2019 Lighthouse Lecture Series

Point Arena Lighthouse is pleased to present the sixth season of the popular Lighthouse Lecture Series. Each presentation takes place in the Fog Signal Building Museum on the third Saturday of the month and features a local naturalist, historian, volunteer or expert presenting on topics of public interest relevant to the Lighthouse or our area. Lectures in September through May will begin at 4 p.m. lectures in June through August will begin at 5 p.m.  All lectures last approximately one hour. This year’s lineup is as follows:

Saturday, January 19, 4 p.m.  – CANCELLED due to illness

Saturday, February 16, 4 p.m. – Robin Joy Wellman on California Collection – The Project of the Sonoma- Mendocino Artifacts in St. Petersburg Kunstkamera – Presented

Saturday, March 16, 4 p.m. – Sara Bogard on Open Space Preserved: Harbor Seals and other Inhabitants of the Point Arena Lighthouse and the Point Arena/Stornetta Public Lands – Presented

Saturday, April 20, 4 p.m. – Katy Tahja on Emily Fish Introduces Lady Lighthouse Keepers! Presented

Saturday, May 18, 4 p.m. – Dr. Nancy R. Morin on Plants of the Mendonoma Coast–what have we learned, and what mysteries remain? Presented

Saturday, June 15 – Scott Mercer on Large Baleen Whales of the Local Coast- Presented

Saturday, July 13 – Michael B. Combs on Point Arena in the 1950’s – Growing Up in a Beehive of Activity

Saturday, August 17, 5 p.m. – Eric Wilder – Topic TBD

Saturday, September 21, 4 p.m. – Nik Epanchin on Point Arena Light Station Renovation 2008-2010

Saturday, October 19, 4 p.m. – Judy Bryan Mello – Topic TBD

Saturday, November 16, 4 p.m. – Jeanne Jackson on Mushrooming

Saturday, December 21, 4 p.m. – Lisa Mortimeyer-Giacomini on Superfoods on our Coast – Hunting, Gathering, Cooking, Preserving

Admission to all lectures is $5 per person, with the proceeds benefiting the Point Arena Lighthouse Keepers, Inc.  To make reservations or for more information on our lecture series and other special events, see our Calendar of Events or call the Lighthouse at 707-882-2809 extension 1.

Spotlight On Our Next Lecture

On Saturday, July 13 at 5 p.m. Michael B. Combs will present “Point Arena in the 1950’s – Growing Up in a Beehive of Activity” as part of the Lighthouse Lecture Series.

Michael was seven when his family moved from Southern California to Point Arena in 1949. Sleepy Point Arena soon became very busy as the Air Force arrived in 1950, the saw mills grew and flourished, and ranching, farming, and fishing prospered too. He took it all in, as the Baby Boomer flood swamped the four-room elementary school and families lived in abandoned buildings and crammed into tiny apartments. It was a wonderful and exciting time to be alive and young.

Michael’s family moved to Point Arena in 1949 when he was in the 2nd Grade. They lived for a while in the old abandoned high school building across from the Catholic Church, and later built their own home behind the Elementary School. His younger brother Ron and he helped build their home, using a borrowed plow horse and Fresno scraper to dig a full sized basement. After graduation from Point Arena High in 1960, Michael went to Humboldt State a year, Santa Rosa Junior College a year, then the Air Force for 21.5 years – married his high school sweetheart Marilynn (they had three sons) – and attended five other colleges while in the Air Force. He started as a Russian linguist, then became a Budget and Finance Officer and Internal Auditor. After 14 moves, an MBA and CPA, he retired from the Air Force and worked at Lockheed, Sunnyvale, for ten years, then on to some other jobs including Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, and Nummi, Fremont. Marilynn died of breast cancer in 1988 just after their 25th anniversary, and he chose his current wife Alice from a book and they married in 1989. He retired in 1998 and he and Alice moved to Gualala, which they love over all places, while traveling quite a bit and loving coming home. Every day they play ball with their doggie Radar on Cook’s Beach and remind themselves not to take their wonderful lives here on the coast for granted.

Future Lectures

On Saturday, September 21 at 4 p.m. Nik Epanchin will present “Point Arena Light Station Renovation 2008-2010 as part of the Lighthouse Lecture Series.

Nik joined the PALKI Board in September 2006 and soon he and Pauline Zamboni became the co-Project Managers of the Light Station renovation effort.  This presentation will include a a brief status of the Light Station prior to renovation, the effort required to obtain funding for the renovation and the details of the renovation itself.  An accomplished photographer, Nik also chronicled the entire project and will share many of his photos of the renovations.  His main task was the day to day field work and keeping an accurate track of the costs to keep both the PALKI Board and California Cultural and Historical Endowment (CCHE) informed.

Nik is a local resident and currently PALKI’s Co-Vice President.  He has been a winter docent at the Point Reyes National Seashore since 2002.  He has welcomed visitors, helping them view, understand and appreciate northern elephant seals and their unique life cycle; gray whales and their south and north migrations and other coastal fauna, thus promoting the public’s awareness of these species and their need for protection.  As docent he also leads tours of the Point Reyes Light House.  In February 2010 Nik was elected PALKI Board Vice President and two years later President, serving as such until April 2017 at which time he became Vice President.  Since March 2018, he and Laura Franklin are Co-Vice Presidents.  Nik continues being involved in the maintenance and upkeep of the station, he  leads many of the popular Full Moon Night tours and participates as best he can in preserving the Light Station for future generations.

On Saturday, December 21 at 4 p.m.  Lisa Giacomini  will present  “Superfoods on our Coast – Hunting, Gathering, Cooking, Preserving”  as part of the Lighthouse Lecture Series.

Superfoods are foods that are nutritionally dense in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and flavor. These “free”, natural and organic foods exist everywhere in our coastal environment. This series will talk about where to hunt for them, how to gather or catch it, cook it, store it and preserve them.  We will cover ocean to mountains between the shoreline and the ridgelines near Point Arena. This presentation is a list of tips and tricks to make your outdoor life fun and healthier here on the South Coast.  Lisa is a firm believer that food is medicine and will also touch on how nutrition from these Superfoods wards off everything from heart disease to cancer. This series is not intended to impart too much science, but more about how to find, prepare and enjoy many different types of wild foods found here.

Lisa is the owner of Giacomini Specialty Products, known locally as Baby Tomato which is also a trademark and brand. Baby Tomato also does private events, personal chef, medicinal foods for clients, event planning, and fundraising for non-profits and all things “food”. All Baby Tomato foods are made with the freshest, most local and seasonal foods of the coast whenever possible. Lisa is a 30 year experienced free diver, hunter and avid outdoors person and helps others to develop the skills they need to thrive here.