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SMITH: Celia gets a tip from Martin Yan

Celia Talbot received a letter and a tasty tidbit from celebrity chef and new S.F. restaurateur Martin Yan.

The Santa Rosan had written to the star of TV's long-popular "Yan Can Cook" and other programs to thank him for sparking treasured memories of the years she lived as a pre-teen in southwest China's Yunnan Province.

Yan had explored and cooked there for an episode of "Martin Yan's China" on PBS. Celia told him in her letter she loved seeing parts of Yunnan again and she hoped that some day they might meet and exchange tales of the abundant region.

In his reply, Yan said that's possible because he plans to create a second M.Y. China restaurant — his first opened in San Francisco late last year — in Santa Rosa in November.

A publicist for Yan said she can't say more than to confirm that he has filed a request for a fictitious business name in Sonoma County.

TREED CATS AND T.P.: Thanks for even pretending to remember that in a recent column I mentioned both a hero who climbed 110 feet up a redwood to rescue a Sebastopol family's cat, and the closing of the Turning Point addiction treatment home on Rincon Valley's Acacia Lane.

Reading the tales in tandem transported former Ursuline High teacher Jennifer Gray back to the day in 1999 that she was frazzled by a cat that wouldn't or couldn't come down — from a redwood on Acacia Lane.

"I was freaked out because the cat had been up there for at least eight hours and was howling," she recalled.

She said that when she first became a neighbor to Turning Point she was leery of its residents. "But in the two years I lived there, we only had positive interactions."


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