Praise for Growing Up Belvedere-Tiburon
“I love this new book by Paige Peterson and the Belvedere-Tiburon Landmark Society. Always amazing and meticulous in its discovery and preservation of historical photographs, the Landmark Society has found the perfect narrator for this new collection. Paige Peterson is both precise and charming in capturing the wild and natural beauty of our shared childhoods and habitats in Belvedere and Tiburon in the 50’s and 60’s. She extols the days of getting on our bikes after breakfast and not coming home till dinner, covered in blackberry juice and dirt, scratches and bliss. This combined effort brought me nostalgia and cheer.”
"Magical writing about a magical place."
“Paige’s love story about her relationship with Belvedere will make anyone reminisce and long for their own innocent childhood summers. Her evocative, literary, visual descriptions of even the simplest moments are like an escapist fantasy into a lost time. Reading this book feels like time travel, escape, and family bonding, all wrapped into one beautifully photographed Care package.”
"Belvedere is the pearl of San Francisco Bay, and Paige Peterson's collection of memories and photographs in Growing Up Belvedere-Tiburon is a jewel, no matter where you grew up, you will be transported back to those times when every day was a new adventure."
Mayor of Belvedere
"We live in a perplexing world of a pandemic in which we seek panaceas to ease our hearts, minds and bodies so we can return to the everyday miraculous normal we used to take for granted. Paige Peterson reminds us that we should seek sacred space, our own Belvederes, wherein we can be inspired by life’s idyllic moments and scenes which have nurtured and energized us. Having grown up now, I thank Paige for reminding me, by opening up Belvedere to us all, to go back to the wellsprings of my life for the renewal of my soul."
Father Alexander Karloutsos
Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
"In Growing Up Belvedere-Tiburon, Paige Peterson reminds us of a time when the joys of growing up in a world of community were not only the ideal for children but also the precious reality for all of us."
David Patrick Columbia
New York Social Diary
"Growing Up Belvedere-Tiburon takes us by the hand, like a childhood friend, and draws us into the atmosphere of fishing and families in an iconic California hometown – celebrating both its simplicity and its complexity. With a painter’s eye, the author shares the beauty of the region as well as the pressures of change over the decades. The smell of her grandfather’s workshop and the salt air linger long after you close the book."
Founder, First Book
"Paige Peterson’s memoir is charming and evocative, and perfectly captures the feeling of what it was like growing up in one of the most magical places in America. Paige is wonderfully talented, both as a writer and an artist, and it was an honor and a delight to collaborate with her on Blackie, our children’s book about Tiburon’s legendary (if nearly motionless) horse. I loved reading Growing Up Belvedere-Tiburon, and you will, too."
Christopher B. Cerf
Emmy and Grammy award-winning author, composer, and producer
"All those who enjoyed Paige Peterson’s book for children, Blackie: The Horse Who Stood Still, will love her forthcoming memoir of childhood. With vivid brush strokes of detail, she paints a narrative filled with movement and light. And, like the best Impressionists, Peterson hints that there is more to this landscape than meets the eye."
Former Mayor of Belvedere
“I felt everything Peterson described as if it were only last week. We have many overlapping experiences which really validates it all for me. Box sliding. Capsizing. 4:30 whistle. Wandering free all day with no worries about food and water. Arrow heads. Wild flowers. Forts under the eucalyptus. West Shore beach. Colored glass under the Yacht club and Farr Cottages. What a place it was. What a place it is.“
Belvedere Land Company
"This loving Belvedere memoir reminds us how the landscape for children has changed dramatically over the last decades; how many of our clearest and happiest childhood memories are of being outside; lying under a big tree, crabbing, building forts, keeping real and imaginary horses fed and watered, and feeling free. This true tale will draw the reader back to their childhood; to where we learned our first enjoyment of nature, empathy for creatures, sense of oneness with nature and the sense of responsibility for the environment and enduring nature of family and friendship. Paige captures all of this and more in her gift to us of Growing Up Belvedere-Tiburon."
Cricket and Alan Jones,
Dean Emeritus, Grace Cathedral
"Beautiful Belvedere - a love story. She reminds us there was a time in America when we were all young and free of cell phones and social media. A time we could share precious sunny days with friends and family. Her memories fill our hearts with a yearning for connections to our past. Her history, a chronicle of nostalgia beautifully written with photos that tug at your heart. Don’t miss this snap shot of a magical place called Belvedere.”
Dr. Jay and Sharon Levy
Professor of Medicine, UCSF
"A vivid description of idyllic childhood days penned by a poet and woven together with priceless historic pictures of our beloved Belvedere. Thanks for such a wonderful book!"
Khalid and Sally Alturki
"In Growing Up Belvedere-Tiburon, Paige Peterson captures a time and a place that translates into timelessness… a nostalgic yearning for simpler times that is all the more relevant and urgent given the fractured world we live in. At the same time Growing Up Belvedere-Tiburon is a chance to return to our own childhoods and reimagine the magic of what once was. And the magic that is Paige Peterson."
"Paige’s writing is her art. Her paintings are her poetry. Growing Up Belvedere-Tiburon is her love letter to her memories and her sense of place.Paige’s description of her childhood in Belvedere reminded me of my childhood in Italy. Bravissima."
"Paige’s childhood memories and the fabulous archival images are nostalgic and insightful. As a reminder of how life was, the book is a breath of fresh air — and a really good read. "
Former Executive Producer and President of CNN and MSNBC
“What a precious gift to journey back to simpler times on the Belvedere/Tiburon Peninsula, where I resided for over 60 years. Paige rekindled my memories of her and my sons and so many other kids, venturing and growing up on the magical lagoon. I am filled with gratitude for this exquisitely done book, not just for myself, but that so many others may have the experience of embarking to a place that fills the heart."
Gerald Jampolsky, M.D.
"Once again, Paige Peterson reaches back to her own history just north of San Francisco to bring forth inspiration, imagination, and awe. In “Blackie,” she captured an emotional heartbeat of a community's love and appreciation for the valiant life story of an old swayback, black horse who stood between the road and the Bay for years. Here, she transports us to a seemingly idyllic time of growing up on the Belvedere Peninsula just across from the city. These more complex times we live in are made more palatable as she helps us recall her, and maybe our own, more innocent beginnings."
Diane Cirincione, Ph.D.
“Peterson's book reminds me why I have lived on the peninsula my entire life. I have never found a reason to leave and always feel so grateful every time I return from traveling. I could look at those photos every day and see something different each time I look at them. It's also fun to see what is still there today. Bravo! “
San Francisco Yacht Club Staff Commodore
Retired Tiburon Fire Battalion
"For Marin residents – past or present – Paige Peterson reveals to us the vibrancy and scope of an immense history of the tiny island and peninsula of Belvedere-Tiburon. Paige draws us back through history from the Miwoks, as early as 3,000 BC, into the everyday freedoms and joys of her own childhood, to the Boardwalk, China Cabin and Main Street of today. As one of her former teachers I’m extremely proud of Paige’s work as a captivating writer and a deeply caring person who honestly depicts her adventurous youth, loving family history and relationships that were not without pain and loss. She paints with her words. Photos are frosting on the cake."
Sr. M. Gervaise Valpey
San Domenico School
"Paige’s beautifully crafted words ignited memories of past sights, smells and the genuine feeling of freedom that we were privileged to experience growing up in such a magical place. At the time, we had no concept of how just how special this quaint little island in Southern Marin was and remains. In our day, there were middle class families, contractors and policemen living on the lagoon and we all gathered to celebrate our connection at the annual picnic. Drawing back to the memories of growing up in Belvedere, I was reminded of that Friday night in 1964 that a knock came to the door in the middle of the night and we all went up to St. Hilary’s parking lot to find refuge from the potential tsunami from the Anchorage, Alaska earthquake. I remember thinking that all the residents of Belvedere and Tiburon, who fit on that hillside parking lot, were one big family, looking out for each other."
"Paige has created and documented the story of a magical place in time. But unlike the mystical Brigadoon that only appears every 100 years, it is here and now and forever.”
Daughter of Alan Jay Lerner, author of the book and lyrics of “Brigadoon"
"Paige Peterson has written a lovely memoir of her childhood and girlhood in Belvedere. It clearly is a charming place to grow up and live and she has captured it in her remembrance."
Joan Ganz Cooney
Founder of Sesame Street
"For people who love her -- and I am one -- Paige Peterson has always been magical indeed. And now I know why: Belvedere, Brigadoon on the Bay, a place of extraordinary beauty, cherished, lifetime friendships and glorious childhoods if hers is any indication. In 'Growing Up Belvedere-Tiburon' Paige, with great charm and exquisite emotional detail, returns to the years that she and her pals turned two glorious acres into their own personal playground, exploring, laughing, ferreting out secrets...coming of age in a village of ageless beauty. Small town America breeds big-time dreams, landing Paige in New York where the celebrated artist, continuing in the vaunted social footsteps of her Mayor-mother, Connie, throws the best dinner parties in Manhattan. Lucky, myself, to grow up in the Montana equivalent of Belvedere, Hamilton (2000 happy inhabitants), her evocative remembrances of a one-a-of-kind California childhood, strike a sentimental chord in my own heart. Belvedere-Tiburon could not have a more talented, loyal, enthusiastic ambassador than Paige Peterson. She simply loves the place! And, now, because of her, we all do."
"Each sentence in this book is a memory gem, a collection which is at once visceral and romantic. I see, hear, smell, and wonder at each vibrant description. Peterson’s writing has a heartbeat of joy and gratitude. With her words about childhood innocence and discovery in Belvedere, she reveals the origins of her passions for color and form, people and place. I love it!"
“A ‘must-read’ for anyone familiar with Belvedere . . . or for anyone who has not been fortunate enough to experience it first-hand. Paige captures it perfectly.”
Belvedere Citizen of the Year
"The way it was . . . . Tales and pictures by a lucky Paige as she and Belvedere grew up together."
"Paige Peterson is uniquely qualified to capture the magic of Belvedere and has done so with her memories and reflections of growing up here. I, too, have lived here for over 40 years and also appreciate the magic of Belvedere, which we all try to keep. A place where no one leaves."
“Not only does Paige conjure up memories of my own carefree childhood, but she also gave me an insider’s perspective about the history of this special place. I enthusiastically recommend this book to all who live on the Belvedere-Tiburon Peninsula.”
Co-founder, Marin Magazine
“If you love local nostalgia, Growing Up Belvedere-Tiburon is for you. It has heart, soul and a million memories you’ll clearly recognize. And the vintage photos are icing on the cake.”
Co-founder Marin Magazine
"In Growing Up Belvedere-Tiburon, Paige Peterson stops time. The rich amalgam of word and image coupled with her unfailing artist’s eye capture the freedom and wonder of halcyon days. This is a book to savor, treasure, and share with those we love. I was lost in its beauty."
Actress and author
“This latest book from Paige Peterson is a beautiful account of her deep connection to Belvedere. It is a lyrical and personal history that captures the joy and spirit of three generations; told with nostalgia and sensitivity. ”
Bob and Alex Leitstein
“As a many-year resident of Belvedere, I savor every word in Paige’s exquisite gift. Her heartfelt love letter captures the very soul of Belvedere --- a magical place, grounded in history, with an engaged community. All of us who live here are grateful for Paige’s important reminder of why we love Belvedere as we do.”
Former Mayor of Belvedere
"In Paige Peterson’s memories of Belvedere, it's a Utopian enclave, protected and preserved by geography and pride. You think: too good to be true, it must be different now. But then you learn how, even as it has grown, it has maintained its specialness, and you hope, in your next life, you can grow up there."
"Looking across San Francisco Bay I see the green of Tiburon and Belvedere; to the left is Sausalito and Ondine, where once in the 70s I dined during a storm watching the windows flex a magical scene…I wanted to go there. To Belvedere. Paige Peterson now takes us through her life—to 'the silence and secrets' in this town of 800 in the 1950s…of 'golden hills now covered with oak and pine trees. It’s the things that stay the same that stay with me,' Paige tells us; of those licorice plants, scorched black coffee, snowy egrets, kingfishers and owls; foghorns and the smell of plum, apple, orange, pear, eucalyptus and lemon trees. Bat rays and the lagoon. You may remember these enchantments. Just open the book."
Designer and Artist
"I had the great fortune to visit Belvedere often as a teenager since my first girlfriend, the author of this book, lived on the lagoon with her family. I have very fond memories of both Belvedere and the author, whom I still visit on the lagoon when she comes to visit her mother in the same house overlooking the lagoon where we met fifty years ago. I appreciate that Paige's book brings back so many good memories of a very special place and person in my life.”
Donald du Bain
"I yearn for Paige Petersons world in Growing Up in Belvedere-Tiburon, it’s beauty, memory and sense of place. I never want to leave…."
“Paige perfectly captures the beguiling nature of Belvedere and the Tiburon Peninsula, then and now. Her vibrant childhood stories harken back to a simpler, more playful time, when kids forged their own fun, each day full of new adventure."
San Francisco Yacht Club Staff Commodore
"Paige has a creator's capacity for molding the past into an artwork, sometimes a painting, sometimes a garden, sometimes a living room, sometimes a piece of writing. Every story is a memoir of sorts — whether her book with Christopher Cerf, Blackie: The Horse Who Stood Still which I had the honor of publishing, or Growing Up Belvedere-Tiburon. Paige observes, she retains. She distills. And then she produces something that touches everyone with whom it comes into contact."
"Nan and I have visited your glorious venue, and I appreciate what you have done in writing and illustrating a big and beautiful coffee-table size book, the memory of being so lucky as to reside in Belvedere.”
"In Growing Up Belvedere Tiburon, Paige Peterson takes us back in time as she relives her childhood in this idyllic Northern California hamlet. I found myself savoring each word of her delicious prose, and at the same time, eagerly anticipating what new adventure was coming next. As she writes of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches packed in a brown paper bag, drinking from garden hoses, and the scent of honeysuckle and rose bushes that “could stop you in your tracks,” she asks, “Don’t we all have such memory rooms—composed of tastes, smells and textures?”
For many, I’m sure the book will indeed evoke memories of your own childhood, as it did for me, when summer seemed to last forever, and happiness came from mischievous adventures with friends and the freedom provided by your bicycle. This delightful book, filled with nostalgic photographs, as well as rich history, will be a keepsake. And for those of us lucky enough to live in Belvedere-Tiburon, it is a reminder of the preciousness of this place we call home."
Author and Belvedere resident
“An exuberant memory of a special place. A heart-warming addition to Belvedere's history.”
"Thanks to Paige for producing such a lovely and well written memoir of this special “Beautiful View” that we call home."
“Paige Peterson has written a beautifully nostalgic book. The photographs of the old town are remarkable. Paige’s ability to place you in her past makes you want to have been able to grow up with her. The book is a wonderful addition to any coffee table or home library.”
"I've only been to the peninsula once, but Paige makes me feel like I'm coming home. The simple stories evoke the collective childhood summers of our past. Times when we were really present; when friends and family were really together; when the sky met the sea and the sunset gave us all a golden glow. As a visual artist and a compelling writer, her words evoke all our senses. Paige has written a lovely valentine to this charming Northern California town and made me wish it were summer again.”
"I have vivid memories of Belvedere’s beauty from John Dodds, who lived there and named his imprint Belvedere Books at the publishing company I was running in New York. Paige does justice to the magic of the island with her informative and delightful book.”
"Paige Peterson’s artistry is sublime. She paints a vivid landscape of her picturesque hometown on the San Francisco Bay and takes us on an enchanting, delightful journey. Her book is a treat and a treasure."
Founder of The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute
“I lived next door to Paige from 1962 to 1970 and watched her grow up. She really captures the feeling and reality of growing up in Belvedere. I especially remember Paige’s doll house…she showed it to me in her closet…not wanting her friends to know she still loved it. Wish Paige still had it…but now she has her paintings on her grandfather’s garden walls! I feel lucky to be back in Paige’s Brigadoon.”
"A delicious tale of times gone by. As a 36 year resident of first the Lagoon and currently the Island, I highly recommend this book for all in our beautiful Belvedere.”
"Paige's Growing Up Belvedere-Tiburon makes me wish with all my heart that I had grown up here as well. Looking, listening and smelling Paige's stories is truly a memorable experience for me.In short, this is going to be on every coffee table and could provoke someone to write a narrative about their home town experiences……"
"Paige offers the reader a lovely and loving recollection of her childhood in Belvedere. Her effortless writing brings us into the hometown of her youth with just the right amount of sentimentality to engage our emotions, carrying us with her to a beautiful time past in one of the most charming small towns in America. The photographs and prose fit together perfectly. Surely anyone who has had the opportunity to live in this special place or visited the area will delight in reading Paige Peterson's marvelous childhood memoir."
Dr. Ezriel Kornel
"A wonderful account of growing up in Belvedere which would resonate with anyone raised in small town America in a bygone era although, alas, few in such sublime natural beauty. Paige is a born storyteller."
Dr. Mark Pederson
"Growing Up Belvedere-Tiburon is a magical moment as the cinematic eye of the author lifts you into a different time and space. A destination that brings words into a rush of memories of smell, touch and adventure of childhood, a carefree life and fantasy. You can read it 10 times a day. A great escape!"
“Paige captures a way of life I wished I had experienced as a child and still yearn to experience as an adult. I am certain that her memories of growing up in this Northern California paradise will touch the hearts of all who read it.”
Annette Tapert Allen
“I didn’t grow up on the Belvedere/Tiburon Peninsula but my four sons did. My wife and I moved there with three sons in 1961. We found a duplex for $100.00/month that had a view from Mt. Tamalpais to San Francisco. In those days, I commuted to and from San Francisco on the ferry across the Bay and my wife picked me up from the ferry every night with our four boys in the back of our station wagon. We moved four times after that but always stayed in the same area. One of those houses overlooked Blackie’s Pasture and we could see Blackie standing in the field every day. Paige’s book Growing Up Belvedere-Tiburon brought back wonderful memories of living in this special place."
"I have only lived on the Belvedere Lagoon for 38 years, but was first introduced to Belvedere over 60 years ago.
Paige, you hit a home run describing life on the lagoon, you lucky girl!"
Former Mayor of Belvedere
"Wow! Paige Peterson is a wonderful storyteller! I caught my breath when I read the part about my running down the path to beat mom in her car! I knew how many stairs on each Lane there were on the Island. Paige's vignettes brought back so many memories, some I shared. It totally warmed my heart, and some parts I had to laugh out loud at the ridiculous dangerous acts we got away with, 'but for the grace of God.’ Thank you for sharing endearing memories of your childhood with us."
(The girl who beat her parents down the Island.)
"Paige Peterson has more energy and talents than one person should be allowed. I’ve known Paige for more than twenty years and have been impressed by her accomplishments over and over again. I also know her as a person who brings people together and inspires the best in us all.
Now she’s taken on another venture during the covid era. Coming back ‘home’ to Belvedere, returning to the family home built on the local lagoon in the 1950s, Paige began to remember the heartwarming story of her childhood days. The bellowing of foghorns on the San Francisco Bay, the golden hills on the Tiburon Peninsula, the life of paddleboarding, rafting, swimming, and kayaking on the lagoon while watching the beautiful views over Mount Tamalpais.
Her new coffee table book Growing Up Belvedere-Tiburon, is being published by the Belvedere-Tiburon Landmarks Society. The lovely and lucky days of living a life on the lagoon still warms the heart and continues to encourage Paige’s exploration about her past, present, and future. Remembering the beauty and adventure of her childhood and realizing that her past is also her present opens another creative work for Paige."
Director Belvedere Tiburon Library
"Paige Peterson’s new book, Growing up Belvedere-Tiburon, takes us on an excursion to Belvedere Past; exploring her 1950s life on the Lagoon, when “nature was our classroom and playground and we rode our bikes wherever we went,” she writes.
Paige peels away 2020 Developed Belvedere, to reveal a richer past. She recalls that millions of monarch butterflies blanketed the eucalyptus; traffic stopped for the coveys of quail; dozens of crabs offered themselves up at low tide; a child could proudly bring home supper by just filling up a pail of clams she dug from the mudflats.
She snapshots the then-active railroad yard; the engineer waving and sounding the whistle in greeting as the train rumbled past. She stirs memories of jackrabbits, river otters and all manner of wild seafood thriving with the foghorn soundtrack. Paige and her kidpack visited the real Blackie, the pastured horse that they fed with apples donated by the friendly grocer (and the subject of Peterson’s best-selling book, Blackie: The Horse Who Stood Still).
Paige and entourage played tennis at the Belvedere Tennis Club, sailed on the Bay, swam in the Lagoon, roved the golden hills, then skittered down the peaks, perched on precarious waxed boxes boxes. As long as Paige headed home when the Tiburon Fire Department’s daily whistle reliably blew at 4:30 p.m., she was on her own. Sundays were reserved for St. Stephen’s, where many of her life’s milestones were celebrated.
Paige’s personal passages will resonate with Belvedere-Tiburon long-timers, while peninsula newcomers will enjoy sharing the colorful slices of the past with their children."
"A Belvedere childhood was a dream come true. Our children explored the lanes, the shore, and the train tracks, and they did it all safely. Mothers on the Tiburon Peninsula didn’t worry when their children left the house. They knew the 4:30 whistle would bring them home. Paige has captured that magical childhood with amazing accuracy in this lovely book."
Former Mayor of Belvedere
Paige Peterson’s Growing Up Belvedere-Tiburon is a remarkable book, and more than a book, it’s a journey. “Behind our gate we are nestled into nostalgia.” Paige shows us, that whether or not the actual gates of a childhood home are standing, we can still swing them open.
In the first section of the book she invokes a childhood that I recognize and shared. I’ve wondered, though, if my children and their generation can understand growing up where “Nature was our classroom and playground.” This book is the primer. She describes many adventures of childhood that allowed for exploration and discovery simultaneously of oneself and the natural world. For me, it was the woods behind the houses just across the street, the fallen tree propped at a forty-five degree angle that was our spaceship. “All kids loved exploring the railroad.” And in that sentence I, too, remembered: across the other street, behind those houses, the railroad where we nestled as the railroad cars thundered past and we rushed out to collect our flattened pennies. Memories of her corner of Marin County and her childhood exploits come alive in Peterson’s evocative prose.
Subsequent sections explore places and people through a rich archive of photographs as her essay continues in informative captions that take us on a tour of such places as Corinthian Island, the Railroad in Tiburon (1884), the Lanes, a proverbial main street, Tiburon’s Goat Lady, to name a few, and Blackie’s pasture, recalling the book Blackie: The Horse Who Stood Still illustrated and co-authored by Paige and Christopher Cerf. And following this section, some details about Tiburon and Belvedere’s actual history.
But what is “actual” history. It is a history in the context of personally lived space, where, with a squint of the eye, history is everywhere. From the stubs of an old trestle the trestle itself and train emerge and the train thunders through; from sea-washed pilings, wharves and ships rise and sail again; friends who have passed on, their known and unknown relatives, still live.
While this is a personally told history, it captures much more than a nostalgia for growing up in the ‘50’s. It is a documentation of that history, a social history, invoked with precise recall and prose, a wealth of documentary photos, and a spirit of love and wonder.
Proceeds from the sale of Growing Up Belvedere-Tiburon benefit the Belvedere-Tiburon Landmarks Society.