A radio story and the return of the Steinway

Papa Emiliano and son

Papa Emiliano and son

Today on our radio program …

Sarah Koenig: Emiliano Garcia-Sarnoff also hadn’t seen his father in many years, since he was 7 or 8 years old. He lived in California, but was visiting a national park in Mexico with his mother when he was 18. They hiked to the top of a pyramid there. The whole place was sort of off the beaten track.

Centennial Steinway

Garcia-Sarnoff: We were walking along, and some people passed in front of us. And my mom said, “Oh my God, Raoul?” And then she turned to me and said, “That’s your father. That’s your dad.” And it was.

Sarah Koenig: Also, coincidentally, it was Father’s Day.

That’s the first few lines of a snippet from the March 1 episode of the public-radio program This American Life, in which they were talking with listeners who had sent in their stories of coincidences. If the name Emiliano Garcia-Sarnoff looks familiar, it’s probably because he was the winner of the Fiction 59 short-fiction contest in last week’s CN&R. The short telephone interview went on to explain that, despite his father’s being out of the picture for so long, the two of them did eventually develop a relationship, and Garcia-Sarnoff (who is now a father himself) was even at the hospital when his father died a couple of years ago. Go to and search for No Coincidence, No Story! to hear his unbelievable story, and a ton of other incredible coincidences.

Art of Janice

Century in the making The first bit of news for the Chico Women’s Club is that the 102-year-old Steinway grand piano that has been in the hall for 80 years has just returned from its $40,000 restoration. The impressive instrument made its public debut last weekend during the Chico Silent Film Festival, and according to Women’s Club member Sandy Goulart everyone in attendance raved about its beautiful sound.

The second bit of Chico Women’s Club news is that the longstanding community group is turning 100. In October of 1913, a group of 29 women (including Chico founding mother Annie Bidwell) started the Chico Art Club (which it was called until changing to its current name in 1960), and on Sept. 8 of this year the women’s group will be hosting a party in celebration of 100 years of serving Chico. Leading up to that occasion, they will be producing a series of concerts to recoup funds spent on the piano. The Ebony & Ivory campaign will feature one concert per month leading up to the anniversary event—each with a different musical theme (jazz, folk/bluegrass, classical, etc.)—with a big gala concert/ progressive dinner capping it all off on Sept. 27. Visit for more info.


• Janice Porter exhibit: The late Chico artist’s paintings will be on display and for sale at the new temporary home of the University Art Gallery (in the Humanities Center) through April 4. Opening reception is tonight, March 14, 5-7 p.m.

• Hobilly’s “Dirt Road”: Go now to James Wright’s YouTube page at to see the sweet black-and-white video he made of local slide-guitar stud Hobilly M.F. (of Michelin Embers, Shout Bamalama!, Hallelujah Junction) tearing it up on dobro.