The Bacigalupi family is well known throughout the Oakdale area. Not only for the infamous H-B Saloon on F Street, but also for their philanthropy including sponsoring the Cowboy Golf Tournament, the annual AFC-NFC Championship Tailgate Party to benefit local causes, donations to Spirit of Oakdale, Community Sharing, the Lions Club Children’s Christmas Shopping Tour and several contributions to Oakdale High School sports.
The family will receive honors at this year’s Oakdale Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner, being presented with the coveted ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ at the 69th Annual Awards on Friday, Jan. 16. Hours for the dinner are from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., with festivities staged at the Gene Bianchi Community Center, 110 S. Second Ave., Oakdale.
“I got my donation spirit from my grandfather,” said Mike Bacigalupi, 62, third generation of “Bachi’s” in Oakdale. “He was a very giving person.”
The Bacigalupi family landed in Oakdale when family patriarch, David Bacigalupi, then a distribution salesman for Shell Oil, moved here in 1924.
After owning the Club Pool Hall, David Bacigalupi, in 1953 with Frank Hedrick, established the H-B saloon as we know it. He later bought out Hedrick in 1958 and it has been a family-run icon ever since.
David’s son Glenn, now 86, worked for his longtime friend A.L. Gilbert, and also assisted at the bar with his father. On May 6, 1950, Glenn married Bernadine Brennon, who became a 10-time woman’s champion in golf in Oakdale, and they have been married 64 years with three adult children.
“She’s the driving point behind all of us,” Mike said about his mother. “Even with my boys now, when Noni says so, it goes.”
In 1978 Glenn, also known as “Bachi” handed over the reins of the H-B to his oldest son Mike.
“I told him you’re going to be on that side (of the bar),” Glenn said, pointing to behind the bar. “I’m going to now be on this side.”
Since that time “Bachi” has a well-established seat at the well-frequented saloon.
Glenn and Bernie’s daughter, Kim also has been behind the bar since completing school at Cal State Stanislaus in the late ‘70s.
“She’s the organizer of the place,” Mike said.
“I got my B.A. in psychology at Stan State and then got my ‘BS’ at the bar,” joked Kim.
Their youngest son, David, teaches at Oakdale High School and is the school’s track coach.
Throughout the years the Bacigalupi family was a friend to the local rodeo cowboys offering their ranch as a place to stay during both the rodeo season and off-season.
“They were and still are a great community family,” said Oakdale Cowboy Museum Director Christie Camarillo. “A lot of cowboys have thought of the Bacigalupi family as their extended family.”
Mike recalled that his grandfather and father both were in the giving spirit by financially helping cowboys that were injured or had other hardships or offering the ranch as a place to stay.
In addition to the previous mentioned causes, the Bacigalupi family was instrumental in re-establishing the Quarterback Club in 2003, with Mike still serving as the vice-president and hosting the meetings at H-B as well as hosting league meetings of the VOL.
“The H-B has almost been like a community hall,” said Mike.
Camarillo wouldn’t disagree.
“The H-B is an Oakdale tradition,” Camarillo said. “It was the place cowboys, ranchers, workers – everyone – would gather to find out about feed, weather, and livestock. Big deals would be done on cocktail napkins.”
To this day the H-B still tracks rainfall statistics in the saloon.
“The Oakdale community has been a good home to us,” said Glenn. “It’s been good to my family, our business, and is a great place to be from.”