Chris Smith: ‘Guitar Man,’ a film about Sebastopol music man and youth mentor Buzzy Martin, wins again

It’s fun following the trajectory of the film “Guitar Man.” It sprang from the book Sebastopol music man and youth mentor Buzzy Martin wrote after singing for and opening his heart to incarcerated kids and to inmates at San Quentin.

It has done well at film festivals and just won “Best Drama Feature” in the Los Angeles Film Awards.

The citation read, “Maybe the greatest gift in this film is the way it connects you to music, and the realization that music can change people’s lives.”

Sonoma County blues master Charlie Musselwhite plays a convict, and Buzzy appears at the end. If you see it, watch for me in a protest scene.

There isn’t yet a plan for screening “Guitar Man” locally, but it’ll happen.


ONE OF TWO WOMEN will be elected the new district attorney of Marin County on Tuesday. It’s possible you met one of them as she walked all over downtown Santa Rosa, carrying a gun.

Lori Frugoli was in her early 20s when she became a Santa Rosa police officer in 1979. Soon she ditched her patrol car and hit the pavement as the first woman officer assigned to the downtown walking beat.

In 1982, Frugoli was named Sonoma County Peace Officer of the Year by the county’s law enforcement chiefs association and the Exchange Club.

In ‘85 she entered law school. Five years later, Marin made her a deputy district attorney.

Marin voters will choose between her and Anna Pletcher, an ex-federal prosecutor and assistant chief of the San Francisco office of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.


UNLIKELY SUSPECTS: Like clockwork early the morning after Halloween, Pedersen’s Furniture co-owner Ken Pedersen and a crew of six Pedersen’s employees donned gloves and took up garbage bags and trash pincers. Then they stormed McDonald Avenue.

As Ken and his helpers have done for several years, they commenced picking up what was left behind after costumed kids of all ages spent hours Halloween night trick-or-?treating and gazing in amazement at how many residents of Santa Rosa’s most elegant historic neighborhood transform their homes and yards for the haunted holiday.

The Pedersen’s gang was picking up candy wrappers, a few beer bottles, pieces of costumes, whatever was on the street and sidewalks that wasn’t supposed to be there, when a curious stranger appeared.

The woman carried a stop sign and wore a crossing guard’s vest. She acted rather strangely, saying she, too, was there to clean up.

She lifted a candy wrapper or two, and moved on.

Later that day, a woman who lives on McDonald Avenue phoned Pedersen’s Furniture. She said someone stole her son’s hand-held stop sign from their porch and she believed that a member of the Pedersen’s clean-up team was seen carrying just such a sign - and she would like to have it back!

Later, a friend of that woman also phoned the store to appeal for the return of the stolen stop sign. If the Pedersens had it, how gladly they’d have wielded it.

Next comes the question of whether Ken Pedersen will organize a McDonald Avenue cleanup next Halloween, eight months after his family closes the landmark, 126-year-old furniture store.

My guess is that Ken won’t stop.

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

UPDATED: Please read and follow our commenting policy:

  • This is a family newspaper, please use a kind and respectful tone.
  • No profanity, hate speech or personal attacks. No off-topic remarks.
  • No disinformation about current events.
  • We will remove any comments — or commenters — that do not follow this commenting policy.
Send a letter to the editor

Our Network

Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Emerald Report
Spirited Magazine