Community Stories

The Walnut Festival has been a Walnut Creek institution since the 1930s.
In 2012, The Walnut Creek Historical Society commissioned Tree of Life Legacies to assist in their Oral History Project to capture and preserve stories of the town’s days-gone-by. I worked closely with The Society’s board appointed committee, Audrey Veregge, Sheila Rogstad and Judie Hockel.

To date, we have interviewed 30 individuals over the course of a three year period. The interviewees have ranged from civic leaders, community volunteers, business owners to ordinary folks who remember what life was like growing up in Walnut Creek when everybody knew who you were and what you were up to.

Each interview has been professionally transcribed and laid out in book format for The Society’s archive. Each interviewee received a personalized DVD of their individual interview to share with friends and family. It has been such an honor and a pleasure to do this project for my home town.

If you’d like to check out the collected media from the project, please visit The Walnut Creek Historical Society’s History Room at The Shadelands Ranch Museum on Ygnacio Valley Road in Walnut Creek. Displayed here are fifteen of the 30 videos I edited from the 2012-2014 captured interviews.

Gary Bogue remembers the early days of the Lindsay Wildlife Museum.

JoAnn Hanna, owner of JoAnn's dress shop, recalls sending the troops off, during WWII, as they rode down Main Street.

Gwen Regalia remembers Peg Kovar, a modern pioneer for women in Walnut Creek politics.

Kay Mauzy-Wightman reminisces about the Flood of '58.

Dr. Maynard "Bud" Rotermund remembers picking pears at the Bancroft ranch back when he was a teen.

Mike Rinehart shares about Rinehart's Jewelry - A Walnut Creek Tradition for nearly 60 years. Started by grandfather, Pete Rinehart, a prominent civic leader in his day.

Adrian Mendes shares how the Walnut Kernel was spared from a trip to the dump.

Childhood Shenanigans: Nancy Meagher remembers frozen food lockers in downtown Walnut Creek.

Bev Clemson shares about the uniqueness of the Shadelands Ranch Museum.

Sally Bronson Ingraham shares what it was like growing up in Walnut Creek - once upon a time.

Lois Semmelmayer pays tribute to her dear friend and fellow Shady Lady, Gloria Scilacci.

Phyllis Bolton recalls collecting war bonds during her childhood.

Primo Facchini displays his famous zeal for the mission of the Walnut Creek Historical Society.

Alfred Cooper, descendant of Walnut Creek pioneer Silveira family, recollects days-gone-by.

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