Lorraine’s Lowdown: Circus takes center stage at Center for the Arts gala | TheUnion.com

Lorraine’s Lowdown: Circus takes center stage at Center for the Arts gala

Lorraine Jewett
Special to The Union

The Willo celebrated its 50th anniversary Sunday with a festive party, music and dancing, and $1 glasses of beer with beef or pulled pork sliders. “The price is a tribute to 1969 prices,” explained co-owner Mike Byrne, while guests raved about the bacon butter slathered on burger sliders skillfully served by co-owner Nancy Wilson. Also on hand for the festivities was Ken Heibert, who owned the Willo from 1977 until 2002, when Mike and Nancy purchased the roadhouse that’s become a beloved NevCo institution… 

Mike and Nancy were presented with a framed news article about the steakhouse that was printed earlier this year in The Union. Steve and Janis Woolsey brainstormed the gift, Ken Holbrook welded the frame, and of course Cheryl Rellstab gifted one of her signature home-made pies. A final note: getting prepared for the next 50 years, Mike says the Willo will close for 10 days beginning Wednesday while the kitchen is revamped…

More Than 250 music and arts lovers enjoyed a fabulous dinner catered by Antonio and a lively auction, then danced the night away at the Center for the Arts gala. This year’s event was dubbed Cirque au Center, and many guests walked the red carpet in festive circus-themed attire. Center Executive Director Amber Jo Manuel was the ring master (and dressed the part) and event hostess GeeVee Mayor Lisa Swarthout welcomed party-goers. A post party at the Watershed at the Owl capped off the evening, which raised more than $135,000 for the Center’s ongoing renovation project….

Happy 7th Birthday to Maggie Poston! The talented first grader helped design and decorate for Halloween the Poston family home on Main Street (next to Maria’s restaurant). It is a spooky place! The front yard is filled with skeletons, goblins, giant spiders, rats, gravestones, witches and too many other Halloween decorations to list. Mom Elizabeth is the owner of Living Outdoors Landscapes, and Maggie has obviously inherited her mother’s talents as a landscape designer…

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Tom O’Toole is known for his work as Veep on the NevCo Law Enforcement and Fire Protection Council, support of many other nonprofits, and really corny jokes – most about his 5-foot-2-inch stature, which belies his enormous heart. Tom’s biggest claim to fame is revealed by a web search with the words “Tom O’Toole Willie Mays.” In 1959, when Tom was a wee 12-year-old lad, he became the luckiest kid in San Francisco. Tom and a buddy were at a Giants game and concocted the brash idea to ask Willie Mays for a ride home in the baseball star’s pink Thunderbird. Tom’s recollection of that incomparable ride home is a fun read…

Alex Palm, Partner and Business Development Veep for NevCity-based Electrical Design Technology, returned from a long weekend at a friend’s wedding in Las Vegas. An exhausted Alex diagnosed his own injury: “I think I sprained my liver…”

At the End of This Month, the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad and Transportation Museum will offer tours only on weekends until next May (http://www.NCNGRRMuseum.org). But museum director John Christensen says he and his docents will be busy over the winter working on a new rail exhibit and informational kiosk at Railroad Avenue and Sacramento Street in NevCity. That intersection was the site of the railroad depot hosting trains running between NevCity and Colfax via GeeVee from 1876 until World War II…

The Local Chapter of E. Clampus Vitus will reconstruct the monument the group dedicated there May 4, 1968. The museum is funding the kiosk, additional track, signs, and landscaping at what’s affectionately called “Clamper’s Square.” John tells me, “This project is going to put us on the world’s railroad map…”

It’s an Eclectic Mix of new members of the NevCity Chamber that includes Patrice Smith and RidgeVoice-Narration Voice Over Services, LV Criminal Defense, Pampered Chef Consultant Lindsay Heidelberger and Little Luna’s Kitchen, Great Vices Cleaning, and Holy Wisdom Orthodox Church…

Kudos to BackPorch Market, the Mom & Pop specialty food shop in GeeVee, whose owners scrambled to secure a generator so they could remain open and provide food to downtown locals during the PG&E blackout. The shop just received its liquor license and will start hosting monthly wine and cheese/appetizer tastings (http://www.BackPorchMarket.com). Owner Erik James says, “We will once again offer our a la carte Thanksgiving dinner this year and announce the menu at the end of the month, with all items sold individually by the pound…”

He Would Have Known. Physicist, inventor and all-around smart guy Albert Einstein (1879-1955) called it as he saw it: “Creativity is intelligence having fun…”

Have fun and share your bits of tid at LorraineJewettWrites@gmail.com.

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