Penngrove museum worth taking a look
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By GraceAnn Walden   May 17, 2013 12:00 am

Last Sunday, Steve and Nancy Phillips hosted an extensive yard sale in order to raise money for their Penngrove venue, the Penngrove Power and Implement Museum. 

Yes, Penngrove not only has its own song, but also a real museum displaying thousands of antique machines.

“They all work,” says Phillips. He'll prove it on July 13, when he holds his annual “power up.” On that day, scores of the machines will be turned on for all to see and hear. Phillips reports the gasoline for Power Up Day costs $500. (Admission is $5 for adults, children are free.)

Phillips says one unique experience he had over the years was when film maker George Lucas came and made recordings of his different motors.

The collection started when Phillips was in junior high. He became fascinated with the transition from hand tools to animal driven implements to mechanical equipment operated by steam, diesel, gas and electricity. Growing up on a 50-acre chicken ranch in Penngrove, he saw the evolution in farming firsthand.He is particularly proud of a 1905 steam engine from Nebraska, he recently acquired. The story-high engine was used in farming.

Penngrove Power and Implement Museum is located at 200 Phillips Drive, Penngrove (www.penngrovepower.org). Tours are by reservation. Go to info@penngroverpower.org for more information.

An ode to Penngrove

Lots of towns have songs about them. There's New York, New York and Chicago, not to mention a slew for San Francisco. But who would have thought that of Rohnert Park, Cotati and Penngrove, that the only community with its own song, is tiny Penngrove.

Cowboy singer Salvadore Fuentes lived in Penngrove for 35 years, working a day job and singing locally at night. His stage name was Sal Sage. Eventually, he and his group would tour the country singing straight forward cowboy-country music.

On his CD, available on his website, www.salsage.com, “Songs of the Old West,” volume 1, you'll find selections like “Sue City Sue,” the “Orange Blossom Special” and his composition, “Just the Little Town of Penngrove.”

Legend has it that Sage penned the tune while sitting at a railroad track with a truck load of cattle waiting for a train to clear the crossing.

Sage's brand of country singing predates the rhinestone era – think Gene Autry, think classic.

Some years ago, he and his wife, Georgia, moved to Lincoln, near Sacramento. There they have a small ranch with cattle and horses. But Sage had not retired from music. He is a member of the Western Swing Society in Sacramento, the Western Music Association, Old Time Fiddlers, and is the founder of Lincoln Western Music Roundup.

I'd tell you more about Just the Little Town of Penngrove, but I'm waiting for my CD.

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