For Dr. David Glass, Felton was the perfect place to transition from childhood to adulthood and, in his recently published book “Felton was so Fine,” he chronicles the history, culture and significant people that made his teenage years unique to San Lorenzo Valley.
Glass provides a personal journey through Felton in the 1960s and 1970s, and writes some previously unpublished history passed down to him through his father’s family that has lived in the Felton area since the late 1860s.
The book is rich with in-depth, nostalgic descriptions of activities and spots locals will recognize and newcomers can learn about.
For example, in a chapter illustrating Felton’s downtown, Glass described what it was like as a teenager in the valley.
“With the coming of the A&W and the Felton Bowl, amenities for the San Lorenzo Valley teenagers were complete,” Glass writes. “We had the bowling alley and the root beer joint, Ben Lomond had the dammed-up river park, Boulder Creek had the Burl movie theater, and further up the road, Forest Pool. What more could semi-rural, mountain teenagers want?”
The book took about six months for Glass to complete, he said, and the majority of information comes from his memory. He conducted online research for minor details.
Glass now lives in Lodi, but visits Santa Cruz County every couple of months to see family and friends, he said.
“The book has opened up some new people to me,” he said. “Somebody discovered the book online and wanted to know if I was related to her. It turns out she was a third cousin and she wanted to know some details about the family.”
The newfound relatives have kept in contact since their original reunion and were able to exchange family history, he said.
One chapter shares stories of the “Unofficial Mayor of Felton” Nick Pagnini, Glass’ second-cousin, and pays tribute to his memory. Pagnini died in 2009.
A more comical chapter is devoted to the renowned and recently-retired San Lorenzo Valley High School teacher Preston Boomer. Glass explores his high-school memories in Boomer’s chemistry class in the chapter called “Boomer.”
Boomer also contributed the forward to the book.
Glass published a similar book in 2012 that highlights his young childhood in Aptos, titled “Aptos was Idyllic”, but says that this one differs in length, point of view and includes maps and pictures to enhance the story.
“Felton was so Fine” can be found or ordered at local bookshops, including, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Mount Hermon Book Store, Capitola Book Café, Roaring Camp, SLV Museum and the Felton Bigfoot Museum. It is also available to order from www.amazon.com or www.barnesandnoble.com.
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