One of the advantages of having lived in Napa County for a mere 30 years is I can look at it with eyes unclouded by sentiment. Gregg Moore's letter about the Napa he grew up in, and its implied superiority to American Canyon and Vallejo gave me pause ("American Canyon is not part of the Napa Valley," Nov. 2).
He said that American Canyon is "part of the expansion of Vallejo and has all of Vallejo's issues and concerns."
I will leave it to the people of Vallejo to defend their town, but I must point out that much of the 20th-century prosperity of Napa was due to the well-paying jobs at Mare Island, in Vallejo. (Vallejo also has a world-class medical facility, Kaiser Permanente, where many Napa citizens are born.) The closing of Mare Island, just over 25 years ago, was a real blow, and a cautionary tale about over-reliance on one industry to support a community.
On a personal note, I have enjoyed many evenings in Vallejo, especially at the Empress Theatre, where I have attended performances of the Vallejo Symphony.
As for American Canyon, it was only incorporated in 1992, and before that had no real political standing with the county, which treated it as a rural/industrial outpost. Today, it has some beautiful parks, access to wetlands, and many outdoor activities. The American Canyon schools are high achieving, and the community takes great pride in them. Before the pandemic, the musical entertainments at American Canyon High School were standing-room-only.
I will leave the "Gateway to Napa Valley" debate to semanticists and realtors and other specialists. However, I see no point in denigrating neighboring communities, especially during times such as these. Which reminds me, I should send a donation to the Vallejo Symphony and American Canyon High School's choir program.