While doing research for the
new Sunol book I am writing, I had the opportunity to speak
with Betty Roraback whose family settled here in the 1920’s.
Several people in town had urged me to seek her out because
at her age, at 88 years young she has lived in town almost
longer than anyone else. I spent nearly two hours at her comfortable
two-story Kilkare Road home, talking about growing up in Sunol
and looking at pictures. As usual we were discussing the local
wildlife and Betty stated that she was puzzled as to why the
flock of turkey’s that usually linger in her spacious
yard had all but disappeared. Then she told me a story that
had me laughing so hard I nearly fell out of my chair.
A few months ago, on March 18 to be exact, I know this because
Betty got out her calendar where she had neatly written in
the small space, “turkey window”. One day while
Betty was sitting at her kitchen table she heard a loud noise
in the other room. Before she had a chance to get up from the
table there was another loud crashing sound.
When Betty entered her living room she was amazed at the site
of a large hole right through the center of her very, large
front window. Realizing that the only thing large enough to
make a hole that size and fly through the window of the second
story was, yes, a turkey! But where was the turkey? Betty started
poking around the room and discovered the big bird behind one
of her couches. Have you ever seen a turkey fly? They usually
don’t fly very high; in fact, I think they would rather
just walk. Thinking the bird was dead, Betty called her niece,
Loretta Loftis, who rushed over from her Livermore home. Upon
arriving at Betty’s home, Loretta quickly realized that
the poor turkey was only stunned and was actually still alive.
Living in Sunol it’s not too unusual to find an animal
in your home. I personally have seen bats come down chimneys,
raccoons stealing food from the kitchen, scorpions in the bathroom,
squirrels scampering in bedrooms and alligator lizards running
through the house, but it’s not too often that you have
an unconscious wild turkey lying in your living room.
Not knowing how to handle the situation, the women called
the Alameda County Animal Control Department. The women, who
were sitting in another room from the turkey, exclaimed to
the animal control officer that the poor turkey was still alive.
When the officer cautiously entered the living room and slowly
peeked over the couch the turkey was gone! Great, thought Betty,
now where did the big bird go? The bedroom? The bathroom? After
searching the entire house, the animal control officer stated
that the turkey probably flew back out the way it came in,
through the large hole in the window. The animal control officer
said that is what they usually do; go out the way they came
in. So, if you happen to see a turkey looking a little dazed
and confused, it’s probably Betty’s uninvited guest.
On to a more somber tone, the passing of another longtime
Sunol resident, Antoinette “Nettie” Corege-Prater.
Nettie moved to Sunol with her parents, Joe and Angeline Corege
and her seven siblings in 1948. In recent years she has lived
in McMinnville, Oregon with husband Phil Prater. Nettie loved
to garden and her neighbors called her “The Flower Lady”.
She also leaves one son, James Hamilton and six grandchildren.
Her older sister Teresa Cooper would like to invite those who
knew Nettie to her memorial at the Little Brown Church of Sunol
on June 22 at 10:30 a.m. and refreshments will follow in the
church’s fellowship hall.