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Longtime publisher remembered


Last updated 6/4/2020 at 5:36am | View PDF

Frank Wallace "Wally" Reed

Frank Wallace "Wally" Reed, founding co-publisher of the Wasco Tribune and former co-publisher of The Shafter Press, died this week at 90 after a fall at his home. Several staff members of the paper worked with him and his family during the nearly half-century Reed Print owned the papers. Their thoughts are on Page 7; an obituary is on Page 8.

This story was on the last front page of one of his original papers, the Arvin Tiller, before it closed in on Dec. 6, 2017. The writer is a former Reed Print reporter and columnist, and president of the Arvin Historical Society.


Don Burkett and I often talk "newspaper" before church or after church. Don thinks he could be classified as columnists because we have our own columns in the Arvin Tiller and Lamont Reporter

My first column was in the late 1960s and early 70s in the Arvin Tiller.

I even had my picture in my column, "Look who's here." This covered Arvin's newborn babies.

This article is not about Don or me; it is about Frank Wallace "Wally" Reed, president and co-publisher of Reed Print Inc.

It was about 60 years ago when I went into the Arvin Tiller office on Main Street to talk to Wally about a job.

I got the job, but I wasn't on the payroll. Wally explained that I would be selling the news to him. I would be paid for the amount of news I submitted. I would be paid 15 cents per inch of newsprint.

I was so excited when I turned in my first news articles. I remember well that Wally said, " I thought that I told you to double-space." I told him I had done that. He said, "Not across, but up and down. " I wasn't a typist, but he didn't run me off." Wally was born Jan. 8, 1930 to Frank and Val Reed of Chadron, Neb. The Reed family moved to Arvin in 1939. Wally started at the Arvin School, located on B Street, in the fifth grade.

Wally said their first home in Arvin was in the apartments in the alley between Tucker Street and Main Street behind the post office. I remember them living in a very pretty brick red house on Tucker Street close to Stockton Street.

Wally attended and graduated from the Kern Union High School District, currently Bakersfield High School. The Arvin kids were transported to and from school by bus. This was during the War.

It was impossible to take part in sports or after-school activities Wally gave it a try with sports, but it didn't work out. If you missed your bus, it was a long walk home.

In 1946, Wally took flying lessons on the dirt strip located on the east side of Weedpatch Highway. It didn't go through to Union Avenue until the late 40s or early 50s.

He received his pilot's license in March of 1968. He and Bill Frantovich were partners in a plane. When Steve's business had financial problems, he sold his partnership to Wally.

Wally shared many airplane stories with me, but I can't do them justice. I am going to ask Wally to write them all down for me.

Wally's head was mostly in the clouds until he met a pretty young girl from Taft named Janet. She was more interested in his friend Genene Buchanon. That didn't last long.

On a trip home from L.A. with a buddy, Wally decided to take a side trip to Taft to give one more try with Janet. A courtship began, and Jan and Wally were married Feb. 7, 1948.

Jan and Wally were blessed with four children – Bill, Don, Marta and Robert. Marta chose another path, with the U.S. Post Office.

Wally and Jan have traveled all over the U.S. in motor homes and travel trailers, as well as on many cruises.

Wally has been recognized by the Arvin Lions Club for his 70 years as a member. He was also one of the founders of the Arvin Bear Boosters' Club.

Wally had two brothers, Gary and Tony. I might add, Tony was born on Wally's 12th birthday. Wally's mother, Val, Wally and Tony all share Jan. 8 as their birthday. Wally was born on his mom's birthday.

I have not written all of the interesting information on Wally's dad and grandfather. I wanted to write about "Wally" – son, husband, father and grandfather. Jan and Wally have six grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

P.S. Jan and Wally met at Kern Park. Jan's family was on a picnic, and Wally and Gene Buchanon were out on a drive at the park. They met at the swimming pool.


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