It was long ago, 1875, when Kanaye Nagasawa of Kagoshima, Japan, arrived in Santa Rosa as one of his country’s first-ever visitors to America.
The young samurai settled at Thomas Lake Harris’ utopian colony at Fountaingrove, and in time oversaw construction of the round barn and became a wine king.
When the firestorms of last October ravaged Fountaingrove and the round barn, people in Kagoshima sent Santa Rosa more than $75,000 in relief and recovery funds and expressed great sorrow for the city’s losses.
And just last Friday, the mayor of Kagoshima visited Santa Rosa as head of a delegation of adults and students. They toured what remains of Fountaingrove and nearby Coffey Park and Mark West-Larkfield.
In the afternoon, the visitors met at City Hall with Mayor Chris Coursey and City Manager Sean McGlynn.
Both mayors praised the transpacific friendship that over the past 30 years has seen scores of Santa Rosa students visit Kagoshima, and Kagoshima students visit Santa Rosa, through an exchange program sponsored by the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa Sunrise.
A team of Japanese teens followed intently the mayors’ conversation across a table in the City Council chambers.
Mayor Mori told Coursey his city of 600,000 mourned the deaths and destruction dealt by the fires, and is pleased to see that Santa Rosa is coming back. The two city leaders exchanged gifts and posed for photos.
Coursey pointed out to Mori and his delegation that every meeting of the City Council is watched over by a bust of Kanaye Nagasawa.
CARSON’S NEW CELLS: It’s no vacation, but Carson Pforsich and his family are in Thailand feeling excited and expecting great things.
Carson is in Bangkok for stem-cell therapy. The 18-year-old former Analy High Tigers wide receiver is paralyzed from the chest down by the spinal cord injury he suffered nearly a year ago upon diving into Bodega Bay and striking his head on the ocean bottom.
His dad, Andy, the career firefighter, shared Saturday from Bangkok, “Carson had an exam today by the fourth doctor in three days and got the green light for the first 25 million stem cells.”
The intention is that injections of those stem cells will help to restore Carson’s use of his limbs.
Friends will host a benefit golf tournament on Aug. 27 at the Windsor Golf Club. There’s more on that at: https://bit.ly/2Be1Pp9.
Texted Carson’s dad from the clinic in Bangkok, “This place is amazing!”
THERE FOR THE KIDS: You read, perhaps, that despite all that’s gone on since the fires, livestock buyers have been hugely generous to the FFA and 4-H members who submitted their hogs, steers, lambs, goats and other animals for auction at the Sonoma County Fair.
The same was true, big time, in Mendocino County.
At the Redwood Empire Fair in Ukiah, the new fires frustrated but didn’t defeat the participants in the junior livestock auction or their supporters.
Young farmers defied the fires and smoke and showed up ready to show their animals. Community members responded to their effort and dedication by bidding a new record: $827,700.
You can reach Staff Writer Chris Smith at 707 521-5211 or email@example.com