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Media Life: Auburn relic not just another brick in the wall

Auburn man’s tenacity leads to preservation of a heavy chunk of local history
By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Media Life columnist
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Reach Media Life’s Gus Thomson at (530) 852-0232 or gust@goldcountrymedia.com. You can catch Thomson tweeting at A_J_Media_Life or talking at 6 p.m. most Fridays on Dave Rosenthal’s KAHI 950 AM drive-time radio show. Thomson is also slated to appear on Capitol Public Radio’s “Insight” show , which airs at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

 

 

 

Far from the most ornate symbol of Auburn’s past, a big chunk of history has found a home at the entrance to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.

Tucked into a corner just beside the hinge on the gates into the Lincoln Way church is a block of concrete.

Auburn resident Jack Schroeder, whose tenacity led the block to be placed there recently, estimates its weight at close to 3,000 pounds.

Schroeder’s business is masonry and he provided the push to ensure the block was returned to Auburn from its resting place at a Union Pacific dump site in Antelope.

Schroeder lives on Edgewood Road and watched as rail workers added more height to a concrete wall at the road’s train overpass. Then one day, the block that had the year “1911” chiseled into it to mark the year the second railroad track was built through Auburn vanished.

Asking workers some questions at the site, Schroeder learned the block was destined  eventually for a landfill. He started making phone calls after a site visit confirmed that it was still located in an Antelope rail yard.

Schroeder was told he couldn’t have it but found support at the city of Auburn from Public Works Director Bernie Schroeder. Not only was Schroeder able to convince Union Pacific to part with the block but she also identified a fitting site for placement.

St. Joseph’s – which sits across the street from City Hall – was built in 1911. The only date denoting its construction, however, is tucked away on a side wall. The church provided the go ahead and the newly spruced up chunk of history is resting in a place of honor and high visibility.

For Schroeder, it’s a happy ending to a story that could have ended with another artifact being buried forever.

 

River of many returns

The adventure continues for Placer High School Class of 1999 grad Aaron Chervenak as he treks 5,500 miles over 13 months from the northernmost point of Brazil to its southern end.

A teaser video for an eventual documentary is now up on the Brazil9000.com site and gives a compelling snapshot of just how epic the person-powered voyage has been so far.

Chervenak – a videographer based out of Southern California – is teamed with England’s Gareth Jones on a journey that started in September and has already taken them about 1,700 miles. Much of it has been along jungle rivers leading to the Amazon. They’re paddling in a kayak and finding shelter has been hit or miss as they make their way south.

The 8-minutes-plus video shows Chervenak and Jones at one point being stopped by local authorities as guns are pointed at their heads and confusion reigns over what they are doing. When everything is sorted out, the local authorities – assured they don’t have desperado drug smugglers in their sights – ease up on their trigger fingers and pose for photos with the two intrepid travelers.

Another time, a floatplane landed on the river and a passenger stepped out to provide the two with cold Cokes. Then it flew away. A surreal moment.

Along the way, Chervenak reports that people have been generous with their time and their thoughts – sharing their world while curious about the world of their visitors.

 

Reality comes to Placer

Placer County will have yet another reality TV moment tonight (Friday, March 8) when the CBS series “Undercover Boss” visits Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.

Andy Wirth, president and CEO of the resort, goes “undercover” on the program to perform jobs such as ski patrol, snowboard school instructor and terrain park employee.

From Wirth’s pre-show comments, it looks as if he had a wonderful time – and no one was fired. Some drama will come from his experience posting warning signs on an unsafe cliff.

“I saw this as a great opportunity to work with our team, side-by-side on a very real level,” Wirth said. “I came away from the experience incredibly proud of our hard-working employees and honored to be part of this extraordinary team.”

“Undercover Boss” is slated to start at 7 p.m., according to the CBS 13 website. 

 

Reach Media Life’s Gus Thomson at (530) 852-0232 or gust@goldcountrymedia.com. You can catch Thomson tweeting at A_J_Media_Life or talking at 6 p.m. most Fridays on Dave Rosenthal’s KAHI 950 AM drive-time radio show. Thomson is also slated to appear on Capitol Public Radio’s “Insight” show , which airs at 10 a.m. Tuesday.