One of the unique aspects of visits to The Ranch is how the same people come year after year for the same event or during the same week. As one guest remarked, "We first came to enjoy the Golf Classic. Now we come to the Golf Classic to enjoy our friends." Or as teacher Susan Flahavan asked student Rocky when he came to her school one day wearing his Alisal sweatshirt, "Oh, we're the first week of August. What are you?"
Summer! The legacy of Mr. Jackson's summer dude ranch retreat continues. By the end of one summer, the next summer is already 90 percent booked.
Some families are now in their fourth generation of an Alisal summer respite. Last year, we were featured in the national column, "Taking the Kids." The article, which ran in a multitude of newspaper s, noted how many grandparents today are organizing extended family retreats to bring their scattered children and third generation cousins together once a year.
Alisal regular Teresa George was quoted, "When we started talking about getting married, my dad (Spencer Taylor) brought u p the (annual Alisal) trip and told my husband, `This is what we do in the family. Plan your career accordingly.'"
Alisal Golf Classic. Typically held mid- to late -March, the Husband and Wife Golf Classic has been an institution since 1980 . This year's Classic was won by Ed and Cece Coury (Oak Tree Flight) and Loraine and Richard Lober (Sycamore Flight). James and Shirley Dunn won the inaugural Classic. Next year's Classic will be held March 9-12.
With such interest in the Classic, the Sweetheart Golf Tournament was instituted over Valentine's Day in 1983. The putting contest that year was "sabotaged" by a "runaway, naked" horse that left its bridle, shoes and saddle on the putting green, creating a hazard most putters had never faced before.
Thanksgiving, Another Alisal Tradition. Unknown to many, but not to those attempting to visit during Turkey Days, Thanksgiving has our longest waiting list. "Thanksgiving after Thanksgiving, the same families celebrate with us," General Manager Dave Lautensack acknowledges.
A highlight every Easter has been the Easter Egg Hunt. Almost every long-time guest has an Alisal Easter story.
Santa Claus, a Peculiar Reindeer and Trees. For almost half a century, Santa Claus, in his sleigh pulled by a reindeer that looks very much like a burro, arrives outside the dining rooms at 8:30 p.m. Christmas Eve. He leads all merry- makers around the luminaria-lit oval in front of the Ranch House to the Cottonwood Room for caroling with the kid's Christmas Chorus. Each youngster 12 and under receives a personal gift. Many who return year after year especially enjoy the various Christmas trees, all decorated differently.