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Smith: Hey kids, come find the joy of history

There’s a treasure hunt coming to central Santa Rosa in a few weeks. Kids of all ages are welcome to join in the clue-solving, fact-finding and running about.

The one thing everybody’s likely to discover: The fun of local history.

This first History Hunt was dreamed up by Thomas Pastis, a senior at Santa Rosa High.

Thomas is the son of Stephan Pastis, creator of the jarringly original and funny “Pearls Before Swine” comic strip and “Timmy Failure” books, and Staci Pastis, an SRHS alum proud of her town.

Thomas’ idea for a treasure hunt to reveal and celebrate Santa Rosa history wowed members of the new Santa Rosa Historical Club. So it’s on.

To register, visit historicalsocietysantarosa.org or contact Staci at Stacipastis@aol.com.

Everyone meets at the Sonoma County Museum at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 20. Players will receive a list of 12 clues.

Their mission: Decipher the clues to identify and visit — on foot, or bicycle, or in a car — 12 nearby landmarks.

History Hunters will arrive at each location to find volunteers dressed in period costume. One will be cartoonist Pastis. To imagine how the creator of Rat, Pig, Goat, Zebra and the Crocs might dress for the occasion makes one’s head swim.

The volunteers at each location will award arriving players a “Historic Site Card.” The first contestant to collect all 12 and beat it back to the museum wins a $50 cash prize.

There’s a $10 entry fee for everyone age 10 and older. The dough goes to the new Historical Society, whose founders are a playful bunch loaded with ideas for making history a kick.

***

THE CAR SHOW that happens Labor Day in the park at Warm Springs Dam honors race-car driver Bob Consani and the folks who accompanied him on his final laps.

Bob was greatly comforted by staffers with Sutter Hospice before he died on Labor Day of 2007. His grateful widow, Jona, became a hospice caregiver.

She honors Bob and raises money for hospice with the car, big-rig and motorcycle show that opens at Lake Sonoma at 8 a.m. Monday.

There will be live music and, picture this: a 1939 fire truck converted to a barbecue wagon. Now that’s hot.

***

A FOOT-WEARY IAN Cummins, 23, was embraced by Sonoma County on Wednesday, three days before he’ll touch the Pacific to end a cross-country walk to prevent suicide.

Ian, whose younger brother, Ryan, killed himself last fall, met with Supervisor Shirlee Zane, who lost her husband to suicide, and with members of the National Alliance on Mental Health and SSU students.

Ian’s dad, James, who flew from Pittsburgh with his wife, Kathryn, for the end of their son’s walk, said it’s “more than a mission, it is a ministry.”

Ian expects to cross the Golden Gate Bridge between about 11 and 11:30 Saturday morning.

Chris Smith is at 707-521-5211 and chris.smith@pressdemocrat.com.

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