a Bolinas and Stinson Beach Seniors' Group

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Old News

Annie Crotts Died May 5

Annie grew up in Bolinas. She and Lydia Tacherra were among Lydia Smith's students in the 1930s and all three were founding members of the Whitecaps. This photograph of Annie and Phyllis Wells was taken at the 2008 St. Patrick's lunch.

Annie with Phyllis

Rosemary Robinson Has Died

The newspapers for today, January 9, 2014, have an announcement that Rosemary died December 26, 2013. She had been in poor health for a number of years. This photograph was taken at the September 2003 picnic in Stinson Beach.
Rosemary Robinson

Barbara Kovach died on May 10, 2013

Barbara Kovach
Barbara at her sister's Mill Valley home, ca 1980

Barbara will be remembered for her large and forceful personality, her distinctive stylishness and her graceful line drawings. More photographs may be found at this web page.

Nell Melcher

Nell died May 20 in Walnut Place in Point Reyes Station. A memorial was held at Walnut Place on May 23. She was a frequent participant in our meetings when she lived in Stinson Beach. She was known for her pretty paintings of flowers. The one printed here was made into a note card which was sold at that year's Cuisine on the Green. The picture of Nell was taken at the 2003 Whitecaps' Annual Picnic in Stinson Beach

Nell Melcher     bouquet

Howard Meyer

Howard died Sunday, April 22, at age 97. A memorial was held at the Episcopalian Church in Bolinas Saturday, April 28. An obituary from the Hearsay News, relating his remarkable life and career, is copied below .

Howard at a Whitecaps lunchHoward at exercise class

Interviewing Howard N. Meyer was like stepping through an interesting garden door and finding yourself in the rotunda of a great library. At age 96 his mind was sharp and still engaged in his life passion for international justice and social/civil equality. Articulate and charming, he was an author whose writing included two Pulitzer Prize nominated books, published articles and many letters in the New York Times. He was a legal authority, social and civil rights historian, retired attorney and arbitrator, former Special Assistant to two U.S. Attorrneys General and member of the American Society of International Law. Meyer’s writings on civil rights were published beside such great Black thinkers as James Baldwin and Roy Innis; Martin Luther King wrote Meyer a letter of admiration. He celebrated the inauguration of our first Black President of the United States while on a plane traveling west toward Bolinas, to live near his two Sons.

A New Yorker, born in Brooklyn, Meyer graduated from Columbia Law School in 1936, where he was editor of the law review. He shared an early law partnership with Bella Abzug at a time when few women practiced law. Three of his most notable books are still vibrantly readable and relevant to our contemporary understanding of law and politics. Pulitzer nominated: The Amendment That Refused to Die: Equality and Justice Deferred: The History of the 14th Amendment (1973), And as editor of the writings of a great activist---The Magniflcent Activist: The Writings of Thomas Wentworth Higginson (2000). Also his Pulitzer nominated--World Court In Action (2002).

In Bolinas he found intellectual stimulus in the Proust reading group, events at the Bolinas Museum and Community Center. He lived in a cabin in the beautiful garden of his son and daughter-in-law Jonathon and Deborah Meyer and was regularly visited by his son Franklin Meyer of Mill Valley. His daily companions were a devoted group of wonderful women caregivers with whom he shared a mutual appreciation.

Ray Marcotte Has Died

We have received notice that Ray died last Saturday, March 3. He was a long time member, particularly remembered for his participation in our annual picnics. There was a memorial, which was very heavily attended, at the Firehouse.


Lillian Letter Died Easter Sunday, April 24

Lillian and Ej

Lillian and EJ at the September 2010 picnic in Stinson Beach Park.
 This is the last picture we have of her.

Madeline Balzan Has Died

Madeline talking to Bob Lowe

Madeline at the Sept. 2005 picnic

I did not receive any direct notice of Madeline's passing but did see a number of search engine queries for Madeline on this website. Then I received the minutes of the last Bolinas Rod and Boat Club meeting from Michael Rafferty which said she had died about a week before that meeting.

Madeline goes way back with the Whitecaps - she may have been one of the original members. In the more recent past she was a mainstay of the group, especially by her contributions of her wonderful baking. To this day whenever our Thanksgiving and Christmas meetings come around I think of her magnificent pumpkin pies. - Roger Kovach

Evelyn Guba Has Died

Evelyn Guba St Patrick's party 2008

  Evelyn succumbed to one of the cancers she has endured for a number of years a few days ago, quietly in her sleep.   She died as she had lived, uncomplaining, matter-of-fact stoical and continuing to conduct life as usual: she attended  our exercise classes, directors' meetings and Whitecaps lunches right up to the end.

Evelyn was a stalwart of the Whitecaps for fifteen or more years - we are all bereft at our loss.

Donna Fischer

We have learned that Donna died on July 3, but have no other information.

Arthur Okamura Arthur Okamura

   Arthur died Friday, August 7, with shocking suddenness.

   There is an obituary in the Marin IJ.

    Bill Braasch has some nice memories in his blog

Bill says that this Carl Nagin poem was read at Tuesday's art class, the first meeting after Arthur's death:

                For Arthur
Who will spin the quarter
and paper propeller
now that you've
jumped through
the negative space
you taught us
all to see
shapes and forms
in what we live and love
entangled in high relief
your vanishing act
a puzzle peace
in that rainbow arc
over Pine Gulch Creek
and the Great Horned Owl
watching us watch
your dancing leap
a gypsy jig-saw    you
walking Prince Charley
one fine morning
there's nowhere to go.

There was a memorial celebration Sunday, August 30 at Commonweal, 451 Mesa Road, Bolinas

New and Improved Marin Transit District Website
Go to our Transportation Issues page

Robert Shaw, M. D.

Bob Shaw, a long-time enthusiastic participant in our Stretch Classes, much beloved by the other members, died Wednesday night, March 26, . The awful irony in this is that he and Judith finally made it to a regular Whitecaps meeting for the first time just a week before. Fortunately, they both appear in the handful of snapshots taken then.

Record Attendances

The February 19th and the March 19th (" St Pat's") meetings were our largest ever - more than 50 in attendance on each occasion
(it is difficult to get an accurate count because our people move around too fast).

New Group Concerned with West Marin Health Care

There is a new group concerned with all aspects of West Marin's health care facilities and services called the West Marin Health Coalition. Read the handouts for the first public meeting held Jan. 29, 2009 in the Dance Palace.

Now you can hear the recording of the entire meeting.

Free Food at the Bolinas Community Center

Every Friday food from Trader Joe's is given away at the Bolinas Community Center. Seniors are allowed to enter at 11 a.m. before all others. There are many appealing items offered making it well worth the time and effort.

The School Parcel Tax

By now you should know that the parcel tax to supplement the budget of the Bolinas -Stinson Beach schools was passed by a substantial number of votes above and beyond the two-thirds required. This parcel tax is a renewal of the one in force until June with an increase of $52 per year, bringing the total to $250 per year. There is an exemption available for seniors upon filing a request. All of the particulars are spelled out at the school's webpage about the tax. Of course, you are under no obligation to claim the exemption and the school would welcome any help you may provide. So, if you can manage an average of five dollars a week and would like to give our schools a little extra boost, simply do not claim your exemption.

Program Notes of the Meeting of Oct. 16, 2008.

Jane Silvia of the Bolinas branch of the county library told of the new facilities to make access for seniors and people with disabilities much easier. She also mentioned all the services that make it easier for those with impaired vision. Jane introduced Bonny White, the new supervising librarian for West Marin branches who replaces retired Ann Taylor.

As promised, Lisa Bell, Chairwoman of the Coastal Health Alliance, came and explained the improved arrangements with REACH and CALSTAR for providing helicopter ambulance services without charge for a modest annual membership fee, further reduced by an arrangement made by CHA, to both agencies. The explanation of the arrangements can be seen in the Forum. This is a major improvement our healthcare safeguards and should be enthusiastically embraced by all Whitecaps. Application forms were provided by Lisa and more may be had at the Bolinas and Stinson Beach clinics. 

Dr. Mike Witte also spoke to the group about the various services the CHA provides to all members of the communities involved. He was very emphatic about the importance of getting as many as possible immunized against influenza, especially the very young and the elderly. It is easy to get a flu shot at the CHA clinics, just show up (although calling ahead and setting a time may insure against waiting).

Jody Angel said that a 501(c)3 group called BAHA (Bolinas Alternative Housing Association) is looking into ways of providing a local transportation service for in-town travel. It is just in the talking and dreaming stage at this time - more news when it occurs.

Visit to the de Young for the Chihuly Show - Sept. 9

Eight members went on this junket. All went smoothly (except for Diana McQuaid's lunch service) and the exhibition was enjoyed by all.

We received a nice thank you card for the picnic from Joan Haley of the Point Reyes Seniors 

haley card 1

haley thanks 2

Stagecoach demonstration:
At the request of Lynda Beigel, at the meeting of Thursday, May 15, Marin Transit District sent two of their operations staff, Stagecoach Operations Manager, Krystalyn O'Leary and Road Supervisor, Curtis Schelth, to demonstrate using the lift for getting on and off the bus. Evelyn Guba using her walker, Bill Lyons using his wheel chair and Eileen Johnston standing with her cane all boarded and disembarked with ease and comfort. The Stagecoach people were cordial and helpful and were appreciated by all.
BUT that doesn't overcome all the difficulties with using the Stagecoach. See the Forum for a full discussion of the shortcomings.

The Nancy Sullivan Memorial Fund

Janet Herben, one of Nancy's Berkeley friends, sent the first donation to the Nancy Sullivan Memorial Fund. Thanks to Janet.

 Madeline Balzan, who broke her shoulder some weeks ago, is in residence at a rehab facility in Terra Linda.
 She attended the Ed Letter memorial April 27.


The Memorial Gathering for Ed Letter was held at the Bolinas Rod and Boat Club from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday April 27 - Ed's birthday. Photos shown there can be seen in the Gallery.
There was a Memorial Gathering for Nancy Sullivan at the Stinson Beach Community Center Sunday, May 4, 2008. Photos from Nancy's life are posted in the Gallery.