Smith: Tears flow at La Bufa, and not because of the chiles

Much has changed in the heart of Santa Rosa - too many restaurants to count have come and gone - since Delia Mora and her siblings opened La Bufa on Fourth Street in 1975.

“Forty-two years went fast,” Delia said. There won’t be a 43rd year for La Bufa, named for the hill above Delia’s hometown of Zacatecas, Mexico.

For years now the sole proprietor, Delia has decided it’s time that she retire.

She’s selling the business to Rob Lippincott of the Parish Cafe in Healdsburg.

He’ll turn La Bufa into a second Parish.

Delia will serve her last generous plate of Mexican food on April 30. She’s been touched by how sweetly, even tearfully, some customers responded to word that La Bufa will close.

“I didn’t know so many people were going to care.”


RE-COUNT IN OAKMONT: In the Oakmont homeowners’ board election won by three opponents of the now halted project to build pickleball courts, only a few votes separated some of the victors from some of the pro-pickleball candidates who lost.

So some pickleball advocates have requested, and will receive, a recount.

Oakmont officials seek objective nonresidents willing to count 1,897 ballots.


NO RACY PICTURES adorned the nose of the A-26 Invader bomber that Santa Rosa High grad Willis Tupper flew on 37 missions in the Korean war.

Tupper’s plane was emblazoned up under the cockpit, “City of Santa Rosa.”

It’s not clear what happened to that particular A-26. But in the early 1990s, members of the fledgling Pacific Coast Air Museum leaped at a chance to purchase another A-26, a sad one stuck in a puddle on an old military post.

PCAM members restored it and, in tribute to Tupper and his bomber, painted “City of Santa Rosa” on the nose. That plane was the Santa Rosa-based aviation museum’s first acquisition, and it was a great start: The A-26 was the only American bomber that flew in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

PCAM’s A-26 is even more precious to museum members today, as word spreads among them that former pilot Tupper, who rose to the rank of colonel in the Air Force, has died in Arizona at the age of 93.

Last week, museum members hosted their first monthly Hot Dog Thursday of the new season and welcomed as a special guest one of the late airman’s daughters, Joanne Atkerson.

The Sonoma County employee brought some friends along and shared how proud she is of her dad and how grateful she is to PCAM for keeping alive the City of Santa Rosa.


‘STREET REQUIEM’ is, I’ve read, a powerful piece of choral music that speaks of the people who live and die on sidewalks and along creeks and in opportunistic camps around the world.

It premiered in Australia in 2014. On Friday, Good Friday, it will be the centerpiece of a 7:30 p.m. service at Santa Rosa’s First United Methodist Church, which does a great deal for people who are homeless.

“Street Requiem” will be performed by a 45-voice choir and a 15-piece orchestra. If you’d like to be at the service and experience the music, created to encourage “compassion for those we never knew who died senselessly while living on the streets,” you are welcome.

Chris Smith is at 707-521-5211 and

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