A fourth grade class at Golden Hills Elementary School took a trip back in history recently. Teacher Denise Trone (alias Senor Bob) with a lot of parental help turned her class room into an 1850s gold rush town called "Rocker Ridge II."
Trone said they would not have been able to accomplish constructing the town without the help of SaveMart. The need for very large cardboard boxes was met by General Manager Tim King and Assistant Manager Mark Chatteron. The teacher's sister Deanna Trone works at SaveMart and acted as liaison to help expedite delivery of the boxes.
Trone said social studies, math and language came come into play during the project. Each day, every shop, hotel, etc. must balance their till at the end of the day. If the till balances, they get $5 extra to put in their till. Trone said the youngsters enjoy the process and making the till balance.
As is often the case with children, when the newness wears off the age old lament "I'm tired' comes into play. Senor Bob (the teacher) explains they each have a job in Rocker Ridge and, much like when their parents have jobs, quitting when one is tired was not an option. When a new class would come to town to "visit," Trone would let it be known there were customers and it was everyone's job to put on a friendly face and help their customers.
Participants were dressed in period clothing, hats and mustaches and seemed to enjoy their roles in the Rocker Ridge II project.
B & W Saloon owner, Zack Barrett, aka Ashkatchm, owner of Rocker Ridge "business" -- the B&W Saloon and his fellow Rocker Ridge visitors -- Elijah Fisher, aka John Moca and Ethan Riley, aka Rusty Luke -- agreed it would have been hard work living in the 1850s. The saloon served sweet tea, root beer, Sprite, milk, hot chocolate and water.
The General Store, known as "The Cha-Ching," was "owned" by Tim Nemecek, aka Smelly Hamster and Smelly and his cohorts Isaiah George, aka Jesse James and Leah Terry, aka Meme, said they felt it would have been hard to live in the 1850s, but did enjoy the experience. Smelly was curious as to how they actually "made" money 160 years ago.
"We have machines that make it today, but how did they make the money in the 1850s," he wondered.
Purchases at the general store included beef jerky, hardtack (saltines), lemon drops, red and black licorice, Sarsparilla,drops, clove sticks, fortune cookies, butterscotch and peppermint candies, bandanas and fake mustaches.
Maggie Noda, aka Ally and "owner" of the Cutting Cowgirls Barber Shop gave Destiny Clagg, aka Shannon a "shave" while her next customer, Aleiyah Bryan, waited her turn. She also provided haircuts, styles and shoeshines.
No one was under lock and key at the Western Jail, but Sheriff Mckenzie Richter, aka Rosie Jackson, and her deputies Bryan Self, aka Deputy Bennett ad Brett Bedrosian, aka Sean Michael were keeping a close eye on the happenings around town. The empty jail was short-lived as a bank robbery took place but bank owner, Madisyn Davenport kept her cool. Fortunately there was no gunfire and the robbers were soon jailed.
Dusty Suite Hotel owner Alani Marroquin, aka Luann, agreed with many other shopkeepers, that life was hard in the 1850s. Donuts were available for sale and rooms could be rented by the day or week.
Old Western Mine was scheduled and mine owner Justin Otis, aka Jo Kai, was busily getting everyone ready for the tour. He appeared to have his hands full but was enjoying every minute of his job. He shared interesting historical facts and lessons.
BBQ owner Mariah Sloan, aka Kassie C. and assistant Moriah Campbell, aka Elizabeth said the experience was amazing and it felt like real life.
Amazing Western Bessy Restaurant served chicken legs, pies, rolls, white bread, butter,bacon, flapjacks, syrup, oranges and chili.