What makes a bedroom a bedroom?
I was in a Reno business the other morning and the owner helped me out because one staff member was ill that day, and the other one was busy with three cranky customers. Over the course of our transaction, I learned that this business owner lives in Truckee and drives four days a week down to Reno to run his shop. I explained that I was the interim publisher of the Sierra Sun and he said, with raised eyebrows, “Oh, you’re the publisher?” I said yes, and asked him what he thought of the paper. He told me a bunch of good stuff that I wrote down.
I asked him how long he’d lived in Truckee and he said for about 10 years, and that he thought that Truckee was one of the “nicest bedroom communities he’d ever lived in.”
I thought about this statement as I drove up to the Sierra Sun offices that day, “bedroom community.” I’ve lived in a lot of places where the designation as a “bedroom community” was ‘tres’ unpopular, the citizens of the bedroom community grabbing pitchforks and torches to defend against any monster who babbles out the words, “bedroom community.” All across the Midwestern United States, small towns whose economic centers have bleed to death by neighboring cities’ attractions – retail, medical centers, jobs – are especially sensitive to the moniker. I understand this sentiment, as being a “bedroom community” implies that the town doesn’t have everything it needs contained inside its borders.
On the other hand, a ‘bedroom community’ isn’t such a bad thing. I mean, think about it – what does one do in a bedroom? That’s where one goes to find rest and healing. That’s where one goes to make love and, possibly, produce children. There are wealthy textile designers around the world who dedicate their art to creating a more beautiful bedroom, so central to pleasurable living it is. Up here, just read the real estate listings and you’ll see that the number and quality of bedrooms (view, size, amenities) raises the price of a home by the ten-thousands. Over in France, almost all of the chic bedroom come complete with an in-suite bathtub, a place to refresh and sip champagne before you, well, you know. So, being a bedroom can be pretty cool.
I don’t really think of Truckee as a bedroom community for either Reno or Sacramento, but I suppose for some people – like this business owner down in Reno – it is. He does his commerce and makes his living in Reno, then he commutes to an outlying town to go home. Then there are the second home owners who come here for a respite from their primary residence lifestyles. For others, Truckee is a town with oodles of economic activity of various sorts, and when it incorporated 10 years ago, it clearly pointed to itself and said, “We are a Town with a capital T.” Now, it has an official police department. Look at all the fighting over development issues and there lies the evidence that Truckee is a Town
Ron Tucker, the subject of today’s “Faces” feature has purchased land and will eventually build a home over in Sierraville, so I suppose for him Sierraville is a bedroom community for Truckee.
I guess the state of Truckee is top-of-mind with me lately. I’ve been the interim publisher for two weeks now and, you know what? I am having so much fun at this newspaper. The people here are just great, and then I’ve been out in the community talking with various folks and learning their views on this area. But I need more information. You see, the new publisher has been chosen and will start here sometime in May. This person is now looking for homes to purchase in the area with the family in tow. I’ve spoken with the new publisher and, man, is that person excited about this opportunity.
My goals is to hand the new publisher a working document that says, “here’s what’s important to the people who call Truckee home, bedroom or no, and here’s my ‘take’ on the information I received.” Then I’ll let the new publisher take it from there.
So, I’m going to try something new. Next Tuesday, April 9, I’ll be sitting in a corner chair at Wild Cherries Coffee House at 11429Donner Pass Road, from 10 a.m. to noon. If you’ll stop in and say hello, and fill out my one-page survey, I’d appreciate it. In fact, I’m buying a cup of your favorite coffee-house beverage for the first 25 people who stop in and fill out the survey. And, if you miss this one, I’ll be having one of these every week through the month of April, so watch for new times and places.
Margaret Porter-Larson is interim publisher of the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at the Sun offices at (530)587-6061 Monday-Friday.