South Fork Vodka has been nominated for a second year to compete in USA Today’s Best Craft Vodka Distillery contest. Last year the Grass Valley distillery, owned and operated by Jon Dorfman, left, and Dan Kennerson, placed third in the national competition.
Olen Hampton drove his 1944 Dodge Power Wagon while raising his family in the Lassen area. Hampton’s grandson, Gary Apple, built a Power Wagon from the new chassis of a 2018 4WD truck as a tribute to his grandfather and that classic wagon.
A new mural is planned for downtown Grass Valley that depicts Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan tribal member Jennifer Plunkett singing out to baskets beneath the sacred Black Oak tree. It will be painted on the back of the Tri Counties Bank building.
Nevada County Poet Laureate Kirsten Casey read her poem “The First Day of the County Fair” during the fair’s opening ceremonies. The poem considered the pain and loneliness of the pandemic, and the joy of the community gathering together again for the fair.
When Kelly Dokimos, co-owner of Dokimos Pharmacies in Grass Valley and Nevada City, arrived at her surprise birthday party, she was greeted by photos of her smiling face emblazoned on personalized labels of champagne bottles.
During An Unsuccessful Morning of Fishing, my friend Kris said, “If my brother were here, he’d tell me what I’m doing wrong.” I asked if his brother were a fishing guide or expert angler. Kris replied, “No, he just likes to tell me what I’m doing wrong…”
Kathy Slouber, a track star who works out with the Sierra Gold Master Track Team, just returned from Senior Games in Alaska and Oregon. In Fairbanks, Kathy won gold medals in the javelin and discus in her 70-74 age group. She also set a discus record of 16.65 meters – the previous record at those games was 15 meters. In Corvallis, Kathy won gold medals in hammer and discus. Kathy works out three to four days every week. “You’re never too old to get started and compete in sports,” says Kathy, who will be 71 next month and says the key to success is good technique. She has been competing as an adult for about six years, but adds, “I competed in high school in some track events, so I still have muscle memory in discus and javelin…”
South Fork Vodka Goes for the Gold this year. It’s been nominated again in USA Today’s Best Craft Vodka Distillery contest. Last year it placed third in the national competition. Lovers of South Fork Vodka, which is produced right here in GeeVee, can vote at www.SatelliteSpirits.com/vote through Sept. 14 and propel the local vodka distillery to victory. “We want to win it this year,” says co-owner Dan Kennerson. “Winning a contest like this can get us attention and help us expand our distribution, which will be key to us growing the Grass Valley community. At stake is not just bragging rights, but A LOT of bragging rights…”
Gary Apple Is a Metal Fabricator who turns ordinary vehicles into masterpieces on wheels. At the “Community Shines” car show last week, Gary presented 2018 and 2020 Power Wagons that he completely rebuilt from new chassis of 4WD trucks. The 2018 Power Wagon is a tribute to his grandfather, Olen Hampton, who drove a similar wagon — a classic 1944 Dodge Power Wagon (see photo) — when Gary was growing up in the Lassen area. “I spend about 10 months on each vehicle and do one each year,” says Gary. “My wife, Gloria, helps a lot.” Gary’s 2018 Power Wagon will be offered for sale with a $85,000 price tag, and the 2020 Power Wagon costs $125,000 because it has been built into a camper van…
The “Grass Valley Graffiti Community Shines” is a series of competitions featuring different types of vehicles, from motorcycles to pre-1958 foreign or domestic vehicles. The contest are hosted every other Wednesday at the Big A Drive-in (www.CommunityShines.com). Entry fees and sponsorship monies are donated to the Food Bank of Nevada County. With two Wednesday competitions remaining — Sept. 1 will feature Next Gen Hot Rodders of today, judged by the Grass Valley Police Department — the events have already generated $5,600 for the Food Bank…
Another Mural Is Planned for downtown GeeVee, this one on the rear wall of the Tri Counties Bank building. The image will depict Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan tribal member Jennifer Plunkett singing out to baskets beneath the sacred Black Oak tree. Her song takes on the ghostly shape of a basket pattern used by Nisenan ancestors, while the flicker feather regalia comes from the earth and entwines itself around her. The artist is Nikila Badua, a cultural community artist living on Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan lands. Haven Caravelli, who has spearheaded other murals and presented this concept to city officials, says, “We hope work on the mural will be finished in October…”
It Was Already Emotional Enough at the NevCo Fair’s Opening Ceremonies. Then Nevada County Poet Laureate Kirsten Casey read the poignant poem she wrote to mark the occasion. Here’s an excerpt:
“These 90 acres were not designed
for the silence of the past two years.
Like a poem, this soil connects place
to emotion; every previous fair
since 1947 is part of today,
is essential to the memory of this land.
How many thousands of soles, and hooves,
and wheels has this dirt known?”
Kirsten, Nevada County’s poet laureate since May, says it took several weeks to write the piece. “I was asked to write an opening day poem, and started by focusing on the absence of last year’s fair,” she says. “I thought about our community, and the land itself, waiting for the fair’s return. I compare the fair to a poem because both offer remarkable sensory experiences. We all felt the pain of the last year, and it was so joyful to celebrate gathering again…”
It Was Warm During the Fair, but Treat Street has been a few degrees cooler thanks to shade sails funded by a Hansen Bros. Enterprises donation a few years ago…
Caleb’s Creamery in Penn Valley will get a facelift. Two sisters and their husbands bought the coffee and ice cream shop in May. “We have been learning the business these last few months and plan to do a remodel,” says Jenna Beauchamp. “On August 22, we will close for two or three weeks. We will reopen in mid-September. We hope to change the look of the business and make it more welcoming, but we’ll continue to serve great coffee and ice cream.” The owners are locals and involved in the community. “My sister Becca (Mijares) and I grew up in Penn Valley,” Jenna adds. “We are both raising our families here, with eight children between us…”
When Kelly Dokimos Arrived at Her Surprise Birthday Party, she was greeted by herself. Photos of her smiling face were emblazoned on personalized labels of champagne bottles! The party was organized by Kelly’s lifelong friend, Tamra V. Lane, who created the invitations, cupcakes, signs, and champagne bottle labels. “Tamra brought tablecloths, candles, salads, and the meat to BBQ,” says Kelly. “She even made flower arrangements!” Chad and Kelly Dremmon supplied the beautiful backyard garden setting for the party. Kelly’s actual birthday falls on Aug. 30, at which time she and her husband David will be visiting the Dokimos family in Athens. Then the couple and a few friends sail away on a catamaran for an Aegean Sea adventure and more family visits…
“Don’t Be Afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937), American business magnate and philanthropist…