reunion-goers at the Cotati Plaza At the Cotati Plaza, reunion-goers talk with "Magic Mark."

Bugle newspaper reunites 1970s
Student, community activists  

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The spirit and sounds of the '60s reverberated through some of Cotati’s landmark gathering places last fall as dozens of Sonoma State University graduates came together to celebrate a time of hope, wonder and passionate politics.

What started as a reunion of folks who worked on the Sonoma County Bugle —an alternative newspaper published from 1970 to 1973 — morphed into a broader gathering of student radicals, community activists, hippies, leftists and musicians who could often be found hanging out on campus, at the Inn of the Beginning or in the Cotati Plaza between 1967 and 1973. The weekend started with a dinner at Sweet Lou’s — formerly the Inn of the Beginning — for anyone whose name appeared in the Bugle staff box. Fifty people joined in the festivities, including former SSU students from California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington and Japan.

Crumbling old copies of the Bugle and the Steppes — SSU’s famed student newspaper during the 1960s and 1970s — were passed around the dining room amid much revelry and reminiscence.

Marcia Farber-Wescott looks at old copies of the Bugle Marcia Farber-Wescott looks at old copies of the Bugle.

After dinner, folks adjourned across the street to the Tradewinds — another famous haunt from decades back when it was next door to the Inn — and danced to the music of the Bronze Hog. The Hog was the house band for Sonoma State students and Cotati folks in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. The Hog rocked the ’Winds well past midnight.

Even more people showed up the next day for a picnic in the Cotati Plaza. Folks whiled away the sunny afternoon, sharing good food and fondly greeting old friends last seen 20 or 30 years before. It was a pretty amazing afternoon.

The camaraderie people showed towards one another that weekend in Cotati echoes back to a time when they joined forces to oppose the Vietnam war and acted out of a deep passion and yearning for justice, equality, freedom, democracy and peace.

Many who came to the Bugle reunion hold the same values and ideals that carried them forward 35 years ago. And many said they’d be back next year when the group reunites in Cotati.




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Your Nose Knows Aroma

St. Francis Winery and Vineyards

MAY 25

The Your Nose Knows Aroma Workshop and Alumni Reception combines a fun learning experience with the opportunity to socialize with other SSU alumni and friends in the magnificent setting of St. Francis Winery. Since our sense of smell informs our sensation of taste, this workshop will teach us how to identify wines that have been infused with aromas commonly found in wine.

Hosted on the St. Francis Winery terrace overlooking majestic Hood Mountain and the beautiful vineyards, the workshop and reception offers a great way to learn more about wine while enjoying great company, delicious hors d’oeuvres, and mellow music.

The event will be held Thursday, May 25 between 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Reservations are required. Cost is $35 per person. Please call (707) 664.2426 or e-mail For information about St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, please visit