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Lisa Lucke
6 days ago
Argonaut Softball players and coaches express their hopes. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch

his summer is going to be hu-u-u-u-ge. First, our eldest son, my firstborn, graduated from high school. In August, he’ll be leaving the shoe and moving about three hours away, where he’ll be learning the fine art of working without a net. I have complete confidence in him, not that it will be a perfect transition with no missteps, but that he’ll recover nicely after each “splat” and learn as he goes. So that’s the first big thing happening this summer.

The other big thing is actually the absence of something: softball. Read my...

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Brent Parsons
6 days ago
Marlene and Kirk Wallace, along with Darryl Readshaw, are the buyers of Mace Meadow. Ledger Dispatch photo by Brent Parsons
I’ve submitted a rambling of disconnected thoughts a few times in the almost three years I’ve been a regular contributor to the Ledger Dispatch. Some readers would say I’ve done that many more times than I think. The bulk of my pieces have been interviews and there is still a rich crop to harvest. Those take scheduling and a significant block of time. Rejection is also part of that genre, which sometimes pushes me another way. Ginger Budrick has joined in the interview process and I’m certain, despite age-limiting her subjects, she... [Read more]
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Jack Mitchell
1 week ago
The Camanche Fire started on Friday, June 17, 2016 - burned 200 acres. Here's the aftermath. Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Bill Lavallie
On Monday, June 20, 2016 we took the opportunity to fly over the Camanche Fire area. The Camanche Fire started on June 17, 2016 at 2:54 p.m. and burned approximately 200 acres. No home were lost, but three outbuidlings were destroyed, another was damaged. No injuries were reported.This is an aerial view of the site taken on Monday, June 20, 2016, at 11:54 p.m. https://youtu.be/Bsge87-LSsc [Read more]
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Brent Parsons
2 weeks ago
Parker and Bella lounge in the desert. Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Brent Parsons

We left Parker’s bones behind after a second windy night and drove the 125 miles to Cedar City. It’s a neat, tree-thick town at the base of the mountains where Interstate 15 is a final southern route option. Zion, which we drive through but avoid the crowded campgrounds, is 65 miles south on the way to Navajo and Grand Canyon country. Instead, if we’re heading that way, we camp at a quiet little BLM campground just past Kanab, on a 40-mile dirt road connecting Utah with Arizona. The crowd there might reach six.

We had several...

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Brent Parsons
2 weeks ago

Amador County’s Upcountry golf course, Mace Meadow, on Highway 88, in Buckhorn, has been sold. I’ve previously written a few pieces on this subject. If you haven’t seen me play, you might think I’m a golfer. No, I’m not, but I am interested in a facility that once attracted many to the Upcountry, including my parents, who, in turn, enticed me to Amador.

After a couple of disappointing buyer back-outs and a looming bankruptcy, it looks like a deal has been sealed. These last-chance buyers hoped all would be final by Monday, the...

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Brent Parsons
3 weeks ago
From left, Rick Smith, his granddaughter Hannah Campbell, grandson Ceyvion Wilkins, daughter Gracie Campbell and wife, Donna Smith. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch
I’ve moved a half dozen times since college, and everywhere I lived, I found the basketball pickup games before I found or looked for anything else. It’s been an addiction. I moved to Amador in 1989 and after making some calls and chasing down leads, Manny Cranford led me to a group that played Wednesday nights at Jackson Junior High. I showed up, watched and waited. This wasn’t the open gym or park games from Santa Cruz where everyone got their turn — sometimes only one, because winners stayed on. The Jackson group was fairly... [Read more]
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Carey Erichson
4 weeks ago

How many of you have had a hole in one? I can readily guess, very few. There is no talent in getting a hole in one, it is strictly luck. I hit the ball as straight as anyone so when I line up with the hole, God only knows where it is going. I have had two holes in one and my older sister has had three. She held that over my head her whole life.

We used to play a lot of golf together when we were kids at our cabin at Lake Tahoe. Our parents and their friends were always having extended cocktail hours and burning the B-B-Q Chicken,...

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Brent Parsons
4 weeks ago
“Over the next few hours, Parker returned with every type of bone a desert could produce — and then some.” Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Brent Parsons
If things go right, and they have the last few years, we take camping trips to the Red Rock Canyon country in the late spring and early fall. Getting away is never easy. There is the packing, the scheduling, and the covering of the bases. And now two dogs –one a 10-month-old bundle of spunk and the other a happy but physically failing, stumbling 14-year-old. Bella might be making her last trip, but I thought that six months ago, too. Packing wasn’t as strategically demanding this time, because our new little camper eliminated much of... [Read more]
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Lisa Lucke
4 weeks ago
Graduation is in a couple days, as of the time of this writing, and the boy leaves for college in mid-August. That’s right, my firstborn is about out of the nest, both the rickety personal nest he lives in and the larger nest of our family home. He’s the first of our four kids to graduate from high school, the first (of two humans) that I gave birth to (I give birth to great ideas all the time, ask my husband) and the first person who actually caused me to worry that the amount of love I was feeling might not be normal. I actually... [Read more]
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Carey Erichson
05/26/2016 8:50 AM

A man was walking down the street when he was accosted by a particularly dirty and shabby-looking homeless man who asked him for a couple of dollars for dinner.

The man took out his wallet, extracted ten dollars and asked, “If I give you this money, will you buy some beer with it instead of dinner?”

“No, I had to stop drinking years ago,” the homeless man replied.

“Will you spend this on green fees at a golf course instead of food?” the man asked.

“Are you NUTS!” replied the homeless man. “I haven’t played golf in 20...

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Brent Parsons
05/19/2016 2:41 PM
The Knight Foundry, a Sutter Creek treasure
Frank, like other cabinetmakers, is also a contractor. He served ten years as a director and one as president of the Salinas Valley Builders’ Exchange. In 1996, he was honored as the valley’s “Construction Person of Year.” He served a similar stint on the Northern California Builders’ Exchange State Compensation Council. He was the president of a grass roots organization, the Rancho Buena Vista Coalition, which fought against and halted two controversial cogeneration plants. Two of the plant developers were convicted of fraud and... [Read more]
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Lisa Lucke
05/19/2016 2:58 PM

As I write this, it’s 11 a.m. So far, I’ve attacked the landfill that is my office desk and organized it into teetering piles, each with a different Post-it note on which I’ve written its category: filing (household); filing (medical); filing (project notes); crap to follow up on; and the dreaded, “To Do.”

This last category ranges from paying bills, emailing warranties, measuring windows for curtains, getting a stain out of a kid’s shirt that’s been in the laundry room “since forever,” to scheduling my son’s orientation day at...

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Lisa Lucke
05/05/2016 1:29 PM

When I was 20-something, I truly didn’t have a care in the world. I was easygoing to a fault. I didn’t care if people cut me off in traffic. I didn’t care if I waited in line for 15 minutes at the grocery store. In fact, I was so easygoing, and by easygoing, I mean devoid of both self-esteem and important things to do, I didn’t even care if a boy forgot to tell me he had another girlfriend. And when he finally did get around to telling me, I still didn’t seem to care.

Another thing I also couldn’t be bothered to care about a few...

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William Peterson
04/21/2016 1:14 PM

In February of this year, President Obama’s final budget proposal as President of the United States was unveiled to the American public. This year’s version of the budget, as usual, included a number of provisions targeting retirement accounts. If these are approved by Congress and become law, your retirement plans could be greatly affected.

It’s no secret that our national debt continues to climb to astonishing levels, and that our nation’s spending is out of control. Combine that with several underfunded entitlement programs,...

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Lisa Lucke
04/21/2016 1:23 PM

We’re all busy in our own way. My way is work, four teenagers who play sports and a husband who coaches, so on any given weeknight, I may be in a neighboring county, or beyond, when you factor in pre-season tournaments. This presents a problem when it comes to meal preparation.

Since I work from home, on most days, I can make adjustments (work at night or weekends or early morning) in order to be where I need to be, including the kitchen. I can even work from a deck overlooking a lake, or poolside with an umbrella drink next to me...

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Lisa Lucke
04/14/2016 2:38 PM

here are a few reasons why I will never be president, even though I meet all of the official criteria as laid out in the U.S. Constitution:

1. I am over the age of 35 (barely).

2. I was born in the capital of a state.

3. My dad regularly burned things on the BBQ when I was growing up.

Even if I satisfied every legal-ish requirement, like having large hands, which I do not, it’s unlikely I could win even a single primary or cactus, although I’m not sure why it’s important to bring home succulents in some states. The...

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Lisa Lucke
04/07/2016 1:16 PM

When my kids were little, I steamed and pureed fresh vegetables and snuck them into their favorite crappy foods, like mac n’ cheese, or SpaghettiOs. I know, it’s hard to believe that a person like me, raised by fierce cooks, allowed canned spaghetti into her pantry, but a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do now and then, and back then, I had to do it. (Before Nona came to babysit, I always remembered to hide them behind a box of decoy Grape Nuts that was actually filled with gummy bears.)

As a grown-up, in most senses of the...

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Brent Parsons
03/31/2016 12:15 PM

I

heard from Editor Budrick a few weeks back that another candidate had joined the race for District 4 Supervisor. Louis Boitano now has two challengers trying to stop a seventh consecutive term: Gwen Clayton and Frank Axe. I got Frank Axe’s email address and asked for an interview before the “bleep” hit the fan in the Ledger’s March 11 edition. The Opinion section contained a letter from retiring District 1 Supervisor John Plasse, quoting Frank’s emailed response when notified of not being selected to join the Amador Community...

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Lisa Lucke
03/31/2016 12:05 PM

Ahh, nothing like a little Freddy Fender song to set the mood. And I’m in the mood for eggs. I love eggs.

When I am in a vegetarian phase, which typically lasts anywhere from 12 hours to two weeks, I still eat eggs, mostly from my backyard hens: Mutha Clucka, Pat Henatar, Stevie Chicks, Blackcock Down, Cleopecktra, Cupcake, Snowball and the Deviled Eggs, I and II. They lead a pretty cake life, roaming free all day and getting tucked in at night, which includes treats and pets from my husband, the chicken whisperer.

As an egg...

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Guest Commentator
03/24/2016 12:36 PM

There has always been an attraction for golfers towards the hallowed grounds of Augusta National. The Masters is one of the most unusual events in sports. It’s all about tradition, and it’s defined by a set of old rules and customs that just do not exist in other tournaments. To commemorate such an amazing place, I have collected some of the most interesting facts about Augusta National, that you can share with your friends.

1. In the Beginning

The Masters as we know it would never have been, if the USGA hadn’t turned down...

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