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SMITH: Oh, what a difference a car makes

Published: Monday, October 22, 2012 at 5:44 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, October 22, 2012 at 5:44 p.m.

Never before has a 17-year-old Honda stirred such anticipation.

Folks throughout the west county waited with fingers crossed since the owner of a Sebastopol auto shop announced she'd give the prettied-up Civic to a serving sort needing a reliable set of wheels to shift life into higher gear.

Kate Jonasse of K-Tech Automotive received more than 100 nominations. On Sunday she presented the keys to Dani Burlison, a single mother of two who writes and puts on creative writing workshops for at-risk kids and others with colleague Leilani Clark.

Shop owner Jonasse, who'll maintain the Civic for a year, said Burlison does much with little and surely will do more now that she has a trusty car.

IT HAPPENED AGAIN and, again, the diners it happened to left the table with hearts fuller than stomachs.

It was at Rohnert Park's Dynasty restaurant, where 11 ladies of the town's Social Club gathered for lunch. “We used to be the Newcomers' Club but we all got too old,” explains Lois Lindstrom, the president.

Her crew relished the luncheon specials and conversation. When it came time to pay up, the hostess announced that the tab was paid by a gentleman who had since left the restaurant.

“You could understand him paying for one or two,” Lindstrom said. “But 11 of us?”

The ladies didn't need a fortune cookie to tell them good things happen.

TELL US, VETS: If you're a World War II or Korea veteran, or you know one, you should know about the marathon coming this weekend to Santa Rosa.

Both days at the Veterans Memorial Building, interviewers and videographers will ask veterans on camera to share stories and experiences from their military service.

Rep. Lynn Woolsey's office and the Pacific Coast Air Museum are helping produce the oral histories, to be submitted to the Library of Congress.

Vets interested in being scheduled for weekend interviews can contact Woolsey staffer Jennifer Dawes at 542-7182 or jennifer.dawes@mail.house.gov.

The interviews will take about an hour and be preserved as boots-on-the-ground history pretty much forever.

NOT MANY MARINES become tennis coaches, but two generations of players at Santa Rosa Junior College are mighty grateful Izzy Derkos did.

He trained his players hard and along the way taught them about a lot more than tennis. When he retired as coach in 2004, former members of teams that won 258 conference games and lost 43 over three decades thanked him for all he revealed about honorable conduct, sportsmanship and endeavor.

Ex-players will be back at SRJC to share tales of Derkos, who still teaches body conditioning at 75, when the tennis courts are named for him at 10 a.m. Saturday.

The former Marine might prefer to skip the hullabaloo, but duty calls.

Chris Smith is at 521-5211 and chris.smith@pressdemocrat.com.

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