The hills are recovering and turning green

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from two years ago, but with so many fires over the past five years, who knows. When you get to the northwest side of Lake Berryessa the fire damage is fresh and spotty. There are areas that the fire missed while it burned right to the edge of Highway 128 and in a few places jumped the road. Even some of the burned areas don’t look too bad. It either wasn’t burning that hot, or the area had burned recently and this was just another burn day for the mountains. I attended the Paradise Fire fundraiser at Berryessa Brewery a week ago. It was well attended and all of the proceeds from the sale of Thirst Responders, a beer made by the brewery to honor first responders even before the Camp Fire, went to help survivors. With donations of cash, gift cards and beer sales, over $11,000 was raised. Not bad for a one day event and the beer was good, too. Of all the entries in the tractor parade, the trailer full of first responders got the biggest cheer, and there was plenty to cheer for on Saturday night. How many lights were in the parade? My guess is well over a million but it wasn’t my job to count them, just to watch in amazement as tractor after tractor went by. A lot of time and effort went into making this parade something special. I’ve been looking for an excuse to have a tractor in the parade and have been looking for a tractor since the first parade. I tried to reason with my permanent tenant that I needed a tractor for our half-acre ranch, but she just rolled her eyes and repeated that it was a bad idea to buy a tractor. There is an island in front of the Putah Creek Bridge waiting for a tractor, so I started working on getting a tractor for the island a couple of years ago. I had a farmer willing to donate one, but the timing was off and the city didn’t respond fast enough. By the time I got John Donlevy onboard, the free tractor was no longer available, but he said he would find the money to buy a tractor if I found a cheap enough one. I asked the farmers at the café for help locating a cheap, running tractor. I made the mistake of mentioning a price that I was willing to pay and TR Martin said he had one that he would sell. “Does it run?” He said, yes. “How much?” The other farmers at the table laughed. I must have started the bidding too high because he took my opening offer. TR dropped the tractor off on the corner of Railroad and Grant on Friday, kind of a roadside attraction to advertise the tractor parade. I didn’t have time to put lights on the tractor and/or enter it in the parade, which I heard was booked solid weeks ago, so on the corner it sits. I’m waiting to hear from the city when I can put it on the island. I kind of like it at the corner, but I’m not sure if the land owner wants it there. Maybe it will be like the Rotary Pancake Breakfast wagon and appear just before next year’s parade. Until then, it is looking for a new home. Think positive thoughts about tractors and have a good week.]]>

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