On Saturday, April 28, San Miguel will celebrate Sagebrush Days – a day dedicated to our past. The Peddler’s Faire begins at 8 a.m. and the parade steps off at 11 a.m. going south on Mission Street, around Fr. Reginald Park next to the Mission, and coming back. You get to see both sides of the horse!

Applications can be found online at sanmiguelchamber.org and on discoversanmiguel.com or pick them up at San Miguel Mercantile or the Fire Station on Mission Street. There will be food and fun. Rain or shine. We are always fascinated by the past – be it the early 1800s or the 1940s.

In February, in the History section of discoversanmiguel.com Laverne Buckman published an anonymous nostalgic look backwards entitled “Children of the Greatest Generation: 1930-early 1940s”, including a few personal additions relating to San Miguel. Here are some excerpts: “As a child I had nightmares about the A-bomb, still have one of those old ration books, shared a party line, classmates got polio. It has been an interesting life! We are the last generation, climbing out of the depression, who can remember the … impact of a world at war which rattled the structure of our daily lives for years.

In San Miguel we remember the speedy building of Camp Roberts, the sudden bustle of new people coming to town, tents and trailers providing shelter for many newcomers seeking employment at the military base, and new businesses and homes being built. We are the last generation who spent childhood without television; instead, we imagined what we heard on the radio. We spent our childhood playing outside … organized and played our own games without need for parent intervention — games like baseball, kickball and football (boys and girls together). There was no town playground for kids but a vacant field worked fine.

On Saturday afternoons, the movies gave us newsreels — the war sandwiched in between westerns and cartoons. As we grew up, the country was exploding with growth while San Miguel had a period of decline as Camp Roberts became almost totally inactive. The impact was devastating in many ways. Housing built by and for the military was ether sold and moved or left to decay. Businesses closed or struggled. Many jobs were lost and many left to find jobs elsewhere. The Korean War was a dark passage in the early ‘50s and by mid-decade school children were ducking under desks for Air-Raid training. Camp Roberts was again an active military base which created another ‘boom’ cycle in San Miguel. We are the last generation to experience an interlude when there were no threats to our homeland. We feel privileged to have ‘lived in the best of times’! 

(With permission of Laverne Buckman, Webmaster)