True crime, beer and Arts DEVO’s personal stylist

Bigfoot 2012 is here. You can stop reading now.

Bigfoot 2012 is here. You can stop reading now.

True crime Recently, Arts DEVO was up especially early, surfing the web, drinking the morning’s first cup of coffee and stalking his past, when he stumbled upon the website for his high school alma mater and its alumni page. There, mixed in with information on reunions and how to join the Alumni Association, was a link to the “Memorial Page” where the names of former students who have died have been arranged by graduation year. I naturally went straight to my class, and to my surprise there were six names from the class of 1987. It’s a small school, and I would not have guessed that six people my age, people I’d grown up with, would be dead already. Admittedly, at 42, I haven’t given dying a great deal of thought. This definitely got me thinking.

Two of the people on the list had died during our senior year, in separate auto accidents. Curious about what happened to the others, I started poking around online.

One classmate, someone I went to school with from second grade through our senior year, died in Chico, in 1993, two months before I married my wife here at the age of 23. Another died just this past December, after “succumbing to a long battle [with] cancer.” He was 43.

As I scrolled through the other years on the memorial page I stopped at the name of the brother of someone from my class. I Googled his name, and the story of his death appeared under the headline: “Father, son dead in Monday stabbings.” The 2006 story and its follow-ups went on to say he had apparently attacked his father in his father’s kitchen, stabbing him repeatedly. His father reportedly responded in self-defense, fatally wounding his son before dying himself. That was obviously way more of a story than I’d bargained for.

There are many ways to be separated from this mortal coil, and I guess it shouldn’t be so surprising that those within my life’s sphere aren’t immune to even the most gruesome scenarios. But I am shocked. And I’m sad for both men and their family that things ended in such a horrible way.

On a much less depressing note: Beer! By now you’ve undoubtedly heard the huge news from folks at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.: That’s right, the 2012 edition of Bigfoot Ale has been released! Good days ahead! … Oh, and there was also the little matter of our friendly neighborhood craft brewers officially announcing last Wednesday that they had chosen a site for their East Coast expansion: the western North Carolina town of Mills River. It was actually damn exciting to watch television footage of N.C. Gov. Beverly Perdue as she made the announcement and toasted brewery owner Ken Grossman and his son Brian with a cup of Chico-grown ale at the future site of Sierra Nevada II. The plan is to have the second brewery—and its 90-or-so workers—up and running by early 2014.

The Chico-ish locale appears ideal for many reasons—good water, small-town quality of life, natural setting in the shadows of a gorgeous mountain range (Blue Ridge Mountains)—but at the top of the list has to be the distinction of the nearby college town of Asheville as Beer City USA for the last three years in a row based on craft-brew pioneer Charlie Papazian‘s annual online poll at

Adrian Munoz

Join me in raising a glass and congratulating Sierra Nevada, and our new sister beer-city. Cheers!


• A rose by any other name: Gotta give a shout out on behalf of AD’s personal stylist Adrian Munoz down at Gypsy Rose salon. Adrian has been the one constant at 151 Broadway, cutting hair in the big window as one salon after another passed through the prime piece of downtown real estate. Adrian will be on hand with the rest of the crew Saturday, Feb. 4, 5-9 p.m., as the new Gypsy Rose hosts a hip grand-opening party featuring live music by Lansana Kouyate art by Emily McClintick, plus drinks and hors d’oeuvres.