A big, happy family; a funeral for a leg | TheUnion.com

A big, happy family; a funeral for a leg

One of The Union’s rules is that I can’t write a letter to the editor expressing my opinion about anything, but I can do it in a column. I don’t do that often, but this is one of those times.

The paper wrote an editorial on Aug. 3 about how “readers might get the impression that the town of Washington … is a bucolic village filled with colorful, wisecracking friends.” It is. We are the small town that Nevada City and Grass Valley used to be, and that is fast disappearing.

The people in Littletown constitute a large family – dysfunctional as hell, but a family nevertheless. Friendships bloom, feuds develop and blow over, people fall in love (Corina and Jeff got married at Fort Bragg a couple of weeks ago; now there’s a homegrown romance!). Some residents move on and are missed or not; others pass on, and that can be a real blow to us. I don’t say much about them because the loss is sometimes too painful and sad.

There are men and women living here who are smarter than a treeful of owls; there are men and women living here who aren’t the sharpest tools in our community workshop. Sometimes both descriptions fit one and the same person, but they are still very much part of our family, no matter what … sorta sounds like your own family, huh?

The glue that keeps us tight-knit is a common appreciation of the river that flows through our town, the forest that surrounds us, and the welfare of Washington and its residents.

Oops. I got to ranting and raving. I’m sorry. The editorial continued on about the fire department issues we’ve been wrasslin’ with for quite awhile. Be assured, dear readers, the problem will resolve itself in time. Just keep checking The Union for upcoming details in the coming months … it’s all gonna work out eventually. Despite the yellin’ and cussin’, everybody’s got one set goal – to keep our community safe and flourishing.

Last week, I mentioned that Larry Graham lost part of his leg when his motorcycle had an argument with an SUV (SUV: Somebody’s Under the Vehicle). Larry was recuperating very well in the hospital, but notices popped up on the bulletin boards around town that a funeral would indeed be held, for his lost leg, on the first Saturday after he got home.

I spoke to Ali, who said yes, there was a potluck, although many attendees forgot what to bring so there was lots of potato salad and crackers. She said about 25 people showed up and Tie-Dye Bob said no, closer to 40, but they are all good friends of the Grahams and gathered to wish him well and his leg Godspeed.

Guests were encouraged to offer eulogies for Mr. Leg, which was ceremoniously carried outside for burial. No, don’t gasp, it was a big cow bone!

Potlucks have been few and far between lately, but when we do have ’em, they are whiz-bang. Ali said everyone had a great time, especially Larry, who really enjoyed himself and doesn’t know yet that his nickname is probably going to change from Poppy to Gimpy, but I am not going to be the one who tells him that.

School has started and Mr. Pete, Miss Janet and Miss Kim are as gung-ho as ever. I want to tell you about the visit of Les Rouge Chapeaus (The Red Hats) for lunch at the Washington Hotel – what elegant women, zounds! I also got a very sweet letter from Marion Waldecker, way out in Banning, but it’ll all have to wait another week.


Vivian Herron is a longtime resident of the town of Washington whose column appears on Saturdays. You can write her in care of The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, 95945.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User


Alvin Blake: Strengthen our power grid


We must do more to strengthen our power grid against an electromagnetic pulse event. Such an event can result from an attack by terrorists or by another country (China may already have the capability) or…

See more