Thursday, January 21, 2010

Of Mill Valley, California

On this winter day (due to be sunny, hooray!) I am feeling nostalgic. I'm wondering, too, if any of you remember the song, Mill Valley, California (That's My Home)?

You can listen to it here at Youtube. It was recorded by the song's author, a kindergarten teacher, Miss Rita Abrams, at Strawberry Point Elementary School. A class of 3rd graders sang it with her and the video was directed by a young Francis Ford Coppola, even. All of this happened 40 years ago. Forty-years! The song went national, playing on radio stations everywhere. I remember it well.

Why does this interest me so much? Because I attended Strawberry Point School in the 2nd through 4th grades and my family moved away the summer before Miss Abrams wrote her song. So that makes the children in the video two years younger than me and the same children with whom I played upon the playground.

Mill Valley--an enchanted place. My very best memories of childhood happened there, in fact. My family lived at the Golden Gate Baptist Seminary, a beautiful community on a hillside overlooking Richardson Bay (personally I believe we had the best view) and filled with Christian families with tons of Christian kids.

Utopia at times. Nice kids, iron banisters outside galore which to slide down, hillsides to roll, roll, roll down, concrete to roller skate upon and play hopscotch, tiny laundromats to sneak into, wood-slatted, enclosed clothesline 'outdoor rooms' to play in, a rock hill to climb, outdoor stair landings to jump off, wooded areas to pretend-camp inside and--well, stop me before I blather on all morning.

Anyway, I'd be interested to know if any of you remember the Mill Valley song. And do take a look at the video if you can, ok? (Warning: the tune will stick with you all day.)

The video will return you to a sweet time and place of 40 years ago... Forty years! This sort of thing reminds me that a year is just a span of time, like an hour. And the older I become, the more each year feels only like a moment.


A special thanks to my dear old friend, Althea, (who I connected with at Facebook) for bringing back these memories of our Mill Valley days.


Here's a nice article with updates about Miss Abram, her song and her life.


Yes, this means I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area during the 1960's. And yes, it was pretty cool--I still remember all those colorful clothes and heavy make-up, bouffant hair-do's and mini-skirts! :)


Elizabeth said...

I played the video Debra, very,very cool!
It sounds like a wonderful place.

Anonymous said...

I do remember the song and yes those days in California were the golden years.

Colleen - the AmAzINg Mrs. B said...

We lived in Corte Madera for 3 years and LOVED it! I love SF and truly left my heart there - glad your memories are sweet as well :-)

Lora said...

I don't remember the song...but watching the video made me pretty nostalgic for those wonderful days of being a child!

It must have been awesome to live there Debra!