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Title Oral History of Verna Parino
Collection Oral History
Scope & Content Born in 1917 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Verna Parino lived in Mill Valley for more than 60 years until her death in 2015. In this oral history, Verna recounts how she moved to San Francisco in 1942, and soon after made her first visit to Mill Valley with her church youth group to spend a weekend at the Alpine Hiking Club Lodge. She tells the "romantic tale" of how Mill Valley's first Youth and Community Center was brought into being in 1962 - a project with which she and her husband Dick Parino were involved - offering it as an example of her adopted town's remarkable civic spirit. After Dick's untimely death five years later, Verna describes immersing herself in the world of opera, and discusses her decades-long educational and organizational work as a volunteer for the San Francisco Opera Guild. Verna's passion for opera - and especially the operas of Richard Wagner, whose epic opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen she saw performed 77 times - took her around the world, earning her the nickname "The Opera Lady," and bringing renown to Mill Valley. In addition to her tremendous love of opera, Verna poignantly expresses the sense of home and belonging she found in Mill Valley, highlighting the town's diversity and natural beauty, and recollects the joy she received from her involvement in the Community Church, her many years working as a Girl Scout leader, and her friendship with the naturalist Elizabeth Terwilliger.
Audio and Transcript Click here to hear recording Part 1.
Click here to hear recording Part 2.
Click here to hear recording Part 3.
Click here to read the transcript.
Dates of Creation 2015-02-23
Narrator's name Parino, Verna
Interviewer Emerson, Nancy
Extent and Medium Transcript: 27pp
Recording Part 1: 01:39:25, Part 2: 00:42:18, Part 3: 00:20:14
Search Terms Mill Valley Community Center
Mill Valley Community Church
Operas & operettas
Parino, Dick
Parino, Verna
Volunteer work
Wagner, Richard
Object ID 2016.008.001
Object Name Recording
Copyrights Transcript and recording copyright Mill Valley Public Library, 2015. Materials are made available for research purposes only; all rights are reserved to the Mill Valley Public Library. Requests for permission to quote for publication or for any other usage must be obtained from the Library.