Old Santa Rosa savored the memories and New Santa Rosa the then-and-now contrasts when the 60-year-old Flamingo Hotel and 80-year-old radio station KSRO co-celebrated their anniversaries alongside the hotel pool.
The Flamingo and KSRO partied together days ago because they like each other, both are high-profile local institutions and for a time way back KSRO’s studios were at the hotel.
One of the celebration’s many Kodak moments: when “The Drive” host Steve Jaxon sat at a patio table and broadcast live a poolside conversation with KSRO News alums Larry Chiaroni and Tim Ryan, both now veterans at KCBS; retired KSRO anchor David Wesley Page; and ageless broadcaster Steve Garner, co-host, with John Ash, of the station’s weekly “The Good Food Hour.”
Folks with the Flamingo and KSRO agreed the anniversary bash was an ideal occasion to open the time capsule that was filled at a similar party in May 1997 that toasted the hotel’s 40th year and the return of a pink, neon flamingo atop its landmark tower sign.
Deeply involved in that celebration 20 years ago was another radio station, KZST. Morning guy Brent Ferris rode a great crane to the pink bird atop the tower for its unveiling, and led the crowd in the hit dance of the era, “Macarena.”
Ferris also collected most of the items that went into the time capsule that was opened last week at Flamingo-KSRO party. Among them were:
• A small “Peanuts” book signed by Charles Schulz, who died three years later.
• A Kendall-Jackson cork autographed by Jess Jackson, who died in 2011.
• A copy of the front page story in the PD in April 1997 that told of former Staff Photographer Annie Wells winning a Pulitzer Prize for her photo of a Santa Rosa firefighter holding onto a teenage girl in storm-swollen Matanzas Creek.
• A lapel pin commemorating that year’s horrendous Russian River floods.
• A McDonald’s Happy Meal pink flamingo Teenie Beanie.
There’s talk of filling a 2017 time capsule and locking it into Flamingo tower for a few decades. Have any ideas for what should go into it?
KATIE FONSEN YOUNG is riding high.
At 34, the equestrian and deputy manager of the Sonoma County Fair has been picked to take the reins at the Cloverdale Citrus Fair. She’ll work for a time with retiring Citrus Fair CEO Bonnie Wlodarczyk and assume the lead next spring.
There’s more. Katie isn’t long back from a cutting-horse competition in Rancho Murieta, where she rode Travalen Miles, a young gelding trained by her dad, Stan Fonsen of Windsor.
Katie and Travalen Miles competed in three amateur divisions — and won all three.
CARS ON THE LAWN are forbidden at Santa Rosa High School. OK, just this once.
Saturday, alumni of Santa Rosa’s first high school will display their classic cars on the lawn out front of the historic main building. The occasion is the first-ever “Show and Shine,” a benefit for the SRHS museum dreamed up by student and car lover Julia Pastis.
Everybody’s invited to come out between noon and 3 p.m., admire the cars and perhaps drop $10 for a barbecue lunch.
Read all of the PD's fire coverage here