Gold Country Denizens

Tobacco, books, quilters, fundraisers, art, help

By: Susan Rushton
-A +A

From what I gather, Butt Lady Sally Dawley finds at least a thousand butts whenever she goes out. The concept is appalling. She agrees, as does everyone else who approaches her to thank her for her work. As of last Wednesday, her numbers since she started are now up to 1,104,455. I’d be very happy if she never found another butt.

… Recently in the Auburn Library, I met Stefanie Estrada, 11. I was attracted first by the shirt she was wearing, with Placer Sheriff’s Activities League on the back. She said she’d been involved for three years in this year-round program for school-age kids. Information? Check out

Then I saw two Harry Potter books in her lap. She said she was reading them a second time (at least). We had a fine discussion about rereading books we love, and we shook our heads at those who can’t understand why we do that. If we know how a book ends, why would we read it again? She grinned at me, and we understood each other. I love when that happens.

… As I ate my chicken sandwich at La Bou a few weeks ago, Jim Ferris joined me and told me his 13-year-old granddaughter was trying out for the Junior Olympics Water Polo Team. Both of us hoped she’d make it, especially since “she’s won six gold medals in tournaments.” He’s visiting her at the moment — so look for him when he returns and ask him whether she succeeded.

For years, Jim and his wife lived on the edge of the American River Canyon, but they’ve moved. He misses his walks and collecting sturdy branches of manzanita for walking sticks. ”I like making them,” he said, “but it’s difficult to find a long enough piece.” He said it would be OK if we put out the word this way, so if you have manzanita hanging around and think a branch might make a good walking stick, please contact Jim:

… Charlene Messner, Curator of Art for the Auburn Library’s Beecher Room, emails that we can enjoy pastel and acrylic artist Sandy Lindblad’s work (“landscapes and delightful animals”) through August. And in September and October, the Foothill Quilters’ Guild displays their “Opportunity Quilt Blocks.” I always ache with admiration when I see the guild’s work.

… I didn’t have space in the last Denizens to talk about the Under the Tuscan Moon fundraiser in July. The Armed Forces Pavilion and Community Garden, 995 Lincoln Way, is a charming place — that night made more charming by all the people I recognized: among them Jan Stevens (now retired from Placer School for Adults); Sugar Plump Fairies Fran Holmes and Alexia Retallack; and Reese Browning, Keith Nesbitt, Mike Holmes, Casey Conway and Bart Ruud (ask Bart about his weeks-long motorcycle trip through the North- and Southwest).

Don and I ate with Chris and Catherine Castro. Chris is the public information officer for the Auburn American Legion Post 84. “This is a great town for veterans,” Chris said. When Catherine meandered off for a few minutes, Chris told me that for years she was world famous for her belly dancing costumes. That’s the kind of guy I like: someone who brags on his wife whether she’s there or not.

… And we saw Don and Mona Anderson, he with a bulky Ace bandage on his right forearm (“tendon problems,” he said). But he was more eager to share that he’d recently shaken hands with the Surgeon General.

… The next night? We went to Placer Community Theater’s production of “The Producers” at the State Theatre. My, another packed event. I saw volunteer Casey Conway again, and Anthony Maki Gill sitting in the hallway with his mom, Cheryl Maki.

We also saw Newcastle denizens Dave and Gail Mackenroth and sat behind Christian Valley denizens Barbara and Cary Goulard. “This is our first time here since the renovation,” Barbara said. They’d seen the musical in New York, when “the guy who played Niles in ‘Frasier’ was Bloom.” They were having a kick that night, too.

Such a silly, entertaining, underhanded musical. Mel Brooks knew how to belittle his enemies: by ensuring we’d laugh at them. Even better than the book: the singers, especially Jon Sorensen, who played Max Bialystock — he also performed (and sang) the role of Nathan Detroit in last year’s “Guys and Dolls.”

… The Arts Council of Placer County held its fundraiser at the Blue Goose Event Center in Loomis. We chatted with local author Therese Crutcher Marin — as well as Dean Prigmore and Patrice Taylor. Patrice shared that she’s enamored with Frank Lloyd Wright’s work and has visited “maybe half” of the sites. Which would be about 200. Ambitious woman.

We sat with Loomis denizens Dave and Mickie Giacomini — she’s the marketing director of the Arts Council — and Rocklin denizens Chris and Dinah Lund. “We’re the wing couple to Dave and Mickie,” Chris said.
… I’m not overstepping my bounds when I ask you to wish Ty Rowe good health and a quick recovery. Also ease for Mora. Nobody has told me what the problem is, and I haven’t asked. But from what I gather his condition is serious but improving. Investigate

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