Jim Mulligan

An Unwavering Reedley Christmas Tree Tradition

by Jim Mulligan

Holiday traditions around Reedley are many and varied: from tamales to turkey dinners, house decorating to cookie baking, caroling to care package giving, and so many more. One tradition that hasn’t faltered in our quaint little town is the display of our community Christmas tree. Even in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, the custom continues. By most accounts, the city has displayed a community tree since before 1920, and for most of those years it has been right downtown, smack in the middle of G Street, serving as a beacon of light and cheer in the heart of our little town.

Creative Local Teachers Make Lessons Unforgettable

by Jim Mulligan

Once upon a time, long, long ago, before most of us had ever heard of Zoom, I made a visit to Grant Middle School in Reedley, home of the Grizzlies, to check out the controlled chaos that middle school often is. Anyone in K-12 education knows what I mean; the transformation that kids make from childhood to adolescence during the middle school years tests even the most dedicated, seasoned teachers.

Reedley College Presidential Spotlight: Dr. Jerry Buckley

by Jim Mulligan

It was just over a year ago that the 20th president in Reedley College history took the reins, ready to guide our local gem of a school into the ‘20s of the 21st century. After a short talk with him, it became readily apparent that, at least for this president, leaders are not necessarily born, but are molded by life’s experiences. This president speaks in a strong, steady tone, not brash or hasty, about his long and varied professional career that prepared him for his current job. He had no early sights on leading a college.

Reedley College Instructor Spotlight: Dr. Kirk Kawagoe

by Jim Mulligan

As the Tutorial Coordinator, my paid job, I have the pleasure of working with many of the instructors at Reedley College. The relationships I have with the instructors are essential to finding qualified and interested students to become peer tutors. A side benefit is the opportunity to get to know these hardworking, dedicated individuals who help students discover the joy of learning. As a Reedley College alum myself, I know and remember the influence that instructors had on me and my motivation to achieve my academic goals.

Mineral King: Tucked Away in the Sierras

by Jim Mulligan

I’m always a little taken aback when I learn that someone who lives in the Central Valley has never visited Yosemite, or has never seen, in person, the majestic Giant Sequoias that have grown in the Sierras so near to us for over 3,000 years. Of course, people actually flock from all corners of the Earth to visit these natural wonders. All the more reason to question why us local residents wouldn’t take advantage of a quick trip to enjoy these amazing locations right in our backyard. I guess sometimes it’s just hard to see the forest for the trees. What I mean in this case is, there is so much nature to explore so near to us, sometimes we just don’t notice what we might be missing.

Mark Luzania: A Dentist, A Thespian

by Jim Mulligan

Mark Luzania, D.D.S. (last name rhymes with Tanzania) spent his whole childhood romping among the fruit trees and vineyards outside of Reedley, as well as riding his bike around town, having as much fun as a kid could have. As a little guy, his family lived north of town on their ranch. He remembers the times he and his siblings spent swinging from a rope tied to a tree out into the cold, swift-moving Kings River, having to swim like the dickens to get across to the other side.

The Equine Faculty of Reedley College

by Jim Mulligan

We all know that Reedley College is the gem of the Valley when it comes to programs for everyone from students right out of high school to grandmothers who want to hone their ceramics skills. Students choose the beautiful, rural setting of Reedley College to get a start on their bachelor’s degrees, to learn highly technical and sought after job skills such as welding or diesel mechanics, to learn how to maintain and fly planes, and to increase their knowledge base in order to make a career change.

The Voice of the Reedley High School Pirates

by Jim Mulligan

I’ll be honest; I wasn’t the most fanatical of sports fans when I was a youngster. Don’t get me wrong, my neighborhood friends and I played baseball in the street, football at the local elementary school, and basketball at any number of homes that had a hoop. But not everyone lives and breathes sports. I didn’t. That being said, even I and other non-aficionados of sports would recognize the Wide World of Sports introduction by Jim McKay, or the welcoming tones of Vin Scully. And, please don’t even tell me that if you close your eyes and think about it, you can’t hear the calculated, halting, and sometimes arguably annoying voice of Howard Cosell? Just take a moment and try it.

Reedley Elks Promote Community

by Jim Mulligan

If you dig back into your memory bank, you might be able to remember that Fred Flintstone and his friend Barney Rubble were members of the Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes, Lodge No. 26. At the very least, you can probably picture their funny, fuzzy headgear. Can you remember the title of the lodge leader? If you can recollect the hijinks portrayed by the members of that fictional organization in Bedrock, you might have a skewed understanding of what actual fraternal organizations do in the United States.

An Altar, a Work of Art

by Jim Mulligan

Even if one is not a Catholic Christian, or even religious for that matter, a trip to Europe or Latin America would certainly include a visit to the prominent Catholic church of the city or region. One may argue that a visit to Rome is not complete without a visit to St. Peter’s Basilica, a trip to Paris not complete without seeing Notre Dame, and a trip to Mexico City is only whole after visiting the Metropolitan Cathedral.



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