In answer to the question, “where is Jackson?”, it’s a small town in the Sierra foothills about 50 miles east of Sacramento. It was part of the great gold rush of the 1850s and my family has been here almost as long. It was a town founded by Italians, Serbians, Mexicans and many other immigrants seeking riches and a new life. Although my siblings and I did not grow up here it is a place dear to us. My mom lives here and as of now three of my sisters have retired here.
We visited Jackson and our family cabin in the mountains every summer of our childhood. Being kids from the 1950s Los Angeles suburbs this was a wonderland where all our cowboy games and nature explorations flourished. Our grandpa and grandma lived just outside of town and had a creek running through their property, which was a big deal to us. Not only that, the cabin was high in the mountains, near a beautiful meadow and some of our neighbors there had horses we could ride. Our grandpa made bows and arrows from branches and string and we hunted deer with these. For some reason we never actually got a deer nor did we managed to capture a chipmunk in any of the homemade traps we came up with.
My dad, who did grow up in this area, loved to tell stories about our history in Jackson. Both sets of his grandparents, Virgilio & Kate Garbarini and Dominic & Kate Boro lived in Jackson. Dominic and VS (as Virgilio was called) were in the mining business. VS was the first mayor of Jackson and the plaque shown below is at the end of Main Street today. Fortunes were made and lost and many children born, including my grandfather Ralph Garbarini and my grandmother Clarice Boro. The old Catholic graveyard around the corner from my mom’s house is full of my ancestors. Bianca Garbarini (shown on the gravestone) is VS’s mother. That is the oldest marker I have found to date.
The last photo in this post shows my dad and us kids in the meadow at the cabin. It’s probably around 1960. We named that rock “Big Rock” and another slightly smaller one next to it “Little Rock”. We also had “Favorite Rock” elsewhere.
From left to right we are; me, Jeannette, Annie, Charlie, Cecilia (pointing her rifle at the camera) Mike and my dad. Ralph is not yet born. So there you have it, some insight into why we all love Jackson so much.