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Clearly, the party boy's mom is joshing

What's going on in the head of Janice Millard? She's the mother of the young Sebastopol man who laid a sob story on home-rental agents on the Russian River, then was host for a massive party whose catastrophic conclusion apparently injured him and others and could have killed somebody.

Millard said it's not the fault of her 20-year-old son, Nick Gruber, that the vacation rental's deck collapsed under the weight of who knows how many dancing kids. The people who rented the house to Gruber, she said, "rented an unsafe house, obviously."

Why would a mother say such a thing? Here her son went to vacation-rental agents and said that before he's deployed Afghanistan he'd like to take his girlfriend to a getaway near Guerneville and propose to her.

Though Camille LeGrand of Russian River Getaways would rather not rent to a 20-year-old, Gruber's appeal touched her heart.

With his signature on the strict rental contract, Gruber promised he would not have anyone at the house except himself and his girlfriend.

Then the word went out: It's party time in Guerneville. A fairly mellow gathering last Friday night preceded the huge, boozy Saturday night bash that ended with the deck collapse.

And Gruber's mother declares that he's not to blame.

I'm going to presume she knows very well Gruber is responsible for this mess, but she denied it hoping the resulting outrage would shine more light on the issue of personal accountability and reduce the likelihood of anyone ever repeating what her son did in Guerneville.

Good going, mom.

A MOVIE CREW shooting at Montgomery Village is wrapping up a short comedy tentatively titled, "The Once and Future Bride."


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