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Media Life: Author avoids “normal” Foresthill in new book

By: Gus Thomson/Media Life
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A face familiar in Placer County’s courtrooms for two decades has parlayed all that experience into a book that is already creating waves in, of all places, Foresthill. Undoubtedly, author David Brooks noted, it starts with the title – “Foresthill: A Public Defender’s Bedtime Reader.” Brooks who recently moved over to the El Dorado County Public Defender after 20 years with that office’s Placer County counterpart, said that Foresthill just fell into a starring role in his collection of stories about people he’s met as he’s gone about his job. Walking the fine line of client confidentiality, Brooks hasn’t included anything that wouldn’t have taken place in the courtroom or appeared in print publicly. He has also changed names and fictionalized descriptions to protect the innocent – and the guilty. But many of the stories originate in the mountain community of Foresthill so why mess with a perfect setting. “I picked Foresthill because it’s a town that you would never see unless you intend to go there and because the mix of people who live there makes Foresthill unlike any place I have ever visited,” Brooks said. Field work in Foresthill Brooks took some time recently to check out his book’s setting of choice and found a mixed reaction to his decision to give the town the star treatment. Folks at the Red Dirt Saloon seemed to appreciate the stories and even thought they recognized a couple of locals, he said. Brooks left a copy at the bar for some between-shots perusals and maybe some reading out loud. The library wants a copy. But Brooks reports an icy reception at the chamber office. “Their attitude is that there are plenty of normal people in Foresthill,” Brooks said. Brooks agrees, but added that the normal ones just aren’t that interesting to write about. Bottom line for Brooks is that he likes Foresthill. “I’ve always marveled at the community and how so many dissimilar people have learned to reside together,” he said. The “Bedtime Reader” stories were collected from a series that Brooks, a Buell motorcycle enthusiast, prepared as “bedtime stories” for other Buell riders on the group’s blog. “My sons enjoyed them so I saved them,” Brooks said. Over time, the manuscript found its way from a friend, to the friend’s wife, to a book club and a new publisher in Folsom, Your Book Place. The book isn’t available in local stores but can be ordered at Yourbookplace.com. KAHI will call Amgen Amgen’s Auburn start will get the full-court press from Auburn’s KAHI radio this Tuesday. Station Manager Mike Remy tells Media Life that the 950 AM crew will be covering Amgen from 8 a.m. to about 11 a.m., providing live coverage of the Stage 3 start and much of the action all the way to Modesto. KAHI will also be providing a live remote broadcast from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday from the Vino Velo Benefit Gala at Winchester Country Club. Coverage includes the Stage 1 finish from Tahoe. Remy’s also on the air at 11 a.m. Saturday with a new golf show co-hosted by Jay Cooper, owner of show-sponsor Auburn Honda. They're with the band Chris Crites of Auburn’s Awesome 80s Boombox band (as well as Fox Trot Mary) wants to make sure Amgen Auburn start watchers near Central Square on Tuesday morning know exactly what his two groups are doing as they perform in the Big O/Elite Auto parking lot. “We are not the two bands hired to perform for the Amgen tour,” Crites said. Instead, it’s much more personal. With the Placer High band program facing some tough financial times, Awesome 80s Boombox and Fox Trot Mary will be playing at 11 a.m. to raise awareness about the Auburn school’s music program scarcity of funds. “With the Amgen event coming through town, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to raise awareness on a local level, while performing for our friends and neighbors,” Crites said. Mark Leftridge, the Boombox drummer, is the drumline teacher at Placer. And Nikki Brisson, Fox Trot Mary bass player, is a Placer High student. Crites, another Made in A-Town player, said music gave him an early focus that has helped him go on to make a career of it doing film scores. “It doesn’t get much more homegrown than this,” Crites said. As well as awareness, Crites said the 984 Lincoln Way performance Tuesday will also be raising funds for the Placer band. And there will be more. Plans are already under way for a multi-band fundraiser next year. Media Life’s Gus Thomson can be reached at gust@goldcountrymedia.com or (530) 852-0232.