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Sonoma County Gazette
Honoring Ellen Cheek who was an extremely valued community member.
Honoring Ellen Cheek who was an extremely valued community member and talented Jewelry maker.

Precious & Unpredictable


Jan 22, 2019


Polenta Beef Stew Fundraiser March 2.I hope you are one of the first readers, so that you can still make it to the first big fundraiser of the year for the Bodega Volunteer Fire Department. The polenta and beef stew dinner will be 5 – 8p.m. on Saturday, March 2 at McCaughey Hall. More information at  707-876-9438

The Community Crab Feed will be on March 16.The Fisherman’s Marketing Association Of Bodega Bay organizes the (FMABB) CRAB FEED in BODEGA which is on March 16th, 4-7p.m, at McCaughey Hall. All you can eat fresh cooked marinated or plain crab, salad, and garlic bread. Ticket includes dessert and 1 alcoholic or non alcoholic beverage. Adults $55, children $45, toddlers and babies (under age 5) FREE! Enjoy a silent auction and raffle of multiple local businesses. All proceeds go towards local Bodega Bay fishermen!

Funky but Fun FLOODS, 

It is quite refreshing to be actually having a winter again, despite inconveniences and roadway dangers. I'm sure most of you are already aware, but we had a tremendous flood on Salmon Creek Rd right before Valentine's Day. Bodega's Fire Department reported multiple mudslides and trees down, as well as having to rescue a man from his vehicle. Just a reminder to stay safe out there in this unpredictable weather. If you have the opportunity, definitely take a canoe or kayak out on the Laguna for some rare fun time with nature.

Let's not forget the 1982 flood. The CCC had to dig Bodega out from the mud. Gary and Laura Sauter and their newborn daughter had to be rescued from a truck's roof. A bucket loader rescued a couple from Salmon Creek bridge with their little dog who refused to leave the bucket loader for days. Just remember, seasons change. 


Silver 14kt earposts by Ellen. photo: Ed Aiona Last month I wrote all about love, which was my last column that my Grand Aunt, Ellen Cheek read and enjoyed. It's so heavy on my heart that I must recognize the life of this very special person. Ellen was an extremely valued community member who had lived in Bloomfield and most recently in Graton. She played a big role in manifesting the soon-to-be Graton Park. Her masterfully unique artisan jewelry was a local success (see: ).   Even as a 69 year old, she was quite active, both physically and politically. 

Most importantly, I want to honor her because of the huge part she has played in my life, especially after my mother, Heather, died in October 2017. She was my mom's youngest brother's mother and a wonderful neighbor when we lived in Graton. After my mom passed, I adopted our dear Ellen as my God Mom and she filled those shoes well. She also mentored many other young people throughout the years. She was vital in my foundational support system and helped me in countless ways. She encouraged me to grow, progress, get active, follow through, cook and eat healthy food, try new things and take care of myself. Her compassionately loving life came to an abrupt end from unexpected health complications at Sutter Santa Rosa Hospital on January 28th, surrounded by her intimate group of loved ones. We miss her intensely everyday and will celebrate her priceless life on March 2nd. 

Life is precious and unpredictable, so value personal connections and nurture close relationships. We all need help to get through dark days and rough storms; reach out to others and take advantage of reciprocal compassion. 

Bodega Byways by Eva Granahan



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