Free Compliments of our Advertisers
Sonoma County Gazette
Monte Rio Musings by Chuck Ramsey

Monte Rio is Vacation Wonderland

Jul 30, 2017
by Chuck Ramsey


July was a fun month in Monte Rio. Packed with happy people attending various events.

Watching the fireworks from the bridge it seemed that the pyrotechnics firm started out with the finale, and it only kept getting better after that. Bystanders were saying, wow, for a small town of Monte Rio these fireworks are over the top. Not to be outdone by downtown Monte Rio, suburban Monte Rio (aka Villa Grande) had their own annual event where they declared their independence from the Union. Then it was off to the cannon firing at Patterson Point Beach. I must say this was the most realistic re-enactment of the Revolutionary war I have even seen. From the bloodshed to the singed Patriot garb worn by Jon Box. Fortunately, Jon is OK. We don’t know if he’s up for the job next year, but one thing is certain, whether it’s one if by land, two if by river, Monte Rio has nothing to fear when it comes to Villa Grande’s ballistics firing acumen. They can secede from the Union, but they will never secede from Monte Rio.

Kudos also to Michele McDonell for her community service, especially putting on the Annual Monte Rio Variety Show. We are fortunate to have the Bohemians providing this event for the community for over 100 years.

Due in large part from ongoing efforts of the Alliances, with the support of Supervisor Lynda Hopkins, Sheriff Mark Essick, and Lieutenant John Molinari, we now have a dedicated deputy, Daniel Avina, that will focus on homeless related issues in our area.

West County Financial Cooperative will be moving into Jerry Adair’s former location. They provide taxation and bookkeeping services and were most recently located in Guerneville on Armstrong Woods Rd. Stop in and welcome them to Monte Rio.

Sonoma County Area Agency on Aging and Monte Rio Recreation and Park District are seeking someone interested in being trained as a certified coach for a nationally known, award-winning, fall prevention program for older adults. Training is Thursday, August 10, 2017. Coaches are successfully certified after attending 8 hours of training and co-leading two eight-session programs in the twelve months after the training. If you are interested in more information please contact

The 19th Annual Russian River Car Show will be held August 26th at the beach parking lot. The pancake breakfast starts at 8am and the show continues until 3pm. This year the show is being put on by Russian River Historical Society instead of Friends of Monte Rio. The show is free and always fun. Mike Murphy does a great job with this event. Contact for car registration information.

Whether it’s close calls on Jon Box or Mike Murphy, we are fortunate to have friends and volunteers that have supported our community for years. Sometimes we are reminded that life can be fleeting. We need to feel grateful and show gratitude to people while we still have the good fortune of being together.

On a related note, most of you know that Art Douville, former owner of Panache Optical, passed away totally unexpectedly last month. I had the pleasure of meeting my friend while we worked to re-organize Sonoma County Pride. As vice president, he was the best. He had a keen sense of what needed to be done, what obstacles had to be overcome, and he ran with it. He always took the time to give me and others a big smile and a bigger warm hug. His surviving partner, Steve Niezgodaof Palm Springs, also helped Pride with our website. My sincere thanks to Art, and my condolences to Steve.

When you think of small towns, you either imagine small minds and everyone knowing your business (or thinking they do), or you imagine friendly people that know each other as neighbors, support each other, and work together for the betterment of the community. We need to be reminded at times, that we all could use less stress and drama in our lives and show more appreciation for the people that truly make our lives better.

On a recent weekend I was stressed as usual having to deal with unpleasant situations, routine chores, and then the maddening drive to the City to check out a condo listing. Although the City was fun once I got there, when I got back I stopped at a friend’s place with a dock on the river. Being over 100 degrees the river was bustling. It didn’t matter if you were a duck, a dog, gay, straight, rich, poor, young or old. Surrounded by southern rock playing, happy people, and stunning scenery, the stress was finally gone.

I knew I was home.

Vacation Wonderland. We just keep getting better.


Login to Make a Comment

Please support our sponsors:

Cloverdale Performing Arts Center - True West

May 17*, 18, 19, 25, 6 @ 7:30pm
May 20 & 27 @ 2pm
Tickets: 707-894-3222
TICKETS *Pay-what-you-can preview on May 17 at 7:30 pm

BeeKind of Sebastopol
Bike Logo

Call 855-483-3732 to find out about Folding, Cargo & BionX Bikes. Perfect for a SMART Train Ride!

Flower Shops and Florists of Sonoma County

Please support locally-owned businesses and tell them the Gazette sent you - THANK YOU!

Locally-Owned Jewelry Businesses in Sonoma County

Find Goldsmiths and Jewelers who create custom designs, offer jewelry repair, estate appraisals, and gems.

Fine Tree Care - Sonoma County Tree Services

Please use the Gazette's Guide to find LOCALLY-OWNED Garden Businesses to support Sonoma County's environmental and economic health and vitality.