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Smith: Ken, the kids & their art on 'Today'

A national NBC-TV crew shot the scene Monday as Santa Rosa artist Ken Rossi, who's blind and scoots about in a wheelchair, showed 32 fourth-graders at the Sonoma County Museum how he creates his dramatic and colorful pictures.

“Is it hard to draw when you can't see?” asked a girl from teacher Hilary Sowers' class at Windsor's Brooks School.

Ken replied: “It's harder because you have to concentrate more.”

However, he added, as a piece is coming together, a blind artist isn't bothered by an “internal judge,” so the process flows more naturally.

The students then had a chance to try drawing with oil pastels, too. With their eyes closed.

The story is scheduled to appear on The Today Show at 6 a.m. Saturday.

GOING, GOING, GOMES: Did you weep when son-of-Petaluma Jonny Gomes did what he did in Sunday's World Series game?

Viewers had just been told that Gomes, to that point hitless in the Series, wears “707” on his glove and cleats to honor his hometown.

With the score 1-1 in the top of the sixth and two Boston runners on base, Gomes swung and swatted the ball over Busch Stadium's left-field fence. His Red Sox went on to win 4-2.

These darned tears.

THE THROW BY LEEF: And try to imagine a more thrilling end to Sunday's over-65 championship game in the World Series of the Men's Senior Baseball League in Phoenix.

The Sonoma Oaks, with retired PD Sports Editor Ralph Leef playing first base, have 6 runs to the Ohio Classics' 3.

The Classics are at bat. The bases are loaded, with two outs.

The Ohio batter smacks a hard drive into right field. Our man Ralph, 66, moves out to take the cut-off throw.

One run scores. Then a second. The Ohio player who can tie the game rounds third and heads home.

Ralph hurls the ball toward the plate. The Oaks catcher gloves it just as the Classics player is about to score. The catcher tags the runner.

He's out! Game over. The Sonoma Oaks win.

Ralph and his teammates packed for the trip home shortly after being fitted for their Senior World Series rings.

HAUNTED HOUSES, I try to avoid. But connoisseurs may want to check out the one Petaluma's Tom Weaver creates in the garage of his house on Garfield Drive.

One thing tells me that Weaver's attraction, open only on Halloween night, is probably a good one: He's the brother of the stunningly ingenious Scott Weaver of Rohnert Park.

Scott's creation include “Rolling Through the Bay,” the toothpick sculpture of San Francisco that drew huge crowds at the Sonoma County Fair in 2008 and resides now at the Exploratorium. Each December, Scott transforms his home into a Christmas castle that is mind-blowing.

And he gives his brother a cold, creepy hand with the haunted house.

Chris Smith is at 521-5211 and chris.smith@pressdemocrat.com.

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