Thank you Truckee: It’s been a good run | SierraSun.com

Thank you Truckee: It’s been a good run

Katie Shaffer

I’ve written before about how lucky I feel to live in Truckee. I also consider myself lucky to have been able to write this column for the past six years.Despite the fact that I can’t seem to shut off the stream of ideas which provides me with plenty of topics to write about, I’ve decided that it’s time to pursue other opportunities.There are several people I’d like to thank who either got me started or who kept me going.For quite a while I had tinkered with the idea of writing a column for the newspaper. A friend of mine used to listen to my ideas over drinks downtown or out at West End Beach while our kids swam and played. Finally I got the nerve up to approach the newspaper. After being turned down by two successive editors who told me that they needed someone to cover PUD meetings in the evening, or that I would have to work at the newspaper before I could actually get my own column, I got discouraged and put the idea aside.My friend, however, taught me something about not giving up.As editors tend to walk through a revolving door in our town, it was only a matter of time before a new editor arrived. His name was Nik Dirga. My friend marched into Nik’s office to discuss a school-related issue, as she is a teacher with strong opinions.She also mentioned to him that he should hire her friend to write a column to which he apparently showed interest.It took me a few days to call the Sierra Sun. When I did call, Nik invited me to drop by his office. Equipped with some writing samples and a few ideas in my head, I met with Nik who told me that he was looking for someone to write a regular column “with some local color.” I was not only surprised to be hired on the spot, but he also offered to pay me. I have been indebted to him, and my friend ever since.I’d also like to thank my readers who have laughed along with me over many mishaps, shortcomings and a few travel nightmares. I’ve definitely learned some things during my tenure writing for the newspaper, working under a number of editors. I remember when Jim Scripps e-mailed me with the not-so-reassuring advice that “controversy is good” when I wrote about the Latinos who congregate at the train depot downtown. Controversy may be good for selling newspapers, but I generally did not enjoy seeing my name mentioned in the Letters to the Editor section.I’ve learned to have a little tougher skin though, and to know that I can’t please everyone.I would also like to thank my husband and two daughters, who have not always appreciated the stories I’ve shared about them. While I’ve always made it a point to keep people mentioned in my column anonymous, my family has always been pretty identifiable. They have bore the brunt of inquiries and ribbing, and I’m sure they each feel a measure of relief as I write this final column.Truckee has changed a lot in the short six years I’ve been writing. I think most people would agree that it’s changing right before our very eyes.The other day while driving on Donner Pass Road out at the west end of Donner Lake, I noticed a sign posted outside the Richards Motel advertising Color TV. I find these old Truckee hold-outs endearing, especially in light of how fast they are disappearing. I hope we get to enjoy that sign for a long time to come.In keeping with the basic premise upon which I’ve written many times, if you view our town as a combination of a great group of people living in an incredible place, you probably love Truckee as much as I do.I love the stars that you can see down low on the horizon, in between the tree tops. I love the sound of the train horn that you can hear from just about any spot in town.I love every day I spend here. I’m not planning on leaving anytime soon.Thank you Nik Dirga, for giving me a chance.Thank you anonymous friends and not-so-anonymous family, who have fed me with an abundance of material.Thank you Truckee. It’s been a good run for me.This is Katie Shaffer’s last “Life in our Mountain Town” column.