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SMITH: Celia gets a tip from Martin Yan

Published: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 6:54 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 6:54 p.m.

Celia Talbot received a letter and a tasty tidbit from celebrity chef and new S.F. restaurateur Martin Yan.

The Santa Rosan had written to the star of TV's long-popular “Yan Can Cook” and other programs to thank him for sparking treasured memories of the years she lived as a pre-teen in southwest China's Yunnan Province.

Yan had explored and cooked there for an episode of “Martin Yan's China” on PBS. Celia told him in her letter she loved seeing parts of Yunnan again and she hoped that some day they might meet and exchange tales of the abundant region.

In his reply, Yan said that's possible because he plans to create a second M.Y. China restaurant — his first opened in San Francisco late last year — in Santa Rosa in November.

A publicist for Yan said she can't say more than to confirm that he has filed a request for a fictitious business name in Sonoma County.

TREED CATS AND T.P.: Thanks for even pretending to remember that in a recent column I mentioned both a hero who climbed 110 feet up a redwood to rescue a Sebastopol family's cat, and the closing of the Turning Point addiction treatment home on Rincon Valley's Acacia Lane.

Reading the tales in tandem transported former Ursuline High teacher Jennifer Gray back to the day in 1999 that she was frazzled by a cat that wouldn't or couldn't come down — from a redwood on Acacia Lane.

“I was freaked out because the cat had been up there for at least eight hours and was howling,” she recalled.

She said that when she first became a neighbor to Turning Point she was leery of its residents. “But in the two years I lived there, we only had positive interactions.”

A notable one happened when a young, blond client of Turning Point walked by and witnessed the distress in the redwood. Up he went, about 45 feet, and down he came with “a very ornery cat.”

TRUCKS & GRANDKIDS: Andy Skikos of Sebastopol's landmark Andy's Produce Market loves his delivery trucks almost as much as his fruits and veggies.

But most of all, Andy adores his large family. That affection appears in code on his fleet of trucks.

For example: The number on the produce truck employee Michael Martinez drives is “1913”. Its significance is that Andy and wife Katie have 19 grandchildren (courtesy of their five children) and at the time that Martinez's truck joined the fleet, there were 13 great-grandchildren.

Andy's next new truck will quite likely wear number 1922. He and Katie have 21 great-grandkids today but they expect a new sprout about the first of April.

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