Gold Country Denizens

Books, generosity, singing, comedy, pancakes, parade

By: Susan Rushton / Guest Columnist
-A +A
In the Journal office, I chatted with Liz Daniels, advertising consultant. She asked me about donating books to the Auburn Library, and I told her that the FOL Annex, to the left and up from the library, would be happy to take them. 
“I have so many books because I keep buying them,” she said. “And I’m running out of places to put them!” She shook her head at herself.
I shook my head at myself as well. 
“Me too,” I told her, and expressed relief that it’s so easy to DO something with one’s piles of books. BTW — if you by any chance want to ADD to your collection, the annex sells books on the first Wednesday of the month and the following Saturday.
… As I set up my Silver Screen booth at the farmers’ market last Saturday, I realized I’d forgotten my chair. Grumble, grumble. Maybe I could I borrow one, I thought. After all, at last month’s Auburn Co-op in Old Town, Lynn Carpenter of Serendipity had generously let me borrow a stool. ‘Cause I’d forgotten my chair then, too, grumble.
Well. Auburn Coffee has a table and chairs below the shop. Hmm, I thought. I scooted up and bought my coffee and asked if I could borrow one of those chairs. The very community-oriented Nathan Smetana said yes, of course, and gave me permission to share his generosity. Thank you!
Lois Williams emailed me, sharing information about Sierra Gold Chorus: “We invite women of all ages to sing with Sierra Gold Chorus for four weeks, beginning each Monday evening starting July 2, culminating in a fun public performance at our ‘Cafe Cabaret’ show on Monday, Aug. 6 … This no-stress, summer event is a great way to get to know us and try us on for size!  Those who’d like more information may text or call our wonderful director Terrie at 530-350-0247.” She adds that no experience is necessary.
She also stresses that if you missed the first session, you can still join: “We have recorded learning tracks (and lots of enthusiastic support) to help them learn!”
Placer Nature Center, 3700 Christian Valley Road, hosts an evening of star gazing and exploration, 8-9:30 p.m. next Saturday, July 14. “Rocket scientist” Mark Graybill (that’s how the Center’s Executive Director Dave Matthews identifies him) will have telescopes and information and will offer amazement and delight. The cost is $8 for non-members, $6 for members. For reservations, call 530-878-6053 or email
Placer Community Theater’s production of “The Producers” is fast approaching, beginning July 20 and running through Aug. 4 at the State Theatre. It’s going to be raucous — I’ve seen some of the over-the-top costumes in Joyce Silva’s living room. Don’t miss it! Investigate online at; or buy tickets at
… At the July 4th Pancake Breakfast in Old Town, I asked beverage lady Susie Bailey if she could point out the city’s new fire chief. She pointed out the tall, happy-to-be-here Dave Spencer
“I’m starting the 17th of July,” he said, “so I can’t wear my uniform.” Besides, he doesn’t have it yet. This very nice guy — with a dynamite handshake — served as battalion chief in Orange County for almost 30 years. Personally, I hope he (and the rest of the department) have very little to do this fire season.
… Don and I sat between Dave and Cindy Kasberg and Michael Kirby and his newly 6-year-old grandson Jackson. Dave and Cindy told us about getting rebates from the state for switching from lawn to drought-friendly landscaping. 
“I keep hearing rumors that they’re going to stop doing that, but it hasn’t happened yet,” Dave said. His suggestion: hop to it.
… As we left the breakfast, we saw Jim Holmes, and I asked him if he was going to be in the parade that night. Yes, he said, “but I don’t know who I’m riding with. You know, I’ve been in every 4th of July parade since my son was in Cub Scouts — and he’s 35!”
… So that night, sitting across from the Clock Tower, we looked for Jim — and there he was, riding with brother Mike who pointed at us. Jim found a ride after all.
… On one side of us sat Roseville denizen Angie Barajas, her daughter Julissa Rivera, and Angie’s sister Blanca Barajas. Angie worked at Placer High for 10 years — as a TA for Miss Dyer in an ESL class.
… On the other side sat Joe and Mary Halkyard, who have lived here for “oh gosh, 36, 37 years,” said Joe. He has long been retired from working heavy construction, and has “come to all of these for years,” he said.
… I also spotted Clio Muir and her new granddaughter, 5-month-old Charlotte Protzman, gleeful and thrilled to be here for her first 4th of July parade. “Her parents live in Alaska,” said Clio, “but they came down here so they could enjoy the fireworks — because right now the sun never sets up there. We love our little town,” she said. “This is small town America.”
… We also met Wonder Woman, a sweet, well-trained 1-year-old dog who voiced not a howl when the fire trucks screeched by. Wonder’s owners are Bay Area transplants to Loomis, Mike and Dr. Joyce Lucas Clark, who are happy to be here where most people aren’t grouchy.
… When I got home I found a message on my phone: “Butt Lady” Sally Dawley had left her numbers: “On the 30th I picked up 1,250; In the first, 1,050, and today (the 4th), I picked up 1,931. So my numbers are now up to 1,065,885.”
How patriotic of her. Thank you, Sally.
That’s my town. Got any items for me? Email me at