Editor's View: Christmas in the hills

By: Don Chaddock, Managing Editor
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If you are looking for some Christmas cheer, look no farther than El Dorado Hills. This Saturday is the big Tree-Lighting Ceremony at Town Center. Hundreds turn out to watch them throw the switch. From 6 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 28, the entire center comes alive with music, a visit by Santa, refreshments and more. Some entertainers include the Oak Ridge High Dance Team and Choir, El Dorado Musical Theater, Center Stage Dance Academy and the strolling Dickens carolers. There is plenty to do for kids and families. The tree lighting is presented by Town Center, El Dorado Hills Chamber of Commerce and the El Dorado Hills Community Services District. For more info, go to eldoradohills This Friday, from noon to 7 p.m., is the Winter Wonderland at Green Valley Nursery on Green Valley Road. Owner Julie McCarthy has prepared a Christmas tree lot, free cider and cookies, children’s activities and more. Winter Wonderland runs through Dec. 20. For more info, give Julie a call at (916) 941-8660. ... Susan Covington, head librarian at the El Dorado Hills Library, tells me Santa will be dropping by to spread some Christmas cheer at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 8. If you’d like a snapshot, you’ll need to bring your own camera. It’s also pajama story time, so get those kids in some footie jammies and get over there. For more on the library event, call (916) 358-3500. ... The EDH Chamber’s special holiday luncheon will be 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 2, at Wine Konnection in Town Center. The cost is $25 and you must reserve a seat. I attended this shindig last year and had a swell time. For info, or to save your spot, call (916) 933-1335. Artistic license Artist Gene Mendonca is on the hunt for some of his artwork he loaned the city years ago, but it appears to have vanished. He said the artwork was originally hung in the hallway near the council chambers around 1970 by former Mayor Jack Kipp. It was later moved to the city manager’s office. “The artwork used to hang in (former city manager) Bill Kime’s office at city hall,” Mondonca recalls. “It was supposed to go to the Folsom Historical Society (after that), but that didn’t happen.” With Kime’s departure in the mid-1990s, the artwork disappeared. He has spoken to Kime, who now resides in another state, but the artwork’s current location is unknown. He said he’s not looking for a return of the artwork, but a chance to photograph it to document his work. “I don’t care if I get it back, as long as it has a good home,” he said. “I’d like to know if it’s still around. I’m a struggling artist.” He describes the work as three charcoal drawings in a single 3-feet by 15- or 16-inch frame. “One is of a guy gold panning, another is a gold dredge and the last shows two miners in a tunnel with a drill,” he said. In the bottom corner of each drawing is a signature reading “Gene,” he said. Mendonca is a former city employee. “When I worked for (Folsom), Artie Davies was doing payroll,” he laughed. “I worked on the streets (for) Dave Buck.” He worked for the city until 1970 and then worked for CalTrans on Donner Summit near Truckee until 2002. “Now I’m living back (in Folsom) where I grew up in the old neighborhood,” he said. With his retirement, he’s also started drawing again. “When the Folsom History Museum did the ‘City of Bridges’ show, two of my pieces were in the display,” he said. If you know the whereabouts of the drawings, give Gene a call at (916) 985-3823. Don Chaddock is the managing editor of the Telegraph. He can be reached at