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Smith: Video promotes carpooling with a smile (w/video)

Need a laugh? Check out the new video that stars Santa Rosa attorney Chris Costin, author-broadcaster Marcy Smothers, Jake Mackenzie of the Rohnert Park City Council and other locals you might recognize.

It’s a kick, and if it does its job we’ll all cut back on driving solo and instead share rides through the Carma carpooling app.

The funny video produces doubles of Costin and Barry Vesser of the Climate Protection Campaign. It tracks their discovery that they can save money and limit traffic and greenhouse gas emissions by using the Carma smartphone app to give or catch rides.

The video just went up on the campaign’s Website, climateprotection.org.

Katie Jackson of Jackson Family Wines plays a sparkling role and SRJC’s Adrienne Leihy booms.

My favorite moment is when Jake Mackenzie bristles from behind the wheel at word that prospective passengers can check the Carma reviews and avoid riding with a driver who smells like “rotten tuna salad.”

SARALEE KUNDE SMILED over the great “Love of the Land” barbecue and celebration of agriculture that the Sonoma County Farm Bureau hosted Thursday at Kendall Jackson winery.

One year earlier, the gracious and generous though seriously ailing Queen of Daffodils and all things ag beamed from beneath a coral-hued summer hat as she was inducted into the bureau’s Hall of Fame. She was just 66 when she succumbed to cancer Jan. 26.

At Thursday’s Love of the Land, “Pasta King” Art Ibleto was made doubly grateful to be the evening’s Hall of Fame inductee by the awareness that he was the first to follow Saralee.

The presence and legacy of the dairywoman turned wine grape grower was felt also by the evening’s other award winners, the Gambonini family that has produced milk in Petaluma for more than a century, and conservation-minded vintners Fred and Nancy Cline.

Two counties away, folks heard the cheer that rose at Thursday’s celebration with the auctioning of two hats that Rich Kunde donated to raise some money for the youth scholarships and ag-education programs that were near to his late wife’s heart.

The hat Saralee wore at that same barbecue a year earlier sold for, well, what would you guess?

Shannon Donnell of Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards placed the winning bid of $6,000.

The previously mentioned Katie Jackson took home the chocolate-brown and tan number that Saralee had sported at Kentucky Derby Days. She paid $5,500.

So the sales of two hats brought $11,500 to endeavors to promote and sustain Sonoma County agriculture. Clearly, Saralee lives on.

A DANCE OF LIFE takes over the Wells Fargo Center today.

It’s Gueleaquetza, a color-splashed festival of music, motion, crafts, tradition and food that grew from Mexican state of Oaxaca. Some of the 100 or so dancers and musicians, most of them teenagers, live nearby and others traveled here from the Santa Cruz, Monterey and Los Angeles areas.

It happens from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and it sounds sensational.

SHE TURNED 107 on Thursday and Mary Ann Natley remembers, like yesterday, traveling the U.S. and beyond as one of the “Sun-kissed Beauties” who danced in the chorus line of the Fanchon & Marco stage show of the 1920s and ’30s.

“We had the most unusual show,” Natley said in her pin-tidy room at the Evergreen care home in Santa Rosa. At one point, she said, “We were 18 girls on roller skates.” They tap-danced and performed ballet, too.

“I was on the road most of the time,” said Natley, who says her remarkable life might have been cut far short had her Hungarian family not arrived late for its scheduled passage to America. They were set to sail on the Titanic.

The widow of late Burlingame mayor Andrew Byrd, Natley said it was difficult to leave show business back before World War II, but she’d started a family that included her daughter, Mariann Marsh of Santa Rosa.

Alongside family, said the ex-dancer born July 17, 1907, “everything else is immaterial.”

Chris Smith is at 521-5211 and chris.smith@pressdemocrat.com.

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