Making The Rounds - Ken Brown

May you always walk in sunshine

Everyone is invited to watch President Obama’s second inauguration with the Sonoma Valley Democrats on Monday, January 21, 8:30 a.m. at the Black Bear Diner, 201 W. Napa St. Breakfast will be available for purchase from the diner’s menu. In honor of Martin Luther King Day, the club asks that you bring a donation of non-perishable food in support of Friends in Sonoma Helping (FISH).  A barrel for donating food items (canned goods, pasta, rice etc. but no ramen products) will be at the Black Bear from Jan. 18-21.

“Revolutionary Island: Tales Of Cuban History & Culture, from the Sarah and Darius Anderson Collection” will have its SV Museum of Art members opening this Friday (Jan. 18) from 6 to 8 p.m. The evening will feature special musical guest Pellejo Seco. Folks can join the SV Museum of Art and join the party by going to The museum is open free of charge to the public each Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s kid friendly, too.

Also on Jan. 18:  a Benefit Shopping Night for the Sonoma Valley High School Arts Department at Baksheesh Fair Trade, 423 First Street West, on Sonoma Plaza.  Baksheesh Fair Trade will donate 15% of what they make that night towards the arts at SVHS. Very cool.

January is National Mentoring Month and there is no better time to become a mentor than now! The Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance is hosting a recruitment reception on Wednesday January 30, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at MacArthur Place. If you want to know what’s involved in becoming a mentor come on down. There are 130 children on the waiting list, waiting for a caring adult. Maybe that caring adult is YOU? Please call 938.1990, or go online at I am a busy guy but I have one hour a week to give to my mentee. So can you.

The City of Sonoma Cultural and Fine Arts Commission’s is seeking entries for its 2013 Student Creative Arts Award.  This award program is open to Sonoma Valley residents between the ages of 16 and 21 who demonstrate unusual promise in the visual, literary or performing arts. Gerry Simmel, chair of the Cultural and Fine Arts Commission, stated “the Commission received outstanding entries across all categories of the arts last year and was awed by the talent demonstrated by Sonoma Valley students.  We are pleased to again be able to offer a $2,000 award to help a young, up and coming artist further studies in his or her chosen field of creative art.” The deadline to submit entries is January 23, 2013.  Additional information and application forms are available through the City Clerk’s office (933.2216) at City Hall.

Well, it’s book+ sale time again at Sonoma Valley Library! This wonderful sale supports our library and features all manner of books for all ages, plus CD’s, DVD’s, movie cassettes and more. The sale will be February 6-9 and you can go to for more details. For sure a worthwhile excursion.

Save the Date alert: On the weekend of February 2-3, the friends of Gary Ruiz will host a community rummage sale. This “Friend-raiser” is a benefit to offset the financial impact of Gary’s post-op six-week recovery, which begins on January 28. This is an opportunity for all of us to purge those unwanted items that are in good repair and ready to go to a new home.  Large appliances and large electronics will not be accepted for this event; however, everything else from toys and games to original art and crafts, from handyman tools to furniture, from vinyl albums to kitchenware, from garden supplies to office supplies. We are also organizing volunteers to help with staging and pricing items, distributing flyers and spreading the word, staffing the sale days, etc.  Please contact Laura Dee at 938.2296 to join the effort.

And now to complete the story of the return to Sonoma Valley of the Robin and Robert Rather family. Robert Rather began working at Sonnoma Valley Hospital as a Physical Therapist Aid at age 16. He worked coaching soccer and has continued on, working toward healing body work. Robert recently relocated back to the Sonoma Valley after some time away.  He is re-establishing himself as a life consultant and for massage work. He enjoys the healing that takes place in his clients.  It brings a sense of relaxation, peace, surrender, and many smiles. For more information and scheduling contact Robin at 601.7615.

Recently I went to the local cinemaplex and saw “Django.” It was just plain horrible. My body and soul still feel weird. At what point does being a witness to such carnage change you? If there is a way to purge that two-and-a-half hour experience, I am open to suggestions. I do know that I will be more cautious in the future. I would rather focus on sunshine not darkness.

This past weekend there were numerous opportunities to find a protected spot and bask in the sunshine (it made me forget “Django” for a while). This weekend will again be sunny and warmer. Perfect for my though of the week, a traditional Irish blessing: May you always walk in sunshine. May you never want for more. May Irish angels rest their wings right beside your door.

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