Dan Mehrten, 83, lives in Clements and actually attended Clements School as a child.
"They had two classes in the Odd Fellows Hall and one in the garage," Mehrten said.
Attending Clements School decades ago , whether it be in the Odd Fellows Hall, a local garage or the current building that recently shut its doors, is nothing unusual for local residents. A lot of people who grew up in Clements still live there.
That's why it's so important for residents to save the building on Highway 88, east of the fire station at Mackville Road. That's also why some 350 people showed up to the fire station Sunday morning for a pancake breakfast to raise money to file incorporation papers as a nonprofit organization.
The Lodi Unified School District closed Clements School last year, but in February, voted 7-0 to sell the building for $1 to an entity that represents the community.
The group, chaired by contractor Ed Jones, is raising money to apply for nonprofit status with the state. The informal committee includes representatives from three major Clements organizations — the fire district, Clements-Lockeford Lions Club and the Glenview Cemetery Association.
"I've always been amazed by the way people work together here," said Jones, 72.
The three organizations combined seem to know everyone in town, and they communicate by word of mouth to people in their respective circles of friends, Jones aid.
"That's better than a telephone system in Clements," Jones aid.
The group, called the Clements School Community Center, needs about $2,000 in fees to the state and an attorney to draw up the articles of incorporation, said Ray Engel, a Clements Fire board member, former fire chief and student at Clements School.
The group formed two subcommittees. The bylaws committee consists of Steve Granlees, Dave Ingrum, Frankie Engel and Ron and Chris McParland. A subcommittee to raise money for the cause includes Ray Engel, Bill Henderson, Rayanne Currin and Sandra Hale.
A public meeting to discuss organizational matters will be held at 7 p.m. May 9 at the Clements firehouse, Highway 88 and Mackville Road.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.