In his younger years, O.B. Antonio Perry Tolladay was a stuntman in the movies. Seen here on a set backdrop in his western wear. What young boy was not captured by the thrill of those early westerns; weaving the legends and heros of the West? For OB it was a reality of life rather than imagined experiences on the silver screen. OB was a cowboy at heart, born on the Jesus Maria Rancho in Lompoc, California - not far from the booming new town of Hollywood. He grew up in the era of cattle ranchers and vaqueros so well depicted by the artist Ed Borein who lived and worked at the rancho.
A favorite photo of mine is of my grandfather OB standing on a white stallion at a full run while twirling a lasso above his head. Unfortunately, I am unable to locate that photo. It's has been lost or given away. Perhaps someday, it will reappear and find it's way here.
The Roaring 20's
What young man wouldn't have wanted the Stutz Bearcat! In the 1920's they were all the rage. Grandma said it was beautiful but made out of aluminum. As good as it looked, she still didn't like it. It seems grandpa was always working on it. It had mechanical problems, so OB spent a great deal of time walking across town to court Yolanda.
They were living in Compton, California at the time. A beautiful young woman by the name of Clara Tolladay-Turk had a young nephew she wanted to introduce to the pretty young Yolanda who lived across the street from her. The meeting was magic. Both Clara and Yolanda's mother Elsie Anderson-Smith said they could see the two fall in love with one another.
O.B. Antonio Perry Tolladay and Yolanda Lorraine Smith
Times were getting tough. Yolanda and O.B. had met and began dating in California, but by the end pof the decade, her family had moved - for a time- to Arizona. Well, as all great love stories go, O.B. missed her very much and as soon as he was able, he went after her. He arrived on Thanksgiving Day in 1929. by the end of the day they were engaged. They married in Phoenix Arizona in February of 1930, and the following years would find them all throughout the West; at rodeo's, construction sites, and in the fields when times got tough.
We lived through the best, and when the Great Depression came, we stood the test We lived through the worst, at times we thought we were cursed. We lived through World War II, we were the proud and the few We lived through the cold war, the legend and the lore, and drempt of what life was like before. Poverty and Deprivation, Starvation and Radiation, but through it all we built a nation. We survived field work and homelessness and the meat-packing industry to remain free. The Shasta Dam and Alcan Highway bear our name, and our hope for the future remains the same. We hope for peace, and fight for justice and pray that our decendants will not forget us.
-- Diana Tolladay
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