Small Town, Big Heart

Aromas residents treasure their miniature community park, petite post office, cozy library, dinky gas station and big mural (compared to everything else.) The whole town is small, but it’s jumping with energy, creativity, and kind folks who know how to look after each other.

As a long-time muralist, I became involved in the local mural project known as; how to make a down town rustic eye-sore look good. The ancient paint-peeling eye-sore was called Marshall’s Service. ( next door to Marshall’s Grocery) All that remained was a small, two-story wood building in the center of town.

When I was first approached to design a mural for the Marshall building, I didn’t know any of its history, not even the fact that it was once a gas station. (dah) I produced eight different designs and asked the Aromas Hills Artisans to vote on the one best suited. Most of the votes went to the picture of a 1936 International delivery truck and an old-style gas pump.

Being fairly new in Aromas, I still didn’t have a clue. I thought they liked the truck picture because it included chickens and striped canopies. But as the painting progressed, people stopped by to tell me how much they appreciated the mural. It seemed many of them had known, or knew about, Mr. Marshall and his family. After talking to the folks for two days, I realized how deep the roots of Aromas were, how much my neighbors loved their tiny town—and now I’m on of them.

I shall be interviewing members of the Aromas Hills Artisans, one at a time, beginning with author, Jennifer Chase. Stay tuned!


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