A Visit with Betsy Stroman
In 1990, Betsy Stroman was living in San Francisco with her teenage daughter, Amy. One day Amy said, "I want to move to the suburbs so I can ride my bicycle."
Betsy was getting tired of city life as well, so she and Amy went house-hunting one Sunday afternoon and found a cute little cottage to rent in Sausalito. Betsy remembers it well: "There were steep steps down a narrow stairwell in the house. They led to a separated bedroom which Amy designated as hers." They rented the place for one year.
The following year, they moved to Lower Crescent Avenue. Amy wasn't thrilled about giving up her secluded basement retreat, but she realized that she would soon be leaving for college and went along with her Mom's decision. Betsy had been attracted to the house when she first saw it mainly because of the view, but that first night on Lower Crescent, Betsy couldn't sleep because the rotating beam from the lighthouse on Alcatraz was so bright. She thought that perhaps she had made a bad decision. However, she soon became used to the light, and since that time she has never regretted for a moment her move to Sausalito or to Lower Crescent Avenue.
Apart from the beauty of Sausalito, Betsy loves small town life, the wonderful friends she has made, and the sense that there are so many opportunities to make a difference.
Betsy was raised in New Haven, Connecticut, and went to Vassar College. Following her graduation from Stanford Law School, she began a career as an attorney specializing in litigation. In the mid-nineties, she met her second husband, Bob. They married in 1998.
Betsy was a founder of Sausalito Village, a community of friendship and support for Sausalito's older residents. Sausalito Village launched in 2010 and is open to anyone living in Sausalito and the Floating Homes Community. Betsy served as the board chair of Sausalito Village until 2015, which is also the year that she published a full-length biography of artist and longtime Sausalito resident Jean Varda, The Art and Life of Jean Varda. Previously, she wrote a book about the history of the Sausalito Library, A Place of Innocent Recreations, and served a three-year term on the Library Board of Trustees.
This is another installment in a regular series of articles about longtime Sausalito residents who have made an impact on our city. This article was written by John Oppenheimer, in collaboration with Age Friendly Sausalito, a task force of the Sausalito City Council. Age Friendly Sausalito is dedicated to advancing Sausalito as an age-friendly city so that its residents can actively age in place. Links to previous articles from the series may be found on the Age Friendly Sausalito website.
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