Gold Country Denizens

Elections, Shakespeare, full moon, cookies, music

By: Susan Rushton
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My elections adventures keep getting bigger. This time, last Tuesday, I served as a roving inspector. Voters have no idea of the behind-the-scenes activity going on before, during and after Election Day. After years of serving as an Inspector (the “manager” of those who either work shifts at a particular precinct or serve all day, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.), I decided to hand off those duties and see if elections would have me as a roving inspector. A rover works as long as an inspector, but is assigned to four or five precincts. They “manage” the precinct workers — any problems? Are all the machines set up? Is the voting process going smoothly?

It’s thrilling to work for elections, and it’s an honor to be a part of the process. I am so proud to be involved with the system AND with Ryan Ronco.

… About a month ago, I told you about Take Note Troupe’s spring/summer production, “The Tempest.” I saw their opening performance on May 25 at the State Theatre, and they presented their final performance last night in Rocklin. I hope you had a chance to see this group. I was impressed and delighted to see them in action, and also impressed and delighted to be in the audience, who applauded every chance they got. No sitting on their hands for this bunch.

I sat next to board member Michelle Romero and first-year improvisational participant Hyrum Cox, 17. It was impossible for both of them to conceal their enthusiasm for TNT. And I met the founder, LaRee Florence, whom everyone clearly adores … and who continues to love this work after 15 years. I don’t have the space to tell you as much as there is to tell: so investigate

I did see Liz Johnson and Elinor Petuskey ahead of me, as well as Beth Gillogly and her daughter Fiona. I saw Beth the next day at farmers’ market, and she said this was the umpteenth time the family had seen that play — and they’ll see it and other Shakespeare plays again — and discuss the productions and compare them. Yes! A family of English majors! Don’t mess with this trio.

… Don and I went to dinner at Monkey Cat last Wednesday. As we walked back to the car (with our leftovers and half a bottle of wine), he was talking and I was listening, but I also saw Larry LaVerne and Paula Celick across the street. I always forget Paula’s name and so I yelled at them: “Stop! Stop, stay there!”

See, I wanted them to meet Don, and also wanted to display to them how sophisticated I can be: yelling, jaywalking, waving an open bottle of wine.

We learned that Larry has just been installed as commander of the local American Legion.

But they were out and about because they’re looking for musicians (guitarists) to contribute their talents to the upcoming Under the Tuscan Moon, 7-10 p.m. Friday, July 27 at the Veterans’ Community Garden. This dinner is an event to benefit the Veterans Day Parade Committee and The Forgotten Soldier Program. Tickets are $30, $40 at the door. For information: 530-885-1428.

… AND Larry emailed me a couple of days later with this information: “I just found out that the Auburn Elks Lodge 1691 is having a Flag Day Ceremony and spaghetti dinner on Wednesday, June 13.” Open to the public, the ceremony begins at 6 p.m. at 195 Pine St. with dinner following. Cost is $5.

… I chatted with Mike Holmes, who saw me with my pad and pen, so he knew what he was doing. “I had a call from the Navy,” he said. They’re doing a Sacramento Navy Week starting around July 15. They may perform at the Auburn Library Garden Theater, but they’re looking for another band to join them.” I’m sure Navy representatives are out beating the bushes, but here’s a head’s up to people who have instruments, talent, and no place to go in the middle of July.

… AND as I entered Depoe Bay to order a pound of chocolate macadamia nut coffee, I met several people coming out, all with instrument cases. This was a few of the Wacky Woos, all of them ukulele players, together for a year. They’d just finished up their practicing in Depoe Bay’s back room. I talked with representative and founder Ron Campbell, who says they’re looking for other ukulele aficionados. “We’re talking about adding other instruments,” he said. They’re an offshoot of the Ukulele Strummers at the Auburn Senior Center. If you’re interested, give Ron a call: 206-295-2554.

… As I did some cutting at Superfast Copies on Highway 49, Miranda Clark and her mother Rebecca came in with a couple of boxes of homemade cookies — $5 for a bag of 10 cookies. Turns out this is how Miranda, who attends Weimar Hills School, is earning funds to pay for her eighth-grade trip to Washington, D.C. The group is leaving on Monday, and she’ll be with them. “I started selling them last August,” she said, “and I made my last payment in March.” She’s raised $2,400. “With a little help from my mom,” Miranda said.

After they left, shop owner Christina Hitchcock — who bought a couple of bags — said they’d come by several times in the last several months. “And she was so shy at first. But not anymore.”

Good job!

… The Arts Council of Placer County joins with VFW Post 904 to present Red, White Arts and Brews at the Gold Country Fairgrounds, 6-9 p.m. on Saturday, July 7. Lawn seats cost $10, and the event features Country band Flat Busted. Also: local brew and wine will be available, as well as food trucks and lawn games. Information:

That’s my town. Got any items for me? Email me at