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Obliging official

On the downhill side of a June afternoon, in search of Nevada City cuisine, we glided into a convenient parking spot on the cheek of Calanan Park, just below Broad Street Furnishings. Our visiting friends, Carol and Neil and their two grandsons from Southern California, parked just behind us.

The meter for our car accepted the quarters it was fed, but Carol and Neil’s meter was jammed and inoperable. We were debating on where to move their car to avoid a ticket when a man who looked as if he had just emerged from the set of “It’s a Wonderful Life” offered his assistance.

He tried twisting the jammed meter handle, but was unsuccessful. He sat down on the adjacent wall and wrote on a three-by-five card. He handed us the card with the advice, “Put this on the windshield of the car. You won’t get a ticket.” The card stated the meter was broken and was signed by George Foster, a Nevada City official.



As we continued up Broad Street, the grandsons repeatedly reminded us that they wanted to go look for gold. The adults realized that Nevada County has something much more valuable.

Chris Johnsen




Nevada City


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