Mountain Times: Enjoy this peice of paradise we call home
March 16, 2010
Upon returning from South Carolina, I read several letters to the editor which included conversation over living here, feeling welcome, quality of life, etc. It is always interesting to see peopleand#8217;s perspectives and reasons for wanting to live in the area.
I first became acquainted with the Truckee/Tahoe area in 1964 when I first came up here to learn to ski. Beside spending weekends and holidays skiing in the winter, I would also come up several times each summer. Although a city boy from Oakland, I fell in love with the country.
In those days the population sign by the Donner Pass Road exit of eastbound Interstate 80 read fewer than 1,000. I imagine that was based on the census in 1960. The numbers have grown substantially since.
When Alice and I decided we would like to attempt to live up here full time, this community was very dependent upon tourism, construction, our lumber mill, the railroad, utility workers and service-related jobs. Blue collar jobs were much more abundant than white-collar jobs. Even then, we had a quality hospital and well respected doctors who took care of our broken legs and other maladies. We also had a couple of grocery stores, shops and restaurants downtown and (of course) multiple gas stations with expensive gas!
The draw to the area was the environment, the skiing, the lakes and a slower, happier pace of life. Everyone knew your name, or at least your face. People worked together and played together. Much of the population consisted of people from 25 to 50 years old. At the time the area was not considered to be especially appealing to retired people.
With time and the increase in population, our community has changed and become more diverse. We have rich people, poor people, middle class people, super seniors and a multitude of second home owners. White collar jobs have definitely increased while the number of blue collar jobs related to construction and service jobs is decreasing due to the downturn of the economy, the housing bubble, cost of living and and#8220;probablyand#8221; the result of over-development in the past 10 years. (Donand#8217;t shoot me fellow Realtors!).
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What has stayed consistent over the years is that what you receive from living in this beautiful area is dependent upon what you seek out. There are no welcome wagons, so to speak, or neighbors knocking down your door looking to borrow a cup of sugar.
If you wish to be a recluse, you can. If you wish to be involved in your community, you certainly can. There are numerous clubs, organizations, nonprofits, schools, youth organizations, churches, senior services, etc. looking for people who would like to get involved with them to help enhance their causes and the quality of our community. The more involved one gets the more people you meet and friendships formed.
We also have multiple special districts that are managed by and#8220;electedand#8221; board members, as well as the Town of Truckee and the various counties with elected positions. So, for those wanting to be a politician and/or a policy maker, there are many opportunities.
The cost of living up here is still high, jobs are harder to find and we continue to have inherent and#8220;growing pains.and#8221; But, to coin the words of a good friend, Bob Colquhoun, and#8220;this is the greatest place on the face of the earth!and#8221; So if you are new to the area, find your niche, get involved, meet people and enjoy this piece of paradise many of us call home.
Norm and Alan Nicholls of the Nicholls Real Estate Group are affiliated with Dickson Realty at 11500 Donner Pass Rd. in Truckee.