Dave Brooksher

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June 20, 2014
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Clint Walker, western star, headlines Grass Valley's 2nd annual Gold Rush Days

Longtime movie star and Grass Valley resident Clint Walker will be meeting and greeting fans at this weekend’s Gold Rush Days — but he doesn’t pose for pictures.

“That never works out,” Walker said.

“You get a line of people that want pictures and next thing you know there are dozens of people out there with their cameras out,” he said. “And invariably the batteries went bad or they only had two pictures left on the roll.”

Walker’s last movie credit was a voice-over role in the children’s action film “Small Soldiers,” but he’d do another movie if something good came his way.

It would have to be decent, though. Walker said he won’t do the garbage.

“I’ve turned down a lot of pictures because I don’t see the necessity for some of the language that they use,” Walker said. “I can handle a ‘hell’ or a ‘damn it’ or even an ‘S.O.B.’ if someone deserves it — but the rest of it I can do without. I don’t see the necessity for it and it sets a bad example for our young people.”

This year’s Gold Rush Days in downtown Grass Valley features a celebrity roundup at 151 Union Square, including Johnny Crawford from “The Riflemen” and Peter Sherayko from HBO’s “Deadwood” and the 2013 Hulu series “Quick Draw.” The Book Seller, at 107 Mill Street, will host a gathering of Western writers featuring Chris Enss, Sherry Monahan and Bill Markley.

Children in attendance will be able to pan for gold and jewels, and organizers have arranged for an assay office where young miners can exchange their gold for coins that can be spent on prizes at a General Store operated by the Grass Valley Downtown Association.

The event also feature re-enactments, exhibits and costumed vendors as part of the planned festivities.

The Union’s own Brian Hamilton, managing editor, will be participating in a “waiter’s race,” which entails opening a bottle of wine and filling two glasses, among other activities.

“I’m expecting broken glass,” Hamilton said Thursday night.

Mayor Dan Miller will be watching from the sidelines.

“They wouldn’t invite me to be in the race,” Miller said. “My feelings are hurt. But I’ve done it three times before, when the race was longer.”

“They have to open up the wine bottle, pour two glasses of wine, then with the wine glasses and a bottle on a tray they race to see who does it faster,” Miller said. “It’s a hoot.”

With limited on-street parking in the downtown area, Miller isn’t expecting a major boost to nearby retailers. But he hopes the exposure will benefit local businesses in the long run when people see what the downtown area has to offer and come back.

“We like to market downtown Grass Valley,” Miller said. “And this is a way to do it.”

Gold Rush Days takes place June 21 and 22, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday morning, however, things kick off early with Cowboy Church and a pancake breakfast to benefit Hospice of the Foothills.

To contact Staff Writer Dave Brooksher, email dbrooksher@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.

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The Union Updated Dec 25, 2014 07:51PM Published Jun 20, 2014 10:52AM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.