Forestville Pizzeria owner Don Reha seemed painfully reluctant to ask a favor of his staff's pizza-making king and veggie-slicing queen, Mike and Anjela Quecke.
Grateful to have been hired on a couple of years back because they're not spring chickens, the Queckes have been purely exceptional employees for Reha and his wife, Gwen.
"They're the most awesome people," Don Reha said.
Given that, he told the couple he hated to have to ask if they would come into the pizzeria quite early yesterday, Wednesday, to get started prepping for a party of 100.
Of course, Mike and Anjela, who once ran Giorgio's restaurant in Healdsburg, said they gladly would.
They arrived reliably on-time that morning and their mouths fell open.
The Rehas greeted them, apologized for telling a white lie and presented them two tickets to the midday Giants/Cubs game, spending cash, Giants gear to wear and a chauffeured limo for the ride to and from the ferry terminal.
Off went two avid Giants fans who rarely find time to make it to a live game.
And this is how life, and work, should be.
<strong>ON MEMORIAL DAY,</strong> white crosses went up on the open lot southwest of Santa Rosa where a deputy shot and killed 13-year-old Andy Lopez last Oct. 22.
About 20 people gathered in a semi-circle and read the names of 61 others who died in confrontations with law enforcement officers or in custody in Sonoma County over the past 14 years.
The Andy Lopez activists welcomed two newcomers, Benita and Jennifer Courtright of Guerneville. Benita's husband and Jennifer's father, Wayne, was killed one miserable night last November when he allegedly fired a rifle at deputies.
Benita Courtright was grateful to have heard of the alternative Memorial Day observance where Andy Lopez died.
"It's comforting to know there are people out there who care," she said. "It is so isolating."
<strong>JIM GRADY,</strong> were he still alive, would almost surely show up Saturday at the Sam's For Play Caf?on Santa Rosa's Cleveland Avenue.
The occasion is a 2 to 5 p.m. benefit hotrod show, the sort of community event Jim loved to promote and attend as a broadcaster on radio stations KSRO and KZST.
The organizers, Sam Anker of Sam's and Gary Faull, who has lost loved ones to cancer and now battles it himself, will raffle off golf foursomes and other goodies and give the money to cancer fighters at Memorial Hospital.
They're dedicating the event to Grady, who was gung-ho on people-helping-people efforts right up to his death from cancer and other ills in February 2013.
If he could be at Sam's for the car show Saturday he might order the sandwich dedicated to him, the Shamus O'Grady: Chicken breast, bacon, grilled onions, jack and parmesan cheese and Dijon mustard, on a French roll.
Sounds great. But how could there be no ham in a Jim Grady sandwich?
<em>Chris Smith is at 521-5211 and firstname.lastname@example.org.</em>