I want to make sure that you know it is the California Visalia I am talking about and not the one in Kentucky. They are, oddly, related, and not only because I have ridden through the one in Kentucky (which has, maybe thirty houses), but because the fellow--Nathanial Vise--that founded the Visalia in California (capital of Tulare County) named it after his ancestral home in Kentucky. Anyway, I went there last Friday, gave a noon talk at the College of the Sequoias, and then spoke on Old Abe at the Tulare County Lincoln Day Dinner. Lovely event, even better people. I really liked this place from every angle, especially the good folk, all patriotic and decent and hard-working. Lovely and gracious town, you can tell at first glance that the people living there care about it. The Central Valley is the most productive agricultural area in the nation, and it is impressive in itself and also close to the Sierra Nevada Mountains, including Mt. Whitney, which I saw each day. The fact that the county (21st Congressional District, Cong. Devin Nunes, R) is full of robust Republicans probably explains the charms of the place. Stephen Tootle was the one babysitting me, and he did a great job. I am gratfeul. Fine place. Represents the best (and is among the oldest of settlements, 1850's, between San Francisco and Los Angeles) of California.
3:54 PM / February 22, 2011