For the benefit of the SLV community and my old classmates, here is a recent article from the Sentinel about Mr. Boomer, a teacher no one will ever forget!
Posted: 07/14/2012 06:20:13 PM PDT
Preston Boomer at the keyboard of his pipe organ in Bonny Doon Saturday. «
- » A visit to the unusual home of 80-year-old Preston Boomer, hidden under the redwoods off Empire Grade Road, is a trip worth taking.
The 40 or so people gathered there on Saturday for an organ concert to benefit the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival agreed the place was a "trip" in every sense of the word.
"It's unusual, completely unique," Aptos resident Amy Isaksson said. "It's like fantasyland."
Boomer, a physics and chemistry teacher at San Lorenzo Valley High School since 1956, is mostly known for his towering 2,500-pipe organ that takes up an entire room in a small wood chapel, adorned with Christmas lights, next to his house.
Known as "Boom" by family and friends, he holds yearly performances known as the Boomeria Extravaganza to share the majestic instrument with others.
Members of the audience are welcome to take a seat under the organ and watch the various stops and pipes in play.
The organ was built in 1879 and given to Boomer by his great grandmother. Beginning in 1953, he began renovating the instrument and added 40 ranks. A rank is set of pipes responsible for producing one octave.
While the organ's ominous, thundering sounds lure people to Boomer's home in the Santa Cruz Mountains, many show up because it's sort of a medieval playground created by the modern day mad scientist and some of his students throughout the years.
The grounds include a castle, working guillotine with a steel blade used to cut watermelons not necks, catacombs, catapults and dungeons.
Those who've been there before warn not to trip over the ancient canon sitting outside the chapel.
A set of pulleys open wood doors from the ground that lead to concrete stairs and a dark room that could be a jail cell from another time.
Visitors are invited to tour the castle, a large stone and wood building with guard towers and murder holes, and climb down to the dungeon where a long path of tunnels and hand-cut caves await.
There's a giant metal merry-go-round and swings that hang from the towering trees.
The 14-foot deep pool is another draw