I was recently reminded of a 1912 article published in The Healdsburg Tribune which reported that Healdsburg would soon have eight passenger trains daily. The article describes the increased convenience for Healdsburg businessmen who would be able to make a round trip to the City in one day, and for the San Francisco businessman “whose family might be spending the summer at one of the many resorts” in our area. I assume the link across the bay to San Francisco was a ferry from Sausalito. Anyway, it sounds pretty good to me and I hope I'm alive and kicking if and when the SMART train is running along the same route as 1912 trains and replicates their service.
In 1988, I made my first visit to Healdsburg. Six months later, my first job out of college included Healdsburg. I was hooked. The town reminded me of my valley community: a dusty working town with a Sunsweet dehydrator, several lumber mills, a river and lots of families. There was a diversity of culture with a common goal of making our community great.
In September of last year I sent a commentary to the Tribune from Arequipa, Peru, called Taxis and Amigos. In it I gave an account of a 20 minute taxi ride from the seminary where I teach to the school where my wife Bonnie teaches. The taxi driver was Raul and he is also a minister in La Iglesia Torre Fuerte, the Strong Tower Church, and independent evangelical congregation. During the twenty minute ride we shared our faith in Christ, prayed together, and promised to keep in touch. I’m back in Arequipa and Raul and I did get in touch by e-mail. Last week he and I and his wife Shirley met for lunch at a restaurant near the church where the seminary is located. After lunch we walked over to the church. Once again we prayed together and sang a couple of songs. Shirley told me I have a nice voice and Raul said, I’ll bet you don’t need a mircophone when you preach.
Crowds can be powerful, dangerous, glorious, murderous. Think of the crowds in the streets of cities in the middle east in what has been called the Arab Spring, a spring that has blossomed in hope for justice and freedom, a spring that has also suffered the chill of brutal repression. Think of the crowds of the Occupy events around the US, citizens gathering in protest, in hope, in resentment, and sometimes in crazy violence.
Readers owe a debt of gratitude to the Board of Directors of the Healdsburg Tourism Improvement District (HTID). We have rarely seen a letter that provided, word for word, greater entertainment value than the board’s response to a letter suggesting that transient tax money should now be reallocated from tourism promotion to low-income housing. We encourage readers to dig through their old papers, or go to the Tribune online, to again enjoy with us this amazing missive.