Readers’ corner |

Readers’ corner

Brains of Nevada County: This event doesn’t get much publicity, but I think it’s something that deserves mention. Started by the South Yuba River Citizens League five years ago, the event – dubbed The Brains of Nevada County – benefits the Laura Wilcox Scholarship Fund. (Laura Wilcox, for those of you new to town, was killed as a teenager while working for our Behavioral Health department in 2001. She was shot by a mentally disturbed client of the agency.)

Janet Cohen, who is the past executive director of SYRCL, brought the idea of a community quiz night from her native England, where they are quite popular in neighborhood pubs.

The 2006 event was Saturday night and drew 22 teams of eight members, each paying $35 for the opportunity to have a large part of the county realize that you are, actually, not very smart. (In my case, anyway.) The entry fees alone raised about $6,500 for the scholarship.

The teams were as unique as Nevada County! KVMR’s team was the “On Air Heads”; a team with Molly Fisk and Jeff Kane (among others) was “Please Repeat the Question”; and coming in just before the beginning was “Miss Muffet and the Spider-Men,” who made quite a splash in their authentic Spider-Man costumes, shooting silly string as they took their places.

“Miss Muffet and the Spider-Men” had more going for them than their costumes, however, as they won the entire competition with an astounding 140 total points.

Those winning team members were Julie Cobden, Realtor and Miss Muffet; Diane Robertson, former high school French teacher; Lowell Robertson, entrepreneur, philanthropist and part owner of (guess where the Spider-Men came from?); Barry Boniface, executive director of Music in the Mountains; Ed Martin, Nevada City planner; Eric Tomb, owner of Tombs and part owner of Booktown Books; Michael Cobden, son of Julie and law student; and Cam Keith, a friend of Michael’s and a writer.

“I’ve wanted to put this team together for awhile,” Julie said.

How would you do at the event? Here are a few sample questions:

• How many pulls of a cow’s udders would it take to get one gallon of milk?

• What is Grandma Moses’ first name?

• How much does a hammer (track and field) weigh?

• How tall – to the inch – is the Oscar statue?

• What year did the U.S. enter the United Nations?

Imagine coming up with the answers to questions like these! I didn’t even understand some of the questions!

In a very diabolical move, SYRCL sells beer, wine and dessert all night, and the evening contains plenty of laughing and joking along with many furrowed brows. Mine was one of them.


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

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