MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS
MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924
The Passing Of "Godfather Tobias"
By Judy Borello
No matter how you brace yourself for the inevitable it still hurt a whole hellava lot when I heard that Toby Giacomini died after being warned by Chris Giacomini (Toby's son) that it was a matter of days for Toby's surrender to God's hands.
No one was so loved by the Pt. Reyes community as "Toby Giacomini and no one so loved his community as Toby Giacomini.
My relationship with Toby started over 42 years ago when he welcomed me with outstretched arms as my first friend in Pt. Reyes Station, and what a friend he was! He taught me some of the history of Pt. Reyes station, especially the wild and wooly characters, which I savored well, and remember to this day. When purchasing the Old Western Saloon it was he who helped procure our first loan.
Being nervous since it was the first loan I had ever gotten by myself, Toby ran interference for me with his good friend Mr. Tomosini who owned Northbay Savings in Petaluma and even offered to sign for me. Needless to say I got my loan.
What I'm trying to relate to you is how big a person Toby was and that he did so much for the people of Pt. Reyes. I can't name them all but I'll try a few of them.
He loved sports and did quite well in high school playing basketball.
Toby built a ballpark where White House Pool and its parking lot lie today. It had stands and lights. People were having so much fun there until one old bitty from Inverness kept clamoring about the noise and the lights that it was turned down.
Generous beyond the virtue of goodness to your fellow man and after seeing his "field of dreams" torn down, he would outfit many of the baseball teams in Pt. Reyes and never wanted his generosity known. He gave anonymously and few of us knew.
When a family was in need in the town, the word would pass to Toby's ear and the family's needs were taken care of anonymously.
He was a one man band when it came to taking care of the community and I'll always see Toby out of the bay window of the Old Western Saloon with his watch cap on his head and squeezing the tomatoes and after bringing back the fresh oranges, corn, tomatoes etc. from the Valley long before the Farmer's Market came into being. He was so proud of son Chris for creating the Toby's Barn of today.
Toby was one of the founding fathers of the Pt. Reyes Business Association, which lasted for many years and is now defunct. I was president of it in the 80s and we decided to honor Toby as the Godfather (not Grandfather) of Pt. Reyes Station and held a huge party at the Red Barn (now the green (frog) barn) where over 400 people showed up. Steaks were barbequed by local ranchers and funny skits were performed by his truckers.
Toby's signature cause was a sewer for the main street of town. The Coast Guard offered to allow a hookup to their sewer system at the end of town for nothing, but the community was divided and it never happened. At the party we presented him with an honorary shovel. One of the most famous lines Toby would say at meetings over the years, especially when new comers would come out here and try to change the town for the worse, was "We should have locked the doors on this town thirty years ago." And I concede that I felt the same way most of the time.
He sometimes referred to himself as "Tobias" and played the jolliest Santa Claus even with a few bourbon and waters under his black belt. For years the crowd would be cheering at Toby's when Santa would arrive in a hay truck or by fire engine. We'd all give him a hard time because sometimes he'd be wearing brown boots rather than the customary black ones.
The folks loved it, the kids loved it and Santa Claus (Toby) loved it!
When a young man in Pt. Reyes needed a job, they'd go see Toby and get hired as a truck driver. His brother Ralph and "Bad" Bird Adams were his oldest truckers but Larry "Chuck" Giambastiani who remained a life-long friend of Toby trucked herring for Toby and boxed in Toby's old red barn, which is now Cowgirl Creamery. Other drivers were Wes and Ed Campiglis, Ferdie Sanchez, Jimmy Simondi and so on. I could fill this whole page with the your men at that time that Toby gave a job driving trucks.
Kind, twinkley blue eyes naughty but nice, generous, a marvelous sense of humor, compassionate, hard working and most of all, beloved.
Back in the 80s when we honored Toby as "The Godfather of Pt. Reyes," I thought to myself whenever Toby dies, it will be the end of an era. Well the end of the era has passed and we were so blessed to have a man named Toby Giacomini as our friend and leader of our community for so many good years. Toby Town.
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