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AS A KID IN CHICO, Diamond Match had a lumberyard next to the railroad tracks until it burned to the ground one night.
Years later, when I lived in Gridley, an old guy named Bud Spurgeon bought a similar Diamond Match lumber yard there and revived it stocking lumber, building materials, plumbing, home wares and sage advice until he couldn't work any more.
I expect that these wood-framed lumber yards were darned near everywhere in the 40s and 50s, back when “do-it-yourself” was the only way it was going to get done, and if you needed a single specific washer or nut or a few finishing nails, the proprietor simply said, "Over there. Go ahead and take 'em."
Here’s what remains in Clarksburg, a few blocks south of the Sugar Mill.
Quick, place the following activities in the correct order: Working. Motorcyling. Fishing.
Where State Route 160 crosses a slough, an old gas station site remains. The pumps, clearly, are gone. I think I recall this was a Shell station in its last incarnation – and they had a pump down at river level for maritime traffic.
The bridge across the slough was closed. A contractor is painting it. I am forced onto an alternate route. The day just gets better and better.
Sutter Island Road traces the slough's levee, winding beneath a pleasant canopy of valley oak.
There's been talk of removing the trees from the levees because their roots can rot and provide tunnels for water (left, above) to seep into the farmland (right.) The Corps of Engineers has not completed a definitive study, but my hope is that they discover the roots actually knit and hold the levees together - which, I believe, has been the thought for some time.
Looks pleasant enough to me.
Back up north, rice replaced the wheat. Here, where the bottoms are soggy, these corn stalks are about to be chopped, mulched (not burned, thank you very much) and plowed under.
Church of the Open Road Press