comments

Media Life: Family treasure trove of Placer’s Olympic artifacts on display

By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Media Life columnist
-A +A

 

Media Life’s Gus Thomson can be reached at gust@goldcountrymedia.com. Also hear Thomson most Fridays at 6 p.m. on Dave Rosenthal’s drive-time radio show on KAHI 950 AM. He’s also a regular guest on Capital Public Radio’s “Insight.” And you can catch up with Thomson on Twitter at AJ_Media_Life.

 

 

 

 

AUBURN CA - Trekking up Interstate 80 and then making a right-hand turn into the Tahoe area will have the added benefit starting next week of not just some of the most spectacular scenery this side of paradise.

A stop at Tahoe City’s Boatworks Mall will also yield an opportunity to take in perhaps the best historical display ever to detail the 1960 Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley.

The display will highlight the trove of artifacts from the Squaw Valley Olympics collected by the Batiste family out of Granite Bay over more than 50 years. Many are never-before seen. Sacramento-area physician Stan Batiste and family have been collecting all types of memorabilia from the Winter Games. At last count, the collection was up to 220 items.

The exhibit, which will be up for two years, is bolstered by additional memorabilia from the Auburn Ski Club, Squaw Valley Olympic Museum Foundation and the Squaw Valley Ski Corporation.

The Batiste collection includes Olympic items such as skis, racing bibs, official results, promotional literature and participation mementos. The exhibit shows rarely seen conceptual drawings prepared by Walt Disney for planning the games. And selections from the photographic collection of official Olympic photographer Bill Briner will be a central feature.

The exhibit is to be up and open for public viewing starting Jan. 17.

 

Howser was golden for Placer

Media Life can’t pass up the chance to spill some ink and remember Huell Howser, the garrulous tour guide on so many TV adventures as host of “California’s Gold.”

Howser, who died at 67 on Monday, visited Auburn for an installment of his “Road Trip” program and was in Coloma many times over his two decades of wandering the state and filming its sights and sounds – large and not so large.

Perhaps his most lasting involvement with the community was through his work with the Auburn-based Placer County Water Agency on the 30-minute “We All Live in A Watershed” documentary six years ago.

The Association of California Water Agency’s Jennifer Persike, along with longtime Placer Water Director Ed Horton, geologist Marie Davis, forest ranger Jan Cutts, river rafting guide Nate Rangel and Sierra Nevada Conservancy Executive Director Jim Branham all worked with Howser to provide a look at the origin’s of the state’s water supplies in Placer County.

Agency General Manager David Breninger recalled that as the episode evolved, Howser became more and more enthralled with the Middle Fork American River and how water gathers in many ways.

Howser’s patented enthusiasm – he never met an out-of-the-way burg he didn’t like – will be missed by many.

 

Catching up with Mars

Auburn’s multi-talented Mars is continuing to carve out a reputation in the horror-film world while branching out into other entertainment forms.

This Saturday, he’ll be helping highlight the insider’s world of monster-movie creature suits to Sacramento’s Crest Theatre at a showing of the documentary “Men in Suits.” As well as composing music for the film, Mars – known to many in Auburn as Chris Crites – will be sitting on the post-film panel. The screening starts at 7 p.m. and the question and answer period will follow showings of “Men in Suits” and “Beast Wishes,” a film about super sci-fi prop and costume collectors Bob and Kathy Burns.

Mars will be joined on the panel by actor and creature designer Tom Woodruff Jr. (the “Alien” films) and actor Doug Jones (“Pan’s Labyrinth,” “Hellboy,” “Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer”), among others.

Mars informs us that he’s also onboard as executive producer of a multilingual video game called “The Darkness Within” and has recently completed voice work for a Spanish-language children’s TV show as the voice of “Onion,” a vegetable superhero.

His self-produced indie movie “Transcendent” has just wrapped up filming and is targeted for a premiere some time this spring, he said.

 

Lost Rocker update

Auburn’s Lost Rocker, Al Hendrix has nailed down a date for a rare appearance in this area. Hendrix last performed an Auburn gig at the Gold Country Fair this past September and last turned up onstage New Year’s Eve in Bakersfield. He’ll be playing with the rockabilly band Rob Gray and the Shades of Gray from 7 to 10 pm. on Jan. 19 at Nevada City’s Old Stonehouse Brewery. Hendrix said that keyboard player Thomas Craig will be pounding out the Jerry Lee Lewis tunes to accompany his rockabilly warble.

 

Media Life’s Gus Thomson can be reached at gust@goldcountrymedia.com. Also hear Thomson most Fridays at 6 p.m. on Dave Rosenthal’s drive-time radio show on KAHI 950 AM. He’s also a regular guest on Capital Public Radio’s “Insight.” And you can catch up with Thomson on Twitter at AJ_Media_Life.