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VIGNETTE > Pacific Sun


In 1963, Merrill and Joann Grohman created the Pacific Sun in the back of a Stinson Beach grocery store.  They moved the “Mom and Pop operation” to the garage of their home on Panoramic. In 1966 the Pacific Sun moved to San Rafael. Steve McNamara bought it that year.  In 1972, he moved operations to #21 Corte Madera Ave. in Mill Valley where they remained until 2005. The Pacific Sun is the second longest running alternative weekly in the country—Village Voice is first.  Before making a name in politics, Barbara Boxer gained recognition as a journalist for the Pacific Sun. For 52 weeks in 1975-1976, Mill Valley resident Cyra McFadden authored a chapter of “The Serial”, a satire about “pseudo-hip life in
Marin”.  In 1977, Alfred A. Knopf published all 52 episodes in a spiral bound 111-page book that sold for $4.95.  In 1978, NBC produced a special newscast hosted by Edwin Newman entitled, “I Want It all Now”. It was apparently inspired by “The Serial”, purporting to describe life in Marin County”.  Unfortunately, NBC missed the point and made up material. The National News Council voted to censure NBC over their portrayal. In 1980, Paramount Pictures produced “Serial”, starring Martin Mull and Tuesday Weld. Hollywood lacked McFadden’s deft touch and the movie was rather a bust.

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