donald a. promnitz xyz

Donald A. Promnitz

I drove into the City of Hanford from Fresno three weeks ago to start at The Sentinel.

On doing so, I knew my understanding on the town was limited and I would have some learning to do. But considering Hanford’s small size, I figured I’d make quick work of it. It’s a small town, right? How hard can it be? Well, it turns it’s a little harder than I thought — I’ve been pleasantly surprised and I’m happy to admit that I was wrong on this one.

As a newcomer to Hanford, I’m routinely making wrong turns and each time I do, I’m a little happy for it. Turns out that street has a nice looking diner, or an interesting store to visit that I find myself making a mental note to return to. It’s been 20 days since I started, but I’ve already found a museum that prides itself on Amelia Earhart memorabilia, a 120-year-old restaurant that serves the most simple, but satisfying meal in recent memory and perhaps most importantly of all, I finally discovered just why it is that Superior Dairy is so popular.

But the nicest discovery I’ve made about Hanford so far, by far, has been the people. “It’s a place where everybody knows everybody,” is a cliché, yes, but there really is that spirit here. It’s a place where people will brave the pandemic to shake your hand, or forego the mask to smile at you. Hanford feels less like a town and more like one giant neighborhood.

It’s a town where a new car wash celebrates its grand opening by giving away free washes and collecting to funds to help a local dance studio get to its big competition. It’s a town where a mother overcame the grief of losing her son by making quilts for others who lost loved ones. And it’s a town where a coach teams up with the local police department to teach kids boxing and help keep them out of gangs.

It’s a town called Hanford — a place I find myself liking to work in a little bit more with each wrong turn I make on a new street.

As a part of this column, I intend to showcase the people and places that make Hanford and the greater Kings County area the place it is. If you know a good Samaritan, an accomplished member of the community, or anyone or thing that deserves a spotlight, reach out to me at (559) 583-2413 or by email at dpromnitz@thehanfordsentinel.com

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