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A mushroom fountain pours cooling water down at the Paul Nelson Aquatic Center in Santa Maria in June 2021. Volunteering is an opportunity to serve the community.

It’s good to be back! I moved back to my roots in the Santa Maria Valley just over a year ago, settling into our cottage nestled in the foothills in beautiful Orcutt.

It’s been a while. My family moved away over 60 years ago from the Nelson Ranch, located by the racetrack north of the river, to the oilfields of the western Central Valley.

My family has enjoyed a long-standing presence in the area. My great grandfather Ole Nielsen immigrated from Denmark in 1872. He disembarked from a coastal steamer in Avila Beach in 1876, and started developing his ranch in 1889.

Bill Nelson is an Orcutt resident and is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  

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