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Village Chat: 02/01/2017

Village Chat

Oldest Person on Earth
Agustin Reiter visiting Emma Morano, age 117, the oldest living person on earth.
Ninth grader Agustin Reiter has been keeping track of the oldest living people on the planet since he was in fifth grade. That's interesting, you may say. But imagine this - actually meeting the oldest living person! That's what Agustin did last month when he and his parents, Susan and Jon, were on vacation in Italy. Emma Morano is 117 years old, the only person currently on earth who was born in the 1800s, on Nov. 29, 1899. Emma lives in a small apartment on the shores of Lago Maggoria in northern Italy. She moved to the third floor walk-up when she was only 87, and until three years ago lived alone. Most people in her small town know about her, but few tourists visit, and those who do are usually Italians. She did get a visit from a group of Harvard researchers once, apparently studying her remarkable longevity.

Speaking of which, she attributes it to “not living with a man.” By the way, no man has ever lived as long as Ms. Morano. Agustin said he was shocked by her diet, though. “Even I have a healthier diet than her,” he said. She eats eggs both cooked and raw, and has a glass of brandy everyday - no fruits, no vegetables.

Agustin has always wanted to meet someone from the 19th century, and when he found out they were going to Italy, he and his mom emailed the local Chamber of Commerce and the tourist office, who forwarded their inquiry to Emma's niece, who replied, in Italian. As Susan says, thank God for Google Translate. And as Agustin said to his parents afterward, “we're so lucky to get to do this.”

It as indeed a trip marked by superlatives - before they were in Italy the Reiters went to Dubai and visited the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, another thing for Agustin to check off his bucket list.
Women March in DC
Cami Rencken, right, with friends at the Women’s March in Washington, DC.

U.C. Davis student Cami Rencken is spending a quarter in Washington, D.C. doing microbiome research at the Smithsonian National Zoo. Since she was there, and because of the historic nature of the event, she and some friends decided to go the inauguration, for which tickets were apparently abundant. They were sitting close enough to see all kinds of dignitaries. The following day Cami attended the Women's March, and she made this Instagram post:

Yesterday, caught in a sea of hatred and red hats, I found it very difficult to keep any hope alive. Today, joined by hundreds of thousands of people outside the Capitol, I couldn't stop smiling. It was quite amazing to see the nearly empty streets of the inaugural events fill with a sea of pink overnight. Today will truly be one of the most memorable days of my life. Thanks, America, for helping me show the world how great we already are.” Thank you, Cami!
Joan Finkle on the go
Joan Finkle in Australia’s Blue Mountains.

Joan Finkle is back from a three-week trip “Down Under.” In addition to visiting New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania, Joan spent time in the Blue Mountains, a two-hour drive outside Sydney. An Internet search explains the colorful name:

“The Blue Mountains is densely populated by oil bearing Eucalyptus trees. The atmosphere is filled with finely dispersed droplets of oil, which, in combination with dust particles and water vapour, scatter short-wave length rays of light which are predominantly blue in colour.” And now you know.

Joan says of Australia, “There is SO much to see and it is SO huge that one could easily spend three MONTHS there!”

Local author Jean Wong's book, Hurtling Jade and Other Tales of Personal Folly, has just been released. The book is about Wong's “idiotic and fabulous journey up and down the slippery slopes. And it tells all! Well, not quite all, but almost.”

Kirkus Review calls it “an insightful memoir...of an intriguing life,” and author Harry Reid says, “Here are unusual tales and innocent surprises by an author who lives just a step outside the reader's expectations.”

The book is divided into five parts: Confusion, Folly, Luck, Insight, and Wonder. Many of the works are either award-winning stories, or have been produced as reader theater productions or plays.

Jean will be reading from her book on Sunday, Feb. 19, at 1:30 p.m. at the Bean Affair in Healdsburg, and on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2 p.m. at Gaia's Garden in Santa Rosa.
Robin Goerl
Robin Goerl poses on Princess, Jan. 29, in front of Tags on Hwy. 12.

Just another day in Kenwood…Last Sunday Robin Goerl, proprietor of Tags & Co., went outside to say hello to a fellow who rides his horse Princess by her shop on the weekends. He insisted on taking her picture on Princess, and she passed it along to us. Thanks, Robin!

One final note - Alec and I will be on KSVY radio station on Feb. 2 at 9:40 a.m. for our semi-regular gig. We'll be discussing things that go on in our neck of the woods, so tune in to 91.3 FM or You never know what you might find out!

That's all for now. Thanks to all of you who wrote, called, or stopped by to chat me up! It's easy to do. Just email your Village Chat news to or call 833-5155. - AQP

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Quarryhill Fall Plant Sale
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