Emma Frey turned 15 and decided to do something special.
She pocketed some of her savings and asked her parents, Nichole and Fred, if they'd give her in cash what they'd normally spend on a party.
And the Santa Rosa High student went shopping.
She bought a bunch of food — makings for PB&J sandwiches, string cheese, carrots, chips, bottled water, a bit of candy and some personal hygiene products.
The good guys at Mike's Truck Garden in Fulton let her talk them into donating a couple crates of pears. K-Mart pitched in some socks.
Emma and her friend Rachel Sincheff packed about 70 hefty lunch-and-goodie bags into a car, then they and their moms drove around Santa Rosa looking for people who might be homeless.
Emma said afterward she couldn't believe how many she found on the city's streets and how grateful they were for a little food and kindness.
Happy birthday, kiddo.
HER VIOLIN is out there, somewhere, and 16-year-old Caroline Leung's trust in humanity has her hoping it will come back to her.
Caroline lives in Santa Rosa and her folks, Karen Leung and Tony Chu, drive her at least weekly to the East Bay for her practices with the Berkeley Youth Orchestra.
They were headed home on Sept. 29 and stopped for a quick dinner at the Ranch 99 Market, just off 80/580 where Richmond meets El Cerrito.
They returned to the car and Caroline screamed. Someone had broken into the car and stolen the violin handed down from her mother, labeled "1976 Staatliche Fachschule fur Geigenbau Mittenwald 2213," and a valuable, borrowed bow.
Caroline's heartsick folks have posted a reward.
GUERNEVILLE SCHOOL kids are enjoying a nice influx of new books.
Last weekend, friends and family of late teacher Ruth Dodge Allan met at the school to share memories of her. Ruth, who also taught up the coast at the Kashia reservation and former Stillwater Cove School, was 101 when she died last year.
Guests at the celebration brought along books, all of which are now at the school and are stamped inside the cover, "Donated in memory of Ruth D. Allan."
STURGEON'S MILL is about to go quiet for the rainy season. If you haven't treated yourself to the west county treasure when the steam runs and the sawblades bite into great logs, this might be a good weekend for it.
Volunteers at the century-old sawmill on Green Valley Road host their final open house of the year from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days.
(Chris Smith is at 521-5211 and firstname.lastname@example.org.)