The Dancing Super Sonic Smog Man

Here in Petaluma there is a cheerful dude who is somewhat of a local institution. He quite regularly comes to the corner of D and Lakeville Streets wielding a large, banged-up plywood sign advertising a local smog testing outfit. If he only stood around and held up that sign he wouldn’t be worth much notice but he DANCES with the thing. I mean he…

Two Feet, Two Wheel, Four Legs and then…..?

We regularly hike the hills above Petaluma in Helen Putnam Park. There we see all kinds of people and forms of transportation along the trails. One’s own legs are the most common of course, followed by trail bicycles and finally horses. Today a new mode of transport hove into view. This happy dude was riding his unicycle! all over the park’s steep hills.  Up…

Digital Addiction

In this ever connected world we live in it is becoming increasingly obvious that we are becoming more and more addicted to our digital devices. This young lady was totally absorbed with her cellphone, oblivious of the comings and goings of the world at her elbow. A runaway cement truck could have been coming careening down the sidewalk straight at her, air horn shreeking and…

People You Meet

There is a wonderful county park here in Petaluma called the Helen Putnam Regional park. Helen Putnam was a mayor of this city and instrumental in saving this lovely stretch of land along a high ridge overlooking the river and the city. We walk this area quite regularly because it involves a serious climb to get up to it and we always feel better…

Roger Angell…..Splendid At 93

If you are an aspiring writer or “of a certain age” before you do another thing click on this article in the latest issue of the New Yorker magazine.     New Yorker  Roger Angell is a famous writer of course. His baseball books are probably the best ever written. He has been called that sport’s poet laureate. He has written best-selling fiction and been…

At Drakes Bay Oyster Company Again!

I would like to thank Ginny Cummings, the manager of Drakes Bay, for her warm welcome and the fun tour of her operation I had the other day. Even though my wife and I come from coastal Maine and we do indeed have oyster companies there too, I have never had the chance to look at what goes into producing them up close. I…

Petaluma “Chickaluma” “River City”

Founded by Spanish settlers in 1776, the Petaluma area was part of a 66,000 acre Mexican land grant of 1834 by Governor Jose Figueroa called Rancho Petaluma . American pioneers flocked into Petaluma from the eastern United States after the discovery of gold in California in 1849. The town’s position at the head of the Petaluma River in the heart of the surrounding prosperous farmland was…

Black Clouds and A Purple Lady

The rain around here has stopped for now and the dark clouds that have hung over us for the last few days are thankfully leaking sunlight. They say we have gotten as much as 6 inches of water dumped on Petaluma from the last storm. However, that is not nearly what this region needs. There would seem to be more rain coming soon. Good…

Mistaken Identity

Judging anyone by how they appear is a HUGE mistake we make all the time. Take the Maine artist Brian White for instance. Brian is about as “Downeast” as they come. He lives in rural Maine and if you think his lumberjack looks are the sign of a big mean tough-guy you wouldn’t want to mess with in a bar on Saturday night, you would…

Living Today (ps…There is no tomorrow.)

My wife Sarah had a couple of operations yesterday. They took up most of her day. First, a  dermatologist cut off a cancerous growth from her eyelid. Then, a plastic surgeon reconstructed the war zone left by dermatologist. When it was all over she wasn’t a pretty sight and she felt like hell. Physical trauma seems so random. One minute you’re walking around feeling…