Fall, weddings and forgetful columnists in GE
The folks of Glen Ellen
Yellow and black heralds fall
One of my favorite fall phenomena is in evidence these past few days. No it’s not the pile up of cumulous clouds nor the whipping horsetails of the cirrus. It is the yellow on black of big leaf maple leaves falling in profusion on our paved driveway. It’s such a beautiful sight and every morning as I walk through the piles of leaves, kicking them, I catch the faint aroma of maple syrup. What a delight.
GE columnist CRS
Reader Vicki Hill writes with the question, “What’s a parade without a band?” Indeed, nothing but a bunch of scattered folks strolling down the street. A most-everyday occurrence here in our village. Vicki was, and rightfully so, a bit disappointed that I made no mention of our glorious Sonoma Valley High School marching band, led by instructor Emily Moore. They were one of the highlights of our recent Glen Ellen Village Fair.
I admired them and clapped, hooted and generally praised the kids that day. Felt awesome admiration at their willingness to sacrifice a sunny Sunday.
But come column time, I entirely forgot about them. Oh dear. My error; in fact, my bad. I loved the band and loved that they miraculously appeared on that sunny October Sunday. Indeed, they made our parade. Our grateful thanks to all of the kids who marched and played that day.
First off, thanks to Glen Ellenite, Drum Major, Griffin Hill, a Sonoma Valley High School senior who led the band members down Arnold and around the corner all the while playing their instruments. Other students that day included Ari Encarnacion, Cristofer Goodman-Chavez, Victoria Jarvis, Molly Lobsinger, Michael Molina, Max Shepard, Kurt Steyart, Gabe Vanzant and Jessica Hood.
This past week, the band also marched and performed in the Sonoma Developmental Center’s Halloween parade, commencing and ending just before the light Halloween rains began. We congratulate their new teacher for getting the students involved in community events. Thanks to all.
By the way, what the heck is CRS? Can’t remember, I’m afeared.
Madrigal singers at the Mission
The day before the Glen Ellen Village Fair, music teacher Emily Moore and her students made another important appearance that made for a mellow and melodious harmony. The Madrigal Singers of Sonoma Valley High School attended and entertained at the wedding of my two dear friends, Pat Coleman and Rick Suerth. The solemn ceremony, all candlelit and enchanting, took place in the Historic Sonoma Mission on the Plaza with the Madrigals providing the proper background of heavenly sounds.
Sweetie and I arrived early for Pat and Rick’s ceremony, walking through the State-run Mission before settling into our seats in the chapel. The students also arrived early to practice their small repertoire. What a beautiful sound they produced in that sacred space, bringing a lovely ambiance to the entire ceremony. We were delighted with their performance, as were the new bride and groom.
Rick and Pat are grateful to the Madrigals and especially to their leader, conductor Emily. Among the performers were Naomi Blinman, Kelly Braun, Neeozzi Dickerson, Ari Encarnacion, Hanna Encarnacion, Josh Farley on guitar, Alex Gruber, Sean Hall, Jessica Hood, Ella Krikorian, Molly Lobsinger, Michael Molina, Alanna Shaffer, and their teacher, Emily Moore on flute. You’ll note, several of those students were repeats of those who performed at our Glen Ellen Village Fair with the SVHS Marching Band: a talented group of students.
As a thank-you gift to the student performers, Pat and Rick gave each of them a gift certificate to the student run No Name Café, which is administered by our friend, volunteer Annie Falandes, artist and tutor. It was the perfect way to reward the students and to honor the café workers at the high school. A win-win all around.
Return from wilderness, Herb Caen, Piedmont housewife
Last week the new Mr. and Mrs. Suerth returned from their wilderness-hiking honeymoon in the Grand Canyon. Among the stops on their journey, was at an Arizona Native American school that is in the canyon. As a gift to the students of that school, Pat and Rick provided them with school supplies and happy greetings from Sonoma California. That, too, was a win-win, hit all around.
The Suerths begin their happily-ever-after life at a lovely home on Broadway in Sonoma. Formerly offices for several small companies, Pat and Rick purchased the house, did a small bit of remodeling, a huge amount of gardening and made the business building into a lovely home again, with a luscious garden for entertaining their friends.
As part of her wedding gift to her handsome groom, Pat employed Arthur Dawson to research and present a history of their home. His 20-page narrative, complete with historical maps and photographs, was a fine gift for Rick, an engineer who loves his new home.
Congratulations to the philanthropist couple with many wishes for continued happiness in their Sonoma home.
By the way, I feel perfectly fine featuring Pat in my column. Not only is she one of my dear book club buddies, she was also, back in the day, an item in a Herb Caen column. There she was labeled a Piedmont housewife, though, even back then she was much, much more. He praised her activism then, as I do now.
Return from high mountain pastures
Diane and Ken Jacobsen recently visited the French Alps to watch the parade of sheep coming down from their high mountain pastures in the Alps to lower level winter quarters. Diane and Ken rented a little cottage in a small village that was right on the sheep’s path. Early morning the travelling herds passed the window of their bedroom, much to their delight.
Our dear friend ’Cesca di Donato, a regional cheese buyer for Whole Foods made a recent business trip to Switzerland where she was able to watch the cows of the high mountain pastures make their fall journey back to town to winter in warmth. ‘Cesca loved all of the merriment of the ceremonies with the cows, bells, and bows, wreaths of flowers and lots of music. Plus all the grand cheese one could wish for.
Dottie the cow
Both of these visits remind me so fondly of Eleanor and Barry Decker’s birthday party for their family cow, Dottie, some years back. Her gala celebration was a Glen Ellen party to be long remembered. Dottie took it all in stride, contentedly munching fresh hay while the party continued.
A lovely little children’s book dedicated to Dottie has long been one of our family favorites. I don’t know if copies of Dottie of Glen Ellen (published by MOBY in 1996) are still available in print, but it’s worth checking out the local libraries for this delightful story book by Eleanor Decker with colorful and happy illustrations by Micaela Porte.
All is well
David Aguilar and his posse members of Tudo Bem, Peter McCauley and Pat O’Connell, sure know how to rock a room. Their stellar performance at last week’s Day of the Dead celebration at the Sonoma Community Center added exponentially to the joy. Then, the performance of the awesome Ballet Folklorico was splendid. Those yards and yards of shining ribbon make their costumes glow with excitement. The gentlemen’s silver spangled pants add to the ambiance. We especially loved the all white lacey dresses that swirled with the dancers’ staccato movements. Huzzah to the Community Center folks for providing such an elegant affair. And special thanks to Jim Callahan who lit the fires of ancestor worship. We loved the whole show.
Another fond memory from this year’s Glen Ellen Village Fair was the little table, tucked in a shady corner near where Archie Horton was doing a brisk business selling his iconic and idealized images of our town, was bookseller Marietta Showalter. Marietta has written a memoir of her long and eventful life called, Marietta’s Stories: From Kansas to California, Memories of My Life. It’s a sweet little book featuring adventures from the middle states to California, with many centered on Glen Ellen in the era from late 1940s until Marietta’s recent move to Healdsburg, where she now lives.
At 96, Marietta is still healthy, happy, a grand story weaver and an alert woman. “Age cannot wither her; nor custom stale her infinite variety.” Though originally said of Cleopatra by Anthony in Shakespeare’s play of the same name, it applies equally well to Marietta.
The day of the fair, she was bright and cheerful greeting folks interested in her stories. I was happy to purchase a copy and to have it signed. I read through it quickly in a couple of nights, it is so smoothly written and locally entertaining. Published by Rayve Productions in Windsor, California, the book can easily be ordered by your local independent bookseller. We encourage local folks to read it to get a flavor of Glen Ellen in earlier decades.
My friend, artist Erika Michelis who creates fascinating little pieces of precious jewels to adorn oneself or to display upon a bookcase, sent me recent good news about a photographer friend of hers who is documenting the vineyards around and about Sonoma County.
Cathleen Francisco is a photographer who originated the project Vineyard 360. I recently visited her online site and I’m looking forward to seeing her installation at the Charles Creek Tasting Room on the Plaza in Sonoma.
Her photographs range from huge, global overviews of vineyards to intimate, up-close pictures of leaves and grapes, a morning dew drop catching the early sun rays. The atmospheric quality of the photos whether close-ups or panoramic views is lovely. Her work honors the gift of the land and the people who work it.
The goal of Vineyards 360 is to continue to build the archive of photographs, adding vineyards and their stories and ultimately, producing a book dedicated to the vineyards. Exhibiting work at various wineries is not just a great opportunity for them as artists, but the educational element for the winery is important as well. Terin at BRYTER Tasting Room in Sonoma uses their website to share information on Georges III, a vineyard she sources from for her wines. Having an exhibit in the tasting room that can be shared with guests and staff enhances the experience of wine tasting through that visual component. They aren't just pretty pictures; they're an educational tools as well.
The show of photographs at Charles Creek will continue through November with another show beginning at Bryter Tasting Room, 25 East Napa Street, Sonoma soon. For more information check out Vineyards360.com.
Have you met Jack?
On Monday evening, November 12 beginning at 5:30, the Jack London State Historic Park will present a lecture on “Jack London’s Imagination” by Jay Williams in Charmian London’s House of Happy Walls in the Park.
Jay Williams is senior managing editor of Critical Inquiry, a humanities journal published by the University of Chicago Press. He is the founder, editor and publisher of the Jack London Journal and moderates the Jack London listserv (which anyone may join). Williams recently completed a two-volume work entitled, The Author under Sail: The Imagination of Jack London, and his edited volume of essays by Jacques Derrida, entitled Signature Derrida will be published by the University of Chicago Press in 2012. Tickets (which include parking) are $10 and are available in advance at the museum store, online at jacklondonpark.com or at the door.
Ann Abrams, publicist for the Jack London State Park tells me that this is the kick off lecture for an ongoing monthly series, featuring London scholars from around the world. See you there.
Faith Lutheran’s crafts fair
Here’s the news I didn’t have for you last week. My friend and Reiki practitioner, Diane Patterson, will be selling her unique jewelry at the Faith Luthern Church’s Annual Holiday Crafts Far. The date is December 1, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the church’s social hall. The church is located at 19355 Arnold Drive. See you there and then.
Happy to see you Steve
Congrats to Steve Perry who returns to his lovely Glen Ellen home, hale and hearty, all fixed up again. We welcome Steve and his sweetheart, Andrea. Blessings to both of them.
Poesy to punctuate an ending
As I have in recent weeks, I again end this column with a bit of doggeral, or better yet, a bit of poesy. That’s what former Glen Ellenite Edna Poppe Cooper liked to call herself, a poesy artist. It makes her verse seem a bit less intimidating. Same is probably so for current Glen Ellen poet and earthquake predictor, Jim Berkland.
Here is a little ditty from Jim today, honoring the folks who presented us with a most glorious Glen Ellen village Fair 2012. Fantastic Glen Ellen, fair time October 14, 2012: A circus barker’s not our plan. // (A bag is wind is not a fan.) // A flak or flake will never do. // Glen Ellenites will tell you true. // This town, for true, where I was grown, // Had welcomed Jack . . . and then Don Shone. // We all extolled the beauty here, // Especially with our Fair each year. // Appreciate our Golden State, // But now prepare to nominate, // The Fairest Village in the land . . . // You’ll find it here, where you now stand. By JOB (James O’Berkland).
In the weeks to come we’ll be receiving new from the Glen Ellen Village Fair Committee about where their funds are distributed. We already know that a little goes to the school, a bit more to the Glen Ellen Volunteer Department and then to other non-profits in our town.
If your news doesn’t appear here, check online. Excess might appear online at sonomanews.com under “Lifestyle and History.” Share your good news with friends and neighbors in Glen Ellen. Call or write me at 707 996-5995 or P.O. Box 518, GE 95442. Or email me @ Creekbottom@earthlink.net. Glen Ellen chatter rarely requires timeliness; however, if your news does, please be sure to contact me at least three weeks before the run date.