The Kenwood Press
: 12/15/2019

Village Chat for Dec. 15, 2019

Ann Q. Peters

Karen and Jess Bergeron
Karen and Jess Bergeron in 1969 (left) and at their wedding in 1973.
Jess Bergeron came into our office with a great item (and photos - look how young they were!) and he got it in just in time.

“Better make this public before the year's end. Karen (Kay) and Jess Bergeron are and have been celebrating our 50th Anniversary all year for meeting and going steady at Skyline High School in the Oakland Hills in the spring of 1969 just as school was getting out. 'Kissing, hugging, holding hands and squeezing…' You know the 60s Motown song? Kay had just turned 16 and I was 18, graduating, and within a month or so I was off to Basic Training and then off to Danang, Vietnam. First few years were a little rough to say the least, but we made it and got married in 1973. Fifty years later we have created a large family and have more grandkids on the way. We thank God for all this and his safekeeping over the years. We love Kenwood. Got out of Dodge City in Oakland in 1975 and never looked back. It's been a wonderful experience - ups and downs like a marriage, but it's our love for each other that has kept us going.” Congratulations, Karen and Jess!

Kenwood School kids were busy in November running a food drive for the Redwood Empire Food Bank, sponsored by the Student Council. It was a contest to see which class could bring in the most food, and the third grade was the winner, with 221 pounds. First grade was a close second with 201 pounds. The third graders were rewarded with a pizza party, and the first graders got popsicles. During the week of the food drive competition the school collected 906 pounds altogether, and then they filled two more barrels the next week. The Oakmont Kiwanis Club contributed as well.

girl scout group shot
Girl (Scout) power on display at the Rosie the Riveter Museum.
Back in November the Kenwood Girl Scout troop visited the Rosie the Riveter National Historic Park / WWII Home Front Museum across the bay in Richmond.

Troop leader Abi Bordigioni wrote, “The girls (and mom) learned a ton! Like about national teamwork, wise use of scarce resources, propaganda (for better or worse), that no underpants had elastic because panties and panty hose helped make parachutes, about ration stamps and victory gardens, that Kaiser shipyards pioneered health care, housing and childcare for all employees. We raised our hands about who among us had German, Japanese or Italian blood... and what could have happened to us then. That gave the big girls great pause. And how our beloved Dr. Seuss and Walt Disney had nationalistic tendencies when contributing imagery to the war effort... another big pause. It was wonderful watching the girls swell with pride about the women who came before us! How Bay Area and Richmond businesses hired women and men of color and ethnic differences. And when learning about the great big shift in identity for 1940s women chipping in for the war effort to “bring our boys home” and finding importance, pride, and independent income. It was a great field trip!”

wooden dining room table
The Kellers’ table, made from a tree burned in the 2017 fire.
Dee and Urs Keller have a beautiful new table made from wood salvaged from a tree trunk on their Kenwood property after the 2017 fires. (Their house survived.) Dee explained that there were three big sections of trunk, about 19 feet long, which were pretty burned on the outside, but the wood inside was good, so they salvaged them, cut some boards with their Alaskan Mill Saw, and let them dry for about 18 months. This past summer they built the table, with help from Christian Schranz, who lives in Adelboden, Switzerland, where the Kellers live for most of the year. Christian is a friend of the Keller's daughters Rosie and Katharine. Dee said, “We have a table saw and a big planer and lots of woodworking tools and are used to making things, but not anything yet as nice as this table!” It's nine feet long, four feet wide, and boy, does it have a story to tell.

If you were at the Glen Ellen Village Market Dec. 13-15, you probably saw Glen Ellen-Kenwood Rotarians ringing bells for FISH (Friends in Sonoma Helping), and I hope you were generous. For those of you who pay for everything with your phones, this is a good time a year to carry some cash.

The Kenwood Depot was filled to capacity last Saturday, with delicious food and holiday cheer at the annual Community Holiday Potluck. Nobody left hungry, as the tables were laden with everything from crackers and cheese to plum pudding. There were appetizers, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and other veggies, two turkeys, ham and gravy, and on the dessert tables there were pies, cakes, cookies, and more. Even on a rainy, cold night, people kept showing up in small groups until the place was jammed from one end to the other. And once again, the kids from Maria Carrillo High School stole the show with their virtuoso a capella singing. As Kenwood Community Club President Jay Gamel said, “The Maria Carrillo Jazz Choir regaled us for the second year in a row with both traditional seasonal songs and original works. The level of professionalism and quality of sound were amazing and fit perfectly with the décor and ambiance of Kenwood's train depot, an historical treasure that has served the community well for well over 100 years.”

This is our last issue of the year, and as always, we don't publish a January 1st issue, so your next Kenwood Press won't be until Jan. 15. Happy Holidays to you all!

And in the meantime, if you have an item for Village Chat, send it to ann@kenwoodpress.com, or call 833-5155 and chat me up! - AQP