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Pat - the Prescribed Horse

In 1936 after Thelma nearly died from rhuematic fever. Her doctor, Dr. Freudenthal prescribed a horse to get Thelma outdoor exercise to help build her strength back. Thus began a nearly 30 year love affair between a girl and her horse.

Thelma and PatFinding Pat. Thelma's cousin, Bob Anderson (stuf7001) worked for a place in Marysville that raised horses. That area was experiencing a drought and they were going to sell two 3 year old mares to help defray the cost of hay for their other horses. One was a sorel and the other a bay. When Thelma's mom Birdie saw the sorel she said absolutely no; it reminded her of a very nasty horse her family had when she was young. So, it was the bay by default and what a very good $50 deal she turned out to be.

During the school year Pat stayed in Gridley. The family house on Hazel Street had a large vacant lot on the side. But during the summer, Thelma and Pat went to Chester (in the Sierra's next to Lake Alminor) where the family had a hunting and fishing cabin. Pat even went to Chico State with Thelma. They enjoyed their rides along the river and in Bidwell Park.

After Thelma married Floyd and the war was over Pat spent her remaining years on the Vanderford Ranch. She lived to be over 30 years old. And in her final years provided gentle rides for Thelma's kids.

Airplanes and Rice Farming

"Most histories of the rice industry in California give credit to "Speed" Nolta of Willows and his brothers as being the first persons to seed rice by airplane. However, the plane that they bought to start their business had already been used for this purpose for almost 5 years by three Vanderford brothers, Otis (6003), who raised rice near Gridley, Vint (6005), west of Yuba City and Carl (6002), in the Natomas District north of Sacramento.

The brothers were all fascinated by airplanes, and the fact that they were being used to dust cotton in the San Joquin Valley. They met Frank Gallison of Merced, who besides being a "duster" ran a passenger plane service to Yosemite Park. In 1928 he flew up to try seeding rice for the brothers. The next year they bought a used "Travel-aire", had it converted for seeding near Sacramento, and hired Frank to fly it. They went on with this plane for several years, hiring Ed Krone, "The Swede", until he was badly burned in a shop fire, and then Malcomb Longenekker from Southern California. In 1934 they sold the plane to Nolta." [Thelma]

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