Thursday, July 9, 2015

July and we are having fun!

It has been awhile since my last post, but don't think I've been taking it easy.  We hosted narrow and standard gauge railroad author, historian, and lecturer Bruce MacGregor, who shared the history of the narrow gauge railroad's birth in our valley and how it impacted the type and growth of businesses, changed the lives of people who decided to make San Lorenzo Valley their home, and made our valley a tourist destination by providing a fast and easy way to visit.  What a great time in historic Park Hall in Ben Lomond.  We were lucky to get copies of just published 'Santa Cruz Trains' by author Derek Whaley, who pushed through our order so we could have his book on hand.  I sold out of every copy and had to handle pre-sales.  Now our bookstore is well stocked with 'Santa Cruz Trains' for a gift or train enthusiast.

Our annual Dinner and Auction Fundraiser was lots of fun thanks to our hard-working and creative volunteers who handled the silent and live auctions.  Auctioneer 5th District Supervisor Bruce McPherson kept things lively and lots of fun, especially with the Chardonnay sailing trip, whale watching, 1-day survival class, and two night stay at luxurious Costanoa on the north coast that received lots of bids.  Bid cards popping up all over and friendly challenges back and forth made it a memorable night for everyone.

As I was starting to promote our next historical talk about Pogonip I was asked what Pogonip stood for.  I've heard different explanations of this  unusual name, but never anything definite.  This will be just one question addressed at our upcoming historical talk on Sun, July 26th.  We will be having two speakers sharing the long (going back to the Native Americans) and very diverse (auto camp, women's polo, lime kilns) history.  This is a story that most people think they know, but really don't.  I myself am eager to learn more about this area so close to our valley.  Bring your questions and expand your knowledge about our local history.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Bear With Us exhibit opening

What a great afternoon!  Sun, Feb 15th saw the museum filled with families checking out our latest exhibit about the history and stories of the black and grizzly bears that lived in the Santa Cruz Mountains and surrounding area from the 1700's to the present.  I had a great time pointing out the 'bear cave' to the children for them to crawl into - right in the middle of the museum, but their own private space with pillows to sit on, books, a mat, and a lantern.  Even a bear puppet to play with and have peak out of the cave!  I enjoyed welcoming many of our members who support the museum and attend every exhibit opening, bringing friends and spreading the word to stop by and visit.  We had two new memberships and book sales from the opening.  I talked with people who were interested in learning not only about bears, but also about the overall environment, the other animals that lived with the bears and provided a varied diet to the settlers making a life in San Lorenzo Valley.  People were reading the information panels, comparing their hand to the varied sizes of bear paws, and checking out the different animal traps from the museum's collection.  I had fun talking with so many visitors and hearing their feedback.  I also appreciated the many sponsors of this fun and educational exhibit.   They are listed on our website.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Volunteers make things happen

As Executive Director I am either completely responsible for some tasks or share the responsibility for other tasks, such as a committee member.  My success depends on volunteers who help me in every area that I am responsible for.  From my experience volunteers get involved with an organization for the following reasons: 1)because they like the feeling of giving back to their local community, 2) they feel the organization does good work and contributes to the quality of life of their local community, 3) they are curious about an organization and want to learn more about it on a more intimate level, 4) or they know someone who is already involved on some level with that organization and always speaks very positivity about it.  The bottom line is that volunteers volunteer for a wide range of reasons and the organization couldn't function without a foundation of volunteers with a broad range of skills and experience. 

At the San Lorenzo  Valley Museum we are in the need of volunteers.  I need help in the office with data entering of volunteer hours, sending out membership renewals, tracking bookstore sales, placing event announcements in the various media community calendars, distributing flyers around SLV, and just filing and answering the phone.  I keep getting told that it is easy to find volunteers, but what I have found out in the many years I have been an ED is that everyone loves to help AT an event, but few have time in their busy schedules to commit to a consistent schedule of 2 - 4 hours once or twice a week, 4 hours twice a month, etc.  I can provide training and assign a specific tasks IF I know a volunteer will be at the museum on a specific day for a certain length of time. Also, I am flexible with schedules.

I know that from people driving by the museum it seems like a tranquil place, nothing much happening.  What they don't see is how busy the museum is with working on a new exhibit opening, upcoming events, handling website transactions, data entering of membership renewals and donations information, getting mailings out, visitors stopping by, and a phone that is always ringing.   However, it is fun, rewarding, an eye-opener into our local history, and a feeling of satisfaction knowing you are giving back to YOUR community.  IF this sounds like something you want to get involved with, give me a call or email.  You'll find both on the website.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Successful BC Pizza & Pub Community Night

Wow! What a great night.  The community night sponsored by BC Pizza & Pub owner Justin Acton was packed with SLV locals supporting the SLV Museum.  Many ended up picking up their pizza + other goodies, like myself because of a husband who had knee surgery, and missed our own Lisa Robinson retelling the history of the building.  I'm told that everyone there really enjoyed the short, but very informative, history talk accompanying all the wonderful photos.  I've already heard from one person who was in a Nutcracker performance on the Dolan Theatre stage and used to sit in the projection booth to watch movies.  We have such a great history in our valley and each town, each building tells a story.

I was at the funeral service of Boulder Creek local Emily Ann Locatelli Cress last Monday at St. Micheal's church.  I saw so many people from different sections of our community, but theirs and Emily's paths crossed and left an impression.  She worked her entire life at Johnnie's Market starting when she was 14?.  She started working for Johnnie Montineri and then two more owners.  The changes she saw in the town, community, valley over her 80+ years. 

Another loss just a few days later was Boulder Creek local Jack Kuehl who was a local building contractor, BC Fire District Commissioner, and involved in many areas of our community.  His was a quite service at his home with just a few very close friends.

When we lose our friends we have a hole in our community that can never be quite filled because each one of us is unique.  We give something special to our 'community mix'.  When we volunteer we give back and engage with those who also chose to live in this area.  Those who pass on will be missed in many ways for a long time.