Posts Tagged With: San Andreas



What a treat at Christmas time to enjoy Mountain Melody Women’s Chorus  present traditional and contemporary songs for the holiday season.  I saw them Saturday evening in Murphys;  they sang in Valley Springs yesterday and will be at the Covenant Church in San Andreas Dec. 10th at 4 p.m. They will sing at the Vieuh Winery Dec. 11th, in Douglas Flat, at 2:30 p.m.  Above is the whole group under the direction of Julia Shelby.


Stage lighting is not very friendly and I went back stage to say hello to Marta Johnson and Carol Mertens.


I don’t know everyone but you may recognize a friend. The group started in Mountain Ranch. Their husbands serve as MC’s and they drive the van, so to speak. They are also accompanied by Marge Biagi-Castro on Piano and a very talented flutist whose name was not in the program.


At intermission, feet up, the ladies enjoy a bit of chatter about their performance, and rest their voices.



Getting  ready for the last half of the program involved some costuming for a special number.


At showtime, she looked like this. I believe she is Jennifer Robinson.



A second comedic number required a special costume, too. You can tell these women are having fun while they entertain us.


One of the nice things Julia does is give various singers a chance to solo for brief out-takes.


I should have asked everyone’s name. Darn.


To join the group, you must pass muster and Mary Howell (right) was publicly praised as their newest member who “survived” her first year. On stage she was presented with a bouquet of flowers.

The group accepts donations to cover the costs of travel, music royalties, and rehearsal space. What a treasure we have in the Motherlode.


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June 26th of this year, a group of co-workers from the Calaveras Enterprise got together for a reunion. I missed it.  I left the paper in 1988.  It’s hard to put my head around 22 years gone. Debbie Mullen brought pictures of the event to Turner park for an interlude of lunch and chat and then I really missed it as I viewed old friends and memories flowed.

Pam, talented, hard-working, brought her dog Curly. That doesn’t surprise me but what does is  how much has happened to each of us during the intervening years, children grown, job changes, lost friends, retirement for Pam. Debbie, a different  job and a different color hair.

Sue, like me, a widow has found a  life partner and moved on happily into the golden years; working as a secretary,  and denying she is a secretary. Underestimating her skills doesn’t surprises me. What does  is how comfortably we fit back together for an hour, and  the realization that  basic character never changes.  I found Debbie, Pam and Sue very much the same people I knew back then. When we worked together, we didn’t know we were forging friendships, or memories.  I so enjoyed our short hour and I want to do it again. I want  to say ” how ya’ been?”  to Jerry, Carol, Dick, Judy, Kay, Bertha and Craig and…a big hello to Pat Porath…

And, see Curly again too.

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We left Horst and Margot yesterday, but not before Horst regaled us with more tales of a most interesting life while living in Russia and the difficulty of mastering the language. He gave me a copy of his book in manuscript form and they loaded us down with oranges, tangerines, lemons and grapefruits from their yard.

He adores Margot and insisted on showing us a velvet shirt she had made him and his white sweater that she knitted for him thirty years ago.
Then we headed a short distance across town to a small 5 acre section of BLM land, next to the highway outside of Yuma, that is highly popular with RVers. Jim’s former singles group, the WINS park here every year for their communal Christmas and New Years. Some WINS belong to the Escapees singles group as well and when we pulled into this popular free camping place, there were about ten WINS and a couple Escapees among the hundred or more rigs camped here. They limit people to 14 days, as do national and state camp grounds. There are no hook-ups here.

We decided to walk the perimeter of the 5 acre plot (sans camera)  and then we stopped at the VFW which sits next to this spot for a couple of drinks. They have live music 5 nights per week, just one reason this place is so popular with RVers.  A lively band called Dakota was playing good swing, western, and polka music and the dance floor was loaded. They also serve dinner here and as it neared dinner time, the dancers lined up for dinner.

I talked to the couple sitting next to us and discovered she had a daughter that lives in San Andreas, 16 miles from my home in Murphys. Her significant other lived in Mountain Ranch for ten years before his wife died. He, a native of Bodett, Minnesota and she a native of Yuma.

Across from us, a couple, she from Embarrass, Minnesota and he from Alaska. I have two nephews who live in Alaska and have visited that marvelous state. It never ceases to amaze me when meeting people on the road, the connections you share.

We had a rockin’ good time and most likely will pass this way again some time.

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Calaveras County is unique in that it has but one city, Angels Camp. Even the County Seat at San Andreas is not a chartered city. Local communities here, Mountain Ranch, West Point, Murphys and so on, are run by “clubs.” The Murphys Community Club held their Christmas Party and Dance along with the installation of new officers last night. President Houston handed over the reins to incoming President Creagher and it was he who pointed out the notion of a club.
People think of club’s as a social, fun group rather than the hardworking institution formed 69 years ago to replace the governmental functions that an organized city would perform, he explained.
This group of fantastic volunteers fundraises to pay for lighting Main St. maintaining our park, providing recreation, building and maintaining restrooms, garbage removal, and most of the other functions of government.
So, it was that Supervisor Tom Tryon installed new officers and joined the festivities.
Outgoing President Houston handed out an award for service to Bob Reagan.
Friends met, mingled and celebrated before dinner.
There was a grinch or two about the place. But, despite all the work, the Community Club is still about FUN.
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