Robin Chapman Discusses Latest Book at Museum Brunch

LOS ALTOS, CA (July 9, 2024) – Enjoy apricot waffles, sausages and fruit in Los Altos History Museum’s courtyard, followed by a talk with author and historian Robin Chapman based on her latest book, “The Valley of Heart’s Delight: True Tales from Around the Bay.” The event, “Book Talk and Brunch: Exploring Bay Area Tales with Robin Chapman,” is scheduled for July 27 from 10:00 am to noon.

Over the years, the Valley has attracted a variety of notable residents, from Hollywood stars seeking leisure to billionaires growing apricots for pleasure. It has also been home to orchards, electric railroads, Army camps, and even a love-struck poet. These stories make up the true tales in Chapman’s book.

A Los Altos native, Robin Chapman earned her Masters Degree in Journalism at UCLA. She worked as a broadcast journalist in the West, including KRON-TV, before heading to Washington D.C. where she covered the White House, Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court for ABC-7 TV. In 2009, she returned to the region to care for her parents, and after their passing, has since written a trilogy of books about California: “California Apricots: the Lost Orchards of Silicon Valley (2013), “Historic Bay Area Visionaries (2018) and her latest, “The Valley of Heart’s Delight: True Tales from Around the Bay” (2023), all published by The History Press and available in the Museum store.

“My first book was evoked by my parents’ death and sorting through their photos, which revealed the drastic changes in the Santa Clara Valley over the years. Published in 2013, it led me to discover fascinating people from the area who became the focus of my second book,” Chapman explained. “Each book gave birth to the next, with my latest being a collection of short stories about interesting people and landmarks. Some stories, like the restrictive history of property deeds in Los Altos, were less happy but prompted deeper exploration. This collection highlights the region’s path to the technology age, a quilt of pieces I thought people would find intriguing.”

“I hope to share with people at the brunch the delight I’ve been able to take learning about the region, both good and bad, and what makes it unique. Santa Clara Valley has a personality, and I have enjoyed exploring that.”

Chapman will sign copies of the book, with proceeds going toward the Museum. Admission is $15 per person, free for Museum members. Registration is required at losaltoshistory.org/brunch.

Los Altos History Museum began in 1977 with the opening of the historic J. Gilbert Smith House, built in 1905 on 14+ acres of apricot orchards planted by Mr. Smith. In 2001, Los Altos History Museum opened the modern building next door, which houses the Museum’s collections, permanent and changing exhibits, store and administrative offices. The Museum and its grounds are available for rent during evenings and weekends. Its collections are owned by the City of Los Altos and are managed by an independent nonprofit organization, whose staff and volunteers are responsible for all programs and operations.

 

The Museum is open Thursday through Sunday, from noon-4pm. Admission is free. Tours of the J. Gilbert Smith House are available during open hours. The outdoor agricultural exhibit, gardens and picnic area are accessible beyond Museum hours. For more information, visit: losaltoshistory.org, email hello@losaltoshistory.org, or phone 650.948.9427 x14.

 

Los Altos History Museum: Diane Holcomb, 650.948.9427 x14, dholcomb@losaltoshistory.org
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