George Webber’s specialty is bringing historic figures to life. He portrayed for many years “The Count of Buena Vista,” Agoston Haraszthy; now, also in full historic regalia, he leads Sonoma Plaza tours as General Vallejo.
So a prestigious Legacy Award — the Sonoma County Tourism version of a lifetime achievement award — makes total sense.
The annual honor recognizes an industry figure who has shown dedication to their profession through many years of exceptional service – leaving an enduring legacy.
“‘Legacy’ denotes something that will stick around after you’re gone,” Webber said at the May 3 ceremony, “as if all the speeches I gave while leading tours of the Sonoma Plaza and Buena Vista Winery can still be heard if you listen closely enough. It does feel that way to me.”
Webber said that after giving the same tour thousands of times, he doesn’t even think about what to say as he moves from spot to spot. “It’s as if each story is still floating in the air, and all need do is reach up and grab one — and begin the show.”
He decides which story to tell by focusing on the faces of the guests, and going with the moment. “It is my own particular art-form.”
True hospitality is akin to alchemy, he said, turning strangers into friends “and caring, unselfish service to others into large wads of cash.”