Village Chat for March 15, 2019
The flooding may have been in west county, but it affected people all over, including Kendra Kolling of Kenwood. Kendra had just opened her first “brick and mortar” store in the Barlow in Sebastopol, after years of running her hugely popular food truck, The Farmer's Wife, making award-winning grilled cheese sandwiches - the stuff of dreams. She was getting rave reviews and had almost gotten through the slow winter months when the water rose and flooded her shop, leaving behind mud and muck, warped counters, ruined equipment… damages estimated at $150,000. This comes after the Kollings lost their home in the fires of 2017. They just recently moved back to Kenwood, into their newly rebuilt home. Kendra and Paul are apple farmers and own Nana Mae's Organics. They are beloved in the food and farming communities, and have received a lot of support, including a GoFundMe page set up by friends, which has raised over $14,000 so far. If you'd like to help, go to www.gofundme.com/help-farmers-wife?member=1788728.
Kendra said, “I am exhausted from all the trauma, it's true, but I'm determined to pick myself up and open again. The local community is so supportive, loving, and kind that I think I would be able to do it emotionally, however, financially is yet to be determined. I did not have flood insurance and I am out over 100k in equipment alone.” She added, “I think somehow the fire experience and losing our home and a lifetime of keepsakes allows me to take the flood loss a bit easier. At the end of the day, after cleaning and dealing with the mud and muck and mire of insurance companies, I have our home, to go home to... I'm still very fortunate and I'm grateful.”
Another local business that suffered flood losses is The Pony Express on Highway 12 east of Melita Road. Owner Linda Aldrich estimates that they lost $5,000 - six tons of hay, 10 bags of concentrate feed, as well as lost revenue due to Howarth Park being closed. Pony Express operates the pony rides there. If you'd like to help them, go to www.theponyexpressrocks.org to make a donation.
Last Friday, March 8, was the Kenwood Education Foundation's Big Hearts awards at Deerfield Ranch Winery. This is always such a nice, heart-warming event, and it was great to see community members come out and honor their own. This year's award recipients are Ruth Coleman, who teaches crafts at Kenwood School and has a granddaughter in fifth grade there as well, Mario Azevedo, a former school parent who was on the KEF board and has been supremely helpful to them, and Charlie and Peggy Ensley, volunteers extraordinaire! The Ensley's daughter Amy Seyms is the first grade teacher at Kenwood School, and the school is the happy recipient of all their endeavors. It was fun to see and hear the Kindergarteners sing to open up the festivities. So cute!
One of the local projects that the Rotary Club of Glen Ellen-Kenwood helps out on a regular basis is the homeless shelter SOS (Sonoma Overnight Support) run by executive director Kathy King. Over the years Rotarian Barney Watkins has been the point man, working with Kathy to find out what SOS needs so that the club can buy it for them. On May 4, SOS is honoring the club with its Compassionate Service Award at a Mother's Day fundraising luncheon. Kathy says, “Each year for the past six we have awarded a nonprofit or a business, a church or a congregation, and an individual who have exemplified by their actions true compassion for the homeless and the underserved in our communities.” Congratulations to the rotary club, and especially to Barney!
After many years of service as executive director of the Glen Ellen Historical Society, Jim Shere is stepping down. Glen Ellen resident Nick Brown is the new executive director, and he has some big shoes to fill. You can't do a quick perusal of the society's website, glenellenhistoricalsociety.org, there is so much content there, much of it thanks to Jim's hard work. There is a timeline of Glen Ellen history, numerous photos of famous (and infamous) Glen Ellenites, from Joshua Chauvet to Jack London to Hunter S. Thompson to M.F.K. Fisher and many more, stories about settlers, even DVDs and books for sale. It's fascinating. Thank you, Jim, for everything you've done for the Glen Ellen community, and for all your thoughtful and thorough research. And congratulations, Nick! Keep us posted about the GEHS.
One of the newest, and most popular, businesses to open in recent years is Glen Ellen's Les Pascals Patisserie-Boulangerie-Café. [That's French for delicious bakery.] Run by husband and wife Pascal and Pascale Merle, the patisserie celebrated its one-year anniversary last Sunday, March 10, with an open house filled with well-wishers and trays of delectable pastries and savory treats. Bon Anniversaire, Les Pascals!
Glenna Yee of Oakmont gave a shout out to Prickett's Nursery for “their thoughtfulness and generosity when the free daffodil bulbs were offered in the autumn of 2018 to beautify Oakmont.” Glenna writes, “For me it is the welcoming of daylight savings time and spring, wildflowers after the heavy rains, and the joy of feeling the rebirth of life after breast cancer.”
Seems like Mexico is the place to go this winter.
Kathy Schultz celebrated her birthday in February by taking a trip to Mexico's Copper Canyon. “I wanted a desert fix,” she said, “and it far exceeded my expectations.” Starting out in Tucson with Gate 1 Travel, the tour went south through the Sonoran Desert to the east coast of the Sea of Cortez, then headed east to the Copper Canyons, a spectacular series of canyons, bigger and deeper than the Grand Canyon, in the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains. She spent two nights at a hotel perched on the canyon rim at an elevation of 7,000 feet, with beautiful views down into the canyon, before heading back north to Tucson. Kathy highly recommends this trip.
Phil and Jennifer Kosko Sullivan are currently on the other side of Mexico, exploring the Yucatán Peninsula, including Playa del Carmen and Tulum. They sent a photo and a note to the KP staff, “We are wishing you and fellow Kenwoodians and especially all Sonoma and VOM wine hospitality staff the warmest sunshiny thoughts! Winter is nearly over, and we hope to see you all real soon.” Phil writes that this area of Mexico is very safe destination to beat the winter blues, especially if you're circumspect, plan well, and definitely early to bed.
Meanwhile, John Williston let us know that about 38 members of the Oakmont Golf Club flew down to the Los Cabos area of Baja California in the last week of February for a week of luxury and world-class golf. John sent along a photo of Henni Williston reading the Kenwood Press in the Los Cabos Airport waiting for their flight home. I get it - you finally remembered to take out your KP. That's the sign of a good vacation!
That's all for now. Thank you to everyone for sending in your news and photos for Village Chat. It's easy to do. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 833-5155 and chat me up! - AQP