A LITTLE BIT OF A LOT OF THINGS
Halloween, '95 is memorialized in the following scrap of sidewalk
First speaker: ''Interesting isn't it? You can't tell who's wearing a
costume and who's not.''
Second: ''Yeah, that's what makes this country great.''
YOU CAN, however, tell those sidewalk cyclists who near-miss you on the
downtown streets that their days of grace are numbered.
There is a proposal before the City Council to make it illegal to cycle,
skate or skateboard on the sidewalks of the central district.
Santa Rosa police Lt. Scott Swanson has written a downtown public safety
report for Chief Sal Rosano that was sent to the council several weeks ago.
The report, Swanson says, indentifies public safety issues confronting police
in the central part of Santa Rosa. It offers alternatives for the council to
consider, including additional foot-beat officers, video technology AND,
Swanson says, ''hidden in there is a suggestion'' that the central district be
posted (as the transit mall and Old Courthouse Square already are) prohibiting
cyclists, skaters and 'boarders on sidewalks.
Matt LeBlanc of the City Attorney's Office is working with the department
on language for an ordinance. Swanson will make the presentation to the
council in late November or early December.
Footnote: This will be good news for Martha Ours, who wrote to the council
last week making an official request for an ordinance. Ours has, she told city
officials, ''been nearly run down twice in every block while I was walking
THE WILD and crazy Scorpios, a trio of Sonoma County men who were born
under that sign, have been celebrating their birthdays in an increasingly
unique and elaborate style for 17 years now. In 1977, two Santa Rosa
restaurateurs, Claus Neumann and Dieter Meier, met Petaluma auto dealer Bob
Benson on a Colorado River rafting trip and discovered they all had November
They decided to take turns planning some special birthday event each year.
The first year they took their wives for a weekend in Santa Barbara. Then they
There was a canoe trip with an elegant picnic complete with linen napkins,
champagne and real silver; a chartered yacht; a Wyoming dude ranch. Benson
took them all on a fall colors tour of New England in 1986. That was the year
Neumann went into an outhouse at a country inn and Meier talked Benson into
helping him tip it over. Claus has been plotting to get even ever since.
The height of their birthday glories was a ''Dutch treat'' culinary tour of
the south of France for the 10th anniversary of the parties. Since then, Claus
says, ''old age and fixed incomes'' have subdued the celebrations. But not a
Last week they returned from a tour of the antebellum south -- Charleston,
Savannah, Augusta, Atlanta -- and Claus got his chance to wreak revenge on
They had divided responsibilities. Claus was in charge of lodging; Benson,
transportation; and Dieter, food. The hotel in Augusta had no restaurant, but
Dieter had interviewed caterers by telephone and arranged an elaborate feast
which he bragged about, Claus says, for a month or more before the trip.
Upon arrival in Augusta, Claus visited a small market and bought a quantity
of rusty, wilted lettuce, some mooshy tomatoes with black spots, some slippery
parsley and a squeeze bottle of yellow mustard. The produce was so bad the
checker was embarrassed and Claus had to convince her he really wanted it that
Back at the hotel, he made contact with the caterer and explained his
mission. He built a sample salad with squiggles of mustard on top, and left
the rest to the chef's helpers, who thought it was a hoot.
When dinner was announced, the hostess announced that the special pate
Dieter had ordered as a first course was unavailable and the chef was
substituting a first course speciality which had won him many awards. Then
they served Claus' salad.
It took a minute for it to sink in. Dieter's wife, Edith, had in fact
actually picked up her fork to begin when Debbie Neumann jumped in, suggesting
they all join hands and say grace. Dieter bowed his head and got a good look
at the salad. Expressions that registered from disbelief to sheer anguish
crossed his face, which turned beet red as perspiration started on his brow.
The ''amen'' was scarcely over when Dieter started out of his chair, saying
''There's been some mistake. I'm going to talk to the chef.'' He was stopped
by the raucous laughter of his ''friends.''
It was a clear, clean ''Gotcha!''
THE SANTA ROSA-Montgomery game, which has been the traditional ''big game''
in Santa Rosa prep football for 35 years, will be held on a Thursday night
this year (Nov. 9) because of the Veterans Day holiday Friday.
The change from the original Friday night date was requested by Santa Rosa,
which is the home team this year, and it presents a unique problem for
Montgomery -- not the football team, but the band.
Band director Steve Dixon says the move puts the game in direct conflict
with a scheduled Jazz Night concert by the Montgomery music department.
Loath to send the student body off to the big game without a pep band,
Dixon is issuing a call to Montgomery band alumni to find an instrument and
come to Bailey Field to play for the game. If there are enough old trumpeters
and saxophonists, and at least one drummer, they can make a band -- at least
until the concert's over.
Willing alums should call Dixon at the school.
LAST QUESTION: Social historians tell us that men stopped wearing hats when
JFK appeared bare-headed at his inauguration. And the J.B. Stetson Co. went
out of business. Now I see by the business news that Fruit of the Loom Inc. is
closing seven plants in this country. Aren't people wearing underwear anymore?