Shack saved; 'Marilyn' retires; Grad night and more

Posted on June 7, 2013 by Sonoma Valley Sun

Busted and boarded up, the Maysonnave Cottage is hanging in there by the skin of its peeling paint. Rather than demolish the sad shack, located in Depot Park behind the gorgeously restored Maysonnave House on First Street East, the city council is looking for a white knight to step in and pay for renovations. This heroic entity would then lease the property from the city, which would retain ownership that it obtained via donation from Henri Maysonnave. That bequest stipulated that the structure be used as a memorial park or museum. Reconciling that dictate with a B&B, the category most associated with the revamp, won’t be easy, even if they promise to hang Picassos in the guest rooms… As for historical value, the structure certainly has a history of disrepair and neglect.

After 27 years as a Marilyn Monroe tribute artist, Diana Dawn has said goodbye to Norma Jean. The hair, the pout, the dress, the… assets, Diana had the whole package, and was an in-demand look-a-like for events and shows. “Interestingly enough I portrayed ‘Marilyn Monroe’ (who took the name at age 19) longer then Marilyn portrayed Marilyn, since sadly her life ended at the age of 36,” Diana said. Monroe’s enduring fame and iconic look kept the persona very much in demand. “”To be able to have stepped into her shoes, her spirit, her world, and have experienced a glimmer of what it must have been like to be her, is something that I am extremely grateful for, and are memories I will cherish forever.” Next up for the smart blonde, a book about “My Life as Marilyn” and her weekly radio gig, “Some Like it Hot” Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. on KSVY 91.3 FM.

Congrats to our 278 high school grads who now embark on life’s next grand adventure, this week at least, by sleeping in… A highlight of the all-night Grad Night Party 2103 was the 6 a.m. drawing for a free car from Sonoma Chevrolet. Before the keys went to Tashi Jangbu Sherpa (see photo on page 9), parent Barney La Haye liked his family’s double odds – he’s the father of twin boys… Their tassels went platinum: Sonoma Valley High School’s Students of the Year for 2012-13 were Ana Lagunas and Matthew Charleston.

Nationally, Rep. Mike Thompson has pushed legislation that would hold the Department of Veterans Affairs accountable for ending a brutal backlog of claims. “It is unacceptable for a veteran to be forced to wait for care and benefits, in some cases for more than a year, because the VA is backlogged,” Thompson said. “We’re going to make sure the VA continues to do everything possible to get this problem fixed.” Locally, Sonoma’s Quilts for the Troops fundraiser, on June 15, will help get comforting quilts and pillows to wounded veterans returning from Afghanistan.