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Smith: Never a dull birthday for Eleanor

  • Chris Smith

Eleanor Kitto now has observed 94 birthdays, some in peculiar ways.

For her 90th, the San Rafael woman’s daughter and son-in-law, Jean and Rod Stewart, surprised her by taking her to Philadelphia and the old house the couple had found through painstaking research.

Kitto had no recollection of the place. Her folks were boarders there when she was born July 1, 1920. In the toilet.

She grew up hearing how her mom was grieving upon the premature arrival of a stillborn boy, and as she sat in the bathroom she had no idea a twin girl was about to drop in.

And this year: On July 2, Kitto and the Stewarts and kin from all over celebrated both her 94th and Independence Day on the Russian River. It’s a special place because Kitto and her late husband, Charlie, dated there during the war.

All went swimmingly eight days ago until Kitto fell and broke her hip. She was soon at Santa Rosa’s Sutter Medical Center and set for surgery.

Hearing of her fall-spoiled birthday party, Sutter nurses Sarah Fisher and Barbara Wolcott made some calls, ordered goodies and on Wednesday treated Eleanor to a Happy 94th celebration at the hospital.

Note to self: Next July, check on what happens for her 95th.

DAVE MITCHELL, the indefatigable retired editor of the Point Reyes Light, couldn’t be happier if he’d won a second Pulitzer Prize.

He’s back in west Marin from Durango, Colo., where he received one of the world’s highest honors for editing a weekly paper, the Eugene Cervi Award of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors.


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