Volume XIV Issue 237 | Tuesday, June 28th, 2022
The Good Stuff by Shelley Bennett
This weekend I ate an apricot that tasted of my childhood. It was sweet, yet tart with the perfect texture (not too crisp, but not mushy; firm with a little give). It brought me back to lazy summer afternoons in my backyard on First Street.

My brother Casey and I were lucky enough to have a gigantic backyard with a swing set, multiple fruit trees, a big garden and a mysterious wooded area which housed our Pet Cemetery.

Our fruit trees would ripen at different parts of the summer and the apricots were usually first.
Growing fruit in Susanville is not a sure thing. A bumper crop is dependent on the perfect storm of “just right” temperature, precipitation, and the date of the last freeze. Everything has to work together to produce and then it can still be ruined by a hungry group of birds.

To my brother and I, finding a perfectly ripe apricot (or peach/plum/pear) was like finding a treasure, so we usually just devoured it right then, not to be bothered with taking it inside, washing it, and checking for bugs or worm holes.

The warmth of the sun and juice running down our faces and arms just added to the perfect experience.

Our neighbors, Opal and Earl Proffit, had the two cherry trees of our orchard. Their front yard had the red cherries and the backyard was yellow. Yes, I know there are names like “Bing” and “Queen Anne” for these varieties, but my childhood was not complicated by this.

Cherries were my absolute favorite and sweet Mr. Proffit was eager to share. He always had a ladder and bucket, ready to reach the highest branches. He took care of his cherry trees like they were his babies; watering and pruning and spraying with pesticide.

One day, Mr. Proffit and his brother, Reverend Proffit were outside looking over the cherry tree. The reverend was a jokester and liked to tease me. I had a lollipop that day and he asked what flavor it was.

I am pretty sure it was cherry, but he said it looked like watermelon to him. From that day until way past my 18th birthday, he called me the Watermelon Kid.

Opal and Earl were the perfect neighbors. Opal was just noisy enough and Earl worked hard to keep their postage stamp of a lawn trimmed and the flowerbeds full of blooms.

Fruit trees, like childhood summers, don’t last forever and eventually they stop producing fruit. Recently my brother told me that it’s time to cut down several of those old fruit trees in my parents’ yard. Now I’m thinking we need to replant an apricot tree in one of those spots.
Remember when news was ‘newsy’? When you read about weddings, family events and engagement announcements in the newspaper? If you have something that might be newsworthy, please submit it to shelleybennett24@gmail.com and I’ll do my best to include it here in “The Good Stuff.”
Lassen Lightning U10 Softball Wins Nevada State Championship

The Lassen Lightning U10 team won 1st place in the Nevada State Championship last weekend, earning a free entry to the West Coast World Series July 7th through the 10th.

Lassen Lightning are the travel teams for Lassen Fastpitch Softball. They have teams made up of girls from ages 6 to 15.

The teams travel all over northern Nevada and California representing our area.
Cal-Fire Urging Safety as Fourth
of July Holiday Approaches
“Safe and Sane” Fireworks will go on sale in many communities across California today, and Cal-FIRE is reminding everyone to do their part to have a safe holiday by helping to prevent fires and injuries caused by fireworks.

With the 4th of July holiday around the corner, state fire officials are stressing the dangers and consequences of using illegal fireworks.

“Already this year our Arson and Bomb Investigators and Law Enforcement Officers have been busy assisting with numerous illegal fireworks enforcement operations,” said Chief Mike Richwine, California State Fire Marshal.
“We have a zero-tolerance stance toward the use, possession, and transportation of illegal fireworks. Even ‘Safe and Sane’ fireworks are banned in many communities and bring stiff fines for their illegal use.”

Over the past few months Cal-FIRE-Office of the State Fire Marshal’s specialized Arson and Bomb Investigators have been providing intelligence and support to local and federal illegal fireworks enforcement efforts. These operations have seized tens of thousands of pounds of illegal fireworks.

It is illegal to sell, transport, or use fireworks that do not carry the “Safe and Sane” seal, as well as possess or use fireworks in a community where they are not permitted. If convicted, a violator could be fined up to $50,000, as well as be sent to jail for up to one year. Parents are liable for any damage or injuries caused by their children using fireworks.

Illegal fireworks include:
• Skyrockets
• Bottle rockets
• Roman candles
• Aerial shells
• Firecrackers
• Other fireworks that explode, go into the air, or move on the ground in an uncontrollable manner

“Fire conditions are elevated, and the 4th of July, along with the use of fireworks, only increases the risk for wildfires,” said Chief Joe Tyler, Cal-FIRE Director and Fire Chief. “It is critical that Californians be vigilant and consider leaving the fireworks to the professionals.”

Cal-FIRE is offering the public the following fireworks precautions:
• If using “Safe and Sane Fireworks, first check they are allowed in the area of use.
• Make sure the firework has the State Fire Marshal “Safe and Sane” seal on it.
• Have a bucket of water and garden hose available at firing site. During this drought it is recommend you use a bucket of gray/reused water to submerse your firework after its used to fully extinguish it.
• Read all instructions before use.
• Never alter, modify, or enhance fireworks – use only in the manner intended.
• Make sure fireworks have proper clearance from flammable materials including dry grass and brush.
Click It or Ticket Operation Targets Seatbelt Scofflaws

The Susanville Police Department handed out eleven traffic citations Wednesday night during a special “Click It or Ticket” traffic enforcement operation targeting drivers and passengers not wearing their seat belts.

“Officers were on patrol actively looking for drivers and passengers who are not wearing a seat belt,” explains Susanville Chief of Police Ryan Cochran. “This includes vehicles where children are not secured in child safety seats. The Susanville Police Department encourages everyone to wear a seatbelt while in a vehicle.”

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Susanville’s City Hall and Fire Department around 1950. ~ From the Lassen Historical Society
Susanville Buys New Fire Truck
June 28, 1947

Mayor Jim E. Bronson this week announced that a new large fire truck had been ordered for the city of Susanville. The truck is a 750 gallon per minute pumper mounted on a GMC chassis, and will cost $12,559.

This will give the city two large fire trucks. Plans are to keep one of the two airplane crash type fire trucks recently bought from the war assets administration, and to sell the other. This move in accordance with recommendations of the Pacific Board of Fire Underwriters.

The new truck, on which delivery is not expected for several months, will be equipped with the usual ladders and other essentials equipment. It will have a 154-horsepower motor.
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