Life on the ridge for me started back in 1974 when my parents my sister and I moved up from Sacramento. Entering Paradise Elementary half way thru the 1st grade, I was very nervous since I knew no one here. As I grew up and gained friends, I fell in love with the community. When I was in the 7th grade a fire destroyed the wing of Paradise Intermediate School that my locker was in. That was my first experience with a fire. After High School I joined the Air Force then upon completion of my duties I returned to Butte County and remained here until that fateful day Nov. 8th 2018. I lived in lower Magalia for the past 8 years with my wife and kids. When we had to evacuate I was certain the fire would not reach Magalia. We were on pins and needles waiting to find out if our home had survived.
The day we found out I had a police escort to my property to try to get tools for my business but saw a pile of mangled metal and ash. We were devastated. Driving thru Paradise felt like we were in an apocalyptic nightmare. My heart felt like it had stopped when we saw our beloved little town. Eventually we got thru the disaster help and found a new start to our life in Oregon. I still have nightmares and find myself breaking down emotionally to this day. It has been difficult at times to move forward but our new neighbors have been very comforting to us and understand what we have been thru. I pray that our beloved ridge will rise from the ashes to shine again. I miss all my friends and customers very much, some I still keep in touch with. We all need a collective shoulder to cry on occasionally, it will help us all heal. I loved Paradise and Magalia.