It was a sunny afternoon many years ago, I was cruising over to my friend Lanny Netz’s house. I decided to get off Hwy. 49 at McKnight Way to pick up a 6-pack. As I slowed down, I took the time to look at the ‘Welcome to Grass Valley Memorial’ sign and the local service clubs displayed there. The Odd Fellows, Kiwanis, two or three Rotary Clubs and a few others. When I got to Lanny’s we got into a discussion about the sign and the organizations displayed. They were the community good fellows. They had meetings, picnics, lunches, events, etc. The lights come on Lanny’s and my face about the same time. The Roamin Angels were a non-profit club also all of our profits went back to the people in Nevada County. We weren’t nationwide just a home grown organization. We decided then and there that our emblem should be there too. While we were brainstorming, another friend and club member, Richard Farmer, came in and the three of us made an executive decision that we would put our plaque up on the welcome sign also. We knew that we were just as good as any other local service organization. Richard said he would have a larger metal sign, like our plaque, made as the car plaques were too small and wouldn’t really show up from the road.
He came back a few days later with a smile on his face and large metal copy of our club’s plaque. So, with hammer, saw, ladder, nails, and determination, we headed for Kilroys wrecking yard. Upon arrival we discovered that there wasn’t a space to accommodate our sign, but, Richard with saw in hand, Lanny supporting the ladder, Richard cut off a large pine limb that hung down over the sign frame. He and Lanny then firmly attached the sign. It has remained there ever since.
Fast forward! Lanny and I went by there the other day. The Roamin Angel sign and part of a rotary sign are the only ones that remain on the memorial. Unfortunately, the memorial is overgrown with weeds and debris, the other signs are faded and laying back in the weeds. We wondered if any of those organizations have been back to check on their signs. Meanwhile the Roamin Angel sign is still going strong on top in all its glory.
Check it out next time you’re driving on Hwy. 49 near the old Kilroys lot.
Reporting by Ray Y. and Lanny N.