Wednesday July 31, 2013

Every week I think about things to write about and then when it gets to be Wednesday afternoon, my mind is overwhelmed with putting things up for publication and I am beat feet to just get this edition posted and can’t hit another key on the keyboard…. so this week I decided to start the lead in post early and say what I have to say before I’m too tired to write…. the only thing is I can’t think of anything that is clamoring to get out of my head…. let me see… Weiner… yeh, he should drop out. The  police Chief Kessler in Texas… is he really part of a police department….

Oh, so that was written yesterday and here it is 4 p.m. on Wednesday and I am only waiting to get the Fringe’s stuff…. why is he always last minute… hopefully it will be worth the wait… at any rate… I was right I am tired and not wanting to write just get this edition up… oh yeh… it was worth the wait the Fringe and Gabby Fringette both go fishing… both fun to read…

Downieville Classic Mountain Bike Race  welcome to Downieville and Sierra County.

Today I was thinking about various jobs I have had over my career and what eye openers they were for me… one in particular was working for a plastic pipe manufacturer in southern California. Mind you, this was back in the early 60’s and has to do with a company hiring a large supply of immigrants, most of them not legal residents. There wasn’t the big discussion in those days about hiring non-citizens although there were laws. The production and total workers varied on the work load, depending on how big a production order was. I worked in personnel and payroll. It took me awhile, as I was young and dumb, to figure out the logistics of finishing a huge job and a sudden sweep of the factory by INS picking up “illegal” immigrants just before the payroll was due. The workers were summarily deported on buses back to Mexico. Most never got back and their pay was never collected. I wonder if that still happens. If someone is working but gets deported or held by INS what happens to the wages. Those workers are having taxes etc. withheld from their payroll checks and yet they can never collect social security or benefits if they are not citizens. I just wonder.

So this week’s photo is a Summer Dog Day by Mary Davey

Wine in the Woods August 17

Please join us for wine tasting, hors d’oeuvres and an opportunity drawing at the annual Wine In The Woods event on Saturday, August 17, 2013 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Sierra City.  This year’s venues will be Sorracco’s Saloon, The Mountain Creek Restaurant and the Gallery in Sierra City.

Tickets are $25.00 per person and are available either through Mary Ervin, or at The Mountain Creek Restaurant, Sorracco’s Saloon, and the Sierra Country Store in Sierra City, and 49 Wines in Downieville.  In the past, we have had huge crowds and a lot of fun.  The event proceeds go to the Chamber and the Friends of the Sierra City Library.

If you would like to help with the event and/or donate an item for the opportunity drawing, please contact me either by telephone: (530) 862-1173 or by email:

Thank you for your kind consideration and hope to see you there!

Tickets available at the above and at 49 Wines in Downieville. The event is presented by the Sierra County Chamber of Commerce Sierra County Chamber or (530) 862-1560 for more information.

wine in the woods 2013 revised 3

Go Gaze at Stars August 8th


Annual Star Gazing Night

San Francisco State University’s Sierra Nevada Field Campus is offering free to the thpublic The 26th Annual Star Party, Thursday August 8, 2013 from dusk to the wee hours. Students of the Observational Astronomy class from the Field Campus will place their telescopes for your viewing pleasure atop Packer Saddle (above Packer Lake). See planets, galaxies, nebulae, star clusters, and stars of many colors.

To move around in the dark, please bring a flashlight but cover it with red tissue paper. Covered flashlights will allow your eyes to fully adapt to the dark. This will help you and those around you to see many more heavenly objects. Also please please dim your car lights as you approach Packer Saddle to protect the night vision of others.

Gabby Fringette 7/31/13


Wistful fishing

By a very frustrated Gabby Fringette

Fishing is a sport for patient, quiet, and generally not gabby people.  I have a not-gabby-like brother who is a better fisher that I.

Here is how I bait fish:

I put the bait on the hook and cast. I like casting. Then it gets caught in the rocks about four and a ½ seconds after casting because I fidget with the line.

Then I spend fifteen minutes trying to remember how to get the line unhooked, and eventually wind up in the water. Either from falling in, or jumping in to unhook my line.

Here is how Not-Gabby, my brother, bait fishes:

He puts the bait on the hook, and casts. Then he sits still long enough that I forget he’s there and I step on him while trying to go back for my towel.

Here is how I spin cast:

I forget to flip the bale, so it doesn’t cast. Then I flip the bale, but the hook gets caught on my clothes.  I unhook my self but in the process I tangle the line up on the reel, then I get frustrated and fall back in the water.

Here is how Not Gabby spin casts.

He remembers to flip the bale, and he casts.

Then he casts again and does not hook him self.

He does this time after time until he catches a fish.

Then I fall asleep watching him uneventfully fishing, and fall back in the water.

Now for fly-fishing. Here is how I fall in the water: I cast and get the fly stuck in a tree. Then I get the fly loose and I cast it out toward the other side of the bank and pull back.  This goes uneventfully for around a minute. Then I cast back too far, I over correct, then I lose my footing and I fall in the water.

This is how Not-Gabby fly fishes:

He does it well, gracefully arcing the fly forward and back, then I, cold, jealous and not thinking clearly, push him in.

At the end of the day, once I’ve been re-heated, I eat pasta and sauce, because I didn’t catch any fish.

The Fringe Fishin’ 7/31/13


The Fringe goes Fishin’fringe logo

The end of July is the perfect time to talk about fishing, and your Fringe Editor is exhausted from complaining about the government.  The other thing old farts do besides complaining about the government and making antiquated sexist remarks about women generations too young is to talk about fishing.  It’s high time I talked about fishing.

I’m not a fisherman like some fishermen out there.  I don’t really care for large fish, so lake fishing isn’t a big thing for me, and I don’t really want to fish from a boat, so large rivers don’t attract me.  I don’t believe in catching a fish you don’t intend to eat, so I won’t fish the famous waters of California, where eating fish is against the law.  I like a stream or small river.

I’ve fished northern Nevada and northern California rivers, from the Truckee to the Eel.  I’ve fished streams with no names I ever knew and from them fried ten inch Brookies caught on worms.  That’s what I like.

I had occasion to go to Idaho recently.  I saw the Snake in places I hadn’t seen it before, and saw lots of people fishing there but the waters were dark and swift in those reaches.

We camped in a campground known for its kid friendly stretches of river.  There were colorful tubes and rafts in the river from about 10:00 in the morning to 10:00 at night.  A thousand plants were dumped into the river just before we got there, and people were catching the plants, essentially starving since the river couldn’t support so many fish, on everything from a piece of a worm to factory bait made to taste like hatchery food.

I had a fly pole I used many years ago, but nearly forgot how to use.  I didn’t want to catch a plant, but I needed to fish so the kids could fish free.  As a result, I decided to fly fish, as I’m a really shitty fly fisherman, and only suicidal trout ever find their way to my line.

I frothed the water, dodging screaming kids on floaties, struggling to get the tiny tuft of deer hair and feathers into water a starving trout might like.

The few times I tried to fly fish re-affirmed why I preferred a spinner.  There were fly fishers catching fish around me, but the whole thing just seemed clumsy and pointless.

Then, one day, tired of the glee and splash of the river by the campground, I travelled up stream for a half mile or so.  I came to a stretch of river which was sparkling clear, and grass and willows filled a long, broad flat that worked its way up into the quaking aspen.  The sun was brilliant, and as I waded in to the water, the sound and constant movement of the light on the water, as well as the need to mind my footing, completely washed my mind of the thousand common problems which often plague it.  My eye scanned the river and picked out the eddies and riffles where trout like to hide, and I began to fly fish.  I was mesmerized by the floating line, the repeated motions of the rod seemed like Zen; the less I focused on my movements, the smoother they became.

I looked up at one point and saw tiny birds skimming the water, and the crystal river, brilliant green meadow, and perfectly blue sky were so spectacular I had to pause.  This feeling, this peace and solitude, is what brings fly fishers to Idaho rivers.

The moment was magic, but I’m still a shitty fly fisher, and in that stretch there weren’t more trout than the river could support, and the fish were much wilier.  I didn’t catch a mighty brown or naturalized rainbow.

Even so, now that I’m back in California, I think I’ll keep my fly rod handy.  We have beautiful rivers, too.

UPS Sean Retires 7/31/13


Our neighborly UPS driver Sean Lenz retired on Friday (without telling us in advance) and has determined he will only drive to Sierra County to fish and gold mine, his days of delivering packages are over. We’ll miss you…. his Mike going to be delivering up here now… we hope… have fun in retirement.

Sean Lenz and family. daughter-in-law Lisa, his son Mike the UPS driver, Sean, grandson Barrett, wife Julie, son Seth and daughter Hannah and her boyfriend Mike.

Sean Lenz and family.
daughter-in-law Lisa, his son Mike the UPS driver, Sean, grandson Barrett, wife Julie, son Seth and daughter Hannah and her boyfriend Mike.

The Mountain Messenger 7/31/13


On very rare occasions Don Russell, Editor of the Mountain Messenger, appears in public. Recently he attended the wedding of Brad Jackson and Tessa Jordan of Downieville who held their wedding in Reno. Many other friends and family attended the wedding and the reception which was held at a baseball game. Most everyone understood what was going on, whereas it appears Don isn’t sure why he is at a baseball game or how he got there, panicked he is looking around to see if he is really there. Milly the person who keeps him safe along with his better half, Irene, made sure he was okay and got him home safe.

Don panics wondering where he is.. and  photographer Ed Wharton captures the moment.

7/31/13 Don panics wondering where he is.. and photographer Ed Wharton captures the moment.

Send anything you need published to Milly at  Of course you may call directly to 530 289-3262 and talk to Don, (and suggest he give a raise to Milly) or the machine. Keep jobs in Sierra County read the Mess.

For a subscription: send in as below or call 530 289-3262 with credit card in hand.. Tell Don, you subscribed because you read about it on Sierra County Prospect…..

mess subcrip







The Cats 7/31/13

Do you enjoy The Cats? Have a cat? Want to make your cat famous? Send a picture with what your cat is thinking to (The cats will accept dog thoughts too).


7/31/13 What? You're going to let strange cats be in our column? And dogs? Have you lost your mind? Leave me out of it...

7/31/13 What? You’re going to let strange cats be in our column? And dogs? Have you lost your mind? Leave me out of it… Missy

Jerusha 7/31/13

Volume V #266

Dear Jerusha:

I can’t think of anything to write to you about;  but every week I think I will write next Jerushaboysweek and then next week comes and I don’t write. So I thought I would write to you anyway because my problem made me wonder if you ever have a problem thinking about something to write about.  You are a professional writer and I hear that there is such a thing as “writer’s block”.  Have you ever had any problem like that? I have a job and work full time so really don’t have any time to write, but if I did would that be a problem.

Sincerely, Will Pratt, Sattley

Dear Will:

How could I possibly ever have writer’s block if I am answering a letter that someone has written to me. Your question doesn’t even make sense. Writer’s block involves not being able to write because you can’t think of anything to write. Obviously that wouldn’t bother you as you are perfectly able to write even when you have nothing to say. I myself have never experienced writer’s block as I just write whatever I am thinking and usually I am thinking about something. Although at this very moment I will admit I am almost at a loss for thoughts. I have never liked thinking too much. In fact I had forgotten how much I hate to think and your letter reminded me. I don’t think I should thank you for that.

Sincerely, Jerusha

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