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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day in upon us

Yes that means we are busy with guests at the inn, but also we are taking time to reflect on what Memorial Day is all about.  While it is nice that we associate the day with the beginning of summer fun and BBQ's, etc. the day is really about remembering that freedom is not free.

During my time in the US Navy, which changed my life, I have the honor to serve my Country.  I am still proud of my service and believe that everyone should "give back" at some point in their life - whether military, church, Kiwanis, or the Peace Corp.  Just give back -

While I will remember all service members on Monday, one that will hold a special place in my thoughts will be my friend Angela aka "Ace".  She was a wonderful, caring young lady who died much too soon.

1988 - On April 14 at 8 p.m., a car bomb exploded in front of the USO Club in Naples, Italy. Five people died and fifteen were injured, including four U.S. servicemen who were injured and US Navy Petty Officer Angela Santos, 21, was killed. Junzo Okudaira, a Japanese Red Army (JRA) member, was indicted in the United States on April 9, 1993 for the Naples bombing. Okudaira is also a suspect in the June 1987 car bombing and mortar attack against the U.S. Embassy in Rome.

Angela Santos: Love Lives On

April 23, 1988|By Sandy Coleman of The Sentinel Staff
OCALA — Outside the church, the sun shone brightly Friday. Inside, a cloud of sadness filled the room as friends and family mourned Angela Simons Santos, who joined the Navy to see the world and returned home its casualty.
Santos, 21, a Navy petty officer third class, was killed April 14 in a terrorist bomb blast in Naples, Italy.
Her military funeral at the Presbyterian Church at Marion Oaks began at 1 p.m. with her favorite thing -- music. A recording of her soft soprano voice drifted from speakers as she sang a song honoring her dead grandmother.
Santos' mother, Ellie Cruz, brother Jimmy Santos, 18, and father James Santos sat near her casket. Her brother Tony Cruz, 8, sister Jennifer Cruz, 5, and about 20 friends sat nearby.
Other mourners included Navy personnel, Gov. Bob Martinez and U.S. Rep. Buddy MacKay, D-Ocala.
''As we sit here today,'' the Rev. David Omerod began, ''there is a certain feeling of unreality . . . It is hard to imagine that something that happened all the way around the world brought us here.''
More than 350 mourners, many of whom who knew Santos as a beautiful, shy girl, listened closely to the minister's words and searched for comfort.
''Angela did not want to die. God did not want her to die. She died at the hands of unforgiving men. And now we mourn her death hoping for one more smile, one more touch, one more hug that cannot be ours.''
The church choir Santos was a member of for more than a year sang one of her favorites, ''I Will Not Be Afraid.''
Virgina Robb, a choir member and close friend of Santos, had said Thursday that singing the song would be one of the most difficult things she has ever done.
''The words are so appropriate for her,'' said Robb, 68, who was flattered that someone as young as Santos would start a friendship with a woman her age. Santos was at a party at the Naples USO club when a car bomb exploded on the narrow street outside. Four Italians also died and 17 people were injured, including four U.S. sailors.
But the bomb's impact was much wider, said Rear Adm. John Koening as mourners waited outside the church for the funeral to begin.
''It's a sad day for our entire world for a young man or young woman to give up their life in such a senseless manner,'' he said. ''The sadness is compounded by the fact that at any moment, an act of terrorism can take place. No one is safe. We are all affected.''

Monday, May 21, 2012

Fair Play Wine Festival at Colibri Ridge Winery

Go out to
enjoy the early summer weather and the beautiful views at Colibri Ridge Winery & Vineyard, while listening to the acoustic blues and classic rock of Jonny Mojo. They will be serving a savory Mustard Maple Port Tenderloin to accompany our award winning wines. Take advantage of the special discounts  wines and enjoy an extra special discount on a favorite summer time white, Viognier.

While you are there, let your Colibri Ridge Safari Guides lead you on a search for the elusive Lost Wines. These older wines mysteriously disappeared years ago in the winery and were only recently discovered. No longer on the regular tasting and sales list, they will be available for tasting and purchase this weekend. Don't miss out since there are very limited quantities of these Lost Wines.

To see what the other Fair Play wineries are doing and to purchase tickets go to:

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Albert Shafsky House turns 110

Nice article about the house in the Mountain Democrat....

The blue and white Queen Anne-style Victorian home sits on the corner of Spring Street and Coloma Road as it has for 110 years. Built in 1902 by storekeeper Albert Shafsky for his wife Kitty and their daughter, Alberta, the home has been owned by Stephanie Carlson and Rita Timewell and operated as a bed and breakfast inn since 2002.

Although Albert L. Shafsky, a storekeeper in downtown Placerville, moved his growing family to Oakland in 1915, Carlson and Timewell, as well as a few guests and ghost hunters, think he might have returned.

"No one told us about any ghosts when we bought the house " said Carlson, "but after we moved in we noticed that lightbulbs are unscrewed, doors are locked and unlocked, books moved off the shelves and pennies keep showing up on the floor after we've vacuumed. We smell cherry pipe tobacco in the evenings, so we think its Albert. He's not adversarial; he's fun."

"Guests describe the house as welcoming," said Timewell. "We've never seen any ghosts, but some guests have described two children near the stairway, or a gentleman sitting in one of the chairs or a fluffy white dog. Sometimes he'll turn the stove on or off when I'm cooking and when I'm trying to prepare breakfast for six people. It's annoying. So I'll just say,'Knock it off, Albert' and it stops."

The 2,040-square-foot home has six public rooms and some of the original light fixtures and crown molding, complete with bulls-eyes. Timewell and Carlson painted and updated the home when they purchased it, but it is essentially the way it has been since Shafsky built it.

"We had to replace the old knob and tube electrical wiring for insurance purposes," said Carlson, "but it was in perfect condition."

They also replaced sash type windows with dual paned windows, but kept the diamond-shaped beveled glass windows and stained glass windows that give the house its unique appearance. Corner towers, bay windows, and a door to nowhere that is three feet above the ground add to the building's interest.

"We think there used to be a summer kitchen and the  'door to nowhere' used to be  the wagon delivery," said Carlson.

Timewell and Carlson  decorated the three guest rooms with their own favorite antiques and electic style. The Gandy Dancer, is a railroad themed bedroom with railroad artifacts and train memorabilia and a view of Spring Street. The two-room suite, Alberta's Attic, displays Timewell's collection of antiques and has stained glass windows and a view of Coloma Street. The Vineyard Room downstairs, just off the parlor, has two different  views of Coloma Street, beautiful antiques, pictures by local artists and a lush burgundy decor.

The inside of the home has a warm, comfortable feel to it, with a streamlined blend of old and new instead of the fussy antique and doily approach. Timewell serves her guests fabulous breakfasts and fresh cookies in the afternoon. "It's my favorite thing to do," said Timewell.

The home has had several owners since the Shafskys left — the John X. Smith family for 46 years, Ronald and Darlene Klipfel and John and Roberta Peterson, who ran the home as a bed and breakfast inn before Timewell and Carlson bought it.

Albert Shafsky came to Placerville from Fort Bragg where he and his brothers started a dry goods store. The store was damaged in the San Francisco earthquake of 1906,but the Shafsky Brothers sign still remains carved into a storefront on Main Street in Fort Bragg. Albert Shafsky served on the Placerville City Council from 1906-1910 and as mayor 1906-1908. He was reputed to be the first merchant downtown with glass store-front windows.

Photos of Albert and Kitty Shafsky on their wedding day hang on the wall in the parlor. Timewell and Carlson have actually met Shafsky family members from the Bay Area and other parts of California. Some have even stayed at the inn.

"One Shafsky couple was traveling down Highway 49 to a family reunion and they saw the house. They had no idea it was here," said Carlson, who has compiled a Shafsky genealogy  and a photo album with pictures and tidbits of the family and the house..

The innkeepers celebrated the Shafsky House's birthday on May 4 , during  Girls' Night Out with a cake at Tony Matthews and gift certificates for downtown merchants.

"To say thank you to all the merchants our guests visit and those who have supported us, we gave each downtown merchant a $50 gift certificate for the Shafsky House, for them to use or to pass along to a customer. They were all surprised to be receiving something from us, but we've made some great friends and relationships here," said Timewell, who is a member of Kiwanis, on the Mother Lode Rehabilitation Enterprise Board of Directors, and a Meals on Wheels volunteer.

Under Timewell and Carlson's operation, the bed and breakfast has won multiple awards, including the 2007 Guest Favorite Award from BnB and the 2008 award for Best Bed and Breakfast from Bed and

With microfiber robes, slippers, award-winning breakfasts or a glass of wine and his picture on the wall in these historical surroundings, it's no wonder Albert doesn't want to leave.