In the fall of 1989, Sandra and Jim had a yearning to buy a wooden boat. They had been looking for a number of months and, along with their son Alex, had scoured marinas all over the Bay Area (not to mention the over-nite trip to Redondo, in Southern California to examine a near-sinking vessel.)
In frustration, they finally purchased a dry-rotted runabout in Sacramento and had it delivered to the house at Mills College. While cleaning and stripping this boat they took a day off and went to a marine flea market in Brisbane (south of San Francisco) in hopes of finding "props" to make the finished boat more fun (not that we ever finished the boat...)
While there, Jim just had to have Diet Coke and standing at the machine, noticed a beautiful transom and aft deck of an obviously historic vessel. When he called Sandra and Alex over to see it, they chided him, pointing out that he had seen that boat a couple of weeks earlier and had said something akin to "Over my dead body will I purchase that ugly piece of @#$%^&*(.
Well, naturally, one thing led to another and we did purchase the vessel whose name was Luani. In order to purchase her, Sandra spent every cent she had and Jim borrowed against his life insurance and took as large a loan as possible from the credit union.
For those of you who are familiar with the history of Mills, this was also the year of the great debate about whether or not Mills was to remain a liberal arts college for women, and Jim had a number of meetings with then president Mary Metz (in her house as the Loma Prieto earthquake had rendered the administration building unsafe.) At one of these meetings, before all turned to business, Jim was discussing how strange it felt to have just spent a great amount of money on something so frivolous as a large yacht.
In response, Mary quoted a parable that she had learned in childhood from her father:
"If you have two pennies, with the first buy bread for your stomach, and with the second buy hyacinths for your soul."
When Jim related the story to Sandra, they both decided that the boat should be named "Second Penny" and they have always referred to those soul nourishing events or objects as "second pennies." When they decided to retire from Mills and open an inn, it was just natural to consider the inn "Another Second Penny".