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By Roz Rogoff

A Norman Rockwell Town

Uploaded: Apr 13, 2014

I arranged to meet my friend Marci and her dad at 11:30 am yesterday at the Farmer's Market in Bishop Ranch. I was driving up Mangos to Montevideo and it was such a nice day; people from the neighborhood were walking their little, floppy dogs, or riding bikes with their kids.

The City Council was holding a "Walk with the Council" in Central Park at 10 am. Harry Sach sent me an email invitation:

"Thank You San Ramon!
Walk with the Council

Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 10:00am
San Ramon Central Park, 12501 Alcosta Blvd (meet behind the playground at the group picnic area)

Walking does wonders for your health!

Participate in the first of the Thank You San Ramon! new walking series. Our goal is to introduce walking as an easy method for maintaining your family's physical and mental well-being.

Additionally this series will allow you to explore new places within San Ramon that are ideal for outdoor activities. Enjoy a healthy walk with special guests the members of the San Ramon City Council in beautiful Central Park. This beginner friendly route will loop the park and part of the Iron Horse Trail. Healthy refreshments will be provided. Walkers of all ages are welcome.

Hope to see you there!

Harry Sachs
City Of San Ramon

I emailed Harry that I was meeting a friend at the Farmer's Market and I would be walking there.

It looked like the walk was just breaking up when I drove down Bollinger Canyon Road at 11:20. I turned on Camino Ramon and then on Bishop Drive and into the lot for Bishop Ranch 2. There was hardly any traffic, and it was easy to find parking near the market.

I walked back to the food court expecting to see Marci and her dad, but Marci came over to greet me. Her dad was at the front end doing some shopping. So I walked back there to see him. Her dad lives in Red Wing, Minnesota. He's 80 now and in good shape for his age.

Red Wing is famous for work shoes and boots. Marci told me the Red Wing Shoe factory has a big boot out front. My nephew and his family live in Freeport Maine. They used to live a few blocks from L. L. Bean with its big boot out front. So we have boots in common.

The market wasn't crowded. I was hoping to find fruit, but only one vendor had fruit, oranges and lemons. Marci said the lemons were sweet. I bought two lemons and two navel oranges. I used to have two orange trees when I lived in Culver City, one Valencia and the other Navel. That one had fruit almost year round. Stone fruits weren't out yet, but I bought an apricot pie from Heidi's Pies.

The market featured a singer with a guitar. He started out singing Country-Western and then moved to 1950's pop. It was all very nostalgic. I told Marci and her dad that San Ramon seemed like living in a Normal Rockwell painting. I don't know how a city with 72,000 residents and a business park housing multinational corporations like Chevron, AT&T, and General Electric can seem so bucolic.

San Ramon is such a pleasant place to live. It's not hectic like a big city but not isolated like a country town. I've lived in other nice cities. I grew up in New Rochelle, NY, which is a nice suburb of Manhattan. I lived in Culver City for 13 years, which is a suburb or in-urb of Los Angeles. I lived in Morro Bay, which is a beautiful coastal town half-way between LA and SF, and a short drive to San Luis Obispo, a lovely college town. But none of these places combines the small town feel with the big city amenities that San Ramon has.