Celebrating with Oscar, Sebastopol style

  • Christopher Watros, dressed as an Oscar statue, and Julie Atwood share a laugh during a Academy Awards pre-party hosted by Food For Thought and the Rialto Cinemas on Sunday, March 2, 2014 in Sebastopol, California. (BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat)

Dapper in their black tailcoat jackets, white shirts and white vests, James Knauer and Richard Jones posed for photos Sunday, standing on a plush red carpet next to a long, shiny black limousine.

The two Santa Rosa men were in front of a theater, but it was more than 400 miles north of the Dolby Theater on Hollywood Boulevard, where the 86th annual Academy Awards were unfolding with the usual show-biz splendor.

Instead, they were among about 230 folks attending the second annual Academy Night in Sonoma County, hosted by the Rialto Theater in Sebastopol as a benefit for Food for Thought, a Forestville-based food pantry for AIDS and HIV patients.

Oscar Party In Sebastopol


"It's a good cause," declared Knauer, who has been partners with Jones for 34 years.

Their ultra-formal outfits were rented.

"I won't wear it again until I'm buried," Jones joked.

"Do it now while the tux still fits," Knauer suggested.

Lending dramatic flair to the limousine photo session was Sister Yoda Lay-Hee Hoo of the Russian River Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a Guerneville-based nonprofit.

Sister Yoda, outrageously made up and wearing black and white polka dot stiletto-heeled stocking shoes, said her last name could be spelled with "as many O's as you want."

"You have to sing it if you read it out loud," she said.

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