In mid 1980, four guys by the names of Bob Roberts, Gary Saich, Cal
Smith and Neal Sisson were commuting together every Tuesday to attend
the Sacramento chapter meetings of the S.P.E.B.S.Q.S.A. One September
night coming home, one of the guys asked, “why can’t we get a chapter
going in Placerville?” Gary had a list of guys who had been interested
about ten years prior. Those guys were contacted, ads were placed in
multiple papers and they talked it up with whomever they saw.

Three months later, the first Placerville chapter meeting was held in
the restaurant/bar that Bob’s wife had purchased and operated, called
“The Hangtown Saloon and Country Kitchen”, located on Placerville
Drive. Bob Roberts stated in an interview, “the first night we
actually had 17 guys show up… It was kinda hard because we had to
fight all the refrigerators and all that stuff.”

The first chorus director was David Smith, a music major at Cal State,
who played and tuned pianos. “He was only with us about two months,”
Bob recalled, “because he got a job offer from... some big outfit [in
southern California] who wanted to pay him a lot of money to tune
pianos.” Neal took over as director until they hired Ben Loftsgaard,
owner of a print shop in Sacramento. Soon after, in 1983, the chapter
was chartered with 30 members.
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