If you have lemons ... thank you
And thanks for the memories of the Murakami family
It’s the time of year where lemons are abundant on lemon trees. In a Nextdoor post, a Sexton Road neighbor offered free Meyer lemons on a table and kindly asked that “you limit yourself to 20.” If you don’t have a lemon tree yourself, I’ll bet you have your eye on a neighbor who does. See what their limit is.
Public Bicycle Patrol
I ran across Dan and Sarah Gurney at the entrance to Ragle Park. They were looking rather official in neon-yellow safety vests with the words: “Public Bicycle Patrol” on the front and back, along with name tags. Longtime City Council member and former mayor, Sarah Gurney stepped down last year. She and her husband have taken on new duties, patrolling the streets of Sebastopol in their matching Dutch-brand “Public” bikes. Dan says they are the most comfortable bikes. Sarah admits the vests are mock-official but she wants to promote use of bicycles in and around town. They do not plan on issuing any citations to motorists.
How much rain?
Did you know that the Sebastopol Public Library has a weather station and it reports real-time weather data? Below is a summary from the library’s About web page at about 10:45 am today.
There are several different ways to find local weather stations online. I like Weather Underground. Each of the small circles below is an independent weather station located on a map of this area; the number is the current temperature. (Link to Sebastopol weather).
Housing versus Hotels
In a response to our story. “Can new hotels and two-way streets save Sebastopol businesses?,” Helen Baum commented: “We don’t need another hotel in town. We need affordable housing for permanent residents so there is a local workforce.”
How does that discussion happen? We should be talking about building more housing in Sebastopol, even beyond what the State requires for affordable housing.
More Memories of the Masuoka-Murakami Family
Alan Murakami was on the Sebastopol City Limits podcast to talk about his book, “Peter Masuoka: The Uncle I Never Knew.” (Link to podcast episode). We received a few emails with special memories of Alan’s father, Jim Murakami and family members.
Jim Horn wrote:
I’ve known Alan for several years. He was the school psychologist for the Gravenstein school district back when I was a trustee there. In addition, he was a leader of our successful campaign to dissolve the Palm Drive Health Care District.
But I knew his dad before I knew him. Back in 1994, we formed a partnership, Murakami, Myers and Horn Engineers, that lasted until Jim’s retirement in 1997. I think Jim’s life would make interesting reading as well. I only know a few stories.
As Alan discussed, in 1942, Jim was pulled out of Analy High School and shipped off to the internment camp in Colorado, leaving via the Santa Rosa train station. It was his first train trip ever. Fifty years later, he was the electrical engineer for the renovation of the long-vacant train station into a hospitality center (and now a SMART station).
Like his brother-in-law Peter, Jim was later shipped off to Europe to fight for the country that had detained him for several years. He would’ve graduated from Analy around 1945. Sixty years later, in 2005, Analy presented Jim and several other detainees with honorary diplomas. My daughter Katie graduated from Analy the same year, so I got to watch my daughter and former business partner graduate on the same night.
Here’s an article written after Jim’s death in 2012:
Japanese-American Advocate James Murakami Dies (Press Democrat)
Greg Jacobs wrote:
Alan Murakami, and his sister Leslie, were on my swim team, The Sea Serpents. I have known Alan and his parents quite well over the years. Margaret was, of course, Pete Masuoka's younger sister.
My mom went to Analy with Pete and his brother. Pete was one class ahead of her. When Pete was killed, it hit Analy hard. He was very popular and a great athlete. My mom always talked about him when I was growing up in Sebastopol. My uncle was Tom Barlow, who was saved by the 442nd in WW2. His family worked with many of the local Japanese apple ranchers. And Tom continued doing so after coming home from the war. That is another story. Small town, no?
Sebastopol Times is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support our work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.