Victor Kroutch Jr.
Victor Kroutch lived on a dry land farm located on McCormack Road, raising crops and sheep, turkeys, chicken fryers, and laying hens for eggs. His sister helped their mother in the kitchen, and he had to do chores on the weekends such as cleaning the chicken houses. His favorite Sunday dinner was chicken and dumplings with his Grandma, Uncle Alfonse and Papa John. His family owned a radio and he enjoyed listening to President Roosevelt’s Fireside Chats, The Lone Ranger, Amos and Andy, and sometimes Fibber McGee and Molly. He enjoyed the music of the 1940’s and his favorite was Frank Sinatra. His family had wonderful holiday traditions like going to church, having a tree, and playing a part in the school Christmas pageant. They had a dinner and opened presents on Christmas Eve when he received clothing and one toy.
He went to school at Canright which no longer exists here in Rio Vista. There were a total of 3 children in his class and he had a very nice teacher named Ida Clark. His favorite subject was history and when they went to recess he enjoyed playing baseball after eating a lunch that he brought from home. They didn’t have to dress up fancy for school, so usually he would wear his Bob Overhauls that his family purchased at JC Penney’s. His best friend was Dan McGraugh Jr. and they enjoyed going hunting together.
Rio Vista had approximately 1200 to 1500 people. Once a month the Kroutches went to other places on Highway 12 in the family’s 1934 Chevrolet Sedan. They also enjoyed going to San Francisco once a year to visit family that lived there.
His family knew everyone in Downtown Rio Vista and often visited relatives and played cards. Many of the churches are still there. The Mayor was Charlie Flodin who was also the judge and founder of the River News Herald paper. Charlie Flodin held his office for 2-3 terms and was often seen around town wearing a white shirt, red tie and a grey suit with a vest. Doctor Anthony would come out to the house when they needed him for around $3.00 a visit. Some of the occasions the doctor visited are when Victor had whooping cough, chicken pox, mumps, measles and other things he really did not enjoy!
He was able to go to the theater here in Rio Vista once a week for .10 cents to see The Lone Ranger and Tonto, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and Dale. As teenagers out on dates they would see a movie, or perhaps go dancing. They also enjoyed parties, skating, bowling and visiting the gas wells.
The only real issues around this time other then the war was what the price of Grain was going to be, how much they would have to pay for wool, and if the lamb market was good or not. His family did not have time for any other problems.
During World War II a cousin-in-law from San Francisco, Steve Sacco, was in the army, Lester Hagan a cousin, and himself. They often wrote back and forth and were missed by many, and all came home safely. Steve went on to be a barber and Lester and Victor farmers.
The change he misses most is family that has passed away. His advice for the young is to stay away from drugs and liquor, and go to church. It is also important to get in your schooling first, and don’t be tempted by friends to do drugs, because they are not your friends and are only looking to make money when what they really need is a real job or more schooling.