GLORIOUS STORIES OF THE PAST: There are several words we Californians are thought to say too much: "like" is up there, of course, but so are "really?" and "seriously?" Both are a tad overused, it is true, but have to go to all three of those words when we hear people sniff off historic weekends as textbooky or dull or snooty. Like, really? Seriously? Because history is where all of the juicy stuff exists, the intrigue and the twisty tales and the romances and the fight for gold. Oh, did we just say "the fight for gold"? Why indeedy we did. That is a major part of the the Golden State's golden past, and, nope, it isn't just a part we all learned about in the 4th grade. And, nope, Gold Rush tales don't deserve an occasional half-hearted check-in via a cable channel documentary. The lust -- and truly it was lust -- for gold didn't happen all that long ago or all that faraway from where you sit now (if you happen to be sitting within four or five hours of Sacramento, San Francisco, or the Sierra Nevada). Our state capital pays colorful tribute to our Gold-Rushian past each Labor Day Weekend, and it is not at all cobwebby nor yawny nor any of the stodgy things some might claim history to be.
LOOK NO FURTHER... than the Cannon Firing, the River Cruise, the Pony Express demos, the Beer Crawl, the Burning of the Brothel & Fire Brigade, the Raising of the Streets, the Underground Tours, and the many, many costume-y but historically sound high jinks that go down around Old Sacramento from Friday, Aug. 30 through Monday, Sept. 2. Can we just type "excitement" three times in a row? Thank you: excitement, excitement, excitement. There's a lot going down, there are people driving horses and ladies in bustles and guys in big handlebar mustaches and, in short? History lives, vibrantly and up-close. The Gold Rush spirit'll play out in front of you, and not on your television screen. If you're a history lover, shouldn't you play a part? After all, we have to stand tall with events like this, to show those people who still think of past events as cobwebby that nothing could be further from the gosh darn truth.