History Repeats Itself
BY CAREY LISTON
I’m a social music teacher longing to be back in school creating music with my students. The past few weeks have been extremely difficult. Feeling like I needed to channel my energy, I started sewing face masks. I called my mother, who in my mind is a master seamstress, to walk me through my first mask. After the first I started to crank out more. As I was sewing, my husband pulled a book titled Historic Homes of Boulder Creek from the shelf and reminded us of a story we had forgotten.
In 1907, George and Mildred Cress bought our house on Pine Street in Boulder Creek. George and his partner operated a livery stable to transport loggers, ran a taxi service, supplied a hearse, and ran a stage line to Big Basin State Park. They even had the first auto dealership in the San Lorenzo Valley selling Model T Fords. The Cress family lived in the home for 67 years and raised their two children who were born in the house. Their daughter Shirley recalls a story of the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918. Many people were sick around town and afraid to go out. George had brought in a load of wood and a crate of oranges. The family spent days huddled around the fire while Mildred sewed face masks and handed them through the front window for friends and neighbors.
After revisiting the Cress story, my husband, two daughters and myself thought it was fitting to walk to the old cemetery up the hill and visit the Cress family plot. When the 1918 flu hit, they were all roughly the age we are now.
102 years later in the same house I too find myself sewing face masks and giving them away. Similar to the Cress family, we all huddle around the fire, I sew masks, and we wait.