Introducing 'Musings of a Sonoma son'
Musings of a Sonoma son
For nearly five decades, my father, Robert M. Lynch, editor and publisher of the Index-Tribune, wrote a column titled “Editor’s Musings.” It was about life in Sonoma, his family, including my brothers and me, and most often it was about the people of Sonoma Valley and what made life here so special.
Local folks would offer their anecdotes and he often included them with his own. Health issues slowed down the frequency of his column in the years preceding his death in 2003. I know he heard from readers who said they missed him.
I miss him still.
He was not only my father, but also my connection to the old Sonoma of my youth.
He was the one I counted on to identify old photos or help me with the background of a story that had roots deep in local history.
He was the guy we expected to compose the obituaries of Sonoma Valley’s oldest and most distinguished citizens as they passed on.
He left some big shoes that I did my best to fill, but never quite felt I could.
I was born in Sonoma Valley in 1942 and spent most of my life here, except for college and service in the U.S. Navy (in Vietnam and other exotic garden spots). I retired from fulltime editing and publishing at the I-T last year when I turned 70.
After a few months celebrating retirement, fishing and traveling, I started going through the many boxes and old files my Dad had stashed away in the attic, in the garage, and in musty old oak filing cabinets in his office.
In them I found a treasure of photos, letters, notes and other documents related to life in Sonoma over his lifetime, and in many cases over the lifetime of my grandaunt Celeste Murphy, who preceded my father as publisher. I even found some from my great-grandfather, Harry Granice, who established our family newspaper business here in 1884.
I guess it’s Dad’s way of telling me that my job isn’t quite finished.
With the support of Darius Anderson, an avid local history buff and authority on Jack London, and current I-T Editor and Publisher David Bolling, I will attempt to write columns that highlight some of what Dad left behind, embellished by personal memories and curmudgeonly commentary, and aided, if they’re willing, by other old Sonomans whose recollections are probably more accurate than mine.
I won’t call it a history column because I am not a historian.
Instead, I will borrow the title from my Dad and call it “Musings,” with the added phrase “…of a Sonoma son,” for I am nothing if not a son, grandson and great-grandson of Sonomans who came before me.
I invite I-T readers, especially other old Sonoma codgers and codgettes, to send corrections, comments and suggestions. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you in advance for your help and indulgence.