District Fair


September 27 - 30, 2017

Updated October 2016

2013 Grand Marshal Lee Hammond

        Lee Kringle Hammond was born September 5’th, 1931 to Mildred and Louis Hammond in Selma, California. His family settled in Caruthers in 1909 on the corner of West and Nebraska, which is now owned and farmed by His son, Matthew. He is a 2’nd generation immigrant from Denmark on both of his   parent’s sides. He attended Caruthers Elementary and High School, then completed three semesters at Reedley Junior College but dropped out to enlist in the United States Air Force following the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950. While in the USAF, he was an aviation mechanic for the Strategic Air Command, where he worked on Engine #3 on a series of B-36 Bombers. He attended Basic training at Lackland AFB in Texas and was stationed at Travis AFB for the duration of his service. During the 2’nd year of his tour of duty he married his first wife, Doris Helding. They remained happily married until her untimely death due to cancer in 1984. Lee and Doris had two children, Karen Hammond-McGough and Matthew Hammond. Upon being honorably discharged in 1955, he went to work for his father at his company: Hammond Implements, a car and tractor dealership in Hanford. Soon after, he took up the plow and began farming 120 acres around Caruthers, where he raised black eye beans, cotton and grapes (Wine and raisins). At his peak, he was farming over 280 acres. In later years, he stopped raising beans and cotton, switching over to almonds and olives while still remaining faithful to his grapes- or as some would say, his true love. In 1985 he married his 2’nd and current wife: Elizabeth Budwig, a teacher/administrator at Raisin City Elementary for almost 25 years and later the administrator of West Park Charter Academy Independent Study For 10 years (now retired). With her came five step-children: Jeff, Robert, Debbie, Michelle and Christine. He now spends his days enjoying his semi-retirement and having meaningful and philosophical conversations with his German Shepard: Harley.

         Lee is known to most everyone he knows as a giver, never a taker. He has always been willing to lend a helping hand, asking nothing in return. Truly, if anyone had a piece of equipment that needed repair, he would fix it for no charge. He is also known as a gear-head, able to fix up or create any piece of machinery he comes across. A known collector of antiquities, he has a near unfathomable number of near ancient machines, or as his wife would call them: Yard art. A prideful and disciplined man, he has never failed to complete a task requested of him, or wavered in his morals in any way, shape or form. Aside from all these things, he is known as a dutiful and loyal husband, father and grandfather.

        Despite having much of his time consumed by the farm and his family, Lee has always made time to serve his community and go above and beyond what is asked of him just for the sake of helping. When he first began farming, he served on the board of the Cal Bean and Grain coop and later joined the Sun Maid Raisin Growers Coop. He also served on the Caruthers YMCA council, where he sang in the Y-4 Quartet with Paul Giddings, Don Satterburg, Dave Barber and their pianist Chris Satterburg. Throughout his life and to this day he has been an active member in Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, where he has spent countless hours singing in the church choir and participating in any event that happened to come along, such as working at the Church’s food booth at the Caruthers district fair. He and his family are long time supporters of many local organizations, such as The Lions Club, Caruthers School’s athletic events and the District Fair itself.

        The Caruthers District Fair holds a special place in the hearts of his family as his Aunt Naoma Hammond-Anderson was the very first fair queen and his father, Louis served as Grand Marshall. Truly, he has a spent his life doing whatever he can for Caruthers, out of love for his community and the people within it. It is an honor and privilege for him to serve as Grand Marshall of the 2013 Caruthers District Fair.