Out and About in Petaluma: Goddesses, wizards and Mozart

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Boston-born novelist Madeline Miller (“Song of Achilles”) has certainly been making the most of her BA and MA degrees in classic literature from Brown University. Not only did 2011’s Ancient Greece-set “Achilles” win the Orange Prize for Fiction and go on to be translated into 25 languages, Miller has another hit with 2018’s spectacular “Circe.” Told from the POV of the lonely but not-to-be-trifled-with Circe (the island-dwelling sorceress so memorably encountered by Odysseus and his piggish crew), Miller’s novel makes a thousand-year-old story seem fresh and vital. It’s being adapted into a miniseries by HBO, but while we’re waiting for that, Copperfield’s Books brings Miller herself to Petaluma for an evening of storytelling, conversation and literary magic. Saturday, Sept. 14, 6:30 p.m. Copperfield’s Books, 140 Kentucky St.


The Petaluma Historical Library and Museum continues its summertime Family Movie Night series on Saturday, Sept. 14, with a screening of the original 1939 version of “The Wizard of Oz,” at 5:30 p.m. There will be concessions and (of course) popcorn for sale, but admission is free for this family friendly event. On Oct. 5, the movie will be Disney-Pixar’s “Coco.” 20 Fourth St.


Continuing its popular weekly 2019 fall cinema series, the Petaluma Film Alliance presents Lebanese director Nadine Labaki’s 2018 drama “Capernaum,” about a spirited, quick-witted runaway boy who sues his negligent parents for their criminal complicity in bringing him into the world. The film, shot with non-professional actors, was a 2019 Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, won the Jury Prize at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. It has since become the highest-grossing Middle Eastern film of all time. Wednesday, Sept. 18. The film screens at 7 p.m. Lecture/introduction by Mike Traina at 6 p.m. SRJC’s Carole L. Ellis Auditorium, 680 Sonoma Mountain Parkway. Tickets are $5 for students and seniors, $6 for all others.


The Petaluma History Museum’s current exhibition, a collection of images from glass negatives by Joseph C. Wayne, is a must-see for fans of photography and those interested in little-known aspects of Petaluma. Wayne had a local photography studio on 167 Main Street. The show includes photos representing his unique style of commercial photography and imaginative portrait-style creations. Also in the exhibition are personal works, including photos of his family and a “pictorial journey” of the Waynes’ many trips, excursions and recreational adventures. 20 Fourth St. Open Thursday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Acclaimed musician Elizabeth Walter, the Music and Cultural Outreach Director of the Petaluma Historical Library and Museum, will perform works by Mozart, Beethoven, Ravel and others at a benefit concert inside the gorgeous former Carnegie Library at 20 Fourth St., Sunday, Sept. 22, 4 p.m. She will be performing on the superior 1989 Henry F. Miller concert grand. Complimentary wine and cheese will be served. Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the door. Balcony seating with “elite beverage service” is $50 in advance, $60 at the door.


Those struggling with issues related to overeating, undereating and bulimia are invited to visit Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous, a 12-Step. The local group meets at The Church of the Nazarene, 2689 Adobe Road, on Tuesdays from 9:30-11 a.m. and on Fridays from 9-10:30 a.m. Meetings are free. All are welcome.


A support group for the caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s (and other forms of dementia) takes place weekly on Thursdays, at the Petaluma Seniors Center. 10:30 a.m. to noon. A donation of $3 is requested, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. This is a fragrance free gathering. Petaluma Seniors Center, 211 Novak Drive.


The beloved tradition of square dancing continues in Petaluma, every Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m., at Hermann Sons Hall. Professional caller Dan Lyke keeps things lively, and the group is always looking for new dancers, experienced or otherwise. Each session is $7, and snacks are available for purchase. Newcomers are very, very welcome. Hermann Sons Hall, 890 Western Ave.


It was July of 1919 that the Redwood Empire Council of the Boy Scouts of America was founded, right here in Petaluma. To celebrate, local troops will be marking the occasion at a public ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 25 in Petaluma’s Walnut Park, from 3-7 p.m. Later in the month, on Sunday, Sept. 29, also in Walnut Park, Petaluma’s Miwok District BSA and Boy Scout Troop 9 (the latter chartered by Elim Lutheran Church), will be hosting the seventh annual Community Emergency Preparedness Fair and Blood Drive. You can find information about the Boy Scouts and these events at

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