Coastal Post Online

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October, 2004


Waste Not, Want Not-Farewell Laurie
By Judy Borello
On September 10th, the Old Western Saloon, family and friends, saluted Laurie Sturddvant who is moving to Shasta City. Sad for us, happy for her.
   Delicious food was brought and prepared by the gourmet cooks of West Marin. Anotone and John of Tony's Seafood, Kim of Indian Peach, Chef Pat Martin and much more contributed by many loving hands. Tasty treats indeed.
   The crowd rocked to the one and only Al Faul, who I refer to as "Alfalfa," which ain't no hay. He's upbeat, very energetic and when he plays and sings some Johnny Cash songs he completely blows our minds and socks off.
   Surrounded by family such as Laurie's Aunt Ruby (who bartends days at the Western), her cousin Bobby who barbecues oysters at the Coast Cafe in Bolinas, her sister Linda who is the cleaning lady and bartender at the Western and was behind the rails that night, her daughter Shelly from Sacramento, but probably the most notorious member of Laurie's family was "Fred" the sentinel who greets people at the swinging doors whose picture "doing his job" was in the Independent Journal. "Friendly Fred" is a cute little pug who is actually a girl who I refer to as "Fredricka" but with the Schwartz's girly-man quip, "Fred" is right in style.
   Well-wishers came from all over the community to honor Laurie including our Supervisor Steve Kinsey. I had heard at a Farm Bureau meeting the week before that Steve would be on vacation the week of the party,  I thought to myself that would mean a no-show, but in he came. I felt "Alfalfa" should play "Hail to the Chief" and it moved me that Laurie and her work in recycling meant a lot to Steve for him to take time out on his vacation to honor her.
   The Queen of Trash-and I certainly don't mean anything negative about it!
   Laurie returned to West Marin approximately 14 years ago. Born in
Sacramento and living many places along her way including the Mt. Shasta area. Running a lampshade shop in San Anselmo, Laurie sold her first handmade lampshade to Gary Giacomini who was West Marin's supervisor for many years. She made masks for San Francisco plays and remodeled Victorian Bed and Breakfast Inns in San Francisco and Tiburon.
   Multi-talented and very creative, she was nurtured by her father who taught her how to fix things, build things and paint things.
   Abounding with endless curiosity,, her nickname as a child was "For-Do." Constantly asking what is this for?  What does this do?-gave her the handle. That same questioning and desire to learn is what gave Laurie the motivation and energy to accomplish sometimes the impossible. It must be in the genes! Her late brother James ran and operated the most successful recycling plant in the United States, her sister Linda, is the driving force at the Old Western Saloon to win the best recycler of businesses in West Marin Award, and Laurie herself lives her talk-she has no garbage herself in her private life. She finds uses for everything and anything. She is a great believer in the fact that somebody's throw-aways could be a lot of other people's treasures.
   Being a very community-minded lady, she was always there to help out. When one of my bartenders was sick on the job and had an emergency to take care of, Laurie would step confidently behind the rails and bartend many times at the Old Western Saloon on a moment's notice. Thank you ,Laurie, very much for caring and being the special lady that you are.
   Referring to the Saloon as "her living room," she socialized with style well into the night. Between her industrious nature and her good sense of humor, she garnered admiration and respect from many in West Marin.
   The core of her nature is very spiritual and that's the main reason she's moving back to
Mt. Shasta City. One of her quips is, "If God created the beautiful mountain of Shasta, he can do anything."
   Laurie's already lined up a job for herself as a recycling consultant and I'll bet in time she will build her own home because that girl is talented and self-reliant.
   I wonder if she's got another "living room" to hang out in. Probably cause no grass grows under her feet!
   PS We love you Laurie and we will miss you very mucho. But we now have a great place to go and visit our friend Laurie.



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