Men of Mountain Ranch pose for new calendar

8:36 PM, Dec 13, 2012   |    comments
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MOUNTAIN RANCH, Calif. - Up in the hills and mountains of Calaveras County, sits a small town of only 2,000 people with no cell phone reception and no retail chains.

Picturesque, rural Mountain Ranch doesn't receive financial support from the county, so the citizens come up with creative ways to raise funds.

"We're probably best known for having nothing, because we have nothing. No motels. No ski resorts. No lakes," Mountain Ranch's honorary mayor Phil Alberts said.

A local photographer, however, did find a few strapping men to pose for a calendar that will be sold to raise money for the town. 

"I liked it. I volunteered to do it," April model Jim Eckland said. "I didn't want to be as risqué as they wanted to me, but I liked it."

Other models said someone else volunteered them to model.

"It was kind of a threat," joked February model Hugh Strehle. "It was an honor to be selected, but don't let that go to your head."

The men knew it would be a good idea, because a few of their wives were in last year's calendar and racked in $3,000. The Women of Mountain Ranch calendar was a bit more provocative, though.

"We didn't have anybody who looked really, really good with their shirt off," Alberts said.

"None of the guys wanted to do beef cake," April model Chris Sampson said. "But Mara [the community club president] kept insisting, ' Take it off! Take it off!"

And with some encouragement, a few good men agreed to show just a little bit of skin for the fans.

The proceeds for the calendar go to support and maintain the Town Hall. There's even a bonus to the calendar: find the honorary mayor hidden in some of the photos' backgrounds.

The Working Men of Mountain Ranch calendar is on sale now for $15; you can contact Tom Darmstead at (209) 754-4843 to buy a calendar.


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