CARLSBAD — The Carlsbad City Council unanimously voted to name the new barn theater at Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park the “Kindle Theater” after Joan and Alan Kindle. After casting their vote, Mayor Matt Hall and his fellow council members rose to their feet applauding the Kindle couple sitting in the council chambers for their outstanding work over the years.
The official name dedication is expected to occur in August.
Mick Calarco, recreation services manager, proposed the idea to City Council on July 12.
A recent interior barn restoration catapulted the idea.
“Council Policy 48 affords the City Council the opportunity to name municipal facilities in honor of individuals,” he said. “Recently, the consideration for naming the barn theatre, the Kindle Theatre, came before the Parks and Recreation Commission and the Commission considered this and thought it would be fitting to name theatre after Joan and Alan Kindle.”
Joan Kindle said she and her husband were shocked when they heard the news.
“We were stunned speechless, which if you know us, well it’s hard to do,” she said. “Our volunteer service to Carlsbad has never been about us — it was about the community.”
Joan said to have their names tied to Carrillo Ranch was a bit embarrassing at first, but once it sunk in, that all changed.
“I feel that if our names are attached to a project this magnificent, others may step up and do what we have done; it’s a good deed that has no end,” she said.
Calarco said to sum up the Kindles’ contribution at the Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park was no easy task. Their efforts and passion toward the preserving the project was immense.
“It all started in 1985, when they moved to Carlsbad and began to wonder what was down in that canyon adjacent to their house,” Calarco said. The couple discovered a ranch, an adobe, and a site rich with history.
Combined, Joan and Alan have a total of 52 years of volunteer service in the city of Carlsbad.
Their long list of recognitions include Citizens of the Year, a Community Education award from San Diego-based Save Our Heritage Organization, and a Volunteer Curator title designated by the City Council to Joan Kindle
Over time, Calarco said, Joan has built amazing collections of artifacts, photos and memorabilia.
“She understood the importance of preserving history and what it would mean when the park opened for the life and times of Leo Carrillo,” he said.
She also worked closely with city staff members to get the site listed with the National Register of Historical Places and played an instrumental role in establishing the Carrillo Ranch Trust Fund.
Alan is both founder and president of The Friends of Carrillo Ranch and his force in providing education and interpreting the ranch’s history has been described as outstanding. Before the park even opened, Alan produced a historic slideshow.
“Many people have good ideas but few people actually carry through with them and that’s what makes Alan extraordinary,” Calarco said.
For Alan, listening to Calarco was an-eye opener. He said he never really has looked back to see all the ground he, his wife, and The Friends of Carrillo Ranch have covered.
“I can’t believe we did all that,” Alan said. “Thank you so much for this honor.”
Both Joan and Alan agreed, the help they received from city staff and council members has been sterling. Joan called staff members five-star employees.
“They did research for me, gave me names of contacts for the county, state and federal level,” she said. “I could never have done what I did without their help and that is absolutely the truth.”
In their own unique way, council members said that without the couples’ involvement the city would not have the Carrillo Ranch of today.
“You truly have given us a great gift and we truly thank you for that,” Mayor Matt Hall said.