If you've been following this year's Healdsburg's Cutest Couple Contest, the winner should be no surprise to you: Earl and Myrna Fincher swept the voting this year, possibly due to their large local family, many business connections and a lifetime network of friendships.
"Oh, my goodness!" said Myrna Fincher when reached by phone Thursday morning. "I am surprised."
Myrna told us she was born in town - "at the old hospital on Johnson Street" - and raised on Brown St. For 15 years she ran a day care in Alexander Valley, which means she's had an impact on a younger generation -- including Dustin Valette, who grew up in Geyserville.
"Dustin told me I gave him his first job," she said. "I was in charge of the cafeteria up at Geyserville High, and Dustin came in and wanted a student job." Now, as chef de cuisine at Dry Creek Kitchen, he's a customer of Earlybirds Place, which the Finchers now run on Chalk Hill Road.
Earlybirds grows fresh, organic vegetables for DCK and other restaurants, including Agave, El Farolito and Barndiva. They also make decorative bird houses out of redwood, plywood and gourds painted with fantastical images.
If the last name sounds familiar to locals with automobiles, it's because Earl Fincher arrived in Healdsburg at the age of 15, persuaded by his uncle - Tim Fincher's grandfather - to settle in town. One thing led to another, and Earl and Myrna were married in 1958, which mean's they've been a cute couple for 55 years
The Finchers have won a $50 gift certificate to dinner at Baci Café and Wine Bar, the Italian restaurant on Healdsburg Ave. Perhaps they'll get another customer, too.
Please join Patch in congratulating Earl and Myrna Fincher, this year's Cutest Couple.