Kenwood Press

Serving the communities of Kenwood, Glen Ellen and Oakmont

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Village Chat: 04/15/2020

Village Chat for April 15, 2020

Greetings from my place of shelter. I hope you are all healthy and not going too stir crazy. This has been hard on all of us, obviously. Here at the Kenwood Press we have plenty to write about, but not very much ad revenue to pay the bills, hence this online-only version of the April 15 issue of the Kenwood Press. Please keep checking back here to see what's new.

Let's start with art.

Item from Robin Williams collection
“Shirley’s Friend Waited for Shirley but She Never Came” by Donald Roller Wilson. From the Robin Williams collection.

Deric Torres, Kenwood resident and partner with Clars Auction Gallery in Oakland, let us know that there will be an online auction of art and memorabilia from the late comedian Robin Williams. Deric says there are some really wonderful and eclectic items in the auction, which begins on April 19 and continues into May. Check it out at

And you may be familiar with Kenwood artist Fred Parker. If you've ever thought about owning one of his original paintings, or a giclée, now is a good opportunity, as he has been cataloging and putting everything up for sale. Fred writes, “Just two months ago, things were going well. I had just finalized the Art Encounters schedule for the students at Kenwood Elementary School and had planned a third grade field trip to my studio in May. I also had begun planning my July backyard dinner party fundraiser for that school program, and had booked the Alley Gallery in Sonoma for another one-man show in September. His website is

“Now, all those plans are cancelled and I need to create a new agenda for the remainder of 2020 while concentrating on sales so I can survive.”

Kenwood Marsh painting
Fred Parker giclée of Kenwood Marsh.
Fred is hoping there are people out there still willing and able to buy art. He explains, “There will be heavy discounts and time payment plans with each transaction adjusted to fit your needs. My goal is to find homes for all the art I have available. I will be 82 in June and it is obvious I need to clean up my act while I have the energy and time. The pandemic didn't create this situation. I had planned to start downsizing my business over the next year or two anyway. The pandemic has only moved up the schedule.” If you're interested in seeing Fred's catalog, email him at, or call 833-2602 and leave a message.

Gretchen Covington of Bennett Valley and Glenna Yee of Oakmont are pleased to have their artworks showcased online for a biennium at the Delta Kappa Gamma Arts and Humanities Gallery. Delta Kappa Gamma is an international society for key women educators who promote professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education. Gretchen and Glenna are members of the Eta Upsilon Chapter. The online exhibit is being built right now, and should be ready for viewing in early May at In the meantime, here are a couple examples of their work:

Footprints on the beach
“A Lakeside Walk” by Gretchen Covington

Picture of two keys
“Do Not Duplicate” by Glenna Yee
As Angela Nardo-Morgan says, “Guardian Angels do exist!” She's referring to Margie and Ritch Foster who have been busy making hundreds of masks for Glen Ellenites. Their timing could not be better, as we are all now supposed to wear masks whenever we're out in public. Might as well make a fashion statement while you're at it!

Here's their story, courtesy of Angela:

“Ritch and Margie Foster had to cut short a vacation to Florida, Key West and the South and return home early because of COVID-19. On their return to California and their beloved Glen Ellen they chose to self-quarantine because they knew the ramifications of being out in public after traveling, especially on airplanes and through airports. But being Ritch and Margie, rather than working on personal projects, relaxing, cooking, doing fun things for themselves they immediately got to work helping their town. Margie, who heard from a friend that masks were desperately needed by hospitals and who has helped make all of the beautiful quilts for the GE Village Fair, quickly got to work sewing. When she realized the demand exceeded production she of course had no choice but to put her husband Ritch to work! After a brief lesson he caught on quickly and began sewing night and day.

Ritch Foster
Ritch Foster hard at work sewing masks for anyone and everyone.

“Just making masks to give to health care workers and others was not enough for Ritch and Margie. As Margie made her way through the neighborhood she discovered there were many places and people serving others that were going without masks. She instantly remedied that and made sure that any and all businesses in Glen Ellen that were working with the public got enough masks for every employee. She steadfastly visited every one of them: The Glen Ellen Village Market, the post office, the corner store, Les Pascals, Glen Ellen Star Restaurant, Jim Shere at the Village, Yeti and even Tips Roadside in Kenwood got masks from Ritch and Margie. But still that was not the end of it.

“Margie visited every one she could think of in town who was vulnerable, elderly or compromised and offered to make them masks and yet still there was still more for them to do!

“She scoured her very own neighborhood of Warm Springs Road and made “custom” masks for her beloved neighbors. Margie felt that if people had some ownership of what masks looked like they might be more inclined to wear them. She arrayed a palette of colorful, beautiful fabrics on her porch.

“People could come up to the house and select their own personal fabric and pin their name to it. Margie came out later and collected the fabrics. Soon each member of the neighborhood had their own “signature” masks to protect them and others from COVID-19. She even included directions on how to wear them and when and how often to launder them.

“I watched as Ritch and Margie spent weeks furiously making masks. These two people are ALWAYS thinking of others and the good of the town. They have stepped up over and over again in big ways for our small town.

“In the midst of isolation, fear and suffering I look out my window and am reminded of the incredible resiliency of the human spirit. I see a shining beacon of hope in my own neighborhood … Ritch and Margie Foster, Guardian Angels of Glen Ellen.”

Easter Bunny wagon
The Easter Bunny rode through Kenwood, keeping at least 6 feet away and wearing a mask, but bringing smiles to the whole neighborhood. Photo by Courtney Lindberg.
Easter came and went without our traditional Easter Egg Hunts, but the local fire departments who put on the annual events are all about keeping us safe, obviously. Nevertheless, that did not stop the Easter Bunny from riding around Kenwood Village on a fire truck, to the delight of many. Photographer Courtney Lindberg was one of them, writing, “We had the absolute pleasure of seeing the Easter Bunny rolling through Kenwood yesterday. It was such a joyous experience in this wild time and to see all the neighbors come to the ends of their driveways to wave made me cry! Big thanks to the fire department for making this Easter so very special.”

And now for a moment of levity - Catherine Jefferson has been shopping online at Costco, and when the product you want isn't available they give you the next best thing.

Toilet Paper meme
What toilet paper shortage?

She says, “I now have two cases of jumbo TP… like the rolls they use at the airport! I guess if we run out of the other stuff we'll be happy to have this!” Her husband Dave wanted to return it, but she told him, “In times like these, you just have to roll with it!”

Seems like a long, long time ago in a country far, far away, people used to go on vacations and send us “Pictures with the Press.” Rich and Jennifer Stark reminded me of this last week when they sent in a picture from their trip to Italy back in September of 2019. They were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary - belated congratulations, Rich and Jenny!
Rich and Jennifer Stark in Italy
Rich and Jennifer Stark celebrated their 25th anniversary in Italy last September. Seen here in Positano.
Rich wrote, “We traveled from Bologna, Tuscany area, Rome, Sorrento, and this picture was taken on our way to Positano on the Amalfi Coast. Wonderful trip! Your announcement yesterday reminded us we needed to send this in.”

He's referring, of course, to the fact that Alec and I are retiring at the end of 2020. We wrote about it in the April 1st Publishers' Corner. We're going to keep reminding you of that so 1) you can get used to the idea; and 2) in case anyone out there is interested in taking over this media empire. If you are, let us know!

And let us know how you're weathering the storm. What are you learning or discovering about yourself, your home, your back yard, your town, these days?

That's all for now. Stay healthy and safe. And if you have anything for Village Chat, please send it to, or call 833-5155 and chat me up! - AQP


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