California: Valley Press, San Lorenzo Valley, September 3, 1997

Friends create memorial garden

by Donna Jones


From left: Melissa Gibson, Molly McMillan, Allison Dandridge, Margaret Cannelora, Amy Pereira and Trista Rinde worked on the memorial planter with Tim Pfister (front). Barbara and Jim Gibson and Todd Anderson also helped.

A group of young San Lorenzo Valley residents, touched by recent local tragedies, decided to plant a Ben Lomond fountain as a memorial to David James Maze, Eric Chandler Gilson, Charles Habita Jackson-Smith, and Annie Born.

Maze, Gilson and Jackson-Smith, all local residents, were killed in a car crash July 4 in Boulder Creek. Born, a San Lorenzo Valley High graduate who was attending Fresno State University, was murdered and found in a field outside Fresno.

"We wanted to do something positive to remember Annie and the boys," said Ben Lomond resident Melissa Gibson, who spearheaded the effort.

The project started earlier in the summer when Gibson and a handful of other friends began preparing the planter with the help of Tim Pfister of Pfister’s Perennials. Some plants were placed in the upper levels of the fountain at that time, and an irrigation system was installed.

Last Friday, the group met again to complete the project, installing more than five dozen plants. Gibson said she especially appreciate Pfister’s generosity. He donated more than $400 worth of plants, she said, as well as his time.

Groups have tried to landscape the fountain that used to be part of a resort hotel in the past, but due in part to the lack of access to water on the site, beautification has wound up being temporary. Gibson, however, arranged a water connection on the site with the out-of-town property owner, set up a timed irrigation system with Pfister, and Ben Lomond Business Association has agreed to pick up the tab. Gibson, who will soon leave for college, said she also plans to schedule workdays when she is in town to maintain the memorial.

SLV High teacher Terry Umstead and 1991 grad Brook Hardy will make a sign to mark the memorial.