“Yo ho, a pirate’s life for us” in the dead of winter

We just returned refreshed from a 10-day cruise in the Caribbean. We appreciated the warm weather (in the mid-80s) and sightseeing. Our cabin had a veranda, and we spent much of our time there, looking out at the ocean.

The trip was a reunion of sorts because the ship departed from Fort Lauderdale, where I landed my first newspaper job after graduating from Northwestern University (with a master’s in journalism) in 1982.

I covered Eastern Airlines under its chairman and ex-astronaut Frank Borman at The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. It was a turbulent era for Eastern and other airlines, thanks to deregulation. Eastern’s higher labor costs put it at a disadvantage compared with other carriers. My stories also were published in The Chicago Tribune (the Sun-Sentinel’s parent) as well as The New York Times (which hired me as a freelancer for some coverage of Eastern on the brink of bankruptcy).

It was a great place to begin a journalism career. Fort Lauderdale is a consummate beach town, first made famous by the movie “Where the Boys Are” starring Connie Francis in 1960. I rented a little beach bungalow for a song and had a short commute to work (in a Toyota Tercel with no air conditioning).

I met some lifelong friends and enjoyed sailing a Sunfish and swimming in the ocean (after work, no less) and eating lots of fresh seafood and enjoying an occasional Red Stripe beer.

On our latest trip, we were relieved to see the sun shining when we returned home after departing in a snow storm. And we can still eat fresh seafood from a favorite local purveyor, Little Fish Company.

Have a great week!

(Credit: Holland America)

Another publisher for The Union

“Beginning Feb. 1, Chad Wingo took over as publisher for the local newspaper, which was established in 1864. Wingo has worked for The Union in advertising sales for 10 years,” as the newspaper reported. (Note: Comma inserted before “which” to conform with the AP Style Guide).

As previously reported, The Union was sold to Gold Hill California Media. “The new owners have newspaper assets throughout the United States and Canada, including several in California,” according to a press release.

Wingo has been co-owner of Grass Valley Brewing Co. in downtown Grass Valley. I’m sure Chad will handle any potential conflicts of interest among advertisers with professionalism.

Video: A fox came to visit

We had a visitor last night: “The grey fox is the most common fox in California, mainly populating coastal or mountain forests at lower elevations. They rarely dig their own dens. Instead they will rest in crevices, under boulders, or in hollow logs. Secretive and mostly nocturnal, the gray fox is an excellent hunter.” -California Living Museum (The video might take a moment to load).

Canada grapples with COVID restrictions

“Rep. Brian Higgins (D-New York) is hopeful that the Canadian government will, over the next few weeks, move toward lifting its stringent travel requirements for U.S. citizens crossing the border into Canada and, possibly, make masks and the glitchy ArriveCan mobile app for air travelers voluntary,” the Buffalo News is reporting.

“The Democratic congressman said Monday that a bilateral meeting of U.S. lawmakers and members of the Canadian parliament on Sept. 14 revealed a consensus in support of urging the administration of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to end rigorous and sometimes contradictory preclearance requirements on Americans crossing the northern border. 

“’As of June, if you came into Canada on a plane or train, you weren’t required to be vaccinated. … If you’re in a car, you are,’ said Higgins Monday in a brief telephone interview with The Buffalo News. ‘Why does the mode of transportation determine who should and shouldn’t be vaccinated?’”

RIP, Vin Scully

“I began listening to the Dodgers and announcer Vin Scully on a transistor radio when I was nine years old,” I recalled in 2015.

“At night, I’d listen to the game while I was supposed to be sleeping. Sometimes I’d doze off, and my dad would come into my room to turn off the radio. It was a nightly routine — for both of us.”

When I worked at The Chronicle, I met Vin at Pac Bell Park when he was announcing a Dodger-Giant game.

I had a press pass, and I walked right into the announcer’s booth to shake his hand. He was startled but gracious.

RIP, Vin, the voice of the Dodgers. Thanks for a lifetime of memories.

Plaque honoring Jewish Gold Rush community vandalized

A plaque at Hirschman’s Pond honoring Leb Hirschman and the Jewish Gold Rush community has been vandalized.

“Unfortunately it was not ‘paint gun’ paint that could be easily removed,” said County Executive Officer Alison Lehman. “It was latex paint and we were unable to scrub it down. 

“The plaque was taken down and Nevada County Facilities will use paint remover to fully clean it.  Once the sign is cleaned up, it will be reinstalled next week.

“Those of you who are familiar with the trail know there are several nature signs that lead you to the pond.  All other signs were untouched. It was clear the plaque was targeted.”

A vandalism-hate incident will be reported to the Nevada City Police Department.

“Oh what a beautiful mornin'”

The opening song from the musical “Oklahoma!,” which premiered on Broadway in 1943. It was written by composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II:

There’s a bright, golden haze on the meadow
There’s a bright, golden haze on the meadow
The corn is as high as an elephant’s eye
And it looks like it’s climbing clear up to the sky

Oh, what a beautiful mornin’
Oh, what a beautiful day
I’ve got a beautiful feelin’
Everything’s goin’ my way

“Nyet” to a redo of clerk-recorder’s race

Our clerk’s-recorders race is long over, but the losing candidate — Jason Tedder — supposedly has found a friend who is willing to pay for a recount of the race, according to The Union. He is Randy Economy, a conservative talk show host from the Coachella Valley — 550 miles away in Southern California.

Economy also had been part of a failed effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom (as well as being a Trump campaign volunteer). A profile of Economy in Mother Jones is here.

Here’s an excerpt from the Mother Jones article: “A white man in his early 60s, often in suit and tie, Economy (yes, his real name) could pass for any conservative talking head if it weren’t for his signature eye patch, first donned after a stroke cost him his right eye. Replaced by glasses in his daily life, it’s still essential to his image: ‘He wears an eye patch but can spot fake news a mile away, like a superhero pirate,’ an announcer booms in the bombastic intro to his Saturday morning show on KABC, the Los Angeles–based conservative station that also hosts the Ben Shapiro Show.”

Let it go!

Remembering James Lakeshore Resort, circa ’60s

We extended our visit to Lake Tahoe, even though we’d agreed to rent our cabin to guests and return home. Blame it on being cooped up too long from the pandemic.

We also wanted to give our son and his best friend/girlfriend some time alone at our house in Nevada City. Both are students at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. We’d all been together at the lake since the week before, having a grand time.

Shannon and I checked into Mourelatos, long known as James Lakeshore Resort. It is on a prime beachfront location on the North Shore.

Our stay brought back wonderful childhood memories. Most summers we used to pack up our Chevy station wagon and head to the lake from Southern California.

We stayed in a beachfront unit at James with a dead-on view on the lake. Mr. and Mrs. James were gracious hosts. Our room was on the end, with a full kitchen and a black-and-white television for watching baseball games. We also rented kayaks there.

I liked to swim and play catch with dad on the sand. I was a Little Leaguer and we’d bring our gloves and a ball.

I also fished for crawdads off the pier with a strip of bacon tied onto a drop line.

We’d eat dinner while looking out at the lake, or we’d eat out at a local restaurant (AKA “dinner house”). This included Bacchi’s for Italian food or the Christmas Tree for steaks grilled on a charcoal fire.

The Christmas Tree on Mt. Rose Highway had an unusual attraction – a lion. It slept in a cage outdoors, having retired from Hollywood movies. I don’t think this ”attraction” would be considered acceptable now.

Our vacation ended too soon, but we had to be home for Labor Day weekend to prepare for school.

The smell of rain?

We woke up to the pitter-patter of rain at Lake Tahoe. It smells good too: “Petrichor is the term coined by Australian scientists in 1964 to describe the unique, earthy smell associated with rain. It is caused by the water from the rain, along with certain compounds like ozone, geosmin, and plant oils.”