If Santa Rosa native son Robert Ripley were still alive and drawing his "Believe It or Not" cartoon, he might tell the world about the piece of handmade furniture that links the two most accomplished and renowned late residents of his hometown.
And Ripley surely would mention that the piece of practical art is for sale.
It's a wooden bench, a beauty made from the Cedar of Lebanon that Luther Burbank planted at his home and experimental gardens in Santa Rosa and that loomed over the famed horticulturist's grave until disease left no option to its being cut down in 1989.
Five years later, Charles Schulz and his wife, Jeannie, purchased one of 21 benches made from the historical tree's timber and sold as a benefit for Luther Burbank Home & Gardens. The Peanuts creator enjoyed the bench until he died in 2000, and recently Jeannie decided to help out the volunteers at the home and gardens by allowing them to sell the bench again.
She donated it back, and now there's an auction underway to determine who'll become the bench's new owner.
I just checked at lburbank.users.sonic.net/bench, and the bidding stands at $1,250. The online auction will continue through 4 p.m. on Friday. The following day, bidding will resume at the Holiday Open House at the Burbank Home and Gardens where the bench will be on display.
The auction will close at 4 p.m. next Sunday. The following day, somebody will take home the piece crafted from the wood of Burbank's famous tree and savored for years by history's most successful and beloved cartoonist.
If you sit on the bench at the open house, be prepared. You may have to share it with a certain beagle.
BEER AND PARKS, a couple of my favorite things.
The folks at Third Street Aleworks Restaurant & Brewery in Santa Rosa cleverly combined the two and created Annadel Pale Ale, a tasty brew inspired by the hiking and cycling park on the city's southeastern flank.
Third Street Aleworks co-founder Todd Hedrick loves the park and wants to see it removed from the endangered list brought on by the state's budget crisis.
To help raise money and awareness, he has printed up shirts — nice ones, of 100 percent organic cotton — bearing a likeness of the Annadel Pale Ale label. Third Street Aleworks is selling them for $24 and will donate the proceeds to the Parks Alliance.
Todd envisions the shirts being tucked into many stockings.
THAT MAKES TWO: Just imagine how many of the people on your shopping list would love to have one of the too-cool Grateful Dead-inspired T-shirts that are on sale at ranger kiosks at the Sonoma County regional parks.
Sales of the $20 shirts will help to keep Spring Lake, Ragle Ranch, Doran, Healdsburg Memorial Veterans Beach and the other county parks thriving.
REMEMBER BOB ROSS? He was the &‘fro-haired, eternally cheerful artist who created lovely pieces in minutes as host of TV's "The Joy of Painting" on PBS from 1983 to 1994.
On Saturday, KRCB/Channel 22 will air a documentary on Ross' life — he died from lymphoma in 1995 — amid the hustle and bustle of pledge night.
The station has asked two artists — Graton Gallery partner Susan Ball and retired Bodega fire chief Annie Murphy Springer — to be there and to each start and finish a painting on the air.
Find out the products involved here