A few weeks ago, Mary Ann and I attended her family’s reunion in Sacramento. There were dozens of cousins, the majority of whom I had never met before, so I resigned myself to being the odd man out as they recalled stories of their distant youth.
Until one of them mentioned the old Pelton wheel at the North Star powerhouse. Mary Ann and I grew up in the same neighborhood (where we still reside today) and all those cousins had fond memories of playing among the (then) ruins of the glory days of mining in Nevada County when they visited the Niehaus clan in Grass Valley.
So I spent most of the afternoon recounting those thrilling days of yesteryear while munching on barbecued oysters. (One of the cousins has an oyster farm in the north state. Cool!) They had some good tales of their own.
Back when I was doing the short-lived daily version of It Takes A Village Idiot in The Union, I did a series of strips about those times. Today’s entry is the first of five. The others will follow as the week progresses. Enjoy.