Tag: Willits

Two Lives in a Small Town

The following, in Shonnie Brown’s “Neighbors” column, appeared in The Healdsburg Tribune, our local weekly, on February 9, 2012. [Most of the images were not in the original.]

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Ann, born and raised in Casper, Wyoming, has the dubious distinction of attending high school with both Dick and Lynne Cheney and participating in student government with Dick. Dick, who Ann recalls as being “good looking” back then, wrote “I’ll be your friend forever” in Ann’s yearbook.

Ann attended a Catholic college in Denver and then got married — resulting in a breakup and three kids. She returned to college, putting herself through law school, and then became a New Jersey prosecutor. She moved to the Bay Area in 1984 and Continue reading “Two Lives in a Small Town”

Kenya in Willits

Mendocino firesIn Mendocino County recently, on a day when the smoke from the hundreds of still-burning forest fires was relatively tolerable, I walked through a nearly deserted city park in Willits with my son and my brother and noticed two black men lunching at a distant picnic table. From previous conversations with my brother, a double-decade Willits resident, I knew the town’s demographics: two black men were entirely anomalous…and therefore, intriguing. Originally on a tack that would pass them at an impersonal distance, our stroll was drawn closer by their African garb. On the edge of the table was a book, so my brother opened the conversation, “What’re you reading?” Continue reading “Kenya in Willits”