Trivia Bee tests team’s knowledge of the Wild, Wild West

Proceeds to fund scholarships for young women in community
By: Paul Cambra, Features Editor
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“The Wild, Wild West” Trivia Bee
6 p.m. Saturday, March 23
Where: Regional Park in north Auburn
Why: Proceeds benefit scholarships for young women in community
Entry fee: $225 per team (three people per team) includes dinner and a beverage
Info: (530) 559-6128,


Question No. 1: What is the name of the three lower “Artes Liberales,” otherwise known as grammar, logic and rhetoric? Give up?
The answer is “trivia,” and while that word has evolved to the point of trivializing its original meaning, the pursuit of useless – OK, inconsequential – knowledge has led to a wealth of opportunities to show off all of that arbitrary intelligence.
One such chance is taking place about a month from now and there is still room, to not only join up, but to study up as well. Unless you listen to Susan Rushton, who, as part of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), is sponsoring Auburn’s second annual Trivia Bee.
“It’s something that can’t be studied for,” Rushton said. “It’s the Wild, Wild West, in all its generations. Not just Placer County, not just the 1800s, not just west of the Mississippi. It could be any book or movie with ‘West’ in it.”
Each team consists of three people. The winning team takes home the “perpetual trophy” and, more importantly, has bragging rights for the year. Since a lot of participants are first-timers, expectations run from curious to cautionary.
“People get a little leery of being put on the spot, until you explain to them that isn’t the way it works,” said Kahl Muscott, who helped recruit two teams, one for the ARD and one for the Auburn Rotary Club.
Bart O’ Brien signed up to represent the “Auburn Rotary Ramblers.” He said his former life as a Colfax High School California history teacher might come in handy, but that’s not the reason he’s taking part.
“It’s more about our dense willingness to continue to say yes,” he said. “But I love California and its history, so I hope in all the traveling I’ve done I’ve picked up a few things. And I hope they stuck.”
Earlene Eisley-Freeman, of “The Miss Beehavens,” said her girls just want to have fun.
“If the answers could be judged on creativity, we would win,” she said. “If it’s factual, well, we’ll probably go out in the first round.”
Having fun seems to be the main focus of all those involved. That, and the fact that the entry fee is going to a good cause. The AAUW will put the proceeds toward scholarships for young women in the community.
Auburn City Clerk Stephanie Snyder is teaming up with her husband – former Auburn mayor Bob Snyder – and Deputy City Clerk Amy Lind. They are calling themselves “Two Clerks and a Soda Jerk.”
And how does a team with that résumé prepare?
“That is our secret,” she said. “I don’t want to give the competition any edge. We are in it to win it.”
Auburn, consider the gauntlet thrown.