Chris Smith: The trio’s search for Jesus in Santa Rosa’s Corrick’s

Corrick's Stationery, Gallery & Gift’s in downtown Santa Rosa is 102 years old. Keven Brown, manager, left, with his father Corrick Brown, at Corrick's in 2015. (Kent Porter/The Press Democrat)


Karin Beam was mortified.

It was shortly before Christmas and the attorney from Windsor was inside Corrick’s in Santa Rosa, examining German-made pyramids: the carved, tiered carousels fitted with candles, the heat from which turns a propeller.

This one featured a nativity scene, as many do. As Karin held it, the tiny figure of baby Jesus fell to the floor.

She gasped, then set the pyramid down and searched for what she’d dropped. She found only the figure’s tiny-teeny head. (Of course, she insisted on buying the merchandise she’d broken.) The historic store’s Keven Brown appeared and joined the search. (Of course, he assured her she didn’t have to pay.)

An employee spotted an opportunity to be helpful and dropped to the floor, asking “What are we looking for?”

A twinkle surely came to Keven’s eye. Some imps go a lifetime without being lobbed a question like that.

“The body of Christ!” he bellowed.

LITTLE LETS GO: Marty Little had been a CHP officer about two years when he settled in Santa Rosa in 1989 and began to patrol our highways and byways for folks needing help or incentive to drive more safely.

Mere months ago, Little was thinking he’d work one more year and then retire. But that was before the Tubbs fire consumed his Larkfield home.

Lost along with pretty much everything he owned were his CHP motorcycle, his gun belt, all of his uniforms and everything else he’d amassed throughout his career.

The other day, Little retired as the local CHP’s senior motorcycle officer and headed off to the Pacific Northwest.

Little leaves with a million memories in his head, among them one from the day he was dispatched to reports of a casket alongside Highway 101. Can’t be, he thought.

But he pulled up to see a coffin on the shoulder, near a hearse with a flat tire. The driver explained that he had to remove the occupied casket to get to the spare.

Little was able to relive the moment when a photo of the casket beside the highway appeared in the next day’s PD.

SPACE IS INFINITE, but not within a newspaper.

We’d hoped to include, in the special section Saturday that remembered many of the neighbors we lost in 2017, the names of a few others whose lives touched ours. There’s some room here for them:

Iraj Soltani, the gentle soul who for decades welcomed patrons as friends to his family’s downtown Santa Rosa business, Mac’s Deli & Café; Jan. 30, at 87.

“Voice of Petaluma” Ron Walters; May 14, at 84.

Jim Johnson, once the general manager and editorial voice of the former KFTY-Channel 50; June 11, at 82.

Ferrari-Carano founder and owner of casinos and resorts Don Carano; Oct 3, at 85.

Santa Rosa Seafood proprietor Mike Svedise; June 24, at 59

Former Santa Rosa mayor and City Council member Schuyler Jeffries; Sept. 5, at 83.

Wally Lowry, who achieved much as a Sonoma State University business professor and who was a tireless booster of all things local; Sept. 14, at 83.

Chris Paige, who as chief of California Human Development greatly expanded the Santa Rosa-based nonprofit’s endeavors on behalf of farmworkers and others who work to overcome poverty; Oct. 7, at 74.

Chris Smith is at 707-521-5211 and