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Riding with the Rangers: Summer cukes and zukes and Jerry Garcia

Aug 30, 2013 - By Steven R. Peck

Lew Diehl and Charlie Treber have been keeping The Ranger office in fresh vegetables this month. Charlie (a nickname for Mary) works here. Lew is a frequent visitor. Charlie's specialty is cucumbers from her own garden. Lew brought in the inevitable zucchini but scored a real hit when he added a bag of fresh beans, still in the pod.

Do these green-thumbers favor us simply because their gardens overproduce a bit, or is it a comment on the sometimes, shall we say, sedentary lifestyle of the average newsroom worker?

Actually, our current newsroom staff is a pretty fit bunch. Must be all the veggies.

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Late August is full of back-to-school activity, including the recent Fremont County School District 25 welcoming assembly for faculty and staff. The entire work force of the school district, give or take a handful, gathered in the middle school commons room for introductions, words of inspiration, and some entertaining performances by students.

Superintendent Terry Snyder got his turn at the microphone and made note of some faculty milestones. One of them was the 30th wedding anniversary of Ashgrove Elementary School principal Alleta Baltes and husband Rod (he's a Ranger regular who drops by every afternoon to pick up his paper).

Snyder noted that Alleta and Rod had taken a nice, relaxing trip for their 30th -- and then revealed that Snyder and his wife had arrived at their 31st anniversary over the summer as well.

And what romantic interlude had the Snyders observed to mark their 31 years of nuptial bliss? "We were at the Teton Science Camp with all the fourth-graders," he said, to chuckles from the audience.

"Next time, I'll check the schedule a little more closely before agreeing to that," the good-natured superintendent added.

He's starting his third year at the District 25 helm.

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Today is the last day of summer work for Ranger advertising intern Nick Esposito, who rose to a bigger occasion than either he or we had planned for when he inquired in June about a summer job.

He is now off to Italy for a semester's study abroad in affiliation with the University of Denver. Buona fortuna!

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Thanks as always to the readers either interested enough or simply polite enough to inquire about son Robert. The young Yale man is a junior this fall. Classes started Wednesday. He wrote 100 stories for the Yale Daily News as a freshman but only eight as a sophomore. But he shot a photograph used in the fall welcome-back edition last week, and he's planning to be a columnist for the News this year -- and he says he'll share them with the old man to use in The Ranger, too.

We usually have a copy or two of the "YDN" around the office. Have a look if you're here. A typical school paper this ain't.

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We've been missing photographer Wayne Nicholls for a couple of weeks -- but for a good reason. He applied for, and was accepted to, a summer guitar program at the highly-regarded Berklee School of Music in Boston. So, off he went.

We're not revealing how old Wayne is, but it's safe to say he's old enough to be the grandfather of many of the typical, college-aged Berklee music students. ("You must be at least 15 years old to participate in the program," reads the Berklee literature; let's just say Wayne qualifies.)

This was a real lark for Wayne, who got his first guitar lessons as a kid in Palo Alto, Calif., from Jerry Garcia, later to become famous as the lead man for the Grateful Dead.

Wayne was about 12 at the time, and Garcia was a high school student.

If you've never heard him (Wayne, that is), take it from someone who has: Our Ranger cameraman can really play.

He'll be back next week, camera in hand Riding with the Rangers.

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