Pinky, the Roller Skating Donkey

Chick and Pinky with children (

In 1908 the American Eucalyptus Company bought 200 acres of land from C.O.Barker, with the hopes of growing a commercial Eucalyptus grove. This land was known as the “Grove” and was west of the city limits of Banning California. However, the Eucalyptus never really panned out for the corporation and by 1925 the northern section was subdivide into Sylvan Acres. The boundaries of this area were described as being between Sunset Ave. and Sunrise Ave., north of the railroad tracks and south of Wilson Str., by 1927 it officially became part of Banning. The area was known to be the entertainment section of town at that time, complete with a cafe named Julian’s, a truck stop, and the famous outdoor dance hall called Juicey’s. It stayed a popular place until just after WWII.

Sometime around 1950 a roller rink was established north of Ramsey Blvd and east of Sunset. By 1951 it was purchased by Charles “Chick” Hoover and renamed the Banning Roller Rink. But Chick was kind of a showman and was looking for an attraction for the rink. This is when he trained a burro to be able to use roller skates, and he was known as Pinky the Roller Skating Donkey… Pinky was a part of the Cherry Festival and was on TV and toured at Las Vegas. He spent 15 of his 17 years with Chick. In 2013 at the age of 90 Chick passed away, he was a WWII veteran, patented the Pres-N-Snap upholstery tool, owned a Laundromat and the roller rink. There are many who still live in Banning or the surrounding area that can recall their time spent with Pinky and Chick…






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