Lorraine’s Lowdown: Want to help deliver firewood? Your chance is coming soon | TheUnion.com
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Lorraine’s Lowdown: Want to help deliver firewood? Your chance is coming soon

Trying to Enjoy a Safe Halloween takes on an entirely new complexity this year, doesn’t it…?

Happy 100th Birthday, Ruth Renfrow! Ruth will be honored with a drive-by birthday celebration tomorrow, Nov. 1, past her Coyote St. driveway, as she sits on a throne and wears a tiara (parade staging at the Rood Center at 1:30 p.m.). Ruth has lived locally for 75 years, but she has an international backstory. She grew up in the Philippines and married local surveyor-forester Clyde Renfrow, who was in the Philippines training miners. When Clyde and Ruth returned from their honeymoon, the Japanese invaded the Philippines and bombed Pearl Harbor. To avoid being placed in concentration camps, Ruth, her husband, and six other families ran from the enemy and fled to the Philippine jungles…

After 18 Months, the group was forced to surrender because Ruth was about to give birth. She delivered a 10-pound baby boy by Cesarean section with little more than a shot of whiskey and a sleeping pill. After being liberated in 1945, Clyde brought his family back to NevCity. The rest of Ruth’s story will be told in an upcoming Super Senior news feature in these pages, but until then, cheers to another 365 days around the sun for Ruth…!



In an Abundance of Caution, GeeVee officials have closed the slide at Minnie Park Playground near the entrance to Condon Park. No one has made an official complaint, but city officials heard there may have been at least one toddler injured on the slide. “It’s designed for children aged five through 12,” says City Manager Tim Kiser, “and that information is posted on the slide. To be safe, we have closed the slide until the manufacturer can inspect it and reconfirm that it is engineered and constructed correctly for the designated age group.” The playground has been open for approximately one year…

Another Lorraine’s Lowdown Uplift Award goes to Lexis LaRue, nominated by Lynn Dell. Lexis is the founding member, president, and driving force behind the volunteer group Nevada County Masks for COVID-19 that makes and distributes face masks (Facebook: Nevada County Masks for COVID-19 or call 2-1-1). “At the start of the pandemic, an ICU nurse posted on Facebook that she needed face masks for her night shift,” recalls Lexis. Since then, Lexis and her 1,200 volunteers have sewn and distributed more than 14,500 masks. “Our work is geared toward first responders, essential employees, marginalized groups such as farmworkers, and anyone who doesn’t have the financial means to purchase masks,” Lexis says. “Our masks are made by locals, for locals…”



Lexis and Her Team have received a boost from the Rotary Club of Nevada City, whose members help organize local mask drive-thru distribution events, raise funds, and spread the word. Lexis says Rotary members’ support is invaluable to her mission. “My motivation is to help connect all the people who are feeling isolated and alone and afraid, and bind us together with love,” says Lexis. “The connection and gifts given in love help the mask makers as well as those who receive them…”

Recipients of the Lorraine’s Lowdown Uplift Award receive a home-baked cheesecake in the flavor of their choosing, and yes, I can bake a sugar-free cheesecake when requested. Please send your nominations for the Lowdown Uplift Award to LorraineJewettWrites@gmail.com

It’s Only Spooky if you don’t like a sharp blade at your throat. Lather and Steel in NevCity celebrates its one-year anniversary 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. today with hot dogs and Halloween candy (http://www.LatherAndSteel.com). Owner Roger Dean boasts that his full-service barbershop is where customers “Leave your cares at the door, and your hairs on the floor…”

The Final of Three Firewood Distribution Days to 160 needy seniors occurs Sat. Nov. 7. It’s another of our community’s adorable traditions — this one 30 years and counting. The Senior Firewood Program of Gold Country Senior Services is one of the last of its kind in CA. Muscles, gloves, and trucks converge at 12503 Brunswick Road between 9 a.m. and noon to load up and deliver the good stuff that keeps seniors warm all winter. No need to sign up; just show up. Volunteers have spent the year bucking and splitting firewood; delivery is the final step. “It’s a rewarding experience,” says Senior Services Executive Director Janeth Marroletti, “and a great workout, too…”

Nevada County Habitat for Humanity has been awarded a $15,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Builds program, part of Wells Fargo Bank’s commitment to help build affordable housing across the nation. “We’re thrilled with this grant,” says H4H Executive Director Lorraine Larson. “We have a terrific relationship with Wells Fargo. We’re very grateful for their support.” That relationship is especially strong with the local Wells Fargo branch. “We love Habitat,” says Jami Stevens, branch manager and assistant vice president. “We really look forward to getting back on-site to help build homes for deserving local families…”

Awww, Shucks! Big Thanks to Gregory Shaffer, whom I mentioned in a recent column after he received a surprise “where-to-kayak” book placed on his windshield. When we met, I scrabbled through the junk on my car’s passenger floorboard looking for something on which to write about that random act of kindness, but I found only paper scraps, sales receipts and old campaign mailers. Gregory gave me piece of paper on which to scrawl, and later mailed to me pristine, journalism-worthy note pads…

“To Succeed in Life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone, and a funny bone.” – Singer, songwriter and actress Reba McEntire…

Please share your success stories at LorraineJewettWrites@gmail.com.


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