There is a soundtrack to the different moments in our lives. Background music that comes unbidden into our minds at times of emotion or nostalgia. This month, for me, the song has been “For what it’s worth” by Buffalo Springfield, the protest anthem from 1967. It made a generation more aware that there was, indeed, something happening here. It’s more than a little shocking that there’s been so little change in the last 50 plus years. 


We have completed the first year as the new editorial team for Benicia Magazine 2.0. The year began with articles on all the different events: 4th of July, Farmers Market, Waterfront Festival, Peddlers Fair, wine walks, art events, beer walks, Halloween, Christmas, social events, music events, sporting events, and philanthropy. But all of this came to a screeching halt in March with the shelter in place order. The world and our town became much more serious. Magazine content was more difficult to come by and it was an effort to keep a positive outlook within the pages of this publication. The Strawbridge’s helped, collaborated, and strategized with me as we navigated uncharted waters. Our art director, Margaret Bowles did an amazing and beautiful job keeping design integrity while making changes up to the last possible minute – and changes, closures and cancelations were happening daily.


We still covered restaurants and made lists of those who were open for takeout. We chronicled the amazing efforts that this town put forth to help the medical community and essential workers. There were thousands of masks sewn. There were signs and songs of support, the delivery of essential items and food to those in need. Everyone stepped up. We tried to reflect the energy and strength of purpose of our town. 


As Benicia reopens, there is controversy regarding how to do so. What are the new best practices and how do we implement them? These issues will be worked out through intelligent discourse. It won’t be loudest that prevail, but rather those who are most interested in the wellbeing and health of the entire community. 


The recent protests have shown the true strength of our town. Benicia youth marched in peaceful protest while our police department demonstrated what it means to be a Peace Officer. 


I am proud to be part of this community and proud to present its stories and heroes, restaurants, music, businesses, bars, schools, art, culture and philanthropy. 


There is something happening here, and it is Change. 


Thank you from all of us,


Mary Hand



Art director, contributing writers and collaborators:

Margaret Bowles, Lisa Duncan, Solofo Evans, Patty Gavin, Rebecca Gulick, Elizabeth (Bitsy) Hall, Genevieve Hand, Darrell Mcelvane, Jeannine Mendoza, Adriene Rockwell, Jade Shojaee, Maura Sullivan