There have been ubiquitous rumors circulating around town that this is all set to happen, that it’s a done deal and an established fact.
Not so. Not a done deal — yet. But from what I’ve been able to find out the past couple of days, there’s a very real possibility it could happen.
Printing rumors is something we in the news business traditionally shy away from. There could always be a kernel of truth in some rumors, but too often they are mostly inaccurate or totally so.
This time, I’ve heard that buzz from so many sources about McDonald’s establishing its third Tracy restaurant on the property where Monument Auto Parts is now located, I decided to investigate.
And while some people won’t comment on the record, this is what I have learned:
n First: Monument Auto Parts will definitely be moving in the next several months to the building on East 10th Street that was home to True Value Hardware. Work is starting to remodel the building for the auto parts store.
n Second: Under the scenario heard often, the Monument Auto Parts building would be torn down to make way for McDonald’s. But members of the Fisher families, who own the building, have sold neither the structure nor the land, including the adjacent parking lot. There have been discussions, they report, but no deal struck as yet.
n Third: If McDonald’s does locate on East 11th Street, the property between the Monument Auto Parts parking lot and La Costa, the Mexican restaurant at the corner of 11th and East streets, would be part of the McDonald’s location. The property is owned by the four surviving daughters of the late Joe and Trudy Wilson. The site contains two houses and two small commercial buildings, all of which would be demolished to make way for McDonald’s, according to more than one person close to the situation.
Although some discussions about the property have been conducted, Wilson family members report, no deal on its sale has yet been made.
City Associate Planner Scott Claar reports that while real estate people have discussed possible uses for the southeast corner of 11th and E streets, no definitive discussions have been held, nor plans submitted to the city.
The only part of all this he knows for certain is that the True Value building on East 10th Street is being remodeled to make way for Monument Auto Parts.
So that’s as much as I’ve been able to find out. There’s obviously something to the McDonald’s rumors that some day could become a reality, but so far no property has changed hands and no specific plans have been advanced.
‘Look in the cup’
I’ve played golf on and off — mostly off — for the past 60 years, but last Friday while playing at Tracy Golf & Country Club, I did something I had never ever expected to do.
I made a hole-in-one.
It happened on the course’s fifth hole, which is a 110-yard, temporary par 3 created while the Hetch Hetchy pipeline has been laid through part of the course.
Anyway, I hit (for me at least) a pretty good shot with a hybrid club that landed somewhere on the green. Because the green is elevated, I couldn’t see exactly where.
Once I reached the green, I looked around, but I couldn’t see my ball anywhere. I started walking toward the back of the green, thinking the ball might have rolled down an embankment, when Leroy Leal, a member of my foursome, said, “Wait a minute, take a look in the cup.” I did, and there it was — my Top-Flite ball nestled next to the flagpole.
I was dumbfounded but sporting a broad grin as I held the ball aloft before receiving high-fives from Leroy and other foursome members Rich Redgrave of Manteca and Ray Harris of Tracy.
Tradition has it that the person who scores a hole-in-one buys everyone in the clubhouse bar a drink. I was well aware of this possible major attack on my wallet as we finished our round.
But alas, when we walked into the clubhouse, the bar was completely empty, except for Bill the bartender. I got off by buying only the other three foursome members a drink, and then Duane “Scotty” Scott, who usually plays with us but couldn’t last Friday, walked in.
I had to buy a mere five drinks, including my own. My wallet survived.
So there you have it. Reaching into the cup and pulling out that ball were my few fleeting seconds of athletic fame.
With the Hetch Hetchy project nearly completed and play to be resumed on the original course layout, the temporary fifth hole will soon be demolished. The site of my golfing feat will be long gone, but I’ll still have a great memory of my one and only hole-in-one.
• Sam Matthews, Tracy Press publisher emeritus, can be reached at 830-4234 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.