The Sonoma County Gazette: Community News Magazine
Sonoma County Gazette
| more

Photo Gallery

Grassroots Graton - Heather Granahan - June 2016


Grassroots Graton - Heather Granahan -  June 2016

by Heather Granahan


Wow. First I want to extend a deep thanks to the community members who responded to Vesta’s surprise announcement about my medical battle. I had no idea that would be added to the column, and was surprised/deeply touched/shy. Call it surtouchshy. I was again overcome with surtouchshy when I began receiving the sweetest envelopes, some with no return addresses, full of notes of encouragement, $5 and $20 bills, a Target coupon, a Spanish personal Biblio and other healing tracts and cards, including an ad for a $2000 machine that is purported to cure everything from dandruff to all cancers.  

People apparently read and enjoy these scribblings about our wee Graton in Santa Rosa and further. I am so moved by the flow of healing intent and material support being sent my way. I know it will help me heal, if for no other reason than I will think of all the good wishers when I am having a low moment, and do that much more to take care of myself. If I feel tired, I will drink another pint of water and toast the amazing good that lives in so many.

Tales Waggin’ the Dog

Facing mortality in one way hatches a new layer of empathy for those facing it due to the passage of time. There’s an initial reaction of simple envy, even of a very elderly person – I would love to get to be that – I see a sometimes shared urge to disgorge one’s story, before it’s too late. Watching the humans go about their business, muggles and wizards alike, it appears to me that our species is largely concerned with Story, our own and each other’s, real and imagined. 

Years after majoring in media and writing a thesis paper around Jerry Mander’s 4 Arguments for The Elimination of Television (back when I was in college, and dinosaurs roamed the Earth), I see now that love of story is the reason so many gravitate to television, books, and now the internet. Telling our own, and learning each other’s is behind the explosion of communication. We learn and change our own tales, our actions, and thus our communities and beyond. The huge difference of the current age is that most media is controlled by less than 10 mega corporations, and at least for this moment in time, the internet is open to all. Buried in the ‘net are nuggets that share actual news, such as sources like Democracy Now and

The crazed obsession with a few celeb politicians hides the real story: that we live in a corporatocracy in which money buys media attention and power to the exclusion of any real discourse. Along with numbing barrages of this, we are fed the small personal stories, even the petty, cruel and mundane that are magnified into “reality” and can then color actual behavior to match. I see a bit of this as the local supervisorial race heats up, and the Graton network is spiced with opinions and worries about the candidates. Be nice, people.

It seems important to hear true reality stories from each other, our candidates, and ourselves. Certainly we all have the tales to tell. Listening to my neighbors, I find some of their tales remarkable and I will be taking time in future columns to tell more of these stories as they allow me to, including with luck some of the new Graton neighbors I have recently met. Know a good interview subject in Graton? Contact me at


Have a story best told visually? This year I want to give you more warning for Graton Gallery’s juried Cigar Box Show that will exhibit July 5th through Aug14th. Use a cigar box as a starting point and create something fun and unique. Maybe I’ll submit a box of water and title in “I Brought You Snow”. Heh. To submit your box/es at the gallery during business hours June 28-July 3. The entry fee is $15 per box.