Readers’ Corner |

Readers’ Corner

Wednesday was a whirlwind of Nevada County Meltdown Challenge activity, starting with a 4 a.m. wake-up call for me to meet the “Today” show producers and camera folks for Carole Carson’s interview. We all met before the crack of dawn – around 5 a.m. – at Courtyard Suites. The upstairs hotel room was a jumble of wires, microphones, cameras, large lights and the incessant ringing of cell phones.

Carole was the picture of calm, even if she didn’t feel it. With her husband, Dick, and one of her sons, Mark, in the room – along with some friends – it felt a little like family.

While people in New York were calling Roxanne the producer every couple of minutes on her cell, others in the “Today” crew were arranging us Meltdowners on and behind the burgundy striped couch in the suite. We had been told to wear black, along with our yellow Meltdown buttons, so we would “look like a team.” Whatever.

The people who had been chosen by New York to speak were Carole (of course), Pastor Jerry Smith of United Methodist Church, Jeanie Moore of Charlie’s Angels and Ranee Lawson, a mom of three who works at Helga’s hair salon. They were “miked up” – which meant running a microphone under their shirts so it wouldn’t show. Those of us “nonspeaking people” were standing behind the couch – even Sirci Kiter, who was on crutches!

Finally, it was almost time for the live show to start. (At 6 a.m.) We were told to “shush” by Roxanne, and those on the couch could hear Katie Couric through their earpieces.

The next five or six minutes seemed like seconds. All of a sudden, it was over. We were all relieved to be moving around, and immediately the crews started rolling up the miles of snaking wires, packing up what seemed to be a mountain of equipment. They needed all of it, though. Their TV truck was an actual semi-truck with a satellite dish on top about the size of the Sierra College roundabout. It all seemed like New York itself, larger than life.

When all was said and done, the one emotion that overpowered everything else for me was pride. I was proud of Carole, proud of my fellow Meltdowners and especially proud of Nevada County. The fact that our little community is having its 15 minutes of fame over something so positive as health and fitness made me proud of us all.


Dixie Redfearn can be reached at 477-4238 or by email at, or by fax at 477-4292.

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