Silver Springs celebrates 57th Founders Day | NevadaAppeal.com

Silver Springs celebrates 57th Founders Day

Dave Frank
Appeal Staff Writer

Jen Schmidt/Nevada Appeal Gretchen Wood, a longtime resident of Silver Springs, was grand marshal for the town's Founder's Day parade Saturday. She was honored for her years of service to the community. Here, she sings and plays guitar as part of the duo Old and Dirty on Sunday.

The duo Old and Dirty whoop after finishing a blues-rock song they’ve played from a trailer bed attached to a pickup parked at a festival in Silver Springs

The electric guitar player, Stan Sanchez, thanks a small crowd sitting on hay bales in Penny Park.

“I’m ‘Old,'” he says, then motions next to a woman in a wheelchair next to him holding an acoustic guitar, “She’s ‘Dirty.'”

Gretchen Wood, wearing a top hat with a feather in it, laughs at her partner.

She loves things like this, she says. Playing for five booths and the two dozen people at the second day of the Silver Springs’ 57th Founders Day Celebration is what she’s here to do.

More people were at the festival Saturday, when Wood, 50, was the grand marshal of the parade that honored town volunteers. She said she’s happy to help the town whenever she can, like play two years for free at a friend’s bar.

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“This is my community,” she said, “and this is what I want.”

Though she first came to Silver Springs in the 1980s, she moved away a few years later to take a job as a social worker in Northern California. But in 1991, Wood was permanently disabled when she was hit head-on by a propane truck.

When she was in the hospital, her friends from the Nevada town didn’t forget about her, and sent cards and help. She came back to Silver Springs when she got out.

Bob Fells, 79, one of the people watching Old and Dirty, said Wood is a beautiful woman and a great musician. He said he used to play horseshoes with her by Lake Lahontan outside of town.

“I love her and always have loved her,” he said. “She sings good, she really does.”

Kay Bennett, co-owner of the Silver Springs Airport, was listening to Old and Dirty on Sunday, too, as she helped run a pavilion that had festival T-shirts, snacks and a contest for who could guess how many silver springs a jar contained.

“(Wood’s) awesome, really awesome,” Bennett said.

During their performance, Wood and Sanchez talked with the crowd of about 10 between covers of “La Bamba,” “Tequila Sunrise,” “House of the Rising Sun” and others.

Hand-decorated signs with their names hung off the trailer in front of their feet.

“This gal is fantastic,” said Ron Bell, a festival organizer.

Wood said she was happy to be grand marshal because the recognition spoke for the children, seniors and businesses in Silver Springs she helps with her music.

She said she feels like she represents them in a way, that they are her silent partners.

• Contact reporter Dave Frank at dfrank@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.