Writer/environmental warrior Alex Shoumatoff booked his wife and kids into a Russian River motel Saturday, then drove off to join the merry men inside the Bohemian Grove.
But the New Yorker wasn't invited, not hardly. Shoumatoff is working on a Vanity Fair story critical of attempts by the Bohemian Club to clear some trees from the gorgeous, 2,700-acre camp near Monte Rio alive right now with the midsummer gathering often called the greatest men's party on Earth.
At about 8 p.m., he sneaked into the tightly guarded Grove. When security men confronted him about 90 minutes later, he was asking questions that made Bohemians wonder if he was truly one of them.
Shoumatoff was straight-up with the Sonoma County deputies who arrested him on suspicion of trespassing. He told them he entered the Grove to investigate "how the redwood trees are impacted by the members in the Bohemian Grove."
Deputies contacted his wife to say he was out of the grove and in the county jail. She wasn't surprised.
A NIBBLE OF HORSE: Back home in Sebastopol, famed artist Jack Stuppin stops to think about what he liked best about his VIP trip to Kazahkstan. But not about his most memorable meal.
"The big, gourmet dish was horsemeat and noodles, the national dish," he said. "You had to be polite and taste a little of it."
Jack went as one of several world artists invited by the government to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the new capital, Astana. He quickly adored the Kazakhs.
As he toured, accomplished documentary filmmaker Robert Hillmann, also of Sebastopol, shot footage.
A highlight was the dinner -- no horse -- with U.S. Ambassador John Ordway and the embassy's cultural affairs officer, Natasha Franceschi, formerly of Bodega.
Natasha, a 1991 graduate of Sebastopol's Analy High, had more than a little to do with Jack making the A-list.
COMING HOME TO PLAY: Paul Mihaly and his sister, Patricia Mihaly Nabti, have never forgotten Santa Rosa. The passionate doctorates will tell you so if you see them Sunday.
Paul was a 4-year-old in Santa Rosa when he discovered piano. He excelled at Juilliard and beyond.
Patricia was a Santa Rosa High student when a chance to study in Egypt led to a fascination with the Arab world. She taught at Stanford and founded, in Beirut, a volunteer bureau (www.avs.org.lb) inspired by the Sonoma County Volunteer Center.
The siblings will be back in Santa Rosa on Sunday for a 7 p.m. recital at the Glaser Center. Paul and his wife, Joanne, will play, and donations will boost Patricia's work in Lebanon.
WHATTYA GOT THERE? Just try to beat this for cheap, close-to-home entertainment.
For five hours Saturday, spectators at the Finley Center can watch as owners of old swords, tools, jewels and unidentified antique objects carry them in to find out what their history is and what, generally, they're worth.
Volunteers with the Luther Burbank Home & Gardens did so well at last year's Antique Evaluation Faire that they are building on it this year.
Ten local antiques dealers will examine and evaluate old treasures from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. -- for $5 an item.
What's in your garage?
Chris Smith is at 521-5211 and firstname.lastname@example.org.