Several years ago (2007), a small group of long time Petalumans who were interested in sharing their memories of the “Good Old Days” living, playing, working, and learning in “Our Favorite River Town,” initiated a group known as the Sages of Petaluma. They selected the name – Sages – because, by definition, they became “somebody who is regarded as knowledgeable, wise, experienced, and a person of advanced years revered for his/her wisdom and good judgment.” Almost half of the participants are native born Petalumans, while the others have lived most of their lives here.

The discussions are informal, but often relate to theme such as education, your first job, or an annual event or holiday such as the Butter & Egg Days Parade, the 4th of July Bell-Ringing, or Memorial Day. A recent program initiated by The Petalumans of Yesteryear, the Petaluma Oral History Project, has involved several of the Sages. Hopefully, by the end of next month. visitors to the Petaluma History Museum may be able to view a video interview on a disc conducted by a Sage who wanted to share some of his memories for future generations. Most of the interviews last from 15-20 minutes. Those interviewed, to date, include: Dick Dunbar, Growling Bear, Jim Giovando, Lily Krulervich, Shep Sheperd, Tim Talamantes, Don Waite, and Bill Sovel. Three Sages who have adopted the personas of earlier Petalumans of Yesteryears and were interviewed are also available: Capt. Thomas Baylis (Homer Johnstone), Isaac Wickersham (Marshall West), and William Howard Pepper (Bill Hammerman).

If you wish to join the Sages, just attend one of their meetings on the last Wednesday of the month, from 10:00 a.m.-Noon at the Museum. Our next meeting will be Wednesday, May 27th.

Note: This blog was original posted on “Positively Petaluma.”