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First things first

Re The Union article of July 16, “What to take”: My parents, who lived in Rough and Ready, were “camping” in their motorhome the weekend the 1988 49er Fire started. My mom (a very proper and pleasantly plump lady) never wore pants in public. But on that trip in the High Sierra she wore trousers, as it seemed unlikely she would be seen by anyone she knew.

On their way home, as they drove over the Donner Summit, my folks saw the huge plumes of smoke rising from the raging fire. When they reached Grass Valley, they learned that Rough and Ready was at the center of the inferno, so they parked in the in-laws’ yard.

After making a few phone calls, Dad thought he might be allowed into the ranch to retrieve some valuables. What, he asked Mom, did she want him to bring out if he could? She named a single item. “Bring me my girdle,” she said. And he did.



Karen Wood

Rough and Ready


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