By Grace Thatcher
Randy Hanson is a local hero to me and so many others. He has been my neighbor on this Mirabel heights hill for 20 years. When I went through my divorce things looked bleak for me on a teacher’s aid salary. I didn’t think I would be able to maintain my home as a single payer with a mortgage here in Sonoma County.
My little cottage was over 60 years old and in ill repair. It seemed like there was always something that needed to be working on. Working full time and trying to come up with the money to pay for things that needed to be done was not an easy task and would have been absolutely undoable without the help of Randy. He made himself available and would come down the hill at a moments notice when I was in a panic about one repair or another that needed attention.
Not only would he take care of the issue for a quarter of what most people would charge, he also would make sure he checked up on the work he had done to see if things were working properly and if there was anything else that needed looking after. This is the way Randy operates, not just for me but for others in the neighborhood that need help.
Randy is a quiet guy, some may even call him shy but he has the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever known! He is also a master carpenter and comes up with the most beautiful pieces of artwork. He gives a lot of what he makes away as gifts or at very low cost to those he loves and cares about.
Randy drives around the neighborhood regularly in his golf cart and stops in to make sure people are doing okay. We have several very elderly people on the hill and Randy’s number is posted close to their phones for emergency purposes and believe me he makes himself very available to them regularly.
Once a year Mirabel Heights hosts a block party which happens in front of the Hanson’s property. You can find Randy on the grill for hours at a time cooking up fresh Tomales Bay oysters for those who come. His wife Laura is at the margarita mixer pouring drinks in the heat of the day for the thirsty neighbors that come up to say hello.
Randy and Laura I feel are the core of the neighborhood. At the top of the hill they are like the kings and queens even though with their humility they would never want those titles.