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July 4, 2013
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Wilson wins 27th annual 55er fishing derby/social

High winds and white caps kept 99 percent of the boats fishing Lake Davis on June 19 off the lake. Husband and wife Don and Nancy Wilson of Cedar Ridge played it safe and headed for shore where Nancy landed two nice rainbow trouts. One measured 19 ½ inches and held up for her to be crowned the champion of the Nevada Union class of 1955’s 27th annual Derby/Social.

Nancy used power bait to lure the winning catch which assured her of an individual trophy, the perpetual trophy, $50 in prize money and bragging rights for one year.

Lou LeDuc of Folsom and Wayne Brooks of Nevada City teamed up for the first time and used their athletic skills to claim the Bill Bruning Memorial Trophy for catching the most fish as a team (10). Their names will be the last to be engraved on the Bruning Memorial Trophy as names of classmates have filled up its space. The trophy will be retired and presented to Bill Burning’s widow, Nancy, at next years Derby/Social

June 20 was a better day for fishing with calm waters. Class fisherpersons used everything in their tackle box and could only rate the fishing a C-. Power bait and Dick Night’s seemed to be the most productive.

The fishing part of the derby is limited to 1 1/2 days of fishing and 19 total fish were landed.

The social activities began June 18 with a pizza party on the deck of Gumba’s Restaurant in Blairsden. Photo’s of class events were viewed by the group in the photo books maintained by Arlen Cartwright of Oroville.

On the evening of June 19, a pre-dinner cocktail hour was enjoyed at the Grizzly Grill in Blairsden. The annual Night Live Dinner attracted participants from all over Northern California, Nevada and Oregon. The excellent dinner was shared at the Bontaful Gardens Restaurant in Blairsden. A moment of silence was taken to honor the passing of Judy Pingree of Brookings Ore. Amos and Bev Seghezzi of Grass Valley won the registration award; Arlen and Ida Cartwright won the prize for the annual dinner question. Questions test the class’ knowledge of the senior yearbook. Fred Gerkensmeyer of Washington City, was presented a 20-year attendance plaque. A surprise pan fry (mini roast) was executed by Brooks and Arlen Cartwright on all in attendance. Twenty-seven attendees were baked, broiled and fried, and in some cases scorched, blistered and lambasted.

The group having known each other since elementary school days, some 70 years, provided ample ammunition for the occasion.

Man of the hour was Fred Gerkensmeyer who was given the full roast treatment by Dean Deniz of Grass Valley, Brooks and Cartwright. Fred was presented with a collage of photos at the conclusion of his roast.

Thursday, the Derby ended at noon and a brunch was enjoyed by the group at the Sierra Valley R.V. Park in Beckwourth. Ida Cartwright is commended for the years of planning and preparing this event.

Lou LeDuc was added to the Class Records Hall of Shame for catching the smallest fish, a 9 ½ inch trout and was awarded a colorful trophy. The annual Perseverance Award was presented to Anne Brooks of Nevada City. The award is given in memory of Elmer (Chief) Stevens, the classes’ senior civics teacher. The Skunk Award went to Dave Lollich of Modesto and his daughter Charlene Rocha of Turlock.

The 55ers next year’s event will take place at Lake Davis June 17, 18, and 19, 2014.


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The Union Updated Jul 4, 2013 11:27PM Published Jul 4, 2013 11:18PM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.