The funeral that flowed naturally down the steps of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church onto the streets of Healdsburg was a gripping and, for this part of the world, rare display of grief and affection.
Monday’s walking procession of perhaps 200 people, many of them teens, followed pallbearers who carried a white casket. The mourners marched about 10 blocks, stepping to the percussion beat of Windsor’s renowned Blocco ensemble.
The somber parade to Oak Mound Cemetery honored Karla Guzman, a 17-year-old Windsor resident who would have been a senior this year at Windsor High. She broke many hearts when she took her life at home Aug. 11.
Karla had a thing for flannel shirts, so many in the solemn march wore their favorite ones.
People are reaching out to her parents, Carlos and Veronica Guzman, to help cover some of the costs of the tragedy. A memorial fund will be opened today at Exchange Bank. I’ll pass on details of the account once they’re available.
Windsor High starts the new school year doing what it can to help students cope with the loss of one of the Jaguars known for lighting up the room.
ASK PENELOPE Sabatino what she did this summer and the 6-year-old might reply, “Nothing special.”
Her father, John, on the other hand, eagerly reports that Penelope checked out from the public library and read more than 400 books. Most of them non-picture chapter books.
The new second-grader at Santa Rosa French-American Charter School also made time for swim lessons, gymnastics and running around with her kid brother, Jasper.
Penelope’s dad credits her inquisitive mind for her summer reading achievement. It doesn’t hurt, he notes, that there is no TV in the house.
GOT A DOG? Even if you don’t, but especially if you do, a happy place to be Saturday morning will be Santa Rosa High School.
Occupying the campus from 9 a.m. until noon is DogFest Walk ’n’ Roll, a walk-a-thon and festival that celebrates our pups.
The Lions Club will flip its famous pancakes, and there will be bounce houses, vendors and entertainment. It all benefits Canine Companions for Independence, the trainer of service dogs that transform lives.
If you don’t have a dog you can still go, but you’ve got a few days to arrange to borrow one.
THE GOOD NEWS that just came to Beth Swehla, a teacher and FFA advisor at Anderson Valley High in Boonville, is that she’ll be presented a prestigious Honorary American Degree at the National FFA Convention in Louisville in October.
Swehla would love to go — “There is so much happening there,” she said — and take four Anderson Valley students with her. But the trip would cost about $5,300 and she has nearly no time to raise the money.
Donations made payable to the Anderson Valley Agriculture Institute can be sent to the high school, P.O. Box 130, Boonville 95415.
“NOW HIRING” was one of two phrases on a roll-away sign spotted alongside Stony Point Road near Highway 116, in outer Petacotatipol. The second was, “BABY CHICKS.”
Could be an interesting job, but one supposes that it pays chicken-feed.
Chris Smith is at 521-5211 and firstname.lastname@example.org.