Rhonda Smith

Rhonda Smith, soon to be retired Sonoma County Viticulture Specialist for the University of California Cooperative Extension, has seen unparalleled changes in the industry during her tenure. Starting in 1986 Rhonda assumed a position as a full time Extension Viticulture Specialist. Prior to this time, the part time viticulture specialist was also the University of […]

Rodeo & Cotton

My first rodeo was in Willits on the 4th of July sometime in the late 1940’s. My grandfather took the family to see the Willits Frontier Days Parade and Rodeo. So, before we get too far into this story let’s get the correct pronunciation of rodeo. There is no “a” in rodeo. So, you say […]

Stoves & Pot

Canyon Road is just North of Geyserville. I had been contacted by an owner of a small older vineyard to inspect the vines for disease or insects. It turned out to be a typical older vineyard with what I suspect was a 1900’s house built upwards from the vines. As a protocol I have used […]

The Rest of the Sheriff’s Story

I read with great interest Chris Calder’s two great articles back to back on Sheriff Kendall in the Anderson Valley Advertiser. What spiked my interest was that the Sheriff came to Santa Rosa when he was a young man to study marketing at the Junior College. That really interested me, as some years ago I […]

Pears in Kelseyville

Kelseyville is called the Pear Capitol of the world. I have done a vast amount of business in the pear industry in Kelseyville. Starting in 1965 I sold agricultural pesticides and fertilizer to pear growers that produced the prized Bartlett Pear. Kelseyville is part of the area called Big Valley, and ultimately part of Lake […]

The Rock of Rocks

A big rock, located on the far back of my property, has always intrigued me. You need to know where it is and how to get to it. The rock is a round mass of smaller rocks held together by what looks like some kind of mud or gray plaster. The diameter of the big […]

Supervisors Attack Minister

A good friend of mine’s wife called a few months ago and asked me to call her son. I called the young man and found out that he and his live in girlfriend were going to get married. I had volunteered to perform the ceremony, when it occurred. The son informed me that no date […]

Fires & Gas

I generally go from my newly acquired home in Windsor to Hopland at least once a week. By Thursday morning, October 24, I heard that there was a fire at Geyserville. Certain areas were evacuated and certain roads were closed. I listened, watched, and tried to adsorb as much as I could. First, could I […]

Tex & Garlic’s

I traded some property many years ago and bought an older country home in Healdsburg just out of town. I rented this house to a young couple with one child. The husband Nick approached me one day with a need to store a boat in my equipment shed for a couple of friends who were […]

Cemetery Voodoo

I appeared in front of the Russian River Cemetery District Board of Directors last week at their monthly meeting. I was ushered in to what must be their chapel. They had set up a table in front where all of the board members sat, and then a crosswise table at each end. One end was […]

Purity No More

I was transferred back to the North Coast in 1965 by Ortho Chemical Company who I had worked for five years. I started with Ortho on the day my first of three daughters were born, June 1, 1960. My first job was in Ukiah running an agricultural chemical warehouse. I quickly was promoted to outside […]

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