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Grassroots Graton - Heather Granahan - November 2016


Grassroots Graton - Heather Granahan -  November 2016

by Heather Granahan

Dia de Muertos

We open the month with Dia De Muertos (yes, that is the original way to say it), a time to acknowledge our ancestors with a personal altar of pictures, and sugar skulls with the person’s name in icing on the forehead. The tradition of a day to honor the dead had ancient origins already when the Spanish conquest came along with plenty of cheap sugar for all, it was quickly adopted as a folk art ingredient. No, don’t eat the sugar skulls – there are now candy skulls made for that.

Dia De Los 43

If you’d like to connect on a more current level with this holiday, please check out the “Dia de Los 43” art event. Here the whole family can see for free the Largest Recycled Political Art installation in the North Bay, curated by artist Martin Zuniga. It is in place 11/2 and 11/3 from 5-9 pm, at the Roseland Community Library. Enjoy community altars, amazing dancers Oaxaca Tierra Del Sol, vendors, live music, hot chocolate and pan dulces, and the presence of many local activists and non-profit groups (more on FaceBook). 

Who are the 43? September 26, 2016 marked the second anniversary of the police attack, kidnapping, and subsequent disappearance of 43 teachers from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero. This event memorializes, celebrates, and continues the work of Ayotzinapa 43, who led critical social transformation via education. Info: Isabel Lopez at 707.486.6300.

Gifts for Gratonites

You may be scratching your coif or hipster beard about how to signify your adoration to your beloved Gratonite this season. We already live in paradise so non-material gifts are good, and for those you want to gift a solid remembrance, Graton sports the best in art, handmade items and of course wine. 

Graton Day Labor Center Donate online in your boo’s name! Your gift will uplift the quality of life of hardworking Latino immigrants through employment, education, and community organizing; more jobs, more wages, and more justice!! 

The Graton Gallery, selected as a Top 20 Hidden Spots In Sonoma County, has recognized local fine artists’ pieces of many sizes, mediums and prices, surprising folk art and such. Give your soul a bath and pop in.

Mr. Ryder’s Antiques: I double dare you to not find a treasure here. You can kind of pre-shop on their site’s dealer’s page:

Yoga in Graton – Give some yoga classes such as a 4 class pass/ $55, good with any instructor at either the location at the Graton Community Club or the Stone Creek Zen Center.

Speaking of the Stone Creek Zen Center, they are having their annual benefit, Zen Fest – Sun Nov 13, 9am-4pm (with Lunch 11:30 -1 ). Held at the Masonic Center across from Safeway about 3 miles down the road, you will find Handcrafted treasures and gifts, Buddhas and Spiritual Practice Supplies, silent auction, homemade jams and treats, Buddha’s Attic rummage sale, Books and antiques and way cool people. Info:707.829.1129 or

Asyrah’s Garden in downtown Graton, has gift cards for their affordable, effective treatments like acupuncture, massage, nutritional and herbal therapy for many of our Western ills. Know someone who is quitting smoking? Needing a beauty and stress balancing moment?  They have support for that. Give a full treatment card or a simple hand-and foot massage. And let’s make an appointment and treat ourselves to the popular Wednesday morning community treatment sessions at the Community Club. 707 823 2866.

Banjos, Dang It

5th Annual California Banjo Extravaganza Sun, Nov 13, 8pm, at the Sebastopol Community Center. Why am I telling you about this, though it be -lo, these 4.5 miles away? I happen to love banjo music. I love its origins in West Africa, its migrations to Turkish and other Middle Eastern countries and the combination of a drum and strings.  This year’s annual NorCal five-string  banjo-ganza features eclectic banjoist Danny Barnes, old-time music master and singer-songwriter Joe Newberry and California favorite Bill Evans. Joining them is their All-Star West Coast band playing many different ways music can be made on the five-string banjo. If you are a player, gawds help you, this will be a particularly inspiring evening. 

Thanks to some younger folks discovering the old-timey and folk stuff some of us grew up with (the last time the hipster dial clicked to that music -say, the 70’s), banjo players can again get gigs. No longer need they skulk off to Banjos Anonymous meetings, after consulting the website and asking themselves:  Do you play banjo when you are alone? Have you played banjo first thing in the morning? Are there banjos in your family history? Do you tell yourself you can stop playing any time you want to? Do you sometimes think you need a louder banjo? If you answered yes or no to one or more of these questions, you should join us at B.A.The first step is to admit you are a banjo player, and to understand that it is not a crime to play the banjo, but also to understand that your banjo playing probably has an effect on your loved ones

 Frankly, I find these guidelines handy for any number of obsessions. Let me know how it works for you.

Please get your items to me before the 15th of the month prior to your event: