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Tea and talk with Fran Meininger

Often enough in this column I’ve sung the praises of local folks who do good in our town and in our Valley. Few, I feel, would match up to the subject of today’s column. Truly she’s an exemplary woman, someone I’ve admired for many years.

Last spring, when Glen Ellen resident Fran Meininger announced by email that she would be retiring from her lovely store, My Girlfriend’s Closet, I invited her over for tea and time to talk.

Sitting together on the porch at Creekbottom on a mild spring day, I had a chance to ask Fran all the questions I’d always wondered about. Long aware of her career and changes, I knew she was a woman who has been at the forefront of a number of important organizations in our Valley. Her work and dedication have made a difference in the lives of so many folks throughout our Valley – particularly young folks. Yet, Fran was never one to brag or make herself prominent, and so, though I knew of her, I didn’t really know much about her.

I first met Fran in the late 1980s when our boys were members of the Valley of the Moon Boys & Girls Club. We didn’t go there often, as Sonoma seemed (back then) quite a trek from Glen Ellen. But we loved their Halloween events (and first met Roger and Diana Rhoten at one of those). Equally entertaining were the Boys & Girls Club’s Christmas gatherings with dear David Williams presiding as the best Santa ever.

So, initially, as Fran and I talked, we reminisced about other good folks we both admired.


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