“You know you’re a local ...,” a story about many of the things that make Sonoma County unique, generated a lot of mail. Some letter writers contributed their own items to the list. One voiced her opinion about the wisdom of making fun of Sonoma County drivers.
If you missed it, the story is posted at pd2go.net/t2lRWF.
Here’s what they had to say.
I know I’m from Sonoma County because:
I remember when Santa Rosa had a population of 50,000.
I remember my grandfather asking my parents, “Why are you moving up to the country?”
I remember when the land where Coddingtown is was a prune orchard that flooded every year.
I remember when you could drive the backroads anywhere in the county and be the only car or bike.
I remember when Rosenburg’s was the only department store in town.
I remember when wine wasn’t “an industry.”
I remember when Sebastopol was about the apples.
I remember when there was “nothing” in Healdsburg.
I remember catching frogs and pollywogs in Santa Rosa Creek with my friends.
I remember when all the houses on our street had a Santa Rosa plum tree planted near the curb. When they were in bloom, you could look down the street and see a line of pink blossoms.
I remember walking to Village School with my friends and never being afraid.
I remember when there was a Sonoma County Public Library in Montgomery Village. That was before the downtown branch was built.
I remember the old court house that used to be in Court House Square. They said it wasn’t earthquake safe, but when they went to knock it down it wouldn’t budge.
— CYNDI ROGERS , Cloverdale
A traffic jam was 12 cars stuck behind a farmer’s tractor on 101.
You could cross 101 to get to SRJC from the west side.
Our congressman was a Republican and proud of it.
Your great great grandfather gave his name to a creek in 1864, in what was to become Guerneville.
Your great grandfather was married in Occidental in 1877.
Your grandfather was married in Santa Rosa in 1912.
There were no wild turkeys.
We were part of Northern California and not part of the Bay Area.
I could go on and on but I won’t.
— KENT WHITED , Santa Rosa
I loved the list and was delighted to qualify on quite a few of the items. Our family moved to Petaluma on New Year’s Day 1980, but I still feel like a newbie around some folks in town.
I had a woman inform me, shortly after I moved here, that only people whose families had been here for several generations could be considered native Petalumans, and so the twins I was expecting could not be called native. She wasn’t kidding.
There is one more item to add to the list: You have a “turkey whoppin’ stick” that you need to chase the wild turkeys out of your backyard garden. It fell off the neighbor’s eucalyptus tree.
— THERESA HAIRE , Petaluma
While it’s true that deer will graze our gardens here in Petaluma and elsewhere in Sonoma County, sometimes they disappear, such as when a mountain lion is around. A few years ago our front yard rose bushes were being grazed routinely, but for the 6 or so weeks after I spotted a mountain lion going up our street, no deer.