TRUCKEE TOWN PORTRAIT 2000: A sea of more than 7,000 celebrate picture day
It was hot. We were all crammed together for at least 30 minutes waiting for Russell Rosewood – high on the ladder above – to give the signal that the time had come.
Groans of anticipation were circulating. There was talk of starting a wave. But as Rosewood raised his hand, the crowd settled down and posed for a picture that may be the first and last official town portrait in Truckee history.
So just how many people were there on Sunday?
Tom Covey, Public Works Director, described a scientific method – Truckee style – for estimating approximately how many people arrived for the Truckee Town Portrait 2000.
Each of the red flags delineating boundaries for the portrait were placed at 50-foot increments. Judging by aerial photos taken by Larry Prosser, who was flying overhead in the Featherstone helicopter, the people reached the 300-foot marker. Subtracting for open space and a few cars, Covey estimates the attendance Sunday to be about 7,200 Truckee residents.
“I have to commend the mayor on putting together such an outstanding event,” Jim Smith said.
Smith, former president of the Truckee Historical Society, added that in his 21 years as a Truckee resident this was the largest, most well-organized community event he had ever seen.
Bands such as Deja Vu and Skinny White Samoans and restaurants such as Java Sushi added flavor to the event while children’s activities, such as clowns, balloon yo-yos and snow cones, added color.
“Anybody that has Truckee in their hearts was there,” Mayor Maia Schneider said.
Don and Lenna Hossack were witnesses to what they thought was one of Truckee’s most unusual events ever.
“I knew half the people there,” Hossack said. “There’s all kinds of weird functions in Truckee but I’ve never seen anything like that.”
The event brought community groups, restaurants, kids’ organizations, musicians and Truckee residents together without pretense or boundaries; residents arrived from all avenues of Truckee life to a place where they could walk among each other, without the necessity of propriety, invitation, class or economics. The event was to celebrate and communicate town pride.
Despite the crowd, the event was a fairly peaceful one. Nevada County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Gary Jacobson said there were no fights, accidents or medical emergencies, outside of one or two individuals suffering from heat exhaustion.
“I’ve been making historical photos in Truckee for a long time, the Historical District, TAMA, Rotary things like that, but this was definitely the most important one I’m stoked,” Russell Rosewood said.
Rosewood took three cameras up the 80-foot ladder to shoot the town photograph.
Eric A. Moen and Terry Farquhar were in charge of selling portrait poster pre-orders the day of the portrait. While it could not be determined how many sales were generated, Moen estimates more than 1,000.
For information about obtaining a Town Portrait poster, call the Chamber of Commerce at 587-2757. Orders are only being accepted through Sept. 30.
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