Jim Tovias, Dan Robles, Jim McCoy, Jim Garfield, Rey Frutos

Rey Frutos, Jim Garfield, Jim McCoy, Dan Robles and Jim Tovias honored, really roasted

November 02, 2001
Santa Paula News
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesIt was all macho all the time when the “Macho Macho Man” dinner was held Oct. 24 at the Community Center, sponsored by the Santa Paula Women of History Committee (SPWHC) and this year “honoring” Rey Frutos, Jim Garfield, Jim McCoy, Dan Robles and Jim Tovias.Macho food included hot dogs and hamburgers, macho decorations included high school photos of the recipients as well as newspaper tablecloths strewn with miniature candy bars and peanuts.Master of Ceremonies Arnie Dowdy reminded those in attendance that the 5th annual “Macho Macho Man” was benefiting the Habitat for Humanity and the Group Against Graffiti. Attending the event were Supervisor Kathy Long and Councilmen Jim Procter and Rick Cook.The Santa Paula Women of History Committee again went out their way to “Select those not deserving the award,” noted Dowdy, who with George Morgan wrote the biographies of each recipient, who each received a letter opener, proclamation from Rep. Elton Gallegly and bag of peanuts.Rey Frutos was a Christmas baby who has spent a lifetime being cheated out of birthday presents, said Morgan. “Most people know him just as ‘Rey,’ a name he likes because he proudly reminded us, means king,” as his nine younger siblings can attest to. Always a dedicated and successful student, Rey was a perfectionist: his school attendance record was perfect from kindergarten through 8th grade! A high school athlete, after graduation Rey was drafted into the Army and served in Vietnam, earning numerous medals for valor and heroic service. He always wanted to marry a Carmen, “any Carmen!” and finally reached that goal, as well as being an integral part of the elementary school district and Little League baseball most of his adult life, even coaching an Ojai team known as the “unpicked” to eventual victory.Don Johnson noted that the next recipient’s mother wanted to name him after a U.S. President, but “couldn’t think of any so she named him Jim Garfield.” Raised on a vineyard, Jim gathered eggs for sale, and his father believed that wading through chicken manure barefoot led to Jim’s large feet. He attended Fenn College in Ohio, where Jim says the school mascot was a beer bottle. Jim met his future bride, Carole, when they both worked in a rubber company that specialized in gaskets; it was a rubber product of a different kind that the company received that started the romance. They came to Santa Paula in 1964 and he became a Realtor and is now the owner of Cal West Real Estate. He is a former Councilman and Mayor and was honored as Citizen of the Year in 1986.
It’s not that Jim McCoy is a bad boss, said Ron Merson, but “you know what boss spelled backwards is. . .double SOB!” McCoy is indeed the real McCoy that is descended from the famous feuding family - no one is sure which side! - who was named Jimmy Lee Grand McCoy at birth. While a student at the University of Arkansas, Jim tried out for the professional baseball team, the Kansas City A’s. “. . .his favorite team because he could spell their name!” He moved to Santa Paula in 1954 and went into the auto repair and towing business in 1960 following a stint in the Army and wedded bliss to Marie. Jim served on the City Council and as Mayor; has been President and Lieutenant Governor of Optimists, was a Chamber Board Director and President, and was the driving source behind Good Morning Santa Paula!Dressed up as his alter ego, Conan the Librarian, aka Dan Robles, once crashed with several friends a high school girls’ only Highjinks party in drag where he was the last unmasked. “This wanton cross-dressing made Dan so popular that became an instant write-in candidate for ASB president,” said Gene Marzec. He was elected but banned from assuming office. Very active in the theater program, Dan played the Great and Terrible Oz in one production which “prepared him for his position on the school board.” He dreamed of becoming a teacher but after receiving his masters degree decided to join Blanchard Community Library. In 1988, he added the prestigious Allie Beth Martin Award for promoting books and literacy - the only Californian ever honored - and has garnered awards from various clubs and organizations for his efforts on behalf of the library. He has been involved in many clubs and programs often in a leadership position.6th grader Jim Tovias hid his bad report card from his parents although his mother easily found out: she worked for the school district. By high school he was into music, said Eddie Arguelles, and played trumpet and trombone for a group called Tempting Soul, too tempting for Jim at times. Jim “parlayed his degree in business administration into a job as a janitor,” and then as a bricklayer for his father. He also bar tended, often sending unescorted women a free “drink and a wink.” He went into insurance and married Martha; in college his favorite pastime was sitting in the park and drinking beer, and “Now that he’s married, has a family, and is a respected business man, that’s still his favorite pastime!” Jim was essential in passing the SPUHS $5.5 million bond, for many years ran the 4th of July fireworks display and helped raised scholarship funds for deserving students.“The only thing the Macho Man on the cover of the scripts and I have in common is that we have no hair on our chests,” said Tovias.McCoy perhaps said it best, thanking the SPWHC and noting, “We men can’t say enough the women who are our partners.”

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