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Village Chat: 06/15/2018

Village Chat for June 15, 2018

Susan MacLeod Murphy, John MacLeod, Noel MacLeod Beitler and Richard MacLeod
From left, Susan MacLeod Murphy, John MacLeod, Noel MacLeod Beitler and Richard MacLeod, children of George and Greta, at George’s Big Party.

The late George MacLeod, author of the “Journey to Harvest” column that appeared monthly in the Kenwood Press for many years, and the “old patron” of Indian Springs Ranch, loved a fiesta. George died in January at the age of 96, and at the end of May his family threw him one last hurrah, dubbed “George's Big Party,” complete with a 10-piece mariachi band, Mexican food, and lots of fabulous Sonoma Valley wines. The 200 or so people gathered under the oaks on the ranch that day reflected every facet of George's life - coworkers from his previous career at Monsanto, Sonoma County grape growers, winemakers and vineyard workers, parishioners at St. Patrick's Church where he and wife Greta were long-time members, MacLeod Wine Club members, his fellow Kenwoodians, and everyone in between. Family and friends spoke eloquently and hilariously about George, including daughter Noel MacLeod Beitler who said he would have loved the whole day… because it was all about him! Vaya con Dios, George.

memorial wreath
A Memorial Day wreath for Dustin Tucker at the Tucker’s home site on Treehaven.

Cindy Tucker sent in a photo from the Tuckers' Treehaven property. It was Memorial Day, and a woman who volunteers her time to make flower arrangements for military gold star families set up a beautiful wreath in the front of the now-burned home site. Mark and Cindy lost their son Dustin Tucker in 2008. Dustin was a private in the U.S. Army, and served in Iraq. Cindy said it was quite emotional seeing the wreath there on that day.

Stan Harvey (left) and Chris Mullin
Stan Harvey (left) and Chris Mullin at Mont St. Michel in France.

Stan Harvey and Chris Mullins visited France, Italy, and Spain last month, and sent in photos from Mont St. Michel and the beaches of Normandy. They visited many WWII sites, including the Normandy American Cemetery & Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer. Stan said it was a very moving experience to be at the same location where so many young men lost their lives fighting for freedom.

Judy Hudson and Jaci Rienecker
Judy Hudson and Jaci Rienecker in Oberammergau, Germany.
Also in Europe were Judy Hudson and Jaci Rienecker, who sent a photo from the Bavarian village of Oberammergau, Germany. Jaci explained that the ancient town is famous for putting on a Passion Play every 10 years. They took a side trip there while on a tour of Switzerland and Austria.

A swallow brings nesting materials to Cindy Belluomini’s yard.

Cindy Belluomini sent this photo (above), saying, “Check out the swallow making a nest in one of my birdhouses on Clyde. I'm going to be a Grandbirdie!!!” Cindy's yard is a veritable nature preserve filled with all kinds of flowers and vegetables - a good place for nesting birds, for sure.

Agustin Reiter (left) and Jerry Piazza
Agustin Reiter (left) and Jerry Piazza (right) celebrating Jerry’s 700,000-hour birthday at Palooza.

Jon Reiter sent in a photo of his son Agustin and family friend Jerry Piazza, with the teaser, “The first time in all of human history happens in Kenwood.” Agustin is a numbers savant, and he got the idea to figure out how many hours old Jerry is. He calculated that on June 3 at 9:30 p.m., Jerry would be 700,000 hours old, so they all went to Palooza to celebrate. So it probably is the first time in history that someone has had a 700,000 hour birthday party! While they were there, Agustin also calculated that their server had been on the planet for about 200,000 hours, which Jerry said made him feel very old. Imagine how many hours older he is now?!

Fred Parker’s perpetual birthday cake, courtesy of Cynthia Hipkiss.

And speaking of birthdays, Happy Birthday to our local treasure, artist Fred Parker, who is 80! (I wonder how many hours that is?) He had a party at his studio behind TIPS Roadside, and sculptor Cynthia Hipkiss made him a ceramic cake. Fred says he can use it every year as he ages… just have to replace the candles!

Tim Sanborn
Tim Sanborn finishes the Mountains 2 Beach marathon in Ventura.
Tim Sanborn, son of Roger and Deanna Sanborn here in Kenwood, has been a runner most of his life, and on May 28, at the age of 42, he ran the “Mountains 2 Beach” marathon in Ventura, coming in 22nd in a field of 1,900 runners. He was third in his age group, with a time of 2:50. Tim ran the Boston Marathon in 2007 with a time of 2:57, so clearly being 11 years older is not an issue, and in fact may be an advantage!

It's graduation season and we have a lot of good news about the local kids.

Graduating from Maria Carrillo High School, Brigid Ahern, daughter of Carol and Pete Ahern, is going to UCLA. Chloe Howard, daughter of Linn Howard, is going to Sonoma State to study Biology with the goal of becoming an entomologist. Luke Schloemp is headed to Michigan Tech to study Mechanical Engineering with an Aerospace minor. Luke is the son of Kenwood Kindergarten teacher Karla Schloemp (Mrs. S) and Chris Schloemp. And heading to Santa Rosa Junior College are Erik Moe, son of Karen Reyes and Kris Moe, and Colin Anderson, who's parents are Jennifer Anderson and Tom Anderson.

Larkin Dawson graduated from Gateway to College Academy, a concurrent high school/junior college program at the Petaluma JC campus. He's heading to Los Angeles City College to study musical technology in the fall. Larkin's parents are Jill and Arthur Dawson, and Jill runs Rainbow Garden Preschool at Kenwood School.

Harrison Greenleaf, son of Tara Conrow and Taylor Greenleaf, graduated from Cardinal Newman High School and is going to Flagstaff to attend Northern Arizona University. He's thinking about a business major, and also hopes to have time to participate in the NAU mountain bike club.

Elizabeth Caughey graduated from Sonoma Academy. Her parents Mary and Todd report that with all that has taken place this year - they lost their home in the fires - Elizabeth has decided to stay close to home and will be attending SRJC. She also has a paid marketing internship in Santa Rosa, and hopes to study abroad in the spring.

Suzie Sheridan reports that granddaughter Haley Smulan graduated from Chico State in December with a degree in Nursing. Hayley is the daughter of Stephanie Sheridan and Joe Smulan. She took her nursing boards in February (top of the class!) and now works in the neurology department at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, helping people with traumatic brain injuries. Hayley and long-time boyfriend Cody are getting married in May of next year, so double congratulations are in order!

Jackie Schloemp (sister of Luke, above) is graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in Kinesiology and a minor in Dance.

Davis Watkins
Davis Watkins with his Outstanding Senior Student Award from the U.C. Davis Anthropology Department.
Davis Watkins, son of artist Randy Sue Watkins, graduates from U.C. Davis on June 16, with Honors. He'll receive a B.S. in Anthropology. Davis was one of two students to receive the Outstanding Senior Student Award in the Anthropology Department. His next step is moving across the country to Syracuse University, where he has been accepted into the Advanced Graduate Program for Forensic Science. Davis plans to eventually focus on working with DNA.

Aja Heisler
Aja Heisler has recieved her Master of Development Practice from U.C. Berkeley
Aja Heisler, daughter of Marsha Zolkower and Larry Schwab, received a Master of Development Practice, a graduate degree focused on applied, sustainable international development, from U.C. Berkeley's College of Natural Resources. Aja's focus was on the intersection between environmental conservation and development. She spent the summer between her two years as a USAID Global Development Fellow in Indonesia, working on issues related to palm oil expansion and wildlife, the environment, climate change, local people, and Indonesia's economy. Aja is a USC grad and worked for five years at Conservation Strategy Fund in Washington, D.C., as a development and program associate before going to grad school.

Congratulations to all these outstanding graduates!

If you haven't yet sent in your graduation news, there's still time. Send it to and we'll get it in the July 1st issue of the paper. And feel free to send in any other news or photos as well.

One last thing. Our summer photo contest, “Pictures with the Press,” is on. You have all summer long to snap a winning photo. The only rule, really, is that the Kenwood Press must be somewhere in the picture, so get creative. In fact, we encourage you to get really creative and use whatever digital art skills you have to create a work of art. In other words, Photoshopped and doctored photos are welcome. This is a change from previous years, but we figure with all the cool technologies available, it would be fun to see what people come up with, so go to town!

Thanks to everyone who sent in news for Village Chat. It's easy to do. Just email, or call 833-5155 and chat me up! - AQP


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