Weed’s 2009 Citizen of the Year Sam Catalano is a living treasure trove of information about the town he has called home since his birth over 88 years ago. 
With his penchant for storytelling and a memory that has faded little over the years, the long retired  mill sub-foreman has spent the past 19 years as a docent for the Weed Museum. It is an occupation which allows him ample opportunity to talk with others and share his love of history, two things that he loves to do.
Always one to put others before himself, Catalano expressed some reluctance to being interviewed, saying,  “There are lots of people in Weed doing good and important things.” That said, Catalano’s contributions to the community cannot be overlooked, and he continues to give back   through his ample volunteer service.  
In addition to working at the Weed Museum, Catalano has been a longtime friend and neighbor to many, serving his community as a Mason, a Shriner,  an Elk,  a Lyon and a member of the Sons of Italy. He has also served as a VFW Commander and President of the American Legion and has contributed many years as a volunteer firefighter.
“Brotherly love, relief and truth are important to me,” said Catalano, citing the creed of the Masons.  
 Despite his love of local history, Catalano is not one to sugar-coat the past. In talking about his 42 years in the cutting department of the Long-Bell mill, he recalled many of the things that were not so good about the “good old days.” 
A life long union man, Catalano spoke of the sometimes strained relations between the mill’s management and its workers.
He remembers some of the now famous strikes, reflecting on the violence and ill will that were born out of these incidents. “The working man is the backbone of our country,” he said, “but big business pushes the working man down.”
Sam also remembers the strained race relations that existed in both the community as a whole as well as at the mill. As a foreman, he trained many men and was known for his fair and equal treatment of everyone, regardless of their skin color or ethnic background.
Though he is not afraid of looking at the less glamorous aspects of Weed’s history, he holds many fond memories, as well. One of the things he has always liked the best about small town life is the closeness between family and neighbors. “After I got out of the service, I thought about living in San Francisco, but when I was down there, I tried to talk to people and was told by someone, ‘We don’t talk to each other here.’ After hearing that, I got on a bus that afternoon and headed back to Weed.” He has been here ever since.
Though he admits that he is often seen as a “radical” by others, Catalano prides himself on his honesty and forthrightness. “I’m not afraid to speak my mind, and I always tell the truth,” he said.
When asked what advice he has for the younger generations, Catalano replied, “Respect each other.”