Posts Tagged 'Rotary Club'

Sebastopol Rotary Backs Another Winner

ImageOn April 7 was the Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre at Analy High School.  The Sebastopol Community Center was transformed into 1928 Chicago.  And the Analy drama group took on the roles of the Taylor family and their guests.   Those of us who paid to be a part of the celebration were greeted by Mrs. Taylor, her brother-in-law, three daughters, fiance of one daughter and friends of the family.  All dressed the part.

Guests arrive for a fun evening!

Guests arrive for a fun evening!

The Sebastopol Rotary Club sponsors this event each year as a fund raiser for the Analy Arts programs.  And they get right into the mood.  We shared a table with friends old and new.    It may have been prohibition in 1928 but the local sparking wine was plentiful.

During our arrival, the hosts visited and gave us the latest news of the family.  Mrs. Taylor’s husband had recently been killed in an auto accident.  She didn’t seem too distraught about the matter as she pranced around the tables with her late husband’s brother in tow.  And then there was the fiance – Did I mention that this was an engagement party?  He seemed to be pinching all the girls in the wedding party.

Rose was regal in her red boa.

Rose was regal in her red boa.

The gossip was running  wild.   Dinner was disturbed by a close friend of Mrs. Taylor imbibing a bit too much. The sisters had a squabble over Rose’s dislike of her sister’s choice of men.  And there was a maid that seemed to be very friendly with all the males at the head table.

Dinner continued and then Mrs. Taylor’s friend was found murdered.  During the murder investigation, the fiance is also murdered.   The police were everywhere!  Someone blurts out that Rose was recently pregnant by the fiance.  Was that maid actually the daughter of the deceased?  Who was the murderer?  Or were there two murderers?

The evening was a true local affair:  great entertainment – wonderful food by Ceres – good company.   These high school Thespians showed their talents by adlibbing for over two hours with a great story line.  Did I say that this was really fun?

The party was a high society celebration.

The party was a high society celebration.

Summer is Really Over

While every time of year in Sonoma County is beautiful and much better in climate year round than any other spot on earth, the transition to winter is my least favorite time.  I love the summer mornings with the sun peeking through the redwoods in the early morning.  It is invigorating and demands that I rise from the comfort of sleep to start my day gusto.  This last week has been a week of anticipation for the change from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time.  I wake in the morning to total darkness, look at the clock and it is almost 7 AM.  I have had trouble getting going in the morning and not once this week have I managed to get my workout in before I need am off to work.  Yesterday the dreariness was intensified by a much needed rainstorm.  It was the type of storm that barely requires a raincoat and only occasionally were the windshield wipers needed at full throttle.   Nothing to complain about at all even without the harsh contrast of devistation experienced on the East Coast from Hurricane Sandy.

Great Friends – Sally & David Ewald

September and October packed in those wonderful late summer outings.   Being Wine Country – most of the events had a great deal of wine involved.  The Rotary Club of Sebastopol put on another terrific lobster feed.  This event raises money for the many projects supported by the Rotary including mentoring of Analy High School students in business and philanthropy.

Lobster and Pinot – Complimentary

Two weekends each October is ArTrails – open studios throughout Sonoma County.  My last post was on Peter Krohn whom I interviewed for the Sonoma County Gazette.

Ceramic Man by Suki Diamond

Ceramic Water Features
by Gerald Arrington

I managed to get a few hours of studio hopping in before I went on to Napa for a decadent Chocolate and Wine tasting event that raised money for the Boys and Girls Club of Napa.

It is now 7:15 AM and still no light outside.  I did take a break from writing to do a Turbo Jam workout.  I can still get 4 workouts in this week.  I look back and think of the sun and great times of the last few weeks and remind myself that in every year some rain must fall.  And that the clocks will be turned back in just three more days!

Chocolate and Wine in Napa
Coco Tutti was a Favorite by All

Sebastopol Rotary Lobster Feed

Once I had eaten lobster in Maine, I have never ordered it in a restaurant in California again.  So I was a bit skeptical when I heard that the Rotary Club was having a Lobster Feed right here in Sebastopol.  But the Rotary Club here does things on a very grand scale and the money goes for good causes.  I sent in my check on the basis that the event would be fun – I would see friends – I have to eat anyway so I might as well contribute to the community.

Upon entering the grassy area behind O’Reilly & Associates,  I was greeted by about ten wineries pouring generous glasses of their best wines.   I learned of a grape that I had never heard of before – Charbono.  They say it is from Italy and it certainly sounds like it.  The grapes for this Russian River Vineyards single vineyard bottling come from Mendocino County and are grown by a guy named Guido.  The wine is red, forward and very tasty.  (No I am not a wine critic.  I know what I like and what I don’t like and that is about it!)  The second wine of which I partook was Dutton-Goldfield’s 2009 Pinot Noir.  Yummy!

The event had plenty of silent auction items that were being snapped up and nibbles from the Culinary Class at El Molino High School.  The real show was the cooking of the lobster.  I wish I had been thinking about my camera while I watched the 50 gallon vats of boiling water prepare our vegetables, bratwurst, shrimp and lobsters!  Alas, I was just thinking about how good they were going to taste.  The lobster was flown in that day and as fresh as being in Bar Harbor.

The evening was full with a live auction, selling of keys to an all paid vacation to Kauai (one hundred keys at $100 each) and wonderful conversation.  I will once again go on the Mystery Tour with other women of Sebastopol as I broke down and raised my card.  The event brought in over $90,000 from the auctions alone.  Another great evening in Sebastopol.

The Sebastopol Rotary “Mystery Tour”

First Stop on the Mystery Tour

The Sebastopol Rotary chapter is an active and wonderful group of people.  Believe it or not – I am not a member!  I say that because I am a member of so many great organizations – just not this one.  However, that does not mean that I won’t take advantage of an opportunity to participate in fun activities.  Yesterday was one of those opportunities.

Sally Ewald

The “Mystery Tour” was introduced three years ago at the Rotary Club of Sebastopol Lobster Feed and Auction.  (You can learn all about Rotary in Sebastopol and the wonderful auction items here.)   It was such a huge success that it was brought back this year.  The concept is 40 women on a bus bound for ???  The major force behind the tour this year is Rotarian Sally Ewald who knows how to show a crowd a good time.  Rotarian Dorothy Rodella of Exchange Bank teamed with Sally to give us a memorable day.

Happy Bus Riders

The day began with a Continental Breakfast and mimosas at the Community Church.  Colorful hats with hand painted scarves were stacked on the tables and the colors were in consort with Cinco de Mayo.  By 9:30 AM we were on our way to San Francisco with a photo op at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge.   The margaritas were flowing and the raffle prizes being given away as we pulled up at Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant on Geary Blvd. between 23rd and 24th Avenues.  Tommy’s margaritas are world famous and the bar boasts the “largest vintage selection of 100% agave tequila on earth.”  Julio gave us an academic lecture on tequila as we had tequila and margarita tasting.

Not Much Different than Wine Tasting

The tequila was followed up by a tasty lunch.  As we were starting to pull out from the curb, Julio ran into the bus with yet another tequila and we got the traditional shot straight from the bottle to the opened mouth.  Not all of us are skilled at this drinking technique and I believe that the aroma of spectacular tequila was evident throughout the day!

Victorian Decorative Peacock

The mystery continued with a personalized tour of a restored Victorian Mansion near Alamo Square – home of the Painted Ladies.  This home not only had the architecture of the Victorian era but all of the requisite collectibles.  I took about 50 pictures but my favorite is the stuffed peacock in the dining room.  The home was crammed with Egyptian statues, player pianos, velvet upholstered furniture, porcelain figurines, postcards and signs.   The owner (and occupant) of the home was on hand to tell us stories of its history.  A very special stop.

Off we went to North Beach to take in the grandeur of Saints Peter & Paul Parish, Catholic Church.  This is a small church by cathedral standards but is filled with marble alters, stained glass windows and mosaic art.  Calming to the senses and a nice respite from the chaos of Victorian clutter.

The Latest in Heels

What else must be done when in San Francisco?  Shopping, of course.  And what better place than Nordstrom’s on Market and Fifth?  After a private meeting with the managers of the jewelry and accessories departments, we hit the first floor – not only for jewelry and accessories – but hats and shoes.  After all, what is Nordies specialty item?   This shoe caught my eye.  No, I do not wear high heels.  No, spikes are not common on my shoes.  But this is pretty memorable footwear.  Maybe it could find itself in the modern equivalent of a Victorian home.

By 6:00 PM the bus was getting a bit quiet.  What could get us jazzed for the evening?  The bus took us along the Embarcadero and then we saw the tented roofline.  We were on our way to Teatro ZinZanni.  The dinner theater is spellbinding and only partially because of the charm of the antique “spiegeltent” in which it is performed.  The meal was excellent and our own Sally Ewald became a star in the show.  I cannot recommend the experience more highly.

A wonderful day was had by all – including the cute 30-year old Chris who waited on all of us throughout the day.  Raffle gifts were abundant – I have a bottle of Camellia Cellars Sangiovese to add to my goodie bag.  We were all ready for a comfortable bed as we pulled into the parking lot around midnight.  My greatest thanks goes to Sally and Dorothy for putting this together.  I wonder where the next Mystery Tour will take us.

Sally Outside Teatro ZinZanni


September 2021


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