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Aunt Helena
Aunt Helena

Aunt Helena

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I witnessed a scary sight last week at the corner of Hunt and Railroad. A young woman was crossing Railroad in the crosswalk, engrossed in her cell phone, when a small SUV approached the stop sign, stopped, and started to turn left. As the driver peered down Hunt to look for cross-traffic, the vehicle inched forward until it nearly hit the woman in the crosswalk. The bumper was inches away from her legs when the driver saw her and lurched to a stop. The driver rolled down the passenger’s-side window and said something — I can only assume it was an apology — but the woman kept walking, oblivious. She never once took her eyes off her phone. As far as I know she never realized she was a fraction of a second away from a broken leg, if not two. Drivers, please keep an eye out for pedestrians. Pedestrians, please keep an eye out for drivers. We’ve suffered quite enough tragedy in the last year.

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Expect to see more masks about, as Napa County recommends indoor masking in public places amidst a surge in the coronavirus Delta variant among the unvaccinated. It’s not required, but it’s highly recommended, whether you’re vaccinated or not. And just when I was getting re-accustomed to seeing your smiling faces …

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That Pizza Place will close Aug. 10-20 as the Kenneys take a well-deserved vacation. My best to the family pizzeria that’s been going strong for 13 years. Drop by and order a slice when they reopen on Aug. 21.

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Did you catch last week’s article about the Saint Helena Forum’s virtual discussion with Egyptologist Kara Cooney? It’s called “When Women Ruled: Feminine Power in Egypt’s Fertile Crescent,” and it sounds like catnip for history buffs. Register for free at shforum.org, and then log in at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 28.

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Jay Greene fans, your long wait is almost over. Jay’s historical lectures at the St. Helena Public Library will resume at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7. Jay was in the middle of a series on World War II when the pandemic so rudely interrupted him. He’ll start on Sept. 7 with a recap covering the years 1939-1943, followed by an October lecture on the war in Europe and Asia in 1944. Expect Jay’s lectures on the first Tuesday of each month.

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A correction: Last week’s academic star, Conrad Lonsdale Knudsen, graduated this year, putting him in Emerson College’s Class of 2021 — not 2022, as stated in a press release and subsequently in my column. Conrad made the Dean’s List in every semester — what a smart cookie, as my father used to say! Congratulations again, Conrad.

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I was heartbroken to learn of the death on June 23 of Justin Rist, a Napa County sheriff’s deputy and Pope Valley native who previously served in the St. Helena Police Department. His family is requesting privacy but did issue the following statement: "Justin Otto Rist beloved son, brother, uncle, friend, Napa County SO Deputy, former St. Helena PD, and Yolo County SO Deputy. We are missing you. You are our hero forever. You were loved by many. You will never be forgotten and loved always. We ask that everyone please respect his memory and privacy of our family. We thank the Napa County Sheriff's Office and Napa County Deputy Sheriffs' Association for their support. Thank you and much love to all." My condolences to Rist’s family and to the members of the St. Helena Police Department, who remember him fondly.

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