SMITH: Lake Nicasio loss echoes the past

The loss earlier this month of prominent West Marin rancher Richard Giacomini, whose pickup plunged into Lake Nicasio, is doubly painful to relatives and friends old enough to remember the accident at the same reservoir that took his mother's life just before Thanksgiving 45 years ago.

Giacomini was a young man when his parents, Waldo and Louise, took a drive on Nov. 19, 1967. The car left Point Reyes-Petaluma Road and tumbled into the reservoir.

Waldo managed to struggle out of the submerged car but he could not save his wife. He died a decade ago at age 88.

The Giacominis' son was 71 when, for reasons not yet known, his Silverado pickup smashed through a guardrail, also on Point Reyes-Petaluma Road, and plunged into the reservoir.

The Giacominis have been major players in West Marin agriculture since Petaluma native Waldo moved to Point Reyes Station in 1938 and during WWII set about to turn a vast stretch of marshland into a thriving dairy.

Most of the former ranch is owned now by the National Parks Service, which has restored it to its natural state and calls it the Waldo Giacomini Wetlands.


Sebastopol's Gene and Peggy Raymond dread the first day of December.

They've lived for 20 years in a rented house with their 24-year-old son, Tommy, who can't walk or speak and much of the time requires a ventilator.

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