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Growing Up Morgan Hill Written By Jordan Rosenfeld W hile some still consider Morgan Hill a rural town compared to the bustle of other Silicon Valley cities, former city council member GREG SELLERS grew up in a Morgan Hill most people wouldn’t recognize. He, his two siblings, and their parents lived in the largely undeveloped Llagas Valley on an acre of property. With El Toro to the south, and wide open hillsides to the north, Sellers tells TODAY , “We had hundreds of acres we would just roam in whenever we wanted to, and ride our horses.” Now, as the father of four children, ages 10, 15, 18, and 26 with local fitness instructor Suzi Sellers, he expresses nostalgia for what seemed like safer times. “It was, in some ways, an idyllic way to grow up. My dad had a horn he’d blow when it was time for us to come in,” he adds with a laugh. “What I wish I could have given to my kids was the breadth of experience that I had, whether it was caring for a wide range of animals, including horses, etc., or fixing cars because you needed them to go somewhere, or just being able to go out in a huge field and explore. I find that my own kids are aware of a lot more than I was, mostly due to the Internet, but they have not done nearly as many things as I did at their age.” The same qualities that made for a safe, idyllic childhood, were at times cloying as a teen, however, and the lack of proximity to any other big towns instilled a desire to get his driver’s license as quickly as possible. That meant getting a job washing dishes at Hill Country, a restaurant at Morgan Hill’s unique car and air museum. “I worked washing dishes, saving money to get a car because that’s what you did when you turned 16, so you could go somewhere.” When he graduated Live Oak High School in 1976, only half of the 600 or so students in his school graduated high school, he says. “Half of those who did graduate did not go on to college. Half of those who did go on to college went local, to Gavilan, and the majority of those who went to a four-year college went to San José State. I had it in my mind I wanted to go somewhere.” This urge to “go somewhere” persisted. He chose UC Santa Cruz, majoring in American Studies with an emphasis on labor history. However, an opportunity to volunteer for Senator Gary gmh 36 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN Hart’s 1984 Presidential campaign took him to New Hampshire for several months, where the seed for politics took root, and exposed him to a wide variety of “interesting people” not the least of whom were Colorado congresswoman Pat Schroeder and the author Stephen King. In 1989 he returned to Morgan Hill to run a local nonprofit, the Downtown Revitalization Program, where he helped start the now popular Taste of Morgan Hill, and in 1991 he met his wife- to-be, Suzi, also a lifetime resident. After leaving the Downtown Program he started working as a consultant on political campaigns, and eventually Sellers him- self ran for a seat on Morgan Hill’s city council. “The council at the time was dysfunctional, so there was a strong feeling among a group of us that we needed to step up. I got a lot of encouragement, but nobody expe