Chris Smith: For the owners of downtown Santa Rosa’s La Vera Pizza, 36 years is long enough

Ric Kade has a 5-year-old grandson ready to lose the training wheels on his bicycle. Kade relishes a major role in the lad’s transition.

It’s one reason that at month’s end he and his wife, Sue, will close La Vera Pizza, a jewel of hospitality in downtown Santa Rosa since 1983.

“This is the time,” Ric Kade said. He and his wife, both 65, seek to stop working constantly and free up time for other interests “while we can still walk.”

The Kades will lease the Fourth Street building to a new enterprise. Ric Kade said “a couple of interesting concepts” are in the mix, but it’s too early to say what will come after La Vera.


CURRY WINS! Some of us caught the rerun days ago of the memorable, 2018 episode of ABC’s “Celebrity Family Feud” that starred Warriors phenom Stephen Curry and his clan.

The Currys outscored the Houston Rockets’ Chris Paul and his family. Curry & Co. won $25,000 and promptly donated it - to the post-fire Resilience Fund of Community Foundation Sonoma County.

The gift was particularly thrilling to the foundation’s chief, Beth Brown. She says the donation from Steph and Ayesha Curry inspired other philanthropy, coming as it did from “someone who doesn’t live in Sonoma County but loves this place.”

Beyond that, Brown practically considers Curry a college classmate. They both attended North Carolina’s Davidson College, home of the Wildcats, though not at the same time.


WINDSOR SCHOOL is now closed. Forever.

But anyone who ever studied there, going back to 1951, is invited back on June 29 for the “Grand Good-bye.”

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the multipurpose room of the school off Windsor’s Conde Lane, former students and staffers will reconnect, share stories, admire old pictures and enjoy cake and punch.

Windsor Elementary was long the Windsor area’s only school. Upon completing sixth grade there, kids had to move on to secondary schools in Healdsburg.

Historical note: Late education titan Walt Eagan taught at Windsor School and became its principal before becoming the Sonoma County superintendent of schools in 1968.

Helping to arrange the June 29 send-off for the campus, home most recently to Windsor Creek Elementary, is town elder Edna (Brooks) Honsa. She worked as Windsor School’s secretary for ?39 years.

Edna believes there’s no one else in Windsor who was born there and has lived on the same property for almost 90 years. If there is, she’d love to visit with that person at the fond farewell to Windsor School.


“GUITAR MAN,” the independent film inspired by Sonoma County musician Buzzy Martin’s calling to use music and human caring to reach kids who feel destined to a life behind bars, drew cheers at the San Francisco Black Film Festival.

Now on the film-fest circuit, “Guitar Man” will eventually be available where locals can easily see it.

Store away this mental note if you plan to see it: Was it not worth the price of admission to take in the prison blues performance by our Charlie Musselwhite, the concluding heartstrings ballad by our Avonlea Martin and the soundtrack’s original tunes by Buzzy?

You can reach Staff Writer Chris Smith at 707 521-5211 or

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