At the Firehouse

By Victoria Tenney

ALLEGHANY: June 13th – Firefighters trained. June 16th – Pliocene Ridge Community Service District (PRCSD) meeting.

DOWNIEVILLE: June 13th – Responded for a Medical Urgent Care incident. June 15th – Responded for a person who was ill and airlifted to Chico; Board of Commissioners meeting; COVID-19 testing at the Community Hall. June 16th – Firefighters trained. June 18th – Responded for a possible spot fire – unable to locate.

LOYALTON: June 15th – 8:11AM, party having issues with pacemaker, Loyalton. June 17th – 8:05AM, smoke alarm check, Loyalton. June 19th – 9:50AM, party fell and hit head, Loyalton

PIKE CITY: June 13th – Firefighters trained. June 16th PRCSD meeting.

SIERRA CITY: June 16th – Responded for a smoke check – cancelled. June 18th – Responded for a smoke check at Sardine Lake – unable to locate.


Poetry Corner

Voyages V

By Hart Crane

Meticulous, past midnight in clear rime,

Infrangible and lonely, smooth as though cast

Together in one merciless white blade—

The bay estuaries fleck the hard sky limits.

—As if too brittle or too clear to touch!

The cables of our sleep so swiftly filed,

Already hang, shred ends from remembered stars.

One frozen trackless smile… What words

Can strangle this deaf moonlight? For we

Are overtaken. Now no cry, no sword

Can fasten or deflect this tidal wedge,

Slow tyranny of moonlight, moonlight loved

And changed… “There’s

Nothing like this in the world,” you say,

Knowing I cannot touch your hand and look

Too, into that godless cleft of sky

Where nothing turns but dead sands flashing.

“—And never to quite understand!” No,

In all the argosy of your bright hair I dreamed

Nothing so flagless as this piracy.

But now

Draw in your head, alone and too tall here.

Your eyes already in the slant of drifting foam;

Your breath sealed by the ghosts I do not know:

Draw in your head and sleep the long way home.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on June 4, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

About the poem: “Voyages” appeared in White Buildings (Boni and Liveright, 1926).

About the poet: Harold Hart Crane was a poet from the Modernist movement. Born in 1899, the son of the candy maker who invented Life Savers, during his junior year in high school he dropped out of school and migrated to New York City. He was the author of White Buildings (Boni and Liveright, 1926), as well as The Bridge (The Black Sun Press, 1930). In the years following his suicide at the age of 32, Crane has been hailed by playwrights, poets, and literary critics alike (including Robert Lowell, Derek Walcott, Tennessee Williams, and Harold Bloom), as being one of the most influential poets of his generation. remembered as a key work of early Modernism. He died on April 27, 1932 after jumping off a steamship sailing through the Gulf of Mexico on its way to New York City.

Katie’s Sightings

By Katie O’Hara Kelly

Sierra Valley Birds & Blossoms

The view north from the Steel Bridge – 5/30/22

In the last month and a half I’ve visited Sierra Valley four times! Every time I go, I see amazing wildlife! Last week I wrote about the Pronghorns we’ve seen. This week I’ll focus on the wildflowers and the birds! Right now there are lots of flowers in bloom, the valley is green and lush, and many different migratory birds have arrived for the summer.

Canal filled with blooming California Damasonium –
Damasonium californicum

In addition to the main Feather River channel in Sierra Valley, there are miles of water-filled, small canals along the roadsides. Right now some of the canals are overflowing with California Damasonium, a native pond-dwelling plant. The one inch, white flowers have delicately fringed petals! Such abundant beauty!

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On the Shelf

By Paul Guffin

Father’s Day

This coming Sunday, June 19, is the occasion of two very special observances: Father’s Day and Juneteenth. I wrote in this column last year (Column 2021-24) about Juneteenth. So, this year I’ll take a look at Father’s Day.

This special day honors both fatherhood and the influence of fathers in society. Although the day is celebrated in the United States on the third Sunday in June, it is also an international observance, with the celebration taking place at different times in different countries. And, this is a celebration that did not originate in the United States.

For centuries, the Eastern Orthodox Church appointed the second Sunday before Nativity as the Sunday of the Forefathers, to commemorate the human ancestors of Christ, starting with Adam, and emphasizing the patriarch Abraham. The feast can fall between December 11 and 17, and includes the ancestors of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and various prophets.

In Catholic Europe, a customary day for the celebration of fatherhood dates back to at least 1508. It was usually celebrated on March 19 as the feast of Saint Joseph (human father of Jesus). This celebration was brought to the Americas by the Spanish and Portuguese. In the Coptic Orthodox Church, the celebration of fatherhood is also observed on St. Joseph’s Day, but the Copts observe this on July 20 in a celebration that may date back to the fifth century C.E.

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Here Back East

By Lenny Ackerman

Managing Expectations: More on my Travel Out West

On my trip out to California, my flight arrived in Reno late in the day. Notwithstanding the time distance in my favor, the experience at the airport was a bit unsettling. First of all, from the minute I exited the plane I was never more than a few feet from a slot machine. I can understand gambling at casinos but at the airline arrival gates? It was Reno but slots on the way to the men’s room?

The ride to Downieville was easy. The traffic out of Reno during rush hour was not the Long Island Expressway, that is it didn’t seem like much traffic at all. The exit into the valley was like an off ramp to the wilderness. I opened the windows in my rental car to take in the fresh mountain air. With Frank Sinatra on the Sirius radio I was in heaven. Cruising along with one eye on the GPS the time seemed to pass quickly as I headed to my accommodations at The Lure.

The Lure is not a hotel but a scenic arrangement of cabins along the Yuba River. I found my cabin attractive and well-furnished and looked forward to falling into bed. My first surprise was when I read in the list of Lure details and learned there was no wifi or cell service at the site. I sat myself down on the sofa and took a deep breath. Was this good or bad I thought to myself. Good—no one to bother me. Bad– withdrawal from life as I know it? I would deal with the issue in the morning. I live by an Apple watch and I phone. I went ahead and plugged all my gadgets into power, ready for whatever was to come in the morning. I was scheduled to meet Bill Copren for breakfast at Bassetts, a diner-service station about 45 minutes north on Route 49, followed by a day of fishing. Without cell service I had no GPS. Oh well, I would find the place as Ali had given me brief directions.

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