Lorraine’s Lowdown: All aboard for good times on the railbus! | TheUnion.com

Lorraine’s Lowdown: All aboard for good times on the railbus!

Lorraine Jewett
Lorraine’s Lowdown

It Thinks It Can, so Nevada County’s Narrow Gauge Railroad takes tourists and locals on its 35-minute railbus excursions several times each Saturday through October. Admission to the railroad museum and trips on the railbus are free, although before each departure the lovely and never-aging Madelyn Helling accepts donations. More than 65 volunteers keep the museum experience fascinating (NCNGRRMuseum.org) and two railbuses rolling (buses retrofitted with railroad wheels that fit the tracks). Reservations are encouraged…

Two Centuries Ago, between 1876 and 1942, NevCo’s Narrow Gauge Railroad hauled more than $200 million in gold, plus passengers, mining machinery, lumber and petroleum. The two railbuses in operation today were built in the 1970s, and restored and upgraded by the museum. Museum director John Christensen says, “We’re here to promote Nevada County’s history and its railroad heritage. We always welcome new volunteers…”

Taylor Day was only 14 when she was hired at KNCO to run the board, “mission control” of the radio station. One evening while working with Tom Fitzsimmons, the two listened to national news reporting controversy over Barack Obama’s visit to a Caterpillar tractor factory. “Why are people criticizing him for visiting a caterpillar plant?” she asked Tom. Tom tried to explain red vs. blue, then urged Taylor to ask her parents. “I’ll ask them, but I don’t understand who would be mad about anyone visiting a place where they make beautiful butterflies…”

That’s a True Story shared at Taylor’s going-away party when she left KNCO to become a Community Services Analyst at the City of GeeVee…

Not a Treasure Hunt. All that digging across from the fairgrounds is perc and mantle testing for a proposed RV park. Plans call for an upscale, fully-landscaped facility with 100 spaces and perhaps a swimming pool in the future. “It’s a nice project,” says Nevada County Supervisor Dan Miller. “I think it will really help the fairgrounds when its RV spaces are sold out during so many events. Plus, affluent RV travelers will spend money here and local businesses will benefit…”

A Friend Explained her plan for surviving a wildfire will be sheltering in place in a nearby lake. Hearing that, another friend warned that she might be scooped up in a firefighting helicopter’s water bucket. Friend #2 further insisted that actually happened to a scuba diver whose charred body was found atop burned trees in the aftermath of a wildfire. Tall tale? Yep. According to the fact-checking website Snopes, that myth has persisted since 1987. Sometimes the twist is a determined fisherman steadfastly clutching his fishing pole even in his extra-crispy state of repose…

Grass Valley Brewing Company — the town’s first brewery since Prohibition — sells java called “Caroline’s Coffee Cold Brew on Nitro.” It’s a cold brew coffee charged with nitrogen to give it a rich, creamy head. “It’s a popular non-alcoholic drink right now,” says Chad Wingo, co-owner of the brewery, and business development manager at The Union. “We have a nitro system and thought our customers would appreciate it. We use Caroline’s Coffee in some of our beer recipes so they were the obvious choice for us, and it allows us to support another local business…”

Caroline’s Coffee owner Trace Fike is all in. “It’s pretty cool and I wish we could serve their beer but we can’t, so we’re glad they’re serving our coffee,” says Trace. “As the summer heats up, our customers switch from hot drinks to cold drinks. You gotta love $7.50 cups of coffee…”

Be Ready to Participate during The Theater Company’s production of Godspell, because the actors sit with and roam about the audience. Guests must be on their toes and ready to engage in witty repartee as necessary. No wonder it’s called immersion theater. The musical is presented through July 28 (TheTheaterCompanyInc.com) at the intimate Esterly Hall at the NevCo Board of Realtors…

Happy Birthday to Emmalee Olstad, a Nevada Union High School sophomore who turns 15 today. She crushed it at the July 11 Sacramento River Cats baseball game when she sang the national anthem…

Known for His Signature Bow Tie, retired Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Terry McAteer is also famous for tooling around town on his spiffy wheels: a Honda 50 Scooter that he’s had since he earned his Ph.D. at UC San Francisco in 1982. Terry, a columnist for The Union and Sierra College guest professor, is proud to have put all 104,000 miles on that bad bike…

When You Eat corn on the cob, do you gnaw typewriter style or roller…?

Fancy-Schmancy Events are scheduled this fall, so please grab your markers and calendars. The “Silver Ball,” a fundraiser for the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation, is scheduled November 2. Hospice of the Foothills continues its 40th anniversary celebration Sept. 13 with an enchanted evening of dinner and dancing called “Moonlight Magic.” The date for the Center for the Arts fall fundraiser has been changed to October 11. “Cirque au Centre” promises big top entertainment and a “Ring Master” who will auction fabulousities such as a day with the Grass Valley Police Department SWAT team and a plane ride to and around Lake Tahoe…

Biz People – Agree or disagree? “A memorandum is written not to inform the reader but to protect the writer…”

Please send your memos, missives, and masterpieces to LorraineJewettWrites@gmail.com.


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