Newcomers to the area may not have heard about the Apricot Wars that once raged in Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.
When Ginger Summit, former mayor of Los Altos Hills, moved to the area 50 years ago, she saw children building forts and throwing rotten apricots at each other.
Armed with the notion that everyone has a story to share, Summit is spearheading an oral history project at the Los Altos History Museum. She plans to collect longtime residents’ memories of bygone days.
“As a former teacher, I am used to talking to people and exploring their interests,” she said. “People think about Los Altos, but I’m looking for stories from the larger community, because the History Museum belongs to all of us and it reflects our shared history.”
The identities of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills vary – some people are drawn to the village atmosphere of Los Altos, while others prefer the rural character of Los Altos Hills.
“Those of us who have lived here a long time are seeing changes in both communities, and we have to preserve the memories for the new people moving to the area,” Summit said. “Even though the rural past still has interests, we are building up invisible fences through our demographics.”
Summit said she’s targeting people who have lived in the area for many years to participate in the project.
“We want to hear storytelling about yesterday’s culture,” she said. “Newer-arriving residents should know about our history, when kids rode their bikes all over the area to socialize.”
For more information, call Summit at 948-9427, ext. 10.