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Sonoma County Gazette
Forestville The Good Life by Lucy Hardcastle

How to fall in love –
With your town that is.


Feb 5, 2018
by Lucy Hardcastle


As we celebrate, or possibly lament, Valentine’s month, I like to think about the concept of love a bit broader than who my date might be that night. So, it occurred to me to write why I love Forestville. What about you?

Perhaps you fell in love with our town simply by driving through. You thought, “Oh look, it’s tiny, it’s cute, different.” A sweet setting with two parks for the public. Your kids could get a small-town flavor growing up in this beautiful spot.

Others love our town because they grew up here. Their roots go deep, tapping into the Fascinating Forestville history you may have read about in the PD last month. They belong here. They have been walking these streets for decades. This is their town, their hang out space, and they are fully invested in its success. They love it, as it is. That’s why they stay, or return once they leave.

For me it took awhile.  I lived on the edges of town, the first 10 years near Mom’s Apple Pie and the last 16 off River Road. Working in Santa Rosa, I rarely went through downtown. A quick trip to the Hardware Store on a weekend, or dinner at the Italian Affair (now the Chiropracter) or Chez Marie (now Canetti’s) But once my husband got hired to teach 8th grade English, I found myself immersed in the culture of the town through its children. I loved being chaperone at the dances, cheering on the girls soccer team, sitting on hard benches at the basketball games, attending plays and graduations. It gave me an opportunity to hang out on the sidelines and witness the love and dedication those parents had for their children, for their neighbors, for the community. And I got to read the journals the 8th graders were forced to do to hone their writing skills. P.S. Your secrets are safe with me.

Forestville Preschool - strong community support

Mid-January I got to see that love and dedication manifest once again by attending a fully packed Forestville School Board meeting where parents overturned the Board’s earlier decision to close the preschool due to lack of funds. They did this by convincing the Board that together we can find a way to not only keep the preschool open, but to expand their hours to attract the numbers of kids they need to pencil out the costs. 

Parents stood up, presented ideas and showed a willingness to figure it out together. It is those kinds of “take charge” actions that we need in the world today. See a problem and come together to solve it. 

And those 8th grade girls I mentioned? The ones whose soccer games I went to on the weekends way back when? They are the now-grown women, parents themselves, who stood up and took action that night. How proud I was of them. That’s why I love this town. 

And speaking of the school, the next lively School Board meeting will take place at the school on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 6 pm,where more details of the preschool resurgence will be discussed. 

No school on the 12th for Lincoln’s birthday. Cocoa for Carpools on Valentine’s day itself to encourage common sense solutions for so many cars dropping and picking up their kids. Walk or Carpool. 

No school on the 19th for Presidents Day, so plan ahead.

Transitioning to El Molno High School?

At El Molino High School it’s 8th Grade Parents Night on Feb. 20 at 6 pm. If you’ve got a kid transitioning out of middle school, go check out the library, meet teachers, talk with counselors, look at the courses, the electives, the athletics and the support systems. Remember they are voted in the top 13% for Public High Schools according to US News and World Report, third time in a row!


The Forestville Chamber’s February Board meeting is February 7 at the Fire Station’s Community Room at 5:30 pm.

On Saturday Feb.10th, come to Jigar winery for a “Sweet Sixteen” party starting at 11 am. This party will feature the wines along our own section of 116. Joseph Jewell, Joseph Swan, Russian River Vineyards, Iron Horse Winery, Jigar and Hanford Court. What fun! That is if you love wine!

On the menu for the “Last Sunday of the Month” breakfast at the Hollydale Club, treat your Valentine to an Eggs Benedict breakfast for $10 on February 25th. Stay for Table Tennis. Another thing to love about our town. 

So why do you love Forestville? Go to and let us know!


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