Rough ‘N’ Ready, CA — Mary L. Retton of Rough ‘N Ready recently purchased a Dell desktop computer at the Staples store in Grass Valley. The sales price was a bargain and the computer came with the latest version of the Microsoft Windows operating system. She also bought a wireless keyboard, wireless mouse, and a wireless printer to go with this computer. Needless to say, she was quite excited to take a test drive with all this wireless gadgetry.
Mrs. Retton is divorced, semi-retired, and lives with three Golden Retrievers in a miner’s cabin she has been renovating and expanding since she purchased it at the height of the real estate market. After she finished setting up the Windows operating system she was still unable to print a test page on her new Hewlett-Packard printer. In these types of situations she would call her son Jeremy for technical assistance, but he is currently vagabonding around Russia this summer.
Mrs. Retton immediately called the technical support hotline for Dell Computer and was soon talking with a polite, soft-spoken man with an Indian accent.
“He said his name was “Wayne Dean”, which I thought was a bit odd and also American sounding,” said an annoyed Ms. Retton, “But I gave him the computer model and serial number and then he asked me how I was doing today and where I was calling from. So I told him I was frustrated and calling him from Rough ‘N’ Ready in California”.
After a brief moment of silence Mr. Dean asked her to repeat where she was calling from. She told him once again that she was calling from Rough ‘N’ Ready, California. Mr. Dean began laughing and appeared to share Mrs. Retton’s location with his co-workers while she waited for him to regain his composure.
When Mrs. Retton told Mr. Dean that the wireless printer wasn’t printing out a test page he told her to call the technical support number at Hewlett-Packard as they made the printer, not Dell Computer. He thanked her for the much-needed laugh and told her to have a wonderful day!
Rough ‘N’ Ready is located a few miles southwest of Grass Valley in western Nevada County. The town was established in 1849 and named after General Zachary Taylor (nicknamed “Old Rough and Ready”) who had recently been elected the 12th President of the United States. Populated mostly by miners from the state of Wisconsin, the town hoped to rid itself of a recently introduced tax on new mining claims. It was decided in a town meeting in April 1850 to draw up articles of secession, forming the “Great Republic of Rough and Ready”.
Less than three months later, when preparing for an Independence Day celebration, community members realized that they were no longer entitled to celebrate US independence, and the secession was rescinded by popular vote. Rough and Ready is the only mining town to have “seceded” from the Union and then voted itself back in.