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Durlynn Anema: What’s been happening in Galt?

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Posted: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 9:30 am

Small towns seem to attract retirees — and families if the towns are close to a large city. Often it is because of the less expensive home prices plus the “small town” atmosphere. Once Lodi was like that as far as home prices went. Lodi’s downtown still has the small town atmosphere which is part of its attraction.

To the north is Galt, a town which is attracting both families and retirees. If you travel east on Twin Cities Road and then go south at Fermoy, Carillon, or Marengo you’ll be amazed at the amount of homes — both older and new subdivisions. Shopping centers along Twin Cities Road are the result of this building boom. And downtown Galt is gaining a nice atmosphere with potential for the future.

Recently my stepdaughters from Fresno visited — Lindy Willey and Paula Garten. After a nice chat at my house we headed to downtown Galt for lunch and exploration. They enjoyed the atmosphere of the Brewster Building, which housed the first post office in 1869, and the wine cellar viewed through glass on the floor as you enter. Then it was off to explore the small downtown section, and they were pleasantly surprised.

From antique stores to small, intimate cafes with outdoor seating, they found it quite charming. Then they discovered Spaans Cookies which made their day. One daughter purchased freshly baked cookies while the other concentrated on unique cups and a totally fascinating cookie jar. They said they’d return to Galt soon to try one of the cafes. And I want to take a tour of Spaans. You can view their cookie “assembly line” at one of their real windows on Fourth Street — the remaining windows are painted on the building.

While Galt (25,000 residents) is smaller than Lodi, it has the potential Lodi had when we arrived in 1977. With its smaller size, merchants greet you, often personally, and often stop to chat.

For instance, as I wandered around Save Mart, a man came up to me, thrust out his hand and said welcome to the store. I looked at his name tag — John Bockman, general manager. I complimented him on the store and later, after a conversation in the produce department, commented on his employees’ courtesy.

Establishments in Galt are like this. Raley clerks (are they called associates now?) greet with a smile and often by name. Same holds true for CVS. Surprisingly, Walmart has the same type of attitude — I’m sure because of the general manager’s attitude. I rarely have to wait in line because more clerks are called to various store locations to help whenever there is a problem.

The list goes on, from Wholey Ravioli to Velvet Grill, and all the small businesses in between. While Galt’s 25,000 population will grow, I hope it doesn’t expand too fast so it can remain a smaller town. More on Galt in the coming weeks.


Talking about Galt — during last year’s general election I was staring at the election posters across Twin Cities Road while waiting at the signal and happened to see the name Paige Lampson. She was running for city council. I noted her email address so I could send her a note, “Are you the same Paige I knew at UOP?”

She immediately answered, “Yes.”

Recently we met to reacquaint. She said her one journalism class “was being put to good use.”

She is a stringer for the Galt Herald. She started out as a photographer for the Herald. Then they discovered she had basic writing skills meaning she could do a complete article with photos. She also is a long-term substitute at both high schools.

Paige and husband Marshall have one daughter and both thoroughly enjoy living in Galt with its youth and adult activities.


The Galt United Methodist Church loses its pastor at the end of June. Joe Carmichael brought a breath of fresh air and excitement to the church — a legacy that will continue when he leaves because of his enthusiasm and caring attitude.

Joe and wife Pam came to Galt because their daughter lives in Elk Grove and he had retired from his church in Mansfield, Texas. He said they loved the small town atmosphere of Galt which is why they settled there.

Originally from Alabama, Joe went to school in Kentucky and Atlanta before finishing at Oral Roberts Seminary.

While attending Oral Roberts he served First United Methodist Church in Tulsa. Then he was at churches in Dallas and Bedford, Texas before his final assignment in Mansfield where he stayed for 15 years. His total time in the pastorate was 45 years — years he absolutely enjoyed with praise to the Lord for his opportunities.


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