By Meg Upton
Quite a few friends and neighbors have exclaimed how emotionally gut-wrenching the cleaning up of the lots actually is. It’s not that I didn’t believe them, but perhaps this is one of those things that needs to be experienced to understand. For sometime now, the pharmacy building (which housed my office) felt like it was the last lot to be cleaned in downtown Greenville. I have gone down there many times in the last nine months and stood there or even sat there like one would sit in a cemetery talking to a loved one. Sometimes I’d stare at the ash and miraculously find some piece of ceramic or rusted technology (I have found many paperclips, my camera, and many binder rings in various stages of decay). It was almost comforting to know it was still all there in a macabre sort of way.
Quite unexpectedly the lot has suddenly been cleared. I pulled over on my way to work in Susanville and watched as the last remains were hauled off. The lot is mostly empty now—certainly my corner of it is. And that’s how I lost it and was bawling up a storm in my car. Eleven years gone—as if it never existed.
Now I know the gut-punch feel of a cleaned lot I’ve heard people speak of.
Now that the days are longer, I’ve gone back to taking walks at night. I’ve found solace in the bright green patches of life among the giant swaths of brown. I’ve also made a friend who accompanies me now on part of the walk. He is one of the reasons I can’t seem to leave Indian Valley because where oh where else would I be making bestie friends with a bull in a pasture down the street from my house?
Meet Ferdinand the Bull. He is sleek, black and pretty and oh so vocal. Every night I walk one block from my place and out towards the valley floor. He meets me on his side of the barbed wire fencing that keeps him in the pasture and he walks (sometimes frolics) with me to the very edge of the pasture and then I turn my way and he goes back to the center of the pasture. Last night there were ten deer with us and another bull named Bob. Bob is not nearly as dynamic as Ferdinand; he looks like he’s done some hard living and is neither pretty nor sleek in his blotchy white and brown demeanor. Bob looks like a guy who was given a month to live and is somehow still going ten years later.
I talk to Ferdinand; he always talks back, always has something to say. I say hi to Bob too although he’s yet to talk back to me. Ferdinand has become my emotional support bull. And this is why I can’t give up on Indian Valley because where else am I going to get in quality time with borrowed bulls? Moo. Get yourself an animal friend in this valley—it will go a long way in helping your depression.
There are many events coming down the pipe right now; many end of school year activities. Last week Pachuca Productions was able to bring healing arts activities to the elementary school students in the area. We hope to do another round of this at the end of May. I personally love embracing music/writing/painting/theatre to help heal the wounds and trauma of fire, and I hope you do as well.
Please send in anything you have to announce to the community to [email protected].
Congratulations and all the accolades go to Rotarian John Banks named the California Rotarian of the Year. No one from Greenville has ever been awarded the honor before. Banks is receiving the honor for his work after the Dixie Fire including getting funds and gift cards to residents in need.
Congressman Doug LaMalfa will be in Greenville tomorrow, Thursday, May 5, from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. in front of Plumas Bank to speak to constituents.
It’s so exciting to see the banners and trailers setting up for our soon to be downtown business district. I could almost smell the coffee looking at The Valley Grind banner in the old Sierra Sunrise lot with the bright yellow trailer. Any day now, I hear.
Likewise the Indian Valley Thrift Store looks poised to open soon down the street from the Valley Grind. We are in the any day now holding pattern.
This reporter stopped for gas at Nelz Towne Pump last week and learned from Pete Singh that there’s a supply chain issue with glass windows—as soon as the glass comes in they can finish the job.
Dollar General opened last week as well. Things are beginning to really move.
Greenville Country Picnic is this Sunday, May 8 from 3 p.m. till dark at Greenville Park. Free food and admission with live music from Rickety Bridge. Potluck sides and desserts are encouraged. For more information contact Dan Kearns at (949) 395-3694 or Ken Donnell at (530) 566-2561.
Indian Valley Prom takes place Saturday, May 14 with a prime rib dinner at the Rock Club Mineral and Gem Museum at 6 p.m. followed by a community promenade at 7:30 p.m. and a dance at the Taylorsville Historic Hall from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Complimentary free tickets are available at Indian Valley Academy, Indian Head Properties, and Judy Dolphin. Pick up by tomorrow if possible. For more information contact Megan Neer.
Don’t miss the opportunity to listen to live music by local musicians and GHS alumni on Sunday, May 15 in the Music on the Green Revival in front of Greenville High School. Bring a blanket or a chair. Sponsored by Plumas Arts and Indian Valley Community members.
Next Gold Digger planning meeting is on May 17 at 6 p.m. at the Green Meadows community room down off Hot Springs Road.
Wednesday, May 18 is registration night for seventh through twelfth grade students planning on coming back to Greenville Junior Senior High School for the 2022-2023 school year. Sports and class sign ups begin at 5:30 p.m. for the junior high and 6 p.m. for the senior high. Will take place at the school library.
Sawmill Ribbon Cutting
At long last the mill operated by J&C Enterprises at Sierra Institute’s Indian Valley Wood Utilization Campus in Crescent Mills will be will be hosting a ribbon-cutting on Wednesday, May 18 from 1p.m. to 4 p.m. There will be speakers, information booths, food trucks, and of course, the ribbon cutting. The mill is located at 15690 Hwy 89 near the tracks on the valley side of the highway, (essentially behind Gigi’s Market).
Pachuca Productions’ event Speaking to Fire: Indian Valley Voices speak and create around the Dixie Fire is postponed until the end of the summer. There’s plenty of time to write an essay, poem, create an artwork, dance, etc. to be included in this event. For more information text to (714) 746-4093.
Plumas Rural Services (PRS) and the Rebuilding Greenville Resource Center (RGRC) have a new partnership with Assist International (AI) that is already proving to be helpful for people moving into their new homes.
AI is a global nonprofit organization that partners with local organizations to magnify their impact and reach communities facing suffering and hardship. In this area, AI is helping Dixie Fire survivors moving into new homes by providing donated furniture, appliances, and other items.
AI has a warehouse in Ripon, CA, full of donations mainly from Costco. If you or someone you know lost their home in the Dixie Fire and are setting up a new home, stop by the RGRC in Crescent Mills or call the Disaster Case Management Services number at (530) 283-2735 and let a case manager know that furniture and appliances are needed. PRS and the RGRC are glad to connect people in need with this valuable program. This program is not based upon financial need, and anyone who lost a home to the Dixie Fire is eligible regardless of where they live now.
The RGRC is accepting the following items for Dixie Fire survivors: first aid kits, sun block, lotion, over-the-counter medical supplies, and RV skirting. The Resource Center is also accepting gift cards to Evergreen, Taylorsville Young’s Market, Holiday Market, Sav-Mor, Safeway, as well as gas cards.
Donations of these items may be dropped off at the RGRC in Crescent Mills or at Plumas Rural Services’ office at 711 E. Main Street in Quincy.
The RGRC is unable to accept donated home goods due to lack of storage space. Home good items may be posted on the Rebuilding Greenville Resource Center Facebook page with photos. The following home goods have been requested by fire survivors: Patio furniture, mattresses, beds, table and chair sets, couches, and other furniture.
For donations and questions about RGRC, contact RGRC Coordinator Lara Wheeler via text (preferred method of communication) at (530) 778-4309, phone at (530) 283-2735, x833, or fax at (530) 778-4309.