Cloren "Corky" and Laura Wynn have been selected to serve as the 2004 Lindsay Orange Blossom Festival Honored Couple.
The Wynns were chosen for their 44 years of community service in Lindsay. They will take their place of honor in the OBF parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 24.
Corky and Laura were both born and raised in southern Illinois, in a small town much like Lindsay. Both graduated high school in 1952. But they didn't actually meet until Fall 1954, and were married in April 1955. Their son Jeff was born in 1957. Laura had quit her job at Pure Oil Company where she was a secretary in the geology department, work she found fascinating. Corky was employed as an appliance repairman at an appliance store.
In 1959 they drove to California to attend Laura's sister, Clidella's wedding. Laura's grandparents and her Uncle Walter and Aunt Bertha already lived in Lindsay. You know what happened. They were back the following year to stay, leaving behind the several inches of snow in Olney as they drove toward spring bulbs blooming in Lindsay where they arrived precisely at noon on April 1, 1960.
Corky had been promised a management job at Sequoia Creamery in Lindsay. Laura got a job at Porterville State Hospital as a typist. Their son Gregory was born in 1962.
Corky served as a volunteer firefighter in the 1963-1965 era which had major flooding. He drove the police up and down Tulare Road in his "Scout" because the water was too high for police cars.
Life was good, so good that Corky purchased Sequoia Creamery in 1966 while Laura studied bookkeeping with CPA Don Bessey, so she was able to do the creamery books. Now there was time to get involved in civic projects.
Corky helped charter a local chapter of the Jaycees and served as secretary/treasurer of the group. He also got pegged to serve as the Jaycees' Santa for two or three years. The Jaycees revived the Orange Blossom Festival which had ceased being an annual event for a number of years. It has continued ever since. Corky was named Jaycee Member of the Year and also Jaycee Employer of the Year as owner of Sequoia Creamery.
In 1972 the Wynns sold the Sequoia Creamery after which Corky went to work for Dairymans Cooperative Creamery in Tulare where he became Vice President of service, feed and store divisions. Twenty-one years later he retired.
Laura took her bookkeeping skills to Perma Rain Irrigation in Lindsay where she stayed for 11 years. After Perma Rain changed hands, Laura took an accounting job at LoBue Bros., retiring from that job 13 years later, in 1998.
The Wynns have given a tremendous amount of time to the Lindsay Kiwanis and the Ono Sister City Program. Corky was president of the Kiwanis when the Mayor of Ono City came to visit Lindsay in 1973, during Orange Blossom Festival week. The mayor was so taken with the Lindsay High School Band performance during the parade, that he invited them all to Japan in the spring of 1974, to perform for a dedication of the new Ono City Chamber of Commerce-Civic Center. It took an incredible amount of planning and fund-raising. Their son, Jeff, was in the LHS band and got to go on the trip.
This was followed in the fall by approximately 80 guests from Ono City visiting Lindsay. Of course the Wynns were hosts, and in the spring of 1975, they visited Ono City where they participated in a tree planting ceremony. In 1979 the Wynns took an Ono City exchange student into their home so he could attend Lindsay High School his senior year. Masaki Kobayashi, who graduated LHS with Greg Wynn. Masaki returned to Japan then cam back to attend College of the Sequoias where he graduated in three semesters, staying with the Wynns for the first year. They consider him their third son. Corky and Mike Imoto chaired the annual Teriyaki Dinner for 25 years. The dinner raises money to send LHS students and teachers to Ono City each year.
A big part of Kiwanis at this time was sponsoring a competitive swim meet at the Lindsay Pool. Of course, Corky was very involved, often as a timer and sometimes even a cook. Laura worked as one of the record keepers and typists for the events, which required speed and accuracy, keeping track of name, club and time for each participant which was posted quickly after the event.
They were a 4-H family with the boys raising many animals and receiving many awards. They served as Project and Community Leaders of the Lindsay 4-H Club with more than 100 4-H participants.
The Wynns received life membership to the Jefferson School Parent Teachers Association.
Corky was a natural Santa, and served as Santa Claus for the Japanese Community (JACL) for several years. He was also a pretty good auctioneer and handled the Washington PTA candy and cake auction at the annual carnival for several years. He also helped Lester Chapman organize the Washington School Carnival.
Laura has been a member of the Gardenia Circle Garden Club since 1975. In her bio she wrote about their initial arrival in Lindsay, "My grandfather loved his yard and garden and had flowers everywhere. The space between the sidewalk and street was filled with orange ice plant that was a solid mass of orange blooms along the front of the lot and a line of blooming roses were along each side of the house. They were so beautiful, I never forgot the sight." She has been garden club president twice and secretary/treasurer many times. Laura was a member of the now defunct Lindsay Woman's Club for several years, and has set a table at the Hospital Guild Breakfast for many years. Clearly she loves the domestic arts.
The Wynns enjoy traveling in their RV and spending time with their six grandchildren. Greg and his wife, Tori, live in San Luis Obispo with their four children, Aubrey, Jake, Sara and Eva. Jeff and his wife, Barbara, have two sons, Jeremy and Shawn, and reside in Taft where the boys are in high school.
Congratulations to Corky and Laura Wynn, this year's OBF Honored Couple, on their many years of community service and their beautiful family.