October 22, 2017
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Jud Snyder
So tell me, where’s the reality of our lives to be found these days?
October 20, 2017


What’s the sense of writing a snappy Coffee Grounds column with a few sly digs at city hall, Cotati-RP School Board and SMART commuter trains, etc.? It’s the “etc.,” that runs our lives these days. 

When Sonoma State University President Judy Sakaki’s home, in Santa Rosa’s Fountaingrove was burned to a pile of ashes, along with the historic Round Barn, most people turn around and look for someone to blame but there’s no one. Fingers are pointed at our phantom euphemism, the “Quiet Zone” but it’s fading away again into its own little quiet zone.


WE HAD OUR OWN RP charming land called Tubbs Lane and the fire was still moving north as of Sunday night, if it turns left it will mess up Cloverdale something fierce before it empties into the river somewhere near the Sonoma-Mendocino county line. If it turns right, it will swamp the Geysers, the main source for our electrical energy, including nuclear. Lucky for us, Tubbs Lane or route is hardly a common conversational topic. While listening to my radio much of it on KCBS and KZST, both FM, I heard very little about Rohnert Park except one winery down near Penngrove was being mentioned. But news about wineries and vineyards on my radio gave Napa and Sonoma counties full attention. 

IT’S NO WONDER. NEWS from the wineries and vineyards of Napa and Sonoma counties obviously draw nationwide attention. Gone are the days when wineries had wine tasting rooms and parties among the vines heavy with grapes drew complaints from neighbors about drunk drivers and too many kids flocking to these parties with their parents and driving on narrow access roads.  

But in truth the wineries made money with these frolics and were hit hard by the firestorms in both counties. It will take more than a decade to clean up these wineries with their dark red grapes and billions of dollars to restore them to their previous nationwide reputation if they choose to do so. 

OUR WORLD, WHETHER IT’S A WINERY or a single rental unit in a mobile home park has now been picked up by the cuffs, turned upside down and their total belongings scattered between our fire-stained shoes.

We could say welcome to your new world and smile broadly. But there’s too much poignancy sneakily lurking in the smoky background to make it real. How does one make reality now for we have no time-tested formula to show us how? We will individually, or with others, soon discover.