Trailblazer Remembered

Trailblazer Remembered

Irene B. West was a trailblazer on many levels. As Elk Grove’s first Black classroom educator in what was a rural community, she enjoyed a long career as a teacher and principal.

The Elk Grove Unified School District named an elementary school after her in 2002. West died in April at age 88.

Brian MacNeill is principal at Irene B. West Elementary School. “Thankfully, I had the opportunity to meet Mrs. West and wanted all in the community to know her,” he says. “In January 2018, we had an evening with Mrs. West and a couple of hundred folks attended. I wanted them to know her. So I interviewed Mrs. West about teaching in Elk Grove.”

Master Of Reinvention

Master Of Reinvention

Todd Patterson has lived many lives in his nearly six decades. The Sacramento native has resided all over the country and has owned all kinds of businesses, many in East Sacramento.

After serving in the Navy, Patterson did “a little of this, a little of that,” which included a stint in the fashion industry. That job took him to Fashion Weeks all over the world, but he eventually landed back in Sacramento working for an East Sac real estate company.

When Patterson’s boss bought the Parcel Plus retail store at 3104 O St. and asked for help turning it around, Patterson had no idea it would become his next career.

“My parents owned parcel and packaging businesses in Arizona,” Patterson says, “but I never would have thought that’s where I’d end up.”

Rare Find

Rare Find

Amatoria Fine Art Books is not a new beginning as much as it is a rebirth. For 35 years, Richard L. Press Fine and Scholarly Books on the Arts subsisted on a quiet corner in Midtown, its shelves curated and ministered by the titular Richard L. Press.

Over the course of his life, Press accumulated a collection of rare books that made discerning bibliophiles drool. He focused on fine art, mostly—painting, literature, photography and architecture, to name a few broad categories. But his collection of 15,000 books was as varied as the arts themselves, and included a plethora of rare, out-of-print texts on fringe subjects like typography, cartography, papermaking, mosaics, textiles and more.

A Gift to The Community

A Gift to The Community

When the gift shop in the California State Capitol Museum reopens, it will be more than a welcome return of eclectic merchandise. The reopening of Capitol Books & Gifts means employment for clients of the Developmental Disabilities Service Organization.

All purchases made at the gift shop support the programs of the disabilities group, an award-winning nonprofit that provides more than 400 adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities with job training, employment opportunities, arts programming, life-skill building and social interaction. The organization’s Employment Plus program matches clients with jobs that fit skill levels and interests.

Memorable Times

Memorable Times

If you have a question about wine, ask Mario Ortiz.

During his 50 years at The Firehouse Restaurant in Old Sacramento, Ortiz has held nearly every position. He’s now wine director, general manager and sommelier.

Ortiz helped the restaurant build one of Northern California’s legendary wine cellars with more than 14,000 bottles and 1,800 individual labels, including a collection of rare wines housed in The Vault.

If Walls Could Talk

If Walls Could Talk

When Jim Prigoff began photographing street art in the late 1960s, he didn’t realize he was documenting an artistic revolution. But he knew there was something special about the spray-can art popping up on walls all over the world.

Prigoff, who became internationally renowned for his photos of graffiti, died in April at his Sacramento home. He was 93. Several weeks before his death, he granted an introspective interview to Inside Sacramento.