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Street Piano

A young Berkeley resident, originally from Turkey, plays the Street Piano in Lyman Park.

Yes, Main Street becomes a virtual parking lot at the height of tourist season, but let’s not forget one of the most wonderful things about this time of year: We get to share our town with friendly folks from every corner of the globe. Case in point: A pair of young visitors, originally from Turkey and now living in Berkeley, recently took a turn at the St. Helena Street Piano in Lyman Park. The piano continues to prove a welcoming addition to our downtown, enjoyable to locals and visitors alike.

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Another highlight of autumn in St. Helena: the annual Community Potluck. The third annual get-together, this one honoring the UpValley Family Centers, will be at 4:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, in Lyman Park. The event began as a way to thank first responders after the 2017 wildfires, and it’s proved popular enough to become a tradition. Bring a dish and a chair and enjoy a friendly community feast as Mike Greensill’s jazz trio provides a classy musical backdrop. Also new this year is an apple dessert bake-off – don’t try to tell me you’re not interested in that!

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Attention, St. Helena High School Class of 1999. Sarah Beth Abernathy is organizing a 20-year reunion at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, at Crane Park. Quite appropriately, Sarah invites all her classmates to party like it’s 1999. The cost is $40 for adults and $5 for kids. RSVP to Sarah at (917) 968-2994 or thesarahbeth@gmail.com.

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The talk of downtown is split between Joel Gott’s new Station at Main and Spring and artist Simon Bull’s new Meuse Gallery at 1331 Main, in the old Goodman’s space. For now the Station is only open on weekends, but on Sunday I stopped by for an egg and pimento cheese breakfast sandwich (delicious), a cup of coffee (hit the spot), and a green juice concoction that I wasn’t brave enough to try but seemed just the thing for my veggie-smoothie-loving neighbor (and indeed it was).

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As for Meuse Gallery, the community is invited to a grand opening party at 5:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27. Bull will unveil three new works: “Raschiare,” “Pour” and “Arborist.” “We look forward to welcoming you to our new 4,200-square-foot gallery in the center of Saint Helena’s shopping district,” said Katherine Bull Salinas, the gallery’s CEO. “The same personalized service will continue at our Saint Helena location, with white glove delivery and art hanging to the greater Bay Area, design consultation, international shipping and export services. Above all, we offer an unparalleled moment of experience and interaction with the art of Simon Bull. Witnessing our visitors having their ‘Simon Bull Moment’ is what motivates us every day.”

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“Leash your labs, lead your llamas ... “ begins the invitation to the Blessing of the Animals at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, at Yountville Veterans Memorial Park. The blessing will be performed by ministers Carol Fink and Lynn Macfarland and the Rev. Judy Naimo.

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Huzzahs to St. Helena High School for recognizing National Banned Books Week. “Celebrate your right to choose what to read without fear of censorship of alternative viewpoints and beliefs,” said the school’s daily bulletin on Monday, encouraging students to stop by the Hub (the school library) to see which books have been removed from other school libraries. And let’s not the Environmental Activism Club’s climate protest last Friday, led by Carrie Steil. The spirit of the First Amendment, thriving at St. Helena High.

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Jay Greene is tackling the Old West in his latest lecture, “Across the Wide Missouri: Fur, Mountain Men & the Overland Trails” at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, at the library. Learn how mountain men in search of beaver pelts shaped the history of the American West.

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The library is also participating in Manhattan Short 2019, a mini-film festival occurring simultaneously across the globe, at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3. Come choose your favorite short films. Your votes will help decide the shorts eligible for the 2020 Oscars.

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Hearing of a possible PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoff on Monday, a dear friend finally got a chance to connect her new generator to her two most vital appliances: her TV and her coffee maker. Last I heard, the jury was still out on whether her refrigerator was going to make the list, but at least she has the essentials covered.

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