Jim Meservy, the 2010 Male Citizen of the Year, has been around Tracy a good long time. Fifty-five years, to be exact. And the longtime resident, volunteer and honest-to-goodness-humble man shared some of the changes he's seen when I talked to him today for an upcoming article on his COTY honor.
Because he hasn't just seen some of the changes. "I've seen all of them, you could say."
Most vivid of his recollections was when Interstate 205 was laid north of town, turning 11th Street into a ghost boulevard.
It was so devoid of cars, he said, "You could almost shoot a cannon down it."
That was bad news for Meservy, who owned the Chevron service station at 11th and Adams streets (a station that's now a Valero). He said it cut business by about 50 to 75 percent.
But the cars eventually returned to the city's main east-west thoroughfare, as any afternoon drive down the old Lincoln Highway will easily demonstrate. In fact, from what Meservy told me, it looks an awful lot like it did back in the day, when 11th Street was main street.