Jeler has longtime family ties to Murphys community

By Mike Morris / The Union Democrat

When Suzanne Jeler moved to the Murphys area nearly five years ago, it felt like home.

Since she was a baby, her family had camped at Boards Crossing near Dorrington in "a cabin without walls," as she puts it.

Her mother was a Bay Area school teacher, so the family would spend each summer vacationing in Calaveras County.

"We would head out in June and come back right before school started in September," she said.

Staying with relatives in Murphys as a child, Jeler remembers swimming in the recently-closed town pool and buying groceries at what is now a store selling adventure gear.

Now at the age of 53 and living in nearby Vallecito, Jeler is one of many volunteers lending a hand for the 65th annual Murphys Homecoming to be held Saturday at Murphys Community Park.

The event will feature live music by the Calaveras Community Band and plastic duck races in Murphys Creek to benefit the Calaveras Youth Mentoring Foundation.

"It's a fun event," Jeler said. "Murphys is such a fun town. There's always something going on."

At noon, the free Old Timers Luncheon will be served to those 70 and older who have lived in the Murphys area for at least 10 years and already have reservations. The Murphys Community Club will also be selling food.

Jeler wears period clothing when she volunteers at the catered Old Timers Luncheon.

"They get a kick out of it," she said.

Jeler actually has a photo of her great-grandparents attending a Murphys Homecoming celebration in the late 1960s. Her great-aunt and uncle lived in town.

Her grandmother, Gertrude Lee, also lived in Murphys and was cast in the role of the ranger's wife in a 1977 horror film called "Day of the Animals."

For the complete story, see the July 18, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.

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