Tom Griffin Founder of the Orange Book Vision
Celebrating our 60th anniversary would not be complete without acknowledging Tom Griffin, founder of the Orange Book vision.
Mr. Griffin was a true Renaissance man who successfully combined astute business acumen with a love for opera, photography, and the written word. For more than 30 years, Tom was the publisher of community newspapers throughout the San Diego Back Country, including the Ramona Sentinel, the Borrego Villager, the Julian Nugget,
the Julian Villager and The Alpine Sun.
In 1956, shortly after becoming publisher and editor of the Ramona Sentinel, Tom and his wife Carol, whom he had wed in 1941, were urged by the Ramona Chamber of Commerce to start a community directory to aid local businesses in reaching their customers. As a result of that urging, the Ramona Orange Book was published, followed in subsequent years by community directories in Borrego Springs, Julian, and Valley Center. Mr. Griffin’s commitment to the Ramona business community and to important civic improvement
projects in our town resulted in a number of recognitions including
a Ramona Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award and the 1967 Citizen of the Year from that same organization.
Tom passed away on January 6, 2003 at the age of 80 and the Orange Book continued under the leadership of Carol, their son Paul, and Paul’s wife, Jeanette until my purchase of the company
While I never had the privilege of meeting Tom, I feel I have gotten to know him through the legacy he created at Orange Book. I was lovingly regaled with stories about Tom by his family and, with
great frequency, I will meet someone from our community who will share their “Tom Griffin” story.
With great consistency, those stories speak of a bigger-than-life man who was passionate about what he did and whose enthusiasm and sense of humor were infectious. They also speak of a man who had an innate sense of justice and a commitment to “…doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I respect that legacy and thank Mr. Griffin for founding the Orange Book on such indestructible principles. I thank him on this, the 60th anniversary, of his creation