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Blacksmith in Granite

The always essential and admirable craftsman Scott Wadsworth takes us on a pilgrimage in stone.

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  • Mary Ann December 18, 2022, 3:18 AM

    That was wonderful.

  • Dirk December 18, 2022, 8:54 AM

    Awesome, I grew up in Rocklin Calif, the Granite Quarries Are everywhere. Granite was cut sculpted and sold across this nation. The Rukala Brothers and Family were the stone masons and our closest neighbors.

    Their grandchildren were my closest friends, their daughters, and sons, were married to my mom and dad’s best friends. The Rukala would mine the granite until wet springs were hit, which filled the quarries. Which when filled created deep deep swimming holes.

    My favorite had a giant pine tree growing next to the top of the quarry. The pine stood at its tallest perhaps 150 ft above the water, great for diving.

    Most of the quarries are fenced now, wayyyy too dangerous for our youth, and way too many chances of litigation.

    The quarries, like the Rocklin City Park, which stood next to City Hall were also shut down, the slides, the swings, the merry-go-rounds were death traps according to the losers running the show, they were removed along with the monkey bars. Ashamed really.

    As 8,9,10 years old we thought nothing of climbing up the pine tree and diving into these freshwater quarries. We all swam like fish and clearly understood the “ Don’t Panic” part of swimming.

    A while back, I visited my home town, my Great Grandmother and my Grandma are resting there. After visiting, walking the Rocklin Cemetery visiting with old friends and neighbors, who left before me. Quit peaceful.

    I walked the three blocks to the swimming quarry, climbed thru the fence, and just sat, my legs dangling over the edge. Strangely the quarry wasn’t nearly as big and deep as I had remembered it. I called my oldest friend in the world, Monty, who just happened to be in Rocklin, he drove over and joined me. Monty had just lost his mother who was 96 years old.

    We reviewed our history, strange how we each see the same events differently.

    Anyway, the main quarry is now an amusement park, with climbing rocks, zip lines, and other fun outdoor activities. I’m pleased to see the nasty dangerous litigation-prone quarry being used for rugged outdoor activities.

    Seems to me the outdoor activity usage of the quarry is not brained. Was told another lifelong friend and a Rukala, Bobby Petersons now running the park. If true Absolutely perfect.

    Again the Rocklin granite was considered some of the finest in the nation. Of course, there are other locations, these granite quarries happen to be the ones I have a history with. We are waiting for our youngest grandson to get tall enough to take to Rukala park for a vigorous day of bouldering and zip line activity. With any luck, I’ll be able to share all the back trails we kids used to traverse Rocklin.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to you all.

  • Roy Hobbs December 18, 2022, 3:21 PM

    The local park had to security fence off the quarry remnants after some dullards fell and or pushed off a comrade.
    We used to climb up there and enjoy the view back in legacy America.

  • edaddy December 19, 2022, 10:32 AM

    Tombstone reminded me of this … https://youtu.be/LbeepwAIhy0?t=285