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Happy 2020, Dear Readers. I have lots of share this week, so let’s get started with a tribute to one of the greatest literary figures who’s ever visited our valley.

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I promised to tell you the new date of the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum 50th anniversary celebration, and here it is: April 4, 6-9 p.m., Duckhorn Vineyards. You’ll recall that it was originally scheduled for November but had to be postponed due to the chaos associated with the Kincade Fire and the PG&E power shutoffs. The night will feature chef Gary Jenanyan on the grill, music by Kith & Kin, Duckhorn wines, and live and silent auctions benefiting the museum. Best of all, extraordinary (and extraordinarily humble) Don Fraser will receive the first-ever Stevenson Award. Tickets ($125) went on sale Jan. 1 at stevensonmuseum.org.

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The prescription drug drop box in front of the St. Helena Police Department collected 107.6 pounds of unwanted medication in 2019. Thanks to donations from the St. Helena Rotary Club and Jodie’s Design, those drugs will be disposed of properly rather than dumped in a landfill, sent through the wastewater treatment plant or (shudder) tossed into a storm drain to pollute the Napa River. Kudos to St. Helena police, Jodie and Mike Nieman, and the Rotarians.

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How nice it is to live in the Napa Valley, especially when wineries belonging to the Napa Valley Vintners extend special offers during Napa Neighbor Days. This weekend, Jan. 11-12, flash your ID proving you’re a Napa Valley resident and get the VIP treatment at participating wineries, with special tastings, discounts and other perks. See the full list of wineries and offers at napaneighbor.com.

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Were you lucky enough to catch “Ford v Ferrari” during its run at the Cameo Cinema? For me, the vintage cars on the screen evoked memories of the annual Rally4Rianda car show. Fittingly so, since Julie Spencer, executive director at Rianda House, gave free tickets to each of the people who brought their cars to last year’s show. Spotted in the audience at one of the screenings: Rally4Rianda chair Peter Working, who confirmed that the car show is making a roaring return in 2020, with an emphasis on cars that have unique and interesting stories.

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I was having brunch with friends on New Year’s Day, so I couldn’t attend the Cameo Cinema’s free screening of “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away.” However, another friend was blown away by the film. He says there was plenty of parking downtown, and patrons were greeted by volunteers offering complimentary glasses of sparkling wine or grape juice. Thanks, Cathy Buck, for your annual New Year’s gift to St. Helena.

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Jingle All the Way and the Winter Wonderland skating rink at Lyman Park made a graceful exit last weekend. The rink was full of kids and families when I stopped by. One young man on inline skates clearly knew what he was doing as he swooped gracefully through the crowd. Meanwhile, a few teens on roller skates were barely able to stay on their feet but seemed to be having a lovely time anyway. Meanwhile, parents wearing regular shoes held the hands of the littlest skaters, who might have been having the most fun of them all. The hot chocolate with marshmallows, dazzling-but-not-garish lighting, high-energy music, family-friendly vibes and festive Christmas spirit made for a magical experience. I can’t wait to see how the city of St. Helena and the St. Helena Chamber of Commerce top themselves next year.

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While we’re in holiday mode, I should mention the Our Lady of Guadalupe ceremony back on Dec. 12. St. Helena Catholic Church parishioners started at 3:30 in the morning with a Rosary, Mananitas by Mariachi Juvenil Aguascalientes, and a Holy Mass. That evening, a procession including two floats headed down Spring Street, from the Catholic cemetery to the church. One float included Daisy Martindelcampo dressed as Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Jesus Cortez as Indio San Juan Diego, who saw the apparition of the Virgin Mary in 1531. The second float contained a Spanish choir with guitar, percussion and dancers from Las Guarecitas Michoacanas. The ceremony concluded with a Mass featuring music by Banda Sangre Azteca, followed by a reception at the former Catholic school gym. I’m told it was quite the sight to see.

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Flipping through my columns from last year, I came across an embarrassing (at least for a stickler like me) mistake: I spelled “restaurateur” with an N. Yes, it looks like it should have one, but I know as well as anyone that it’s what a kind linguist would call an “increasingly common variant” and what an unkind one would call “downright wrong.” My apologies. I’ll consider myself eliminated from the spelling bee.

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