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Sonoma County Gazette
Rohnert Park Ripples by Jud Snyder

Here’s five bucks.
Now, go buy me a bottle of water.

Aug 31, 2017


I think it was 45 or maybe 50 years ago when I noticed my companion was carrying a bottle of water on her belt. I remember we were in the Evert Person theater on the Sonoma State University campus to see a production of  “Angels in America”, partially based on the problems of Roy Cohn, lawyer forSenator Joseph McCarthy, with Cohn an alleged homosexual and a villain in the eyes of us liberals grinding our way through NYU on historic Washington Square and wishing we could afford to live in already upscale nearby Greenwich Village. We lived on cream cheese and raisins on whole wheat bread from Chock ful o’ Nuts, and religiously read the weekly Village Voice for affordable rentals.

All this is long before computers, web sites, facebook or even google and Internet. Call us Luddites and go to Wikipedia if you crave an interpretation.

As gently as I could I asked my companion, a bright and intellectual woman from the KRCB TV and Radio channels, if the water bottle clipped to the belt on her hip meant she had some sort of kidney problem. I didn’t dare to bring up the words urinary tract.

“No, nothing like that, It’s just so comforting and besides, everybody’s doing it.:”

“Oh,” I said and buried my face by reading the program but quickly glanced up to note there were several other playgoers with water bottles in their purses or clipped to their belts. The most popular label my eye managed to catch was Crystal Geyser.

As I said, all this was 35 or 40 years ago when I was editor of the weeklyClarion newspaper which was abruptly closed down one month before theCommunity Voice was started.

I went to RP city hall to cover a routine city council meeting, sat down and quickly perused the agenda. It was routine, too.

Then I looked up and nearly fell off my chair. Every city council member, the city manager, city attorney, and even the table with a microphone for guest speakers had a bottle or two of Crystal Geyser water at their elbows.

What’s happening? Did the county health department discover a mysterious mold in city hall that only the consumption of bottles of Crystal Geyser water could cure? I leaned over and nudged a fellow reporter. “What’s with the bottles of water for everybody?“

“Oh, it’s the latest thing to keep your hands busy, like hula hoops back then,” she said.

“I hope it’s only water and nobody’s trying to sneak in some booze,” I said.

“No, not that with this gang. Check out the supermarkets, any of ‘em,” she said.

I took her advice and started out with Raleys and Safeway, then over to Food MaxxGrocery Outlet and Oliver’s. It was a stunning revelation for both sides of aisles in all of them were packed with bottles of colored water greens and blues, no oranges, reds or blacks. Crystal Geyser bottles were prominently displayed elsewhere in the stores

It reminded me of the days when big tanker trucks bearing Crystal Geyser insignias used to drive up to a section of Rohnert Park water pipes on the east side of Snyder Lane, fill the trucks and bring the water back to their plant up near Calistoga. Do they still do that? I haven’t checked lately.

The water was carbonated, red coloring added, firmly bottled and sold back to RP water lovers at a fair profit.

The southern edge of G Section overlooks the well site and I wonder how many of the residents know the facts of their available fresh water and still buy green and blue bottled water.


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