A Paris policeman ranks high on the list of what retired SRJC music teacher/director Dan Goulart feels thankful for.

Dan, 72, and his wife, Diane, were traveling in France a couple of months ago when somebody pickpocketed his wallet.

The theft just sickened him, mostly because of the treasured photos he lost.

The other day, a package arrived at the Goularts' home — from France. Inside was Dan's wallet. And inside it, everything it had contained when it was lifted from his pocket, but the cash.

A note identified the sender as a policeman who found the wallet tossed into foliage. Dan ponders how it lay for who knows how long in a bush at Montmartre but now it's back in his pocket. And he settles on one conclusion.

Life is simply astounding.

THOUGH BLIND for most of his 48 years, Ken Rossi feels so fortunate to have seen the colors of the sky and the sea and leaves and hills of his native Sonoma County.

Ken loves to make art and he was thrilled that NBC came to the Sonoma County Museum Oct. 28 to record his drawing demonstration to 32 Windsor fourth-graders .

And it made his day Wednesday to receive word that a segment featuring him and the kids is to air at about 5:30 a.m. Saturday on the nationally televised weekend edition of the "Today" show.

SHE'S ALIVE and so are her father and her four adored cats. So 19-year-old Brittany Watson is grateful that the fire that devoured her rental in Jenner on Nov. 19 wasn't worse.

Having escaped the flames in her pajamas and lost everything else, Brittany also appreciates that people close to her have opened a relief account in her name, as well as her mother Cecilia's, at Wells Fargo Bank.

"I'm just thankful to be alive," she said. "I can replace everything but I can't replace my life."

RENEE ZELLWEGER did indeed do some shopping and tasting in and about Sebastopol last weekend.

The actress was here mostly for guitar wizard Doyle Bramhall. They met as students at U of Texas and were friends for long before partnering up. Zellweger came to town with Bramhall for his part in KRSH Radio's 20th-anniversary blast in Sebastopol.

While here, Zellweger shopped at Whistlestop Antiques in Santa Rosa. Bowker accompanied her and Bramhall for ice cream at Screamin' Mimis in Sebastopol.

Bowker said Zellweger is so low-key and easy to be with, you can forget what a major Hollywood celebrity she is.

"She's so unassuming," the KRSH musicman said. "Just a downhome Texas girl."

(Chris Smith is at 521-5211 and chris.smith@pressdemocrat.com.)

Read all of the PD's fire coverage here