Breaking bread

Last week, my wife Shannon and I invited Hilary Hodge and her wife, Angelica, to lunch at the New Moon Cafe in Nevada City to get to know them better. I have enjoyed reading Hilary’s column in The Union — heartfelt, perceptive and not the newspaper’s usual pablum. We enjoyed our lunch and the conversation.

They are a wonderful couple, bringing  youth, intelligence and energy to our community (which happens to be an aging and declining population). Hilary and Angelica reminded us of ourselves when we were younger — “footloose and fancy free” or the “Gold Dust Twins” as my dad would joke. Over lunch, we discussed world travel, music, education, gardening and family more than just politics.

Knowing first-hand what it’s like to be targeted by some of our mean, nasty locals for expressing views that are otherwise common in the rest of our state, I wanted to let Hilary know we appreciate her perspective.

In addition, we’re raising a child in our community, and we want him to grow up appreciating diversity. After all, we live in California.

This week, Hilary’s column came under fire from two hard-right political activists, Jo Ann Rebane and Elaine Meckler, in The Union. Some of the comments were too personal. (And memo to Elaine: It’s “Berkeley,” not “Berkely.”)

We’re at a crossroads in our community in the aftermath of the election of Donald Trump to President. Read “The awakening of a new local political force in our towns — progressive women.”

I’m hoping that it will lead to finding common ground rather than acrimony. We’re all watching.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

7 thoughts on “Breaking bread”

  1. Years ago I sold a house to a client who has remained a friend to this day. She and her husband are professionals, he a psychiatrist now retired and she a Ph.d Psychologist. They moved here after travels to New Zealand but they originally hailed from California. They’re smart, sophisticated, politically savvy and kind. Not long after the escrow closed, Linda told me that if she had read The Union early on they would have thought twice about moving to this area. OMG thought I, does the Union content need to be a disclosure item? The story ends happily. They still live in the same house and have found many ,many like minded friends in this community. In praise of social media and our very own Yubanet, it’s a good thing we don’t get all our news and opinions from the Union these days.

  2. And isn’t it ironic that The Union carries the real estate ads that would-be homeowners see? A cause for concern.

  3. Jeff, I’m so happy that you got to meet up with Hilary. I have the impression that she is a warm, caring, intelligent, and articulate lady. Your post tells me I am correct in that impression.

  4. One must remember the 2 women that wrote the letters are Fox News/Breitbart etc readers and Teabaggers. One wrote ” give Trump a chance ” just as they did with President Obama ( HaHa )

    1. Exactly! The tea baggers seem to exhibit the same playground bully behavior as their savior, they love to dish it out but can’t take it. Give trump a chance my ass. Give America a chance. They complain about the town hall meetings but forget about how they disrupted the original Obamacare town halls. Now that the shoe is on the other foot they whine and complain about not being treated fairly or with respect. Sorry, turnabout is fair play. The tea baggers should also remember that they and their mentally deficient president are on the far right fringe and do not represent the values and concerns of the majority of American people in the first place. They lost the election but act as though the 25% of the voting age public who voted for trump gives them a mandate to turn the country upside down, hardly. They should also remember that without interference from the Russians and a rogue faction of the FBI, dump wouldn’t be in power in the first place. Trump is incompetent and a pathological liar. He railed against big corporations and banks and then put those same people in charge. Yet the tea baggers are doubling down and fail to recognize the lies and deceit and now want those of us who are able to see through the crap and aren’t blinded by extreme ideology to give the spoiled child a chance. I think not. He needs to be impeached before he destroys the country by handing it over to his rich buddies.

  5. Good for you! I, too, am very impressed with Hilary. I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting your partner yet, but am sure she is probably equally as pleasant and talented.

  6. How to feel about Nevada County before moving here and how to feel about it after moving here are two very distinct … problems … or opportunities.

    I will admit that if we had fully understood the ugliness of the local hard right, we might have chosen to not move here (although we more or less made that decision over 40 years ago when we bought our land and built our house, and didn’t re-examine it until after we moved here).

    Fortunately for those who — like my wife and me — didn’t fully understand the nastiness of the local far right until after we moved here, there is a wonderful realization available: there is almost every kind of community anybody could want up here. The important thing is to find your “tribe” (we’ve found ours in our environmental work).

    It turns out that the members of our tribe, our community, share a lot of values besides environmentalism. Our friends keep us sane and hopeful. And they’ve helped us understand that the crazy, angry local hard-right is on its way to being completely irrelevant to everything that’s important to us. Because of our tribe, we feel at home here.

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