I was glad to read that Rosemarie Brooks enjoys living in Point Arena. I not only enjoyed living in Point Arena, I loved it from 1949 to 1960, and always enjoyed returning to visit family and friends over the years.
The movie house is one of my favorites. I have seen over 1,000 movies there. We once had two thriving general stores in Point Arena, which provided incomes to support a total of ten or more families. Three service stations, two hotels and a motel, three downtown restaurants with bars, a busy bowling alley with bar and restaurant, a soda fountain, shoe store, dress shop, two meat markets, the Bank of America, an appliance sales and repair shop, a paint store, two barber shops and a women’s hair salon, and more houses and a larger population than now. Also at various times a pool hall, penny arcade, small engine sales and repairs, coffee shop, and many other signs of an energetic and robust economy in a small town.
Our energetic life style also featured activities year around. Young men played for basketball and softball teams sponsored by their sawmill employers – Bojock Lumber Company had particularly strong teams – and the 776th Radar Squadron, U. S. Air Force, also fielded strong teams. Adult and youth square dancing, and monthly dances at Point Arena High School, were very popular. The high school, with participation from teachers, townspeople, and Air Force personnel, put on an incredible performance of H. M. S. Pinafore in 1959, and presented plays and band performances frequently during each school year.
Unlike today, local people could be found in large numbers on evenings and weekends at the beaches and at swimming holes on the Garcia and Gualala rivers. The Point Arena wharf was very busy, with boats being rented and launched, and as many as twenty salmon trollers tied alongside the wharf, and a dozen more tied to buoys.
I understand our differing perspectives: Rosemarie is celebrating what she has, I miss what we lost.