Village Chat for Aug. 1, 2018
Trevor Blythe's Belgian Ale won first place at the Orange County Fair. Trevor lives in Dana Point with his wife Kelly and two very small children, Carson, age two, and Chloe, born on Memorial Day, so double congratulations are in order here! Trevor, a vice president for an environmental consulting firm, grew up in Kenwood and is the son of Randle and Tim Blythe. He's been brewing since college (2003), but has been watching his dad and family friend Brent Moore brew for two decades. Trevor said, “I had a 10-year lull in brewing until I started up again in 2014 when I had time to brew again after grad school. The Orange County fair is July 13 and runs for a few weeks. There were over 300 entrants.” Trevor's Belgian Ale also got second place in the San Diego division of the National Homebrew Competition, which is the largest home brewing competition on the planet. I'm thirsty.
Eileen and Matt Vukicevich, two of the fittest people around here, were in Portugal last month, doing all kinds of athletic things, when they came upon a Portuguese specialty dish that they could not believe. They'd seen it on various menus and had resisted until a couple of “extremely cute and persuasive” waitresses convinced them that they had to try the Francesinha, or as Matt called it, “Death by Francesinha.” He described it thus: “Two large pieces of white bread, inside of which are the following - cheese, bacon, ham, steak, and sausage. It is covered with a tomato (and, according to the waitresses, “some other stuff”) cream sauce, topped by a sunny-side-up egg!” The two of them split it, and then went out on a bike-kayak-hike the next day. Glad you survived! Matt and Eileen also sent us a photo from the westernmost point in Europe - thanks, guys!
Rory Tira's parents, Tim and Lauri Dorman, lost their home on Sylvia Drive in Glen Ellen. Rory says that their Trinity Oaks neighborhood has been phenomenal in organization and mutual help for replanting landscaping, taking care of common public areas, trading information, and helping each other along. “We are also the daffodil people!” she said. Last month Rory, who lives in Sacramento, painted this “Glen Ellen is coming home” sign on the back of the “how-are-you-still standing” garden shed on the property. She writes, “I was inspired by some recovery momentum for them and neighbors' construction underway. The sadness does not lift, the going is slow, but there is a palpable shift and hopeful energy in the air… Tim and Lauri have not begun construction yet, but plans are underway and we are all cheering on the closest neighbors who will be among the first to come home.”
Speaking of fire, here's a story with a happier ending. Morry Strauss was driving down his long, shared driveway off Warm Springs Road a week ago when he saw a crow fly into a power pole, hit the transformer, burst into flames and drop to the ground dead, igniting the pole and starting a grass fire below. Talk about a random act of Mother Nature! Morry called 9-1-1, and then he and neighbor PJ Rex got a hose to put out the fire in the grass. Kenwood Fire and two Cal Fire trucks arrived on the scene, but had to wait for PG&E to shut off the power before they could spray water at the burning power pole. Apparently, if you spray water at an electrical fire, the electricity can travel back down the water source to whoever is doing the spraying, and bad things result. Long story short, they put out the fire and PG&E replaced the pole with one 10 feet higher, on the very same afternoon, which in itself is a minor miracle. Disaster averted, thanks to Kenwood Fire, Cal Fire, PG&E and Morry. Whew!
Also close to home, Dr. Keith Boxerman reports that the beautiful flower garden out in front of his office in the Kenwood shopping center, planted by James Cannard, has been burglarized. Sometime Tuesday night, July 24, someone selectively dug up and made off with quite a few of the plants in the colorful display. It's not the first time it's happened, said Boxerman. If you want some of the plants, just ask, he added. He'd prefer that to someone trampling the garden and stealing the plants.
Congratulations to Kate Kitchens of Glen Ellen, who graduated from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland with a degree in Earth Sciences. Kate is headed to the University of British Columbia (UBC) to start a Masters, focusing on the interaction between wildfires and Douglas Fir beetle outbreaks in dry forests. UBC has a state-of-the art forestry facility. She grew up in Glen Ellen and has been in love with the UK since freshman year at Montgomery High School, when she got to go to Scotland to perform with classmates in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Kate's brother Ryan Kitchens is currently at the Australian National University (ANU), and will graduate next year with a degree in International Relations focused on diplomacy and conflict resolution. ANU is one of the top universities world-wide in this degree. Kate, Ryan and their mother Christy Thomas are all American, but Christy's partner Chris Loxton (of Loxton Cellars) is from Australia and went to ANU, so he was thrilled when Ryan decided to go there.
Did you notice how Kate is so beautifully displaying a copy of the Kenwood Press in her photo? She could easily be a contender for our Pictures with the Press Summer Photo Contest, going on now, through Sept. 5. Breathtaking vistas, funny poses, cute animals and babies, they are all great subjects for a Pictures with the Press submission - the only rule is that the KP must be somewhere in the photo. (You don't have to be holding it.)
That's all I have room for now. Thanks to everyone who sent in news for Village Chat. You can, too! Just email email@example.com, or call 833-5155 and chat me up! - AQP