WHO WE ARE
Cruisin' the Boulevard, Inc., an all-volunteer, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit California Public Benefit Corporation, was founded in 2005 by a group of classic car and American Graffiti enthusiasts to pay tribute to the film, rekindle the "happy days" it portrays, and benefit Petaluma. Net proceeds from each annual Salute are invested in our own community projects as well as other community programs that benefit arts, education, history, safety and welfare.
Board of Directors (Officers)
President: Greg Gustafson
Vice President: John Furrer
Secretary/Treasurer: Lori Glenn
Petaluma School District
Retired, SBC/Pacific Bell
Body Shop Manager
Santa Rosa, CA
Staunch Cruisin' the Blvd. supporter!
Rhonda Van Patten
Wayne Van Patten, Jr.
Retired, Albertson's Supermarket
Casa Grande High School
John Maher aka Petaluma Pete
Website & Advertising Contact
Robert Frost once wrote that Nothing Gold Can Stay and so it is that we pay tribute to members of the cast and production staff who have made the final turn onto the ultimate ‘main drag’; cruising somewhere over the rainbow. You will always be gold in the hearts of American Graffitifans everywhere.
March 26, 1944 - September 19, 2010
If you attended any of the past Salutes, you may have seen Rich as he worked the check-in cue when you entered the event to park your car. Whether you knew Rich or not, if it wasn’t for him, there would be no Salute or car show.
It was Rich who took the idea for this show and started the non-profit, doing all the required paperwork. Rich was the kind of person who didn’t let anything get in his way, he always had an answer or knew how to get the hard things done. He was a dedicated volunteer, whether it be for the 14 years he volunteered for the Boys and Girls Club or for the 6 years he volunteered with us, he loved every minute of it. He was a “car guy” and he loved it! He was one of our founding board members, a friend, and part of our family. His memory will live on in the ones he left behind. Thank you Rich! We miss you and we know that you are watching over us.
William "Bill" Maley
March 5th, 1930 - February 14th, 2013
We met Bill in 2007. Bill was the "Graffer" for George Lucas for both THX 1138 and American Graffiti. Bill's career as a gaffer spanned over 50 years. During his career, Bill was honored with the "Northern California Film Pioneer Award" for opening the first stage (Stage A) in San Francisco.
From the first day we met Bill, we became friends. The stories he told about the filming adventures during American Graffiti amazed us and, at times, made us all laugh. He even told us that if you watch closely, you will see him in the movie. Bill attend our Thursday night dinners for 6 years, entertaining all the guests at his table. Bill was also a big help in our recreation of the cop car rear end scene in 2008. Making sure we had the same lighting that he set up for Mr. Lucas in 1972.
"Good Bye Good Friend, Let There Be Light!"
Wolfman Jack (Robert Weston Smith)
January 21, 1939 to July 1, 1995
We never had the opportunity to meet The Wolfman, but several Cruisin’ The Boulevard directors have fond memories of listening to him rock the airways way back when!
Henry Richard Travers
August 8, 1937 to August 20, 2006
Henry was one cool dude and just loved to talk cars and movies. We met both he and his wife Jackie in 2006 and it was like we’d known one another for years!
One day in 1964 he was driving a fruit delivery truck through the Sonoma Valley. He liked it so much that he and Jackie moved to Sonoma where they lived for 42 years before he retired from the movie business and they relocated to Sparks, Nevada in 2001. Henry loved working with cars and trucks and even raced NASCAR between 1968 and 1972. (He was the 5th in California). It was during this time, in 1970, that he was asked to be a driver in the movie The Candidate and it was at that film’s wrap-up party where he first met George Lucas.
Mr. Lucas asked him to be the transportation manager for a “car movie” that he was going to produce, an offer that he couldn’t refuse and so, American Graffiti launched Henry’s career in the film industry. He worked on many, many movies including More American Graffiti, The Conversation, Smile, Shoot the Moon and Jack, his last film before retiring. He also helped produce numerous commercials, many for Joe Pytka, one of the most prolific and acclaimed television commercial directors in the business. He was especially fond of a commercial that he worked on with John Wayne at Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands of Washington State.
Despite being away from home frequently, Henry was a family man and although daughter Sandra was their only child, he and Jackie enjoyed camping with Grandchildren Christi and John. Throughout his life, Papa Stinky Feet as he was affectionately named by Great Granddaughter Jessika, owned many cars including most recently a ’56 Ford Pickup and a ’57 Chevy 210 Station Wagon. He owned the Ford twice! After a heart attack at the age of 43, he sold it to family friend Don Orlandi and told him, “Remember, it will always be MY truck”. As a gift for his 61st birthday, Jackie bought it back for him!
But alas, Henry has embarked on that ultimate cruise down the great boulevard in the sky. We miss him dearly, but we know he’s up there keeping an eye on us. In your honor, we have also established the Henry Travers' Memorial Scholarship Fund. Oh, and by the way, watch out for the cop car parked at Jerry’s Cherries!
See ya, buddy!
Your friends at Cruisin’ The Boulevard!
Pharaoh Carlos (Manuel Padilla, Jr.)
July 13, 1955 to January 29, 2008
Our Salute 2006 marked Manuel’s first appearance at a car show as one of the stars of American Graffiti! One of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet, we’re fortunate to have his handprints and signature in a concrete block that will eventually be placed in a Petaluma sidewalk.