You, too, may have lay awake wondering why a big bag of quite-nice shoes appeared in Ed and Sally Jensen's car last week while they lunched at the Graton casino.

Ken McCoy, a Petaluma mortgage broker and Rotary member, bit his cheeks while unraveling the mystery.

Those shoes had belonged to him and his son, Brandon, 14. No longer needing them, they'd bagged them for donation to the Santa Rosa-based VOICES, which assists former foster youth endeavoring to become independent.

Friends and fellow Rotarians of McCoy, Richard Rackerby and Sandy Geary, donate frequently to VOICES, so they offered to deliver the shoes. They told McCoy they'd be at the casino and would leave the doors of Geary's new Cadillac SRX unlocked so he could put the shoes inside.

McCoy drove to the casino and looked for Geary's car. He didn't find it, but he came upon the Cadillac Escalade he felt certain belonged to his buddy and Geary's husband, Rackerby.

McCoy recognized the car by its Support Our Troops stickers. This Caddy was tan and McCoy had forgotten that his buddy's is black. He was all the more certain the SUV was Rackerby's when he opened the rear gate and saw a bag of golf clubs.

He placed the shoes alongside them, then walked into the casino to find his friends. He told them he'd put the shoes in Rackerby's car.

Ha-ha, Rackerby and Geary responded, that car is at a tire shop. Said Rackerby, "Ken thought we were kidding and we thought he was kidding."

Ultimately persuaded that his friends were serious, McCoy hastened back out to the parking lot. But the car he'd put the shoes in was gone.

Good grief. The Jensens soon discovered the shoes in their car and told me about them.

Monday, Rackerby spoke to Sally Jensen and they settled on a plan to get the misplaced shoes to the young people who need them ASAP.

As tickled as they are by all this, the Jensens resolve to make darn sure from now on to lock the car doors.


<strong>MALENE'S CATS:</strong> Challenges and wonders confront Malene Comes constantly as she strives to shed perhaps half of her nearly 300 pounds on a 9,000-mile walk along the edge of America. But she's having some trouble focusing.

Comes is worried about her cats back in Sebastopol.

"I am desperate," said the 42-year-old former resident of Glen Ellen and Rohnert Park.

The person who agreed to keep her three cats throughout the estimated 14 months of the walk has announced she has to move and she can't take Niles, Vanya and Sofie with her.

Comes needs another person, or two, to provide foster care to the cats. Anyone possibly interested in taking them in contact Comes at

She set out in August and so far has walked about 500 miles to Seligman, Ariz. A survivor of suicide, Comes aims to walk the periphery of the 48 states, succeed in her longtime battle against excessive weight and encourage conversation about obesity and mental illness.

If only she can get those cats squared away.

<em>Chris Smith is at 521-5211 and</em>