Month: July 2021

On The Shelf [7/15]

By Paul Guffin

David Laurence Wilson, left, enjoying his recent hiking trip at Yosemite.

Local Editor

People hereabouts may or may not know that we have a book editor in our midst: David Laurence Wilson. David now divides his time between the family home here in Downieville, the new family home in Portland, Oregon, and
various and sundry literary gatherings. Recently he dropped by the Downieville Library and shared about what he has been doing recently. His most recent effort is the seventh volume in the “Detective Pulps” series published by Ramble House, with stories by the author, Day Keene. Cullen Gallagher’s website, “Pulp Serenade” (www.pulp-serenade. com) had this review of the work:

“I’m ecstatic over the seventh and most recent volume in Ramble House’s series of Day Keene’s short stories
is The Kid I Killed Last Night and Other Stories: Day Keene in the Detective Pulps, Vol. #7 (2021). Expertly
compiled, edited, and introduced by David Laurence Wilson, this collection is one of the most interesting and
illuminating volumes released yet. Devoted to Keene’s earliest stories published under his real name Gunard Hjertstedt and later tales published under pen names (John Corbett and Donald King), The Kid I Killed Last Night sheds light on the more obscure areas of Keene’s pulp career. Fans of the author will delight in being able to access such rarities, and newcomers will hopefully appreciate the author’s wit and crackerjack plots. Early or late, real name or pen name, Keene was a master of the short story, and Ramble House and David Laurence Wilson deserve applause (and lots of orders) for keeping the author’s legacy alive.”

David also edited the fourth volume in the series in 2013, as well as Rapture Alley by Harry Whittington (under the
pen name “Whit Harrison), The Taste of Our Desire by Curt Colman, and Strictly for the Boys, also by Harry Whittington (among several other editorships). About editing Strictly for the Boys, Cullen Gallagher said:

“Editor and scholar David Laurence Wilson deserves special commendation for his tireless efforts to restore
Whittington’s reputation (and, in the case of Winter Girl, to restore the text itself). Wilson and Stark House publisher Greg Shepard give their books scholarly attention on par with the Library of America. Meticulously researched and lovingly edited, Stark House presents these forgotten paperback novels not as pulp curios, but as real literature, and set the bar high for other reprint series.”

The Downieville Library, unfortunately, does not have
any of David’s edited books on its shelves.

What’s New on the Shelf

We do, however, have some new-to-the-library books that
have come into the library in the past week:

101 Dalmatians, by Disney (easy reader)
The Emperor’s Children, by Claire Messud
The Phoenix and the Carpet, by E. Nesbit (juvenile)
Sing Down the Moon, by Scott O’Dell (juvenile)(1971
Newberry Honor book)
Monkeys, Go Home, by G.K. Wilkinson
The American Agent, by Jacqueline Winspear
The Consequences of Fear, by Jacqueline Winspear
Pickles Must Bounce and Other Wacky Laws (juvenile)
America’s Seashore Wonderlands, by National Geographic
Blue Horizons: Paradise Isles of the Pacific, by National
Geographic Society

Local Fish: The North Yuba Naturalist [7/15]

By Katie O’Hara Kelly

Rainbow Trout

The most common fish in the North Yuba River is the Coastal Rainbow Trout, which is native to California, but has been planted locally. The 61 mile long North Yuba River is planted in two locations by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, in April and June. There are also non-native German Brown Trout, that swim up to spawn from Bullard’s Bar Reservoir. Occasionally you might also find a non-native Brook Trout that has flowed out from a higher elevation lake, during a spring high water. Years ago there were also lots of Sucker Fish, but the River Otters have apparently eaten them all!

Fish start as eggs which hatch into larvae. The larvae are not able to feed themselves, and carry a yolk- sac in their bellies which provides their nutrition. At this stage they are called “alevins”. In about 2-3 weeks, the alevins will develop to the point where they can feed themselves (mainly zooplankton), and are called “fry”. When they develop scales and working fins they are called “fingerlings”. At about 2-3 years of age they will have grown to 18-20 inches in length and have become mature adults, ready to reproduce.

Trout larvae

Trout eat a variety of aquatic insects, that fly-fisherman are always trying to imitate. The underwater nymphs you are most likely to find easily in the river are Caddisflies, Helgrammites or Dobsonflies, Stoneflies, Mayflies, Dragonflies, and Damselflies. There are also tons of insects they prey on that inhabit, frequently visit, or accidentally land on the surface of the water such as, Water Striders, Whirligig Beetles, Water Boatmen, Midges, and Crickets. Trout will also eat fish, worms, and crustaceans.

Stonefly nymph

In turn, there are lots of natural predators that eat fish, including River Otters, Minks, Common Mergansers, Osprey,and Great Blue Herons. The river is a complex ecosystem in a delicate balance. Hopefully the river and the critters that depend on it for food and habitat, will keep flowing during this incredibly HOT summer. Pray for rain!

San Francisco Giants, Are They For Real?

By Jonas Shladovsky

Buster Posey, the Father time-defying, hot-hitting 37 year old catcher pivotal to the Giants’ success

This past March, an old, very good friend of this newspaper’s editor, Bruce Riordan, drove from Berkeley to Reno and made a slightly dicey bet: he put his money down on the San Francisco Giants winning more than 74 games this season, a slightly smaller proportion of wins than they had during last year’s shortened, 60 game schedule.

However, at the midseason All-Star Game, the Giants are flying high, with 57 wins and only 32 losses, a record telling us Bruce will be collecting his winnings soon. Having won 64 percent of their games, the best won/
loss ratio in Major League Baseball, the Giants now sit first in the National League West, outperforming the
astounding starpower of the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers with a squad of overachievers.

Foundational to the San Francisco ballclub’s success has been the return of three-time World Series winning catcher Buster Posey. Coming into the season, the impact Posey would have was unknown; the three-
time champ was approaching his 34th birthday and hadn’t swung a bat in over a year, having opted out of the 2020 season after he and his wife adopted newborn twins.

The time off didn’t spell an end to Posey’s prime. It revitalized his game, perhaps because it allowed him to
fully recover from his 2018 hip surgery. He’s enjoyed his first double-digit homer season since 2017, and at the
All-Star break, he’s 2nd in the MLB in on-base percentage, getting on base over 4.2 times per 10 at-bats. Posey’s mentality fits in perfectly with the Giants organization’s current transition into a Gabe Kapler
led, analytics-informed era, according to President of Baseball Operations for the Giants, Farzan Zaidi.

“He’s very open-minded, but he holds new concepts or thoughts on the acquisition of players to a high standard.
You want that. Things should be vetted. For someone who has accomplished a lot, he’s very forward-thinking,” said Zaidi in an ESPN interview.

Just as integral to the Giants as Posey’s revitalization has been the transformation of Kevin Gausman into an elite
starting pitcher. Gausman experienced spotty success during stints with the Baltimore Orioles, Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds, underutilizing the top-drawer fastball and splitter pitches in his arsenal.

San Francisco signed Gausman as a free agent in 2019 with one condition: they wanted him to throw his two best pitches 90 percent of the time, upping his splitter to 50 percent of his repertoir. Calling on his best moves, Gausman is one of the top three starters in baseball by several statistical measures. He’s limited opponents to .163 and .136 batting averages against his fastball and splitter, and has bored proponents of offense to death, only allowing 3 or more runs on two occassions.

Beyond Posey and Gausman, the offensive resurgence of veteran shortstop Brandon Crawford, the depenable pitching of Anthony DeScalfani, and the versatility of outfielder Mike Tauchman, cannot be underestimated in their roles in the Giants’ success.

When a team like this, built on overlooked, undervalued pieces, begins to lose momentum, one can only
assume a definitive return to Earth will occur during the second half of the season. However, a May 28 moment
might be an omen favoring the Giants ability to keep on rolling throughout the 2021 season. On a Friday night
at Dodger Stadium, Albert Pujols began jogging to first after hitting a game-winning home run that spelled the
Giants’ fifth loss in seven games, a worrisome streak of regression. But it wasn’t a game-winning dinger; it
was a monster, wall-climbing catch by Tauchman that kept a night that eventually led to a Giants victory going, that turned the tide for the Giants to take three straight from the star-studded Dodgers.