Kenwood Press

Serving the communities of Kenwood, Glen Ellen and Oakmont

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Village Chat: 12/01/2018

Village Chat

Pan and Connie van Loben Sels
On the occasion of Pan’s 100th Birthday
Connie van Loben Sels' older sister Pan turned 100 on Nov. 26. Pan was married to Carl van Loben Sels, while Connie, three years younger, was married to his brother William. Today Pan (Connie said that when they were very young she couldn't say Elizabeth Ann and it somehow got shortened to Pan) lives on a big ranch on the Sacramento River between Walnut Grove and Courtland. She has five children, 16 grandchildren, and 18 great grandchildren, and many of them were present at a big birthday party on Nov. 24 at Grand Island Winery, with about 250 people in attendance. Happy Birthday, Pan!

Kenwood Press Staff Plus 1
The entire Kenwood Press staff plus one. From left: Ann Peters, Alec Peters, Jay Gamel, Joe Vetter, owner of Healdsburg Printing, Loralee Wellington, and Sarah Phelps.

Speaking of birthdays, we had our Kenwood Press anniversary party last Saturday at the Depot, and sang Happy 30th Birthday to the KP. That's like 100 in newspaper years… It was great to see so many people, and we hope you enjoyed all the pictures and reading through back issues, Publishers Corners, and, of course, the Best of Crime Watch. We surprised our founding editor/publisher Jay Gamel with a well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award for his “Journalistic Excellence and 30 Years of Service to His Community.” I don't know about you, but Alec, Jay, Sarah, Loralee and I all had a blast! If you didn't make it to the party, stop by the office to pick up a free “I Read the Kenwood Press” license plate holder and handy-dandy KP refrigerator magnet. No home should be without one.

Cindi and Jeff Clemence, Susan Wurtzel, and Suru Subbarao
L to R: Cindi and Jeff Clemence, Susan Wurtzel, and Suru Subbarao sailing through Halong Bay and catching up on the latest in the Kenwood Press.
A couple months ago, Oakmont friends Susan Wurtzel and Cindi and Jeff Clemence, met up with former Oakmonter Suru Subbarao to travel through Vietnam and Cambodia for almost three weeks. They went on an Odyssey Unlimited tour with only 12 people in their group. Susan had been to Vietnam 12 years earlier, and she was interested to see how much things have changed. “The major cities, Hanoi and Saigon, have modern high rise buildings and many more cars than years ago. However, most people still get around by motorbike, which is crazy. The people there are wonderful and welcoming and the food was fantastic.” They also went to Cambodia and saw Angkor Wat, which Susan said was a highlight for her. “We saw temples, pagodas, markets, rice fields and production, floating markets, the tunnels where the Viet Cong hid, and lots of small villages. We even had two cooking classes.” She called it “another wonderful adventure shared with friends.”

A couple things to remember as we head into December. First, Santa Claus is coming to town, literally. Mark your calendar for Dec. 8, 10:30 a.m. at the Kenwood Fire Department. Santa will arrive on a fire truck, having valet parked his sled and reindeer somewhere north of Kenwood.

And second, on Dec. 16 from noon until 2 p.m., it's “Caroling with the Clydesdales.” Meet in front of the Jack London Lodge for this quintessential Glen Ellen experience, riding around town on Neil Shepard's wagon drawn by his team of Clydesdales, singing as you go.

What you're holding in your hand right now is the penultimate issue of the Kenwood Press for 2018. The Dec. 15 issue will be our last one until Jan. 15, 2019, since we DO NOT publish a January 1st issue. Our staff would revolt if we forced them to work through the holidays! So if you have any news you need to get out before Jan. 15, send it to us right away, or at least by Dec. 7.

And, as always, if you have news and photos for Village Chat, email them to, or call 833-5155 and chat me up! - AQP

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