Chris Smith: Without Evelyn Casini, Bodega would be for the birds

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Maybe Alfred Hitchcock and his flipped-out birds put Bodega on the map, but it’s Evelyn Casini who keeps the town’s heart beating.

If you don’t know, take a guess at how many years Evelyn has run Bodega’s modest but magnificent Casino bar and restaurant.

Seventy. She and her late husband, Art, bought it from his brother, Nebo, in 1949.

Art, hailed as the Mayor of Bodega, died long ago, in 1983. Evelyn tried a time or two to step away from the Casino, but she found she was bored and missed too much the regulars and the visitors of every ilk, from all over the world.

On Sunday, a richly diverse crowd — ranchers, hippies, bikers, Bodega Harbour retirees, you name it — packed in to heap the love on Evelyn, now 92, on the occasion of the Casino’s 70th anniversary.

No one left hungry or in any doubt over who is the town of Bodega’s leading lady.

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TAYLOR SORG occupies many hearts and minds less than two weeks after the junior at Maria Carrillo High School in Rincon Valley died in a car crash up on Fountaingrove.

Thoughts of Taylor motivate Janis Jordan, who’s going all out to revitalize the Rincon Valley Grange as a community asset and gathering place.

Jordan heads up plans for a flea market and pancake breakfast this weekend at the Grange, tucked away at 5055 Rincon Ave.

She’ll see that Taylor’s parents, who’ll honor their daughter at a service at noon Saturday at New Vintage Church, will receive a share of the proceeds from the two events at the Grange this weekend.

The flea market will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and the pancake breakfast will be served up Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon.

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BEYOND THE MAIL. A scene on the sidewalk alarmed postal carrier Chey Kahaulelio-Virelas as she drove her route in Windsor on April 23.

Chey, a graduate of Windsor High, spotted an elderly couple not far from their home. The man seemed to attempt to comfort and assist his wife, who sat slumped forward in a wheelchair.

Chey turned her postal rig around, parked and hastened to the two. She saw bloody wounds on the woman’s head.

The man told Chey and a neighbor who’d also rushed over that his wife had fallen and struck her head on the sidewalk.

It occurred to Chey that she had moments before delivered a package to patron Joshua Kucker. She knows Kucker is a hospital emergency-room physician.

Chey took off for his house, found his wife and asked her to tell Dr. Kucker he was needed at once.

The doc rushed to the injured woman and gave her aid. Though Kucker recommended calling 911, the woman’s husband insisted on driving her to a hospital.

Her recovery was sweet news to Chey, a nearly 20-year rural carrier in Windsor who cares about the people on the route.

“We’re more than just carriers,” she said. “We’re counselors and the eyes and ears of the communities we serve.”

Chey’s co-workers cheered her Tuesday at the Windsor post office as she was presented a personal letter of thanks and recognition from Megan Brennan, an ex-Pennsylvania postal carrier who’s now postmaster general of the United States.

You can reach Chris Smith at 707-521-5211 or chris.smith@pressdemocrat.com.

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