Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | May 29, 2020

Alma’s Dad helped build the South Grade

Alma and Daniel Boone and Joe

Meet Alma and Daniel with their oldest grandson, Joe.
We were out front when they drove by, slowed down, backed up and pulled in. Joe explained he had his grandparents out for a drive and wondered where there was a public restroom. Well, he made the perfect stop! We even had a table reserved for their picnic!
Alma is a charming story-teller. She was born in Los Angeles in 1926 so that makes her 94 years young! She has such happy memories of coming up to Palomar many times over the years. You see, her father was part of the crew that built the South Grade! Fernando C. Ulloa, was born in 1902. He was a Mexican immigrant during the Mexican revolution. In 1911 his family immigrated to El Paso. Eventually he found his way to this area and had a job working with the WPA. There ware so many men working to build the road. The goal was to have it built for the mirror to come up for the Observatory. It was exciting times!
Alma and her husband, Daniel Boone (yes, Daniel Boone), were “poor as church mice” when they married. Daniel retired after a career working for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and later for Hughes Aircraft. Alma invested thirty years teaching history and Spanish to many fortunate kids as she would have been a favorite teacher. They had three sons, and their chauffeur for the day, Joe is the oldest grandson.
They settled in San Diego. Alma really should write up her delightful memories of what San Diego was like when there were so many dirt roads and the “center of the county was at 5th and Broadway”.
I’ve met so many nice people on their drives up to Palomar the past few months. These folks were extra-special.

Bonnie Phelps


  1. Nice!

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10


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