Before television, people who lived in the desert area entertained themselves, making music, playing sports and cards, and conversing. They cared deeply about their friends, amigos, buddies, pals or compadres. The desert was more remote than most places causing people who actually lived locally to cherish social gatherings and camaraderie.
The employees that serviced the tourist trade had limited prospects for entertainment. So, in 1939, the manager of the new Bullock’s department store decided horseback riding would be a good pastime for many of his new employees.
Other riding clubs existed but they were mostly for wealthy retirees, visiting celebrities and local business owners. Harris Posey, the new manager at the brand-new Bullock’s Department Store, and a young employee, Ernie Dunlevie decided to organize a club of local horseback riders.
Los Compadres, as they dubbed themselves, were a varied and interesting group. The first meeting took place at the Visalia Saddle Shop on Palm Canyon Drive in November 1939 and attracted some 40 people!
First meeting of Los Compadres riding club was held in Johnny Scott’s Visalia Saddle Shop in November 1939.
Today, Los Compadres still has an active membership but not everyone rides a horse. They still promote a western atmosphere and still endeavor to provide social gatherings and outdoor entertainment even in the age of TV screens of all sizes.
There is a multitude of ways to learn more about Palm Springs, which turned 82 in 2020. One of the more intriguing methods is by exploring the city’s history.
The Palm Springs Historical Society will share a story whose time and place corresponds with today. The Palm Springs Historical Society is located at 221 S. Palm Canyon Drive.
For more information, visit pshistoricalsociety.org.