Christmas wreaths and social circles overlap in Alpine

Alpine County's librarians and their supporters gathered on Saturday for their annual holiday party.

"We are a library circle; a circle composed of library staff, library commissioners, the county archivist and officers of Friends of the Library," said Alpine County Librarian Bessie Platten.

Platten's words conjured up visions of circles of Alpiners who gather together for various reasons.

Alpine County officials and employees serving on various boards and commissions are entwined with citizens into social circles that function as an additional form of government.

While my husband was hanging our Christmas wreath, images of wreaths of people overlapping in their holiday activities flashed through my mind.

The potluck lunch last Saturday of the library circle celebrated the season and the anticipated arrival of the new bookmobile in January.

The Fifty Plus Club also celebrated the season with a potluck lunch in the multipurpose room at the Early Learning Center on Dec. 14.

Alpine County Public Health Officer Dr. Richard Harvey entertained the circle of friends by presenting a slide show of his travels with Starquest Expeditions.

The travel company had asked our "Doc" Harvey to be the physician on a tour that highlighted trade crossroads of the world.

The motto of the touring company is to provide "innovative journeys to legendary places," and as we followed his airborne trail from Iceland to Armenia, Mongolia, Cambodia, Bhutan, India, Ethiopia, Mali, Libya, Malta and back to Iceland, these ancient marketplaces were brought to life.

After the tour-talk, Alpine County Director of Health and Human Services Cindy Hannah formed a gift-exchange circle and read a story about "Lefty" to the amusement of all participants.

Whenever the words left or right were spoken by Hannah, the gifts were shifted to the left or right so that the gifts were circumnavigated anonymously.

Often I hear people speak of coming full circle. Does that mean doing a turnaround? Whatever it means, we're doing it.

Our place was for sale, and we were trying to be brave about moving to the east coast where some of our kids live.

But we've lived in Markleeville for a long time - 33 years - and we don't want to leave this beautiful mountain community.

We're decided to stay and keep on participating in the social circles that shift and swirl around us.

We'll continue to wonder how the winter willows flock themselves with snow, appreciate the spring budding of the aspens, enjoy the sight of the verdant summer pasture and be awestruck by the spectacular autumn colors.

n Gina Gigli is a Markleeville resident. Reach her at

Alpine County Librarian Bessie Platten, Information Access Coordinator Rita Lovell, Archivist Nancy Thornburg, Library Commissioner Irving Krauss share food-for-thought at library luncheon.

Alpine County Public Health Officer Dr. Richard Harvey shows the Fifty Plus Club photos of his trip to legendary places.


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