Meet two powerhouses who make town special
I’ve met people who would love to live in Washington, or a place like it. They’ve confided that they wouldn’t mind being a big fish in a little pond: “Why, I could show the residents of Slomotion how their town should really be run, make ’em into a bustling, up-to-date community!”
Sound familiar, Bigtowners?
On the other hand, we have several locals who very quietly spend a good amount of their time jist a ‘doin’ for their friends and neighbors. Sandy Bryant wants to introduce you to one of them.
“Donna Wilson and her family have been living here for about three years. Her kids are Melissa, 18; Corbett, 17; Eric, 14; Chris, 13; JT, 12; and Kayla, 11, and they’re all great kids.
“When the food bank comes into town each month, she’s always there to help pack the boxes and load them in cars. She helps collect the items for the annual fire department auction and then pitches in to get everything set up for that.
“John Watson came down with the flu, and she took care of him, cooked his meals; when Larry Graham was ill, she ran all his errands, fed him, did whatever he needed until he was back on his feet. When Russ and Ali got married recently, she planned the whole thing, got everything set up. She has carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands, manages on a very limited income – she’s a one-woman Salvation Army!
“I’m so glad that I opened my heart and met this family. Donna is a good example of helping your neighbor; just a wonderful inspiration to everyone. If something needs doing or a person needs help, she’s absolutely right there to do it and doesn’t stay around to get thanked, either. She doesn’t want any fanfare, but the whole community wants to thank her for all those good deeds that might seem small, but mean so very much to all of us.”
Cornia Lee Loving is another behind-the-scenes powerhouse. She cooked at Five Mile House for several years, owned it for a few more, ran the Washington Cafe for awhile, then decided it was time to retire her spatula.
“I love kids. I’ve always had ’em around me; I don’t know what they see in me, but I’ve always felt blessed that kids of all ages feel so comfortable around me. My son, Joseph, is 18; my daughter Julie is 20; and I have a 15-year-old foster daughter, Bree, the light of my life.
“There was an opening on the Twin Ridges School Board, and I was able to fill it. It’s important that Washington parents and their children have a voice in their education, their future.
“You have to understand, kids are my driving force; if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be who I am now, and everything I do is done with them in mind. It’s a privilege, an honor, to be able to work for them.”
“Work” doesn’t quite cover it. She’s a trustee on the school board, representative for the County School Board Association, a member of the governance councils for Nevada City Schools of the Arts and Bitney Springs Charter High School, and in her free time she’s secretary of our Washington Town Council.
She’s also learning how to write grants for Head Start and after-school programs at Washington School and is about to go back to school herself. She is totally dedicated to the welfare of every student in this town; whether they were born here or just moved in, doesn’t matter.
There are definitely advantages to living in Washington, and you just met two of them.
Vivian Herron is a longtime resident of the town of Washington whose column appears on Saturdays. You can write her in care of The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, 95945.
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