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There are some good ideas for bringing people together in simple celebrations of life, there are great ideas and then there’s “Play Music on the Porch Day.”

It falls on the afternoon of Aug. 26, a Saturday. The idea is to go out onto the porch or deck or lawn or sidewalk and, mindful that many others around the world are doing the same, create music for free.

That could mean strumming a guitar, performing with a string quartet, humming into a kazoo, anything you regard as music.

At playmusicontheporchday.com you’ll see that people in 17 countries played along last year and the goal this year is 35.

In Santa Rosa’s Grace Tract off Fourth Street and Bryden Lane, Annie Cooper is encouraging neighbors to join in and make it a hoot. Annie envisions families and individuals making music, then strolling about to see and hear what others were doing.

If there are lemonade stands, bake sales and other neighborly activities to accompany the music, she figures, all the better.

Our friends in Napa are out in front of this phenomenon with its annual PorchFest, the most recent taking place just two weeks ago. Local bands played for free on 67 porches, many of them attached to historic homes. There were food trucks and happy hordes of music lovers of all ages.

Let’s see how much fun we have on Aug. 26, sort of a music-unites-the-world day.

...

SPEAKING OF NAPA, our loss is Napa County’s gain as driven reporter and good guy Derek Moore leaves the PD after nearly 19 years in the newsroom.

Derek shone, you may recall, in reporting stories such as the Napa Valley earthquake, the Golden Gate Bridge suicide of 14-year-old Marissa Imrie, the rocky start of the BottleRock festival and the financial crisis of the region’s state parks.

Derek leaves the newspaper to become public information officer for the Napa Valley Transportation Authority. A true newsman, he made clear as he said his goodbyes on Friday that there’s much he will miss about his time with the PD.

But the resident of Napa and former reporter for the Napa Valley Register will not miss that daily drive into Santa Rosa.

...

GLENDA ANDERSON, who for the past 13 years covered Mendocino and Lake counties for the PD, just retired. Already we’re missing her, too.

Before she joined us, she worked for a decade on the staff of the Ukiah Daily Journal. Glenda may travel to Oregon to witness the eclipse and see how it feels not to be thinking all the time of how she’ll start the story.

...

IF THAT WAS YOU who quietly paid the tab of the diner at Betty’s Fish & Chips whose cap identified him as a Vietnam veteran, know that he is grateful.

He told me that whoever bought him his dinner almost certainly could not have known that his wife passed away not long ago.

The loss has him appreciating the kind act all the more.

...

THAT FIBERGLASS in the crawl space and between the walls can be fairly irritating to work with.

I’ve had just enough experience with it to get a laugh when I spied the slogan on the B&D Insulation van:

“Itchin’ to Serve You.”

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

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