjack bag turned inside out.

While ushering and standing around and waiting, he started tapping his feet to the bluegrass song, Cotton-Eyed Joe.  “I felt the beat. I felt the music and I decided to be me,” Lowe said.  “I love people and I love music and I love sports. It just happened.”

Lowe always loved dancing, but it was at a bluegrass festival in South Sacramento Beach Lake Preserve where he became famous. “They started calling me Happy Feet, Rubber Legs, and Crazy Legs—and the name Crazy Legs stuck.”

Vending at Raley Field was tough work. “In the summers,  it can get really hot—sometimes over 100° in Sacramento, and almost as hot in the Bay area. I put crushed ice in a cloth underneath my baseball cap to keep cool.”

As Crazy Legs approached his 70th birthday in 2010, he was told that the River Cats concessions no longer required his services. Fortunately, during the times that the River Cats were on the road, he found vendor work at several stadiums in the San Francisco area.

And so, if you go to AT&T Park or some of the other stadiums in the Bay area, look for Crazy Legs, spring for a bag of his Kettle Corn, and shake your booty with the granddaddy of the stadium vendors.

  Do you like what you see here?

  You can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledger newspaper. It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, delivered to your mailbox.

  You can even try it for free for two months if you live in West Sacramento. Just send your name and mailing address to FreeTrial@news-ledger.com (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2015

Mariano will be skipper as River Cats become Giants farm team

OB MARIANO will take the helm of the minor league team, which is based in West Sacramento, as the club switches affiliation from the A’s to the Giants   (courtesy photo)

BOB MARIANO will take the helm of the minor league team, which is based in West Sacramento, as the club switches affiliation from the A’s to the Giants
(courtesy photo)

NEWS-LEDGER Jan 28, 2015 —

From the River Cats

Bob Mariano takes the helm as the River Cats’ sixth manager since the inaugural season in Sacramento in 2000.

During his previous six seasons as the Giants Triple-A skipper, Mariano has managed several big leagues stars such as Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, and most recently Joe Panik, Travis Ishikawa, and Roseville native Andrew Susac during this past season.

Prior to managing Fresno, Mariano as served as skipper for Single-A Advanced Vero Beach (Dodgers) of the Florida State League in 2001, the Pacific Coast League’s Tucson Toros (Brewers) in 1997, and the California League’s Stockton Ports (Brewers) in 1995.

Mariano has been with the San Francisco Giants organization since 2005, serving as a coordinator of minor league hitting instruction for the Giants farm system from 2005-11, before beginning his managerial career in 2012. Mariano previously served as the minor league hitting instructor with the Los Angeles Dodgers (2002-04), and in roles with the Baltimore Orioles (1985-86), New York Yankees (1988-92), Milwaukee Brewers (1993-97) and Arizona Diamondbacks (1998-2000).   The Phoenix native also managed in the Italian Baseball Federation and Australian Baseball Federation. The former utility player spent seven seasons in the minors with the Yankees and Orioles  He originally signed with the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent in 1980.

Andy Skeels will serve as hitting coach at Raley Field; Dwight Bernard as pitching coach, James Petra as trainer, Brad Lawson as strength coach and Pablo Lopez as clubhouse manager.

Copyright News-Ledger 2015

One day only: free or cheap admission at many Sacramento museums

A family of visitors at the Discovery Museum Science and Space Center -- one of the destinations offering free or reduced ticket prices for one day only (courtesy photo)

A family of visitors at the Discovery Museum Science and Space Center — one of the destinations offering free or reduced ticket prices for one day only (courtesy photo)

NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 21, 2015 —

From the Sacramento Association of Museums

Nearly twenty-five local museums will offer free or half-priced admission from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, February 7, during the 17th Annual Sacramento Museum Day. Most of the nearly 25 museums will offer free admission whereas two destinations located in residential areas — the Sacramento Zoo and Fairytale Town — will offer half-priced admission to offset traffic control and security costs.

Coordinated by the Sacramento Association of Museums (SAM) and the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau, Sacramento Museum Day is a popular cultural tradition designed to encourage all members of the community to experience the Capital City’s wealth of art, history, science and wildlife — at little or no cost.  Many of the museums are within walking distance of each other and easily accessible via public transportation. Event coordinators suggest that guests plan to visit no more than two or three different museums on this day in order to allow adequate time to enjoy the experience and to travel between individual sites.

In addition to offering free or reduced cost admission, many of the destinations are offering special activities during Sacramento Museum Day.  A sampling of the special activities include the following:

• The Aerospace Museum of California will offer an “open cockpit” day where most aircraft will be open for viewing (weather permitting), a children’s art contest and on-site exhibitors such as the Tuskegee Airmen;

• The Masonic Service Bureau will be on-site at the Discovery Museum Science & Space Center providing free electronic fingerprints of children for their parents;

• The Sacramento History Museum will offer hands-on gold panning activities for kids;

• The crowd-favorite Sacramento Children’s Museum mascot “Leo” will make special appearances throughout the day;

• And, the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum will serve cake to celebrate the birthday of Laura Ingalls Wilder and mark the anniversary of Sacramento’s first public school in 1854.

While admission is free at most of the museums, admission to two destinations located in residential areas are half-priced as follows:  Sacramento Zoo is $6 for adults, $4 for children ages 2-11 and free for children under two;  Fairytale Town is $2.75 per person and free for children ages one and under.

Some locations must limit the number of admissions for safety reasons.   The event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. but note the last guests will be admitted at 4 p.m.  More detailed information is available at www.sacmuseums.org (click on “Events”), or by calling the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau at (916) 808-7777.

Participating Museums for Sacramento Museum Day 2015:
Aerospace Museum of California – California Automobile Museum – California State Capitol Museum –  California State Railroad Museum –  Discovery Museum Science and Space Center – Don & June Salvatori California Pharmacy Museum – Fairytale Town –  Heidrick Ag History Center (Woodland) – Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park – Maidu Museum & Historic Site (Roseville) – Museum of Medical History – Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum – Old Sacramento State Historic Park – Roseville Utility Exploration Center – Sacramento Children’s Museum – Sacramento Historic City Cemetery – Sacramento History Museum – Sacramento Zoo – Sojourner Truth Multicultural Arts Museum – State Indian Museum – Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park – Verge Center for the Arts – Wells Fargo History Museum (Capitol Mall) – Wells Fargo History Museum (Old Sacramento)

Copyright News-Ledger 2015

West Sac looks to public art to help unify Sac/West Sac streetcar line

NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 14, 2014 —

The West Sacramento City Council voted last month to work with regional partners to apply for a public arts grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) . The “Our Town” grant of up to $200,000 would focus on bringing art pieces to the city’s Washington neighborhood and the future streetcar route connecting Sacramento and West Sacramento.

Also involved in the art planning project are the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, the City of Sacramento and Crocker Arts Museum.

“The ‘Our Town’ proposal envisions art installations as a place-making feature of the planned streetcar route and way-finding for bicyclists and pedestrians moving between West Sacramento’s waterfront neighborhoods and civic center and Sacramento’s railyards, capitol and museums,” said a staff report. “The cities would also use the funds to select one artist that will create two pieces which will engage, interact or connect with each other to be installed in each side of the river respectively. Another installation will be analyzed within the Washington District depending on the final grant award amount and budget.”

The plan being proposed to the NEA calls first for a consultant to work with the public and create a “curatorial vision” for the Washington district and streetcar area. No actual art pieces have yet been picked.

The city has already received a $400,000 grant for art from the state parks department, for art at the corner of Riverwalk and Tower Bridge Gateway, with a $200,000 local match.  These funds will be used as the “local match” needed for the proposed NEA grant.

  Do you like what you see here?

  You can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledger newspaper. It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, delivered to your mailbox.

  You can even try it for free for two months if you live in West Sacramento. Just send your name and mailing address to FreeTrial@news-ledger.com (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2015

West Sac woman dies; possible suicide

NEWS-LEDGER — NOV 19, 2014 —

A West Sacramento woman is dead after an incident that started on Yolo Street.

The following information comes direct and unconfirmed from police reports; the News-Ledger was not immediately able to get additional details:

Sometime before 10:45 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 15, 40-year old Christina Lynn Munoz was in an argument at her home with 44-year old Leonardo Galvin.

“She produced a handgun and fired one round at him, missing,” reported an officer.

Munoz then left the scene and was later found dead in Sacramento with a gunshot wound to the head. Sacramento police are investigating.

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Boat crash puts five into river

NEWS-LEDGER — NOV 12, 2014 —

Two boats collided south of the Clarksburg Marina Sunday afternoon, in an accident that sent several people to the hospital.
The Yolo County Sheriff’s Department reports that “two small pleasure vessels” hit each other head on at about 3 p.m.

“Five out of the nine occupants from both vessels were ejected into the water. All the subjects were able to get back on board their boats with assistance from local fishermen.”

All nine received medical attention from firefighters and several went to the hospital for injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening.

“Both vessels sustained major damage,” said the sheriff’s department. “None of the victims were wearing life jackets at the time of the accident.”

Copyright News-Ledger 2014