Norm Nicholls: Keep the community spirit alive |

Norm Nicholls: Keep the community spirit alive

Norm and Alan Nicholls
Wednesday columnist
By Norm and Alan Nicholls

Times are rough at the moment and for some, seeing a light at the end of the tunnel is very difficult. It is times like these when we need to unite as friends, neighbors, and communities and to reach out to help each other.

The spirit of “caring” is already alive in the Truckee/North Tahoe area and individuals and organizations continue to step up to the plate. At this writing, we are not sure of the outcome of the “Call to Action” by the Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation (and scores of volunteers), but we do anticipate it will be extremely successful.

If you did not receive a call and want to be involved, contact the Foundation at (530) 587-1776 or visit their web site at The needs of the community are many and the initial donations will get things going in a big way, but will not be an end all. Stay involved and keep on giving as you can.

Stone Soup … I spoke with Penny Fink on Saturday for an update on Stone Soup. She reported that 84 people attended the first night, and 106 the second night of the weekly Sunday community soup night at the Community Center on Church Street.

“We have had a good cross between the needy and community members who have participated in this weekly gathering,” said Penny. “We are hoping for even more participation and we sent out flyers this week in Spanish, encouraging participation by our Hispanic population.”

“The turnout and the enthusiasm of the participants, organizers, and volunteers have been very gratifying,” said Penny. “There have been some very generous donations,” she added, which will go towards the continued operation of Stone Soup as well as to non-profit organizations in the community that are assisting those in need.

Attendees have had a great time and a great dinner of soup and Truckee Sourdough bread. They have also been entertained by some local musicians who have provided live music. At the end of each night, those in need are able to take the leftovers home.

To date the dinners have been put on by the original organizers. However, “there has been a great response by individuals and local organizations who have volunteered to cook, set up, and provide entertainment for future soup nights,” said Penny.

Stone Soup is held every Sunday evening from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Bring your bowl, spoon, and monetary donations (if you are able) and enjoy this wonderful community get together.

What else can we do? … Most everyone in this community have skills, expertise, goods and services they could share with others during these troubled times. Making such services available for free or at a reduced price would really help the community and is normally a “feel good” gesture by the donors. “Bartering” or exchanging of services between people, without compensation, also sounds appropriate in times like this.

In keeping with community spirit and caring, now would be an excellent time for all of us to think about how we can help and lend a hand to our neighbors. But, how do we open the channels of communications between us to match those with needs with those who can help?

It would be great if the Sierra Sun, Chamber of Commerce, or some other organization could provide a page or website where people could go to post their needs, offered services, trades, barters or whatever. Examples: Joe will shovel roof in exchange for firewood; Susie has couch she will donate; Sam Accountant will donate free short form tax prep; Joyce goes to Reno every Thursday morning to grocery shop and will take riders, etc.

If any of you readers have ideas you would like to share, please let us know and we will be glad to use this column to share your ideas with others. Let’s all keep our community spirit alive!

Norm and Alan Nicholls of the Nicholls Real Estate Group are affiliated with Dickson Realty at 11500 Donner Pass Rd. in Truckee.

Last week’s question … “How did locals know when the California Highway Patrol airplane and special team of officers were in town to site speeders on the freeway” prompted several different answers that we judged as all correct.

Mark Brown said you could tell when there were a lot of people pulled over to the side of the freeway between Truckee and the truck scales. Kelly Wulff and Mary De Lisle responded, “when you saw lots of CHP cars lined up on the side of the freeway by the Prosser Village Rd. off ramp.”

Norval Ayers (from Maui), Jerry Blakeley, and Bill Mullins figured out the answer we were looking for. Norval writes “You would see about ten (Ford) Mustangs by the side of the freeway and then you would hear the airplane going round and round.” Jerry and Bill remembered seeing these special Mustangs parked in front of Busby’s Coffee Shop early in the morning. The officers of this special team would eat a hardy breakfast prior to going on duty and citing those of us who were driving too fast.

This week’s question … Where was the location of Busby’s Coffee Shop? Call us at (530) 550-5035 or email us at with your answer.

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