Grand Opening of Rodney’s Bistro

Our new temporary dining facility, Rodney’s Bistro is now open. We like to think of Rodney’s as more than just a typical bar/restaurant. It is a community hub for our members to reunite, share stories, and have a good meal. Our Club has continued to thrive through impetuous hurdles because of the support our members have for each other and their Club. Many of you may have been intrigued by the naming of our temporary restaurant and have thought to yourself; why Rodney’s?

It is never too easy to single out one person but, the concept of Rodney’s was inspired by one of our own members, Rodney Sichel, Owner of Empire Asphalt. Rodney has made a significant impact in our community by graciously helping our Club and local homeowners (off of Deer Trail Rd., Wild Lilac Rd. and JayLee Dr.) during and immediately after the 2017 wildfires. Rodney and fellow members of the Empire Asphalt crew helped supply copious amounts of water and equipment to cease spreading infernos from completely destroying our golf course and nearby homes. Our Club’s philosophy is “One Club, One Community”, and Rodney’s Bistro is the figurative reminder of the perseverance and altruism of our members.

This man in the vest is my hero and new friend for life. During the firestorm Monday morning, I was on the roof of my home on Deer Trail Rd. with a weak stream of water wetting down my roof, and this guardian angel and his friends pull up with a small water tank and pump system. They turn a fire hose first across the street, soaking the grounds and trees to the right of the burning home, making multiple trips to reload water, then return. Their goal was to prevent the fire from spreading south towards Jaylee Dr., the adjoining neighborhood. These heroes live further south, along Brush Creek Rd., and decided early on to make a stand and stop the advancing fire towards their homes.

All around us, propane tanks were blowing up, hot acrid smoke blowing in different directions, and homes in front of me, behind me, were on fire, along with countless homes up the street. His team eventually moved in front of my home, and watered down my yard, trees, my home, and roof, where I took this picture. When water ran out, I ran. 5 hours later, my wife and I returned, to find our home still standing.

16 of 39 homes survived the firestorm on my block. Happily, 0 homes on Jaylee Dr. were burned, in part due to this man and his team, and the wind……

Their names are Rodney Sichel, of Empire Asphalt Paving and Engineering, his neighbors Mark Hoyal and Lauren Palmer, and friend Forrest Isbel. My wife and I owe these local heroes a huge debt of gratitude for stepping up in the face of danger to save their neighborhood.

Arthur Geier
Deer Trail Rd., Santa Rosa

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(Healdsburg, CA)