The band, the fireworks and the bicycles
When Grant Bodwell stirred the waters of public awareness and reminded us all of the obvious but sometimes overlooked treasure that is Sonoma's Hometown Band, we seconded his sentiment and suggested that the band's financial shortfall could be easily remedied if a few hundred of us sent in $25.
Without a revenue injection, Bodwell worried, the band might soon run out of the modest funds required to keep the musical magic alive. Well, a fair number of you took the suggestion to heart and as of July 7 the band had collected almost $1,300.
We'd like to applaud those who gave and urge those who haven't to forego a few double café mochas or a couple of Don Julio reposado margaritas and kick into the band pot. We think it would be great if the community could come up with enough small donations for the band to deposit $10,000 in the bank.
And while we're on the subject of giving and getting, we can't overlook the truly exceptional show produced by Sonoma's volunteer firefighters who blew the doors off the Fourth of July with a fireworks spectacular topping anything previously seen in Sonoma's nighttime skies. Much credit has deservedly gone to the Anderson family for the donation that ensured the show would be superb, and some have suggested the stunningly-endless grand finale may have consumed the Anderson's entire $10,000 gift in one 45-second pyrotechnic paroxysm of exploding gunpowder.
It would be a good thing, however, if people like the Andersons didn't have to bail out the production and while the memory of that extravaganza is still fresh in our minds this would be a good time to guarantee that next year's show will be equally impressive. You may already have received a request in the mail to donate, but if you haven't you can send a check to the Sonoma Volunteer Firefighters Association, 630 Second St. W., Sonoma 95476. You can also make a credit card contribution by going online to svfra.org/fireworks.html.
Let's keep the music playing and the fireworks flying long into the distant future.
Meanwhile, back on the bicycle...
In one, quarter-mile stretch of Sonoma Highway at twilight last week, we saw four bicyclists roaming through traffic without lights or helmets, all apparently sharing the same hallucination. They all appeared to think they were either invisible and therefore free from the laws of physics, or immortal and therefore incapable of being killed. Or perhaps all four were suicidal and actively trying to get killed. Whatever they were thinking, it's clear they weren't thinking clearly or simply had no sense of the harsh reality implicit in a car hitting a bicycle. We can't expect our over-extended police and sheriff's deputies to spot and cite every pedaling infraction on Valley streets and highways, and the most effective enforcement should come from parents anyway.
But when parents themselves are riding recklessly - sometimes with kids in tow - then the lesson won't be learned.
We've said this before, but there will be a tragedy sooner or later involving one of our children. It's just a matter of time.