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We don't just cover the North Bay. We live here.
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Loath to rush anything, Mark Currier asked girlfriend Sue Russell if she would marry him in 30 years.

Sue said yes, concurring with Mark’s suggestion that “you can figure out if you can get along within that amount of time.”

That was a few months more than 32 years ago.

Here recently Mark, who’s 63 and a retired stationary engineer, heard the Sonoma County Fair is inviting couples to sign up to marry or renew their vows on the midway’s Century Wheel at 3 p.m. Friday.

Mark asked Sue, 57 and a Molsberry Market employee, if she’s up to marrying him on the ride. She is.

State Sen. Mike McGuire will officiate. If you wish to marry or renew your vows, shoot an email, ASAP, to specialevents@sonomacountyfair.com.

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IT’S A BOOK FAIR! For the first time, attractions at the county fair include a booth staffed by local authors.

Members of Redwood Writers are taking turns at the tables in the E.C. Kraft Building from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. One book they’re all eager to share is their new anthology, “Sonoma: Stories of a Region and Its People.”

There’s good stuff: Fiction, nonfiction and poetry.

In “Confessions of a Prune Picker,” daughter of Healdsburg Linda Loveland Reid recalls taking to the orchards in 1955 to earn enough money to buy “that Pendleton skirt in the window of Rosenberg’s Department Store in Santa Rosa.”

After a hot morning of picking prunes, Reid writes, the kids would dart to the Russian River and jump, expertly, off the Memorial Beach dam.

“It was a trick you had to know, or else you could drown. A girl did one day and we all stood on the beach shaking while they untangled her hair from a pylon and pulled her out. Did we stop playing on the dam? No. We were kids.”

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EVER SINCE 1974, when “Pasta King” Art Ibleto opened his Spaghetti Palace at the fair, his diners’ top choice has been the half-and-half, a split order of pasta with pesto sauce and pasta with marinara.

Forty-three years after he started, Art wondered if people might go for something new: polenta with both marinara and pesto.

Seems they do.

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HOW MUCH MONEY do you suppose the Mendocino County people paid to 4-H and FFA kids in the junior livestock auction at the just-concluded Redwood Empire Fair in Ukiah?

It was $792,978.78, an awesome sum for a rural county of less than 90,000 people.

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HORSES ARE HUGE to Sonoma County, always have been.

If you love horses and/or good historical stories, you might care to know about a free conversation Tuesday, Aug. 15, in Santa Rosa.

Three experts on equine contributions to Sonoma County’s economy and culture will speak at the Saturday Afternoon Club. The doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the presentation starts at 6.

On the panel are Wanda Smith, author of “Horses of the Wine Country,” horse trainer Ted Draper and Ginger DeGrange, whose family has long operated Cloverleaf Ranch. I get to moderate.

Though there’s no admission charge, the hosting Historical Society of Santa Rosa requests you click here to reserve a seat.

Chris Smith is at 707-521-5211 and chris.smith@pressdemocrat.com. ciety of Santa Rosa Chris Smith is at 707-521-5211 and chris.smith@pressdemocrat.com.