By Meg Upton
I’m sitting once again at a traffic stop outside Crescent Mills this time while a helicopter hovers just beyond the highway moving something in the air that I presume is some fire-related fix.
Everything old is new again or vice versa. I’m hearing from many a person in Indian Valley that our looming anniversary is weighing heavy. We are now in the phase of ‘is it going to happen for us?’
The New York Times yesterday had an excellent piece on “the growing class of displaced Americans” from climate-oriented disasters. The article focuses on Louisiana’s more frequent hurricanes but there’s many a lesson in there for us: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/23/climate/natural-disaster-relief-fema.html?fbclid=IwAR1VeGPURxJBkO3B2eUgFMj8ukljcGOXyhuM6hbesj9t4Ls8-NWHvHmo5lY
It’s less than a month before school is supposed to start in downtown Greenville and I keep looking for the fiber optic cable promised to us by Frontier and assured to us by the school board. I suppose one can dig trenches quickly to get such things set up, but a month left to go seems like cutting everything a bit too close. Meanwhile, I still drive to Quincy when I want to make a phone call with more than two bars on my phone otherwise I facetime with people from my hotspot.
The new normal is about adapting and building things you’d never thought about before to maintain the every day.
If things aren’t happening fast enough for you, if the hillsides of burnt pine still make you weep and you can’t see the tufts of green leaves at the base of oak trunks as promising. Step back and look at the videos from a year ago. We have indeed come a long way.
Last month I took the Angeles Crest Highway from the 5 to the 395 interstates (shush, I’m a southern Californian and we use articles before our freeways. Fight me). The mountains around Angeles Crest are nearly treeless in most places, but it is no less majestic. That’s what I have to accept in order to not dwell on the past. That beauty can be found anywhere and that beauty won’t be the beauty that was there before. I think of this every time I’m driving on the grade and see that magnificent expanse I never saw before the fire.
We all need the freedom of not feeling overburdened by never ending work to get back on track. If I have any wish for year two going forward for my neighbors and myself it is just that—some peace in our new landscape and the embrace of what’s here rather than mourning anymore at what’s gone.
This week is of course, Fair Week, but next week has quite a few events happening in and around Indian Valley. If you have anything you’d like to publicize happening in Indian Valley, please email me at [email protected].
Memories of Plumas
Next Thursday to Saturday is a three-day series of “Commemorative Events to remember the Dixie, Bear, and Minerva fires. There’s a facebook group called “Memories of Plumas” that gives more detail on what appears to be various community volunteers putting this together. Check there also for possible carpools to procession events.
Thursday, August 4 there is a ‘memorial procession tracing the Dixie Fire. This begins at 9 a.m. in Belden at the location of the first home lost to the fire. At 10:30 a.m. at the Keddie Turnout for the Fly Fire is the second stop. At 11:30 a.m. in Indian Falls for the third stop. A break for lunch is next in downtown Greenville (pop up food trailers) at noon. At 2:30 p.m. a Canyon Dam memorial procession with a 3:30 p.m. refreshment stop at Carol’s Café in Prattville.
The “Paint the Town Greenville” chalk art project, will happen in downtown Greenville from noon to 5 p.m.
Check-in at the registration booth on the corner of Pine Street and Highway 89. Participants must register. They’ll be provided with colored chalk, sponges, brushes, a rectangular knee pad, water, and/or a broom. Organizeres have a limited number of pop-up shade barriers.
Participants can bring their own rags, spray bottles, tools, and reference materials. It is advised to bring plenty of water to stay hydrated. A wide brimmed hat and sunblock will help prevent sunburn. If you have your own shade barrier at home please bring it.
Collaborative street art drawing will also be happening.
All are welcome! No experience necessary! Aligned with the event theme to promote emotional and spiritual wellness, as a community, we will create and envision collaboratively a world that works for everyone everywhere! Bobbie Rae Jones, MA of Drawing On Earth.org and Disaster Case Manager-Rebuild Liaison for Plumas Rural Services, Inc., and Bobbie Elizabeth Stoy-Linford of Blindford Fine Arts will facilitate the large-scale drawing by providing demonstrations, chalk, brushes, sponges, rectangular knee pads and a limited number of rolling pop-up shade structures. Families are encouraged to participate, and there is no fee for this event.
Visionary Street Art contest will also take place. Amateur and professional artists, art dabblers, and groups are invited to choose a section of sidewalk where they will create an art submission that demonstrates the theme, “A Vision of Prosperity.” The piece can be related to prosperity for communities impacted by the Dixie Fire, for the environment, or for prosperity in their own life. It can be dreams, goals, hopes, visions, or something that has recently come to fruition that they are grateful for.
At 6 p.m. on the site of the American Legion property on Main Street is a “Memories of Greenville Memorial” with various speakers and local musicians.
From 7:30 p.m. there’s a classical guitar concert with Jack Cimo at Greenville Baptist Church on Wolf Creek Road. The second show is at 8:45 p.m. with refreshments offered between shows.
There are prizes for best dressed each day at 5 p.m. at the DJ stand at the Way Baby bar. “Come up with a great costume and win a free meal at your favorite food vendor at the event!” say organizers.
Friday, August 5 from noon to 5 p.m. the chalk art festivities continue. Everyone is welcome to participate.
Plumas Arts has selections of photographs and texts from the Dixie Fire Stories Project on show in the Plumas Arts gallery now through August with a first Fridays reception on this night.
At 7:30 p.m. there’s an “All Plumas Memorial Event” at West End Theatre in Quincy to “allow locals to express themselves” with an open mic for people to share in the medium of their choice (songs, music, drama, prayer, etc.).
Dancing at the Way Baby Bar takes place this evening and Friday and Saturday evening.
Saturday, August 6, there is a classical guitar concert given by Jack Cimo followed by an open mic.