Stories from the ashes
Pig 1 and Pig 2
In the days to follow, there were a number of people driving around here feeding and watering livestock and animals, and Pig 1 and Pig 2 were the happy recipients of all of them. John has heard from over a dozen people who stopped by, including a sheriff's deputy, someone from the fire department, and some generous person who dropped off 100 pounds of pig feed. A neighbor on Bristol has been bringing them water every day. Nice as all this is, the pigs were being seriously over-fed, so John finally put up a sign saying, “Please don't feed the pigs, we have them taken care of.”
If you pass by there you'll notice something else besides the pigs - Halloween decorations. John and Katelyne wanted to do something that would make people smile, and they put cobwebs, pumpkins and ghosts in front of what used to be their house. John also invites people to suggest more appropriate names for his sows… any ideas?
A classic Kenwood storyA little moment of light for Cindy and Mark Tucker who lost their house in the firestorm that consumed most of Treehaven: someone from the Kenwood Fire Department, Cindy's not sure who, rushed in and grabbed photos of their kids off the wall in the hallway, including photos of their son Dustin who died nine years ago. Cindy said “That just made my heart smile.”
Eating well, even in a disasterAndre Benguerel is the son of Joe (Frenchy) and Denise Benguerel, and their entire family has been part of the KFD it seems like forever. Shortly after the fires started, Andre drove up from San Francisco, showed up at the firehouse, and started cooking. According to Barney Locke, “Andre worked around the clock for probably a week with minimum rest, turning out continuous meals not only for the first responders but for those community members that did not evacuate. He was a stable, comforting personality for those of us experiencing the trauma and confusion of the event. Always a smile and a welcoming word, he truly played a major role in helping the community cope with this disaster. Not to mention he's a damn good cook!!”
One more feel good story…After firefighters saved the beautiful home of Laura and John Benward on Pythian Road, one of them asked Laura if they ever have weddings there. Laura immediately replied, “For you, yes!” At the moment, details are still being worked out, but if all falls into place, firefighter Kody and his fiancée will have their dream Wine Country wedding with everything, from site to catering to rentals, all donated. And if anyone can pull it all together, it's Laura!
Shout-out to…Kenwood Vineyards for constructing and distributing almost 350 sifter boxes for people to use when they visit their burned properties. There are still boxes available at the winery for anyone who needs them... Jeff Tyler at Palooza for opening his restaurant doors to those of us straggling back into town, and giving away free drinks and free pizza... Sam and Lakhwinder Singh for reopening the Kenwood Market in record time, which entailed an epic clean-out of their refrigerators and freezers... Aspen and Mike of Swede's Feeds for providing the community with emergency pet and livestock food.
I hope you are all safe and well, and that these stories have given you some idea of our resilience, and inspiration about our collective future.
This event is so enormous that we will be covering it and its related issues for years to come. I know there are many other stories of weird coincidences and moments of extreme generosity, lightness, and humor. Please send them my way, along with any other news and pictures for Village Chat. It's easy to do; just email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 833-5155 and chat me up! - AQP