March 28, 1920 – Robert “Bob” Permenter was born in Humboldt County, the son of John Oscar and Gerda (Boesen) Permenter. Bob spent most of his childhood in Caspar and attended the local schools. He was always interested in music and became an accomplished pianist.

Bob graduated from Mendocino High School in May 1937. The commencement ceremony showcased the Class of 1937’s musical talent. Mildred Nolan performed a solo on the accordion, and Melvin Markham played a violin solo. The Senior Boys Sextet sang “Love’s Old Sweet Song,” accompanied by Bob on the piano, and the entire senior class sang “Auld Lang Syne.”

Three men seated, playing drums, saxophone, and piano.

Musicians. Left to right: Leonard Sjolund, Clarence Edward “Cabby” Newgard and Bob Permenter. (Gift of Jon Newgard)

After graduation, Bob took a post-graduate class at the high school, studying Public Speaking and Dramatics under MHS teacher Sheila Leachman. Following the drama lessons, Bob played the Priest in a school production of the Booth Tarkington play, “The Trysting Place.” For the final exam, each student was asked to prepare a speech on a topic of interest. Bob’s speech was titled “Music in the Movies.” He also continued his piano lessons under the talented musician, Sadie Skiles of Caspar. The following year, he left the coast to study at San Jose State College (now, San Jose State University).

During World War II, Bob joined the U.S. Army Air Force, where he served as a bombardier, sighting and releasing bombs in a B-17 squadron. From his base in England, he flew many missions over Germany during 1943 and 1944. He was discharged in 1945 with the rank of Captain. Bob and his fellow servicemen were honored at a Welcome Home banquet at the Masonic Hall on the corner of Lansing and Ukiah Streets in April 1946.

Bob worked in the lumber products industry in Fremont and Healdsburg after the war. In 1975, he became manager of Hill House of Mendocino, and later managed Blackberry Inn until 1995. Bob passed away on January 25, 1997 at Mount Zion Hospital in San Francisco after a short illness.

ILLUSTRATED MAP OF MENDOCINO, 1975 – Artist and cartographer J.D. Mayhew created this whimsical map of the Mendocino Coast from Mendocino to Fort Bragg. You’ll enjoy discovering all the hidden details, including whales, hippie buses, and even his own house on Todd’s Point. Mayhew loved cartooning and we love this delightful rendering of our coastline. 21″ x 26″, unframed. $23.