Tucked Away...

Tucked away in a picturesque rolling valley just a few miles north of downtown San Anselmo; Sleepy Hollow had many dramatic and interesting incarnations. In Mrs. McBride’s fourth grade class at Hidden Valley School, Faye learned the land’s early history included Miwok Indians and Spanish land grants. It was even said an old Spanish trunk filled with gold coins had been hidden and never found. In 1850, the valley became a dairy farm leased by one Harvey Butterfield. The dirt trail that led to the dairy was known by locals as ‘the road to Butterfield’s place.’ Learning Sleepy Hollow had been a dairy made sense to Faye. It solved the mystery of all the huge bones she was always discovering in the large creek that curved behind their house.

The icy-cold clear water slowly tumbled over large smooth rocks as it traveled along the valley floor, all the way to the Pacific ocean. In spots, the water was even deep enough to swim. She spent hours searching for the lost Spanish treasure, uncovering more cow bones in the process. Over the years, Faye amassed an amazing and unusual collection that she proudly displayed in the old gardening shed that sat at the far end of the orchard. The dilapidated structure’s roof had been constructed using sheets of corrugated green plastic which created a strange glowing light on the interior, making it all the more mysterious and just a little bit scary.

Once, on a hot summer Saturday, Faye discovered a huge beautiful pink and silver fish struggling to swim in the shallow waters upstream. She ran to tell her father. He was hard at work raking up the swollen overly-ripe fruit that had fallen from the peach, fig and plum trees in the orchard. Excitedly, she grabbed his hand and dragged him down the steep rocky slope to show him. He was astonished and explained that the fish was called a wild salmon. That was the day Faye learned about the wonder in nature called spawning. She loved listening to her father’s handsome voice and the words he used to teach and explain things. It made her feel respected and intelligent.

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