Lorraine’s Lowdown: A skunk of a story | TheUnion.com

Lorraine’s Lowdown: A skunk of a story

Lorraine Jewett
Special to The Union

The Penn Valley Fire District received from its auxiliary a $49,000 check, which represents the second half of 2019 proceeds from the auxiliary’s thrift shop. The check for the first half of last year was $55,000. That’s a thriving thrift store! “The thrift shop has funded our last five ambulances, and much of the equipment inside each one,” says Fire Chief Don Wagner. “That’s why we all encourage everyone to volunteer, donate, and shop at the fire district auxiliary’s thrift store…!”

Some of Us who forgot to spawn are delighted to give “extra special” gifts to our friends’ young sons and daughters. Among gifts guaranteed to drive parents crazy: a drum set, live ant farm, defective Rubix Cube, clothes with the size tags altered, a yappy dog, lifelike rubber cockroaches, megaphone complete with siren, and finger painting kit with indelible, permanent paint rather than washable paint, which is especially effective if the home is carpeted in white…

Retired GeeVee Police Chief John Foster has returned from a five-day excursion from San Diego to Everett, WA, aboard the USS Gridley, on which John and Eileen’s son Ryan is a Lt. Jr. in the U.S. Navy. So-called “Tiger Cruises” are a chance for service members to acquaint family and friends with their ship and shipboard duties. The guided-missile destroyer just finished its seven-month deployment in the U.S. 2nd, 4th and 6th Fleet Areas of Responsibility…

Honorary Crew members were treated to tours of the bridge, engine room, helicopter hangars, missile deck, and more. Guests also participated in drills and exercises alongside their sponsors. John’s favorite memory? Without hesitation, John replies, “The most fun was when they let me steer the ship…”

Bill Drown, recently diagnosed with cancer, is being wined, dined, and honored. At one party, Bill told a funny story about going duck hunting and encountering a skunk. The critter was not pleased. “He let loose a thick plume of stinky yellow fog that was impossible for me or my dog to escape!” Bill says. The intrepid hunter stripped down to his skivvies, tossed his smelly clothes in a trash bag, and drove off. Other hunters who glimpsed Bill in his state of virtual undress allegedly called law enforcement authorities so Bill would be pulled over, but wily Bill took the back roads and made it home without further embarrassment…

Alas, the Interior of Bill’s truck was permeated with eau de skunk. Bill’s patient wife Susan says both truck seats had to be removed to be thoroughly cleaned and deodorized. “If only he had put the trash bag full of clothes — and the dog — in the back bed of the truck…”

Alex Szabo, jovial wine wizard and owner of Szabo Vineyards, encountered a young couple scribbling graffiti on a wall near the downtown NevCity Szabo Tasting Room. When confronted by Alex, the man said, “There was chalk laying right here on the ground, so of course we used it.” Alex countered in his most-condescending “how much of an idiot are you” tone, “If there were a gun laying there, would you feel compelled to use that, too…?”

Joining Forces. Habitat for Humanity of NevCo is hosting a luncheon for 50 members of the local faith-based community next month, seeking to build and expand partnerships. “We all share the same interest of ensuring our working-class families can continue to live here,” says Jim Phelps, Habitat’s Fund Development Manager. “There are likely people sitting in the pews each Sunday who struggle with housing affordability…”

Habitat’s Heritage Oaks neighborhood in GeeVee was finished in December when the last family to buy a home with their sweat equity took the keys to House #16. Ground-breaking for the adjacent 14-house Heritage Oaks II neighborhood is scheduled in 2021. Over the past 25 years, Habitat has built 37 houses which are now home to 54 adults and 113 children…

In Honor of Vocational Service Month, the 49er Rotary Breakfast Club of Nevada City recognized its members from the education field. For their efforts to make NevCo schools some of the best in the country, thanks and kudos to Scott Lay, Louise Johnson, Brett McFadden, Larry Meek, Steve Belch, Holly Hermansen, Stephanie Ortiz, and Marty “I’m Just a Volunteer” Lombardi…

Business Help from Business Friends is what Nevada County Business Builders is all about. The local chapter of Business Network International has 32 members who meet weekly to discuss business and support each other’s companies by sharing referrals. Business deals closed by members of the group last year via inside and outside referrals was about $1.8 million. Like-minded folks are invited to a free mixer from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Feb. 26 at 151 Mill St. in GeeVee…

During the Great Depression, someone pointed out to baseball great Babe Ruth that his $80,000 salary was more than President Herbert Hoover’s $75,000 salary. “I know,” Babe replied, “but I had a better year…”

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