By Meg Upton
The sight of our state flower the golden poppy popping up everywhere along the highway in Indian Valley is just a wonder to behold. There are now pockets of the valley that are absolutely gorgeous and gazing out at the scenery the viewer absolutely gets that sense of YES! This is why I live here—the beauty of it all. It’s wonderful to finally be seeing some of that again.
Graduation week is upon us as we close in on 10 months since the fire. I know I wrote about the kids last week and all but they are still very much on my mind. In Taylorsville, Greenville Elementary School’s sixth grade class will graduate tomorrow. Congratulations, sixth-graders! On Saturday morning at the Greenville High School football field, Judy Dolphin along with parents and community members will be celebrating Greenville High School seniors who would have graduated from GHS had it not closed this year due to the Dixie Fire. It will give a chance for those students to reconnect with their graduating class once more. The idea and care in these celebrations warms my heart. I think too of all the strength and courage it probably took many students to face school somewhere else this year, in a year of unfamiliar uncharted territory.
I’ll end with this. The other day a kindly person asked me if I’d lost anything in the Dixie Fire. She lived in Indian Valley a long time ago. I told her about the office and storage space downtown and how our property we were building on was decimated. Someone overheard our conversation and it got back to me that I was a bit of a downer. No fun. Blech. I’m a bad human bringing up unhappy topics in a public setting. While I am happy to take that in stride, I also want to encourage others from Indian Valley not to diminish our struggles or pain or even triumphs. Talk about it. Bring it up. Answer questions. Do not minimize the experience. So many people have yet still to drive through downtown and bare witness. I hear it all the time. “I can’t drive through there. Too painful.” Do us a favor and honor us by driving through. Witness what is there for you to witness. Do not shun grief or recovery. Yes, recovery is tedious, time consuming, and draining emotionally, financially, etc. But those of us who have chosen to stay are in the thick of it now. We have much to celebrate and we have a strength most of us probably didn’t even know we had until the fire.
There have been many blessings from our experience in and among the devastation. Not the least of which is seeing the best of humanity rising to help and not give up. The extent of which people have helped others is amazing. I’ve had conversations with people who lost their houses about what this time has meant for them in regards to how much hope it’s given them, how much they didn’t realize they were valued in the community until now.
As I write this, the first chapbook I’ve written in years is on its way from the printer to my doorstep. In July, I’ll be co-editing an anthology with another writer from Sonoma County on living with fire to be published on HeyDay books. I’ll be tabling at Gold Diggers with the chapbook Burn Scars—and I’m already amazed at the number of people interested in getting a copy. It makes me happy to be part of the little community that could.
The following are some events and notices happening or being shared this week in Indian Valley.
On Saturday morning, June 11 at 11 a.m. beloved culinary teacher, Judi Dolphin, is putting together a graduation ceremony for the students of 2022 who would have graduated from Greenville Jr. Sr. High School had the school been open this year. The ‘graduation’ will take place on the GHS football field and families, friends, and community are encouraged to attend.
Water aerobics is gearing up to begin on June 27 with Ramona Eaglesmith back as the instructor who works everyone hard. Classes will take place at the community pool in Taylorsville on Mondays through Thursdays, beginning at 5:15 p.m. sharp.
The cost is the same as last year, $7 daily or $55 for a 10 day card. Those who have yellow cards from last year will have their cards honored until they are finished.
Classes can be canceled due to weather conditions or pool problems. For more information contact Judy Leland (650) 942-4948.
Region Burger and Indian Valley Grind
We have not one but TWO occupants in the downtown pop-up business corridor now open. Word has it that a third is on its way. Congratulations on Region Burger joining The Valley Grind in bringing food options to downtown Greenville. Next up I hear is Samantha Prior’s Crush a Bowl.
Next meeting for the Gold Diggers 2022 is on June 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Green Meadows community room down off Hot Springs Road. They are looking for people to create floats, vendors, etc.
It’s already beginning to get hot! The Rebuilding Greenville Resource Center (RGRC) has cooling assistance items in stock for Disaster Case Management Program clients who are residing in new living spaces.
A variety of fans and air conditioning units have arrived. If you are not yet signed up for Disaster Case Management Services, please call (530) 283-2735, ext 883, or email [email protected] to complete an intake for the program prior to coming to the RGRC to pick up a free fan.
Donors of items for Dixie Fire survivors are encouraged to take photographs of what they have to offer people setting up new homes and post an ad for them on the Rebuilding Greenville Resource Center Facebook group page.
RGRC has free COVID-19 test kits, toiletries, food, home goods replacement items, first aid kits, and other over-the-counter medical supplies available. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The Innovation Hub idea created by John Steffanic from the Plumas Sierra County Fair has been formed. Steffanic had the following to report:
After two productive meetings, and numerous sidebars, the Indian Valley Innovation Hub is taking shape. A formation committee is now in the process of working out the details of how the organization will be set up and operated. The small group is considering what the Hub should become, from a non-profit to a for-profit entity. They are going through organization charts, staff duties, processes and basic needs to get the Indian Valley Innovation Hub off the ground. The committee has set a goal of less than 60 days to make these decisions and seat a permanent Board of Directors.
The Indian Valley Innovation Hub is an effort to jump start the economy of Greenville and surrounding areas. The premise is to offer many different resources to “innovators.” These are people that have ideas to sell goods and services outside of Plumas County, to bring that money into our economy. Innovators will bring their ideas to the Innovation Hub and will be assisted in making their ideas reality through a variety of resources.
The first two meetings were held at the Greenville Elementary School Cafeteria and were an opportunity to explain the concept and stimulate potential ideas for development. Dozens of ideas were brought up, illustrating the notion that there are many possible business ideas that can be explored.
Initial funding and guidance for the Indian Valley Innovation Hub comes from the Plumas Sierra County Fair and it’s non-profit; the PSCF Foundation. As part of any fair’s mission to promote what its community makes, grows and raises, the Fair also is an economic driver in the county. These two roles have come together to help a fire devastated community prosper. The formation committee plans on announcing their findings this summer. For more information on the hub and how to participate contact John Steffanic at (530) 283-6272.