In 1927, Balderamo “Baldy” Ramos was born in the small town of Marchal, Spain. At the time Marchal’s population was roughly 500 people. Being the oldest of three boys and a girl, Baldy Ramos’ earliest memories are of being surrounded by family members and the elders in his community. The air of his childhood always seemed thick with the smells of fresh baked bread from the town’s nearby ovens and heavy with many brightly colored singing canaries, attracted to the local natural water springs. When Marchal’s population began to dwindle, Ramos’ father left to find work; first looking in Cuba, Florida and Pennsylvania. He found work, at last, it in Vacaville, which had a ready and thriving community of Spaniards. Ramos’ father sent for his young family. Ramos remembers they took a dangerously stormy journey to New York in the USS President Harding, where he got a memorable first look at the Statue of Liberty, followed by a train ride across the county to his father. In 1938, when Ramos was 11, his father made a down payment on a ranch in Winters. While honoring him at Elder Day, Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor asked him if he had worked on the ranch as a boy. Smiling, Ramos responded, “Oh yeah. I think that’s why he bought it!” The family ranch grew apricots, peaches and almonds. Ramos vividly remembers the process. “There was a cutting shed, and we hired people to come cut and put the fruit into housing. We’d light it up with sulfur overnight and there we’d have dried apricots.” Ramos added, “They were known for the amount of sugar they had, and all these salesman came over, and boy, they cleaned us out of apricots,” he said, chuckling with the memory. Ramos remembers attending Winters High School with classmate and previous Elder Day honoree Richard Rominger. There Ramos learned clerical work and typing skills that helped him in his Air Force service during the Korean War. Ramos was then, and is still, an avid dancer. He pursued his passion as a dance instructor for Arthur Murray at a studio in Sacramento, until the military draft redirected his career. “It wasn’t a particular dream of mine,” said Ramos with a shrug, adding “But the government, very politely, told me, ‘C’mere!’,” said Ramos, smiling and curling his finger. Ramos went to Camp Beale, (now named Beale Air Force Base) in Marysville, and later was stationed in Morocco for six years. There he met a beautiful woman at a local dance. She later became his wife, mother to his three children and grandmother to his well-loved grandson. Ramos says the advice he gives his grandson extends to other young people, “Stay as you are! You are wonderful!” After the war Ramos came home and became a local barber in Sacramento. He didn’t care for it, and returned home to become a mail carrier for Winters’ first ever US Post Office. Reading from the the biography summary conducted by Elder Day Saylor said, “It says here you want to be remembered as a ‘lover’ not a ‘fighter.’” Mr. Ramos turned visibly solemn. With decorum he replied, “Well, I’m not a fighter, but I don’t brag about being a good lover.” Ramos is a high-powered machine enthusiast. He has owned and enjoyed Indian and Harley motorcycles and still loves aviation. He often goes to air shows at Beale, Mather and the Reno air-races. His little dog, Fawn, accompanies him on regular shopping sprees in Vacaville, and on outings to cafes with family. “Baldy” Ramos has benefited Winters for more than 80 years now. The Elder Day Council honors him for his commitment to Winters, and to promote such long-held achievement in the community. This profile is part of the Express’ 2019 Elder Day profiles featuring individuals honored at this year’s Elder Day event.]]>
Balderamo "Baldy" Ramos honored at Elder Day
Balderamo “Baldy” Ramos and his valuable experiences are a direct connection to our rich local history. He was honored by the Elder Day Council for his commitment to Winters.