Susana Carey Wey

El Dorado Rose 2012 enjoys the limelight

As the limelight shimmered off her vivid green satin gown, Sharon McDavid became the 2012 El Dorado Rose. Since the judges had a tough decision to make, it was an exciting moment. McDavid, 75, is a “walking résumé” of volunteer service, one of the major judging points. A longtime Placerville resident, McDavid was nominated by […]

Rose candidate McDavid reflects a prism of multi-facted beauty

Members of the Placerville Shakespeare Club probably think it’s about time that Sharon McDavid of Placerville accepted their nomination for El Dorado Rose. They’ve wanted to sponsor her candidacy for years, but other priorities intervened. “They’d been asking me for years to run for Rose. I’m in good health still and I think the Rose […]

This Rose rides for good causes

It’s hard to imagine an El Dorado Rose on a motorcycle, but Rosemary Lewis can remind one that anything is possible. Lewis, 71, of Placerville was nominated by American Legion Post 119, who seems to be blessed by this indefatigable worker and good-hearted woman who always goes beyond the call of duty. “I don’t ride […]

A Lady of the Court — Kowalski blossoms like a rose

At the Rose Ball recently, Sandy Kowalski, 70, of Placerville looked like a youthful, dainty and dignified Victorian lady. Her upswept hair, understated make-up and smooth, translucent skin seemed reminiscent of yesteryear. In fact, someone was heard to say that Kowalski’s delicate features are reminiscent of the cameo brooches that were so popular back in […]

An extended family helps to nourish Rose candidate

If the 168 residents of the Gold Country Retirement Community, Independent Living Center could vote for El Dorado Rose, Claudia Bethke would be their pick. Bethke, 60, is sponsored by the Gold Country Retirement Community, and her candidacy brings joy to the residents of the Independent Living Center where Bethke works. The El Dorado Rose […]

Harper is enjoying her reign as Rose

With unbridled enthusiasm, Mary Ann Harper accepted the sash of El Dorado Rose 2011-12 last June. Her cheery countenance, offset by lovely pastel colors and a signature hat, was diffused with joy when her reign was announced. Tears of happiness competed with Harper’s kind, ever-ready smile as the royal recognition was presented during the Rose […]

Mental Health First-Aid course helps to avert harm and stigma

With some 60 percent of the population suffering from anxiety disorder at some time in their lives, and suicide a leading cause of death, mental health concerns are no longer confined to the stereotypical “crazy” depicted in mass media. It is mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, friends, acquaintances and co-workers whose lives are affected. […]

Yvonne Griffen’s joie di vivre blesses El Dorado Hills

Most people move closer to their children when they retire. But when Senior of the Year Yvonne Griffen of El Dorado Hills retired in 2000, she moved away from her daughters in the Bay Area. As it turned out, Marin County’s loss was El Dorado County’s gain. When the annual “Senior of the Year” nominations […]

February 29, 2012 | Posted in The Other Side of 50 Feb. 2012 | Tagged | Leave a reply

Anne Gladwill — a Golden Rose for all seasons

Herself a rose for all seasons, Anne Gladwill, 82, of Garden Valley was selected as Golden Rose 2011. A noted artist, longtime rancher and community leader, Gladwill is beloved in the community and famous for her paintings. Her series, “The Four Seasons” is well-known among collectors around the world. It captures the glories of El […]

December 30, 2011 | Posted in The Other Side of 50 December 2011 | Tagged | 1 Reply

Monte Cassino vet to honor grandson

During the Veterans Day ceremony Nov. 11 John Pass, 90, of Placerville will present his grandson, Navy Lt. Cmdr. (Ret.) Jacob Parsons with the Veteran of the Year award. Pass will stand valiantly in patriotic and familial pride on feet that once stood on Monte Cassino in Italy, where he fought in the 3rd Infantry […]

Retired general has local connection

A dynamic woman who had a stellar career in the United States Air Force will be the keynote speaker at 11 a.m. at the Veterans Monument, 360 Fair Lane, Placerville on Veterans Day, Friday Nov. 11. USAF Maj. Gen. (Retired) Kathy E. Thomas’ inspired words will highlight the annual uplifting and patriotic program planned by […]

November 11, 2011 | Posted in News | Tagged | 1 Reply

Nestled in Lotus Valley a mature pearl flourishes

Cultured and luminous, Pearl DeHaas, 101, of Lotus seems as precious as her name. She sits quietly, seemingly engulfed in a recliner in the den of a beautiful home that overlooks her beloved Lotus Valley. De Haas appears small and frail. But when she speaks, wit and vitality light up her sweet face, filling the […]

October 28, 2011 | Posted in The Other Side of 50 Cctober 2011 | Tagged | Leave a reply

Rosalie Hamilton — Wonderful teacher blesses El Dorado County and world

When a teacher is truly called to his/her profession, the influence is undeniable, gracious and true. Rosalie Hamilton, 100, of Placerville seems to have that true calling. Still going strong and as fascinating, as ever, Hamilton, will be 101 on Sept. 3. As a teacher and a mother, she has had a big impact on […]

| Posted in The Other Side of 50 August 2011 | Tagged | 1 Reply

Champion for the children, Ron Henke, dies

After a lifetime dedicated to improving the lives of small children, licensed clinical social worker Ron Henke, 78, died June 28 in his Diamond Springs home. A United States Navy veteran who served during the Korean War, Henke was the first Child Protective Services worker in El Dorado County. He spearheaded several programs, including Wee CARE […]

Francis Smith — a Navy pilot’s faith carried him through

As a Navy fighter pilot in World War II, Francis William Smith of Cameron Park had a lot of harrowing experiences. It is something that Smith, 87, doesn’t dwell on, nor does he talk about it much. One of the scariest things Ensign Smith experienced, though, was during training. The orders were to follow the […]

The 2011 El Dorado Rose Court

Normadene Carpenter Wherever Normadene Carpenter of Placerville goes, so go the Roses. She looks like a rose and acts like a rose, and is at all the same events that Roses attend, like the Butterfly Concert. Most people probably just assume that she already is an El Dorado Rose or one of the Ladies of […]

The 2011 El Dorado Rose Court

Judy Muetz Judy Muetz of Placerville has been a Lady of the Court since 2003. Even before that, Muetz has always been a Rose in spirit. Muetz, 63, has been in the background, nourishing the Rose program with her enthusiasm, encouragement, nominations, receptions and expertise in apparel history, vintage costumes, fine sewing and design. She […]

The 2011 El Dorado Rose

Mary Ann Harper blossoms Mary Ann Harper, 68, of Shingle Springs was named 2011 El Dorado Rose last Thursday night. In astonished tears, she accepted the sash from 2010 El Dorado Rose, Mary Kay Brancheau, 67, a fellow graduate of El Dorado High School. Brancheau was a year behind Harper in school, and now Harper […]

A lifetime of experiences

Duplicate greeting cards, but varied life herald Bob Miller’s 100th birthday By the time Robert Miller of Placerville celebrated his 100th birthday recently, he had received many cards, filling up several shelves. There were at least five that were identical, expressing best wishes on reaching the century mark. The greetings were sent with good wishes to […]

Rose Ball promises an enchanting evening

What: Rose Ball, featuring the Easy Sounds Band Who: El Dorado Roses Where: American Legion Hall, 4561 Greenstone Road, Placerville When: May 21, doors open 6:45 p.m. Cost: $25, includes catered supper Information: 530-626-4949 About 150 years ago, pioneer ladies would have enjoyed the Rose Ball as a respite from the travail of setting up […]

Mary Kay Brancheau reaches out to the community

When Mary Kay Brancheau donned the sash of 2010 El Dorado Rose last summer, she wore it with joy and commitment. Like all Roses, she was flattered by the honor, knowing that the other candidates were marvelous women, too. Brancheau loved her Rose Court, which included her running mates, Sandy Kowalski and Kathy Walters. The […]

Sailor’s sub now a museum in Arkansas

“Bless those who serve beneath the deep Through lonely hours their vigil keep …” — From the Submarine verses, written by the Rev. Gale Williamson as part of the Naval Hymn If a sailor has a Dolphin pin among his insignia from the U.S. Navy, it has a special significance. Akin to an airman’s “Wings,” the enlisted […]

‘Soul Speaking’ gives voice to grateful musical journeybrenda hanna

What: CD Release Party Who: Brenda Hanna with special guest Joe Craven When: Friday, May 14, 7:30 p.m., doors open 7 p.m. Where: Lotus Hocus Pocus House Concerts Cost: $20 donation (call for reservations, address and directions) Information: 530-622-4914, When you crawl out of the darkness of utter despair, your soul has a lot to say. […]

Herb Blossom is going strong at (almost) 90

At the Placerville Fitquest class, Dr. Herb Blossom can be seen exercising along with about 30 other seniors, most much younger than him. He blends right in, yet he will be celebrating his 90th birthday on April 30. This Army/Air Force World War II and Korea veteran seems to be going strong. Blossom plans to […]

| Posted in Prospecting | 1 Reply

Local woman unleashes inner courage with helpful book for men and women

What: Book signing event “Is Your Man Good For Your Health? Unleash Your Inner Courage to Make Positive Choices in Your Relationships” Who: Sunny Atkins Where: Placerville News Co., 409 Main St., Placerville When: Saturday, April 23, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Information: 530-622-4210, or Huddling and shivering on a frigid, snow-laden Colorado […]

Fitquest keeps participants on a healthy track

Upon leaving Fitquest Monday morning, two gentlemen said that they were going to go get a beer. Maybe they were joking, but they wished to remain anonymous. They’ve been coming to Fitquest for several months. They are among the newest, and perhaps, youngest of Fitquest aficionados who exercise Monday and Thursday from 9-10 a.m. Fitquest is led by Dr. […]

The Swanson’s celebrate a wonderful life together redo use this one

In a gorgeous, well-appointed home in a quiet, modest Placerville neighborhood, Marlene Swanson, 79, and Eldon (Swanie) Swanson, 82 live a caring, companionable and compatible life. “We were made for each other,” Swanie asserted, his blue eyes luminous with sincerity. Married for 13 years on March 30, 2011, their union came quite late in life: […]

| Posted in The Other Side of 50 April 2011 | 1 Reply

Fundraiser helps provide learning trip to Washington D.C.

What: Benefit Concert and Raffle Who: Felix and the Soul Cats, Simms and Taylor Minks When: Saturday, March 26, 8 p.m. Where: Cozmic Café, 594 Main St. Placerville Donation: $10 Info: 530-644-2956   If a picture paints a thousand words, then a trip to the nation’s capitol must be worth at least 10 textbooks. A […]

Crimson Sky and Isaac Bear to open concert

As opening acts for Prime Directive this Friday at the Mother Lode Lions Hall, Crimson Sky and Isaac Bear are set to delight the crowd with unique musical styles. Like Prime Directive, their aim is to please and to provide a divine musical experience. Crimson Sky takes the stage at 7 p.m., starting the night […]

Prime Directive treks to Friday concert

What: Concert: Who: Prime Directive, Crimson Sky and Isaac Bear When: Friday, March 25, 7 p.m. (doors open at 6) – 11 p.m. Where: Mother Lode (Clara Schreiber) Lion’s Hall, corner of Pleasant Valley and Missouri Flat roads Cost: $5 Tickets/info:, Jonny Robert 530-391-6105 If music encompassed your essence of being, your core values and […]

Dateline crossing x’ed off X-mas

One of the most memorable Christmases retired Navy Capt. James Kessler of Placerville ever experienced was the one he missed in 1943. On Dec. 24 of that year the USS Boise, the cruiser on which Kessler, now 91, was serving, crossed the International Dateline near Samoa. Kessler recalled learning about the International Dateline in elementary […]

Mark Schmidt named Mother Lode Lion of the Year

By Susana Carey Wey Democrat correspondent Carl Sandburg wrote a poem about the fog in the Windy City, saying that it “sits on little cat feet.” In another piece, he compared the wind in Chicago to the roar of a lion. But if Sandburg lived in the Placerville region in these times, he might say that […]

100 is just the beginning for Nona Bliss

If one were to sketch a picture of the quintessential grandmother, it might look a lot like Nona Lee Bliss. With her crown of curly white hair and sweet face, Bliss looks like the storybook grandmother. She looks like a wonderful grandmother, but she doesn’t look 100 years old. Born Nona Walker in Oklahoma on […]

The Scotts share a lifetime of love

Imagine falling in love at a young age, getting married at age 20 and remaining married, devoted and in love at 80 years old. Dr. Robert and Carolyn Weaver Scott of Placerville don’t have to dream about such a beautiful scenario. They have lived it for nearly 61 years as a married couple, and more […]

Book-signing, sunshine enlighten Placerville audience

Leaving Elk Grove Saturday morning in dense fog to attend the “From Hate to Hope” program at the Federated Church in Placerville, Chris Slay drove into the sunshine. As she neared the foothills, blue sky and sunbeams emerged from the murky clouds. Over 150 people packed the Federated sanctuary to hear a modern story of […]

A creative spirit reflects a life of infinite variety

When looking back over childhood memories, some people wax poetic. Lanita Bingham, 82, wrote a poem as a teenager lamenting what she did not have as a child. One line says that she wished for a square of concrete where she could skate and talked about dreams of an indoor bathroom. That way, she wouldn’t […]

| Posted in Prospecting | Tagged | 1 Reply

Placerville News has more than news

For years, the Belltower has been the picturesque landmark of downtown Placerville, a symbol of communication and history. Just across the street at 409 Main St., Placerville News Co. has been the hub of information for decades, with its telltale newstand right out front. Sure, you can buy just about any newspaper or magazine there, but there’s […]

Dandelions are for wishing

One of the first things noticed at Dandelions Raising Children Naturally at 3987 Missouri Flat Road in Placerville was a copy of “Barnaby and Thor” by Sue Hegarty on the counter. This extraordinary children’s book written by a local author and illustrated by talented artist Alice Shaw is not only a cute story, it radiates […]

Placerville Hardware and tradition go hand in hand during holidays

The holidays are a time of nostalgia and tradition, and there’s no better place than Placerville Hardware to mingle the new with the old. In this hardware and variety store at 441 Main St., there is a plethora of merchandise and presents for any family member. “There’s a bit of the past along with the […]

| Posted in Prospecting | Tagged | 1 Reply

Pearl Harbor defined a generation

It has been 69 years, about two generations, since Pearl Harbor was attacked on Dec. 7, 1941. Recollections of Dec. 7, 1941 vary widely by age and by geographic location. In Hayward, Ruthy Lacy, 84, of Placerville was 15 years old. The day was a nightmare for her, since her older brother, Robert, was stationed […]

After a life of black and white Ames reveals a colorful past

After spending a lifetime in black and white, the vibrant and colorful Lemoine Ames, 92, has memories as vivid as a color wheel. For more than 70 years, Ames was a pressman at the Sacramento Bee, where he started as a paper boy in 1930. Soon after, he was handling the machinery that cranked out […]

Holiday enchantment

Beautiful red-leafed poinsettas announce the holidays, but there’s a lot more to poinsettas than meets the eye. There’s also a lot more to the Camino Flower Shop in Placerville than meets the eye. In fact, all the senses are awed by fragrant and magical enchantment at Camino Flower Shop/Weddings by Dottie at 1224 Broadway in Placerville. […]

Evergreen Footwear provides class and comfort all year long

If Santa lived in Placerville instead of the North Pole, he’d probably go to Evergreen Footwear at 1224 Broadway for comfortable foot gear to help get through the holiday rush. Do your feet hurt at the end of the day? If so, says Judy Stanfield, owner of Evergreen Footwear, this is the place to come […]

Safety and quality keep it all rolling at Big O Tires

Back in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Big O Tire Store at 85 Placerville Drive in Placerville was a restaurant called Max’s Jumbo. From there, teenagers would cruise to the Bell Tower. Before the advent of Highway 50, tourists would travel Forni Road to downtown, then go on to Tahoe. In 1966, Don Turney […]

| Posted in Gift Guide 2010 | Tagged | 1 Reply

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