Lorraine’s Lowdown: A bear of a tale | TheUnion.com

Lorraine’s Lowdown: A bear of a tale

Ken Bigham got up close and personal with one of the many bears who share the bounty of his apple trees.
Submitted to The Union

Talented Musician Ken Bigham has a little Dr. Dolittle in him, or so we might believe based on a picture he photoshopped. Ken was picking apples and left running the field camera at his property off Cement Hill Road in NevCity. The next day, a bear came to harvest a few delicacies at that same apple tree, and the field camera snapped another picture. Says Ken’s wife Laura, “When we saw the two photos, it was so astonishing. Ken had been picking in the very same spot that the bear is looking at in its photo.” Luckily, Ken and the big bear have only exchanged photographs and not yet met in person…

Rick Kahil of Penntucky/Lake Wildwood is the go-to guy for fruitcakes. Using his great grandmother’s recipe, his family ran a mail order fruitcake business in New York and shipped literally tons of fruitcakes each year. Fruitcake is no longer a business, but it is still Rick’s passion. He bakes fruitcakes for family and friends, and at last count, Rick had made 172 this year…

The Newcomers Club of Nevada County is making Christmas bright for 50 families, including 117 children. The club’s Christmas Families Project has grown since its inception in 2002, when it served two families with four gift certificates. This year the group will lovingly distribute 60 gift certificates! The recipient families also enjoy “Ditty Bags” containing toiletries, plus hand-knit hats and scarves. Project co-chair Stacey Nicolai says, “Most of the funds are raised at our October live and silent auctions, with additional generous donations from our 280 members…

Team Effort. The California Highway Patrol Office in GeeVee received donated bicycles from the Anrak Corporation of South Sacramento and quickly made the holidays brighter for dozens of children. Says local CHP Commander George Steffenson, “Five bikes went to the Friendship Club via Grass Valley Police Chief Gammelgard, 10 went to NEO via Marty Lombardi, six were donated to Union Hill School, and a few went directly to families in need…”

KUDOS to CHP Public Information Officer Mike Steele, who took the lead and facilitated this project for the local CHP…  

Entrepreneur with the Heart of an angel, Gina Renay Meyer continues to grow her altruistic work. She has provided more than 5,000 free Owie BowWowie stuffed animal dogs to comfort hospitalized children over the past 25 years. To support that charity, Gina is launching the Tooth Furry stuffed animal fox (http://www.TheToothFurry.com). Foxes can be purchased on the website, and critters will be shipped in February. Parents tuck their child’s tooth in the fox’s hidden front pocket while kiddies await the night’s visit from the Tooth Fairy. “Families can sign up on the website and win prizes such as tooth brushes,” says Gina. “I also hope to place Tooth Furries in dental offices…”

My Witty Friend Hollie Grimaldi-Flores writes one of those “wear everything on your sleeve” personal columns every other Thursday in these pages. She had me in stitches with her column about aging and the toll of gravity when she wrote: “When I asked for a turkey neck during the recent holiday, it was for my gravy, not for my profile…!”

Dive In, the water’s fine. SCUBA diving is usually a very precise activity that requires PADI licensing to prove you can safely use a regulator, weights and diving mask, UNLESS you’re diving in the Third World. Intrepid travelers Liz and Terry McAteer, accomplished swimmers and snorkelers, decided to dive the Red Sea off the coast of Saudi Arabia and Jordan. After a five minute “lesson,” their dive leader took Liz and Terry 40 feet down to explore reefs, plus a C-130 airplane and tank the government purposely submerged there for divers to enjoy…

NevCo Sheriff’s Search & Rescue volunteers performed more than 22,300 hours of service responding to 56 calls in 2019. At the group’s holiday party, SAR team leaders were honored: Del Clement, Jerry Weidler, Scott Montgomery, Cathy Scott, Mike Laney, Craig Bachtell, Scott Beesley, David Ramey, Rich Cassens, Anna Morton, Ivan McGurk, Gary Smith, Tom Grundy, Rob Sheldon, Cliff Brown, Ken Taylor, Lindy Sexton and Terry Hobart…

Bruce and Lane Coury were named SAR Rookies of the Year. The dynamic duo also received the Above and Beyond Award for outstanding service helping to train new members and make functional the nonprofit’s new team management software…

Here is One of My Favorite sayings, and I’ve been repeating it so many years that I’ve convinced myself that I invented it. (Truth be told, I probably co-opted it from my father.) If something less than stellar occurs, I rationalize, “It’s better than a kick in the head by a strong mule…”

You have just a few days remaining to make a New Year’s Resolution to send your happy news to LorraineJewettWrites@gmail.com.

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