Lorraine’s Lowdown: Irish dreams and trips south of the border | TheUnion.com

Lorraine’s Lowdown: Irish dreams and trips south of the border

While in Mexico, Nevada County Third District Supervisor Dan Miller (left) crashed a wedding at which many NFL players were guests, including Tennessee Titan tight end Delanie Walker.
Submitted photo

On St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish! Hope to see you around town, or at the Fourth Annual St. Patrick’s Day Party at Grass Valley’s Elks Lodge Sunday evening. Did anyone else buy at Walgreens the cute plastic green glasses with battery-powered flashing lights …?

And the Nominees Are some outstanding businesses and individuals in the Second Annual Community Awards Ceremony. Western Nevada County’s five Rotary Clubs gathered more than 25 nominations and then whittled those down to nine finalists. Vying for Citizen of the Year are Bart Riebe, Jennifer Singer and Mike Bratton. Business of the Year nominees are Byers Enterprises, Dental Wellness Center and Volz Brothers Automotive. The Volunteer of the Year will be chosen among Cathy Wilcox-Barnes, John Renwick and Dr. Sarah Woerner. Winners will be announced at a dinner celebration March 20. Tix at GVSRotary.org …

A Half-century of Grilling. In 1969, the Willo Steakhouse opened its doors at its current spot just outside of Nevada City. The Willo’s current owners, 71-year-old Mike Byrne and 54-year-old Nancy Wilson, are planning a 50th anniversary celebration this summer. The couple have owned the steakhouse since 2002, and still do it all — from cutting steaks and serving customers to maintaining the grounds. The Willo has served four generations of families who enjoy the restaurant’s great steaks and more. Says Nancy, “The thing Mike and I love is that it’s a throwback in time, an authentic California roadhouse that has maintained its legacy …”

The First Business at the Willo’s location was a beer bar in 1947, housed in an old Navy surplus World War II Quonset hut that was a favorite watering hole for lumberjacks and miners. (The frame of that same Quonset hut is still visible inside the Willo’s bar today.) Among many add-ons over the years, in 1963 the place was expanded to include a grill pit. In those simpler times, the “Gold Miner’s Special” was a grilled burger and cold beer for 60 cents …

Some Globe-trotting Nevada County friends discovered they would be vacationing in Mexico at the same time, so the three couples decided to rendezvous for dinner: Third District Supervisor Dan Miller and his wife Roxanne (of Future Generations baby store fame), Gary and Christina Smith who are enjoying retirement after operating Smith Vineyards and Winery, and Carl and Sue Van Son. Carl still owns and operates Van Son Construction, Inc., and Sue stepped down last year after a decade of giving her heart, soul and expertise to the Interfaith Food Ministry …

Wedding Crashers. Dan and Roxanne were enjoying breakfast one morning, struck up a conversation with a neighboring couple, and found themselves “invited to crash” a wedding that evening at which many of the guests were National Football League players. Dan had a 45-minute conversation with Delanie Walker, the former San Francisco 49er who now plays for the Tennessee Titans. It’s rumored that Dan, whose football expertise comes from announcing high school football games for KNCO, offered gridiron advice and then compared his hand size with Delanie. Dan’s hands were bigger, but Delanie retorted, “It’s not about the size of my hands. It’s all about my eyes.” Keeping an eye on the football is, of course, vital for a tight end …

It’s the Perfect Size. A “new” 2012 truck rolled out this month by Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore is big enough to carry donations yet small enough to get to residential houses for pickups. Grass Valley Sign applied the truck’s “wrap” based on artwork developed by Mike Austin. Austin is a ReStore supporter and bigwig in the advertising world who has done work for the likes of Apple and others. The truck is used to pick up donations from Roseville to Truckee-Tahoe, and the latter is where high-end furniture and building supplies come from people remodeling their mini-mansions. “But the majority of our donations come from residents’ homes in our area,” says ReStore General Manager Steve Sarantopoulos. “Their generosity to the ReStore allows Nevada County Habitat for Humanity to build affordable housing …”

New Members of the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce include Heartwood Eatery, offering affordable, healthy food with locally-sourced ingredients; and Help at Home, whose name says it all from errand running to pet sitting to gutter cleaning. Who among us couldn’t use a little help at home …?

Chris Crockett was featured in these pages after his whirlwind trip to Los Angeles to attend the 61st Annual Grammy Awards. The singer-songwriter has a lifetime membership in the Grammy Association and is entitled to purchase two tickets to the awards ceremony each year, one for him and one for a guest. Chris says he has a list of more than a dozen people who now want to be his “invited guest” in coming years. A photo of Chris in his tuxedo and bright red shoes appeared in the online edition of the Union, but the photo in the print edition did not show the shoes — he was cut off at the knees, quite literally. Chris says he immediately knows who reads the newspaper online because they always mention his red shoes. Incidentally, Chris says his Grammy guest list is now officially closed …

From World-renowned author and speaker Dale Carnegie (1888-1955): Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success…

Send your four-leaf clovers, lucky charms, and happy news to LorraineJewettWrites@gmail.com.

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