Sunday, April 26, 2015

You May Be From Yerington In the 50’s-70’s If…. (Part Three)

You May Be From Yerington In the 50’s-70’s If…. (Part Three)


...You thought it was fun to watch grocery trucks unload or hair cuts.  Mac the barber cut “Baby Face Nelson’s hair” right in that very chair. (CB) & (MB)


---You hung out at John’s Cafe hoping a friend with a car would let you drag Main with them. (CB)


---if you didn’t drag in a car, you walked up and down Main until your feet got tired, then return to John’s Cafe or the F&B for a coke and some 25 cent order of french fries. (CB)

… You remember hearing the “dart” trucks from the “mine” at night. (CB)


… You could feel trembles, but weren't sure if they were dynamite blasts from the “mine” or atomic testing in the Las Vegas desert. (CB)

--- You could make it to Reno in an hour, when there was no Nevada speed limit, if you drove between 90-100 miles per hour, even with slowing down in Wabuska, Silver Springs, and Fernley. (CB)

--- If you hadn’t egged the Weed Height’s guard house, you were fixin to.....and the very same guard house where you ran the stop sign at least once.... (MB)

… Our parents knew where we were by looking at which front yard our dog was lying in. (Kathee Hall Speight)

...Yerington where the only thing that really terrified little kids was Gina and her flashlight and maybe Fred Stallard, just a little bit (Peggy Freitas Purintun)

...You didn't wear a watch but waited for the noon whistle to give you an idea of the time. (Peggy Freitas Purintun)

---You would go hunting for asparagus in irrigation ditches. (Sylvia Banta)

...You went swimming and took swim lessons at the Wellington Indoor Pool (MB)
...You remember driving by elephant mountain or lion mountain (MB)

Monday, April 20, 2015

You May Be From Yerington In the 50’s-70’s If…. (Part Two)

You May Be From Yerington In the 50’s-70’s If…. (Part Two)

...You know which side of a dead cottonwood tree the edible mushrooms grow (MB)

… When you are hunting, hiking or mushroom picking to close all the head gates and to pack out what you packed in. (MB)

,,,You love the aroma of new mowed alfalfa. (MB)

...You remember the dog catcher patrolling on his 1930’s bike, but still question where the basted dogs sat. (MB)


...You are a Giants fan who despises, no absolutely hated, the LA Dodgers.  Dodger blue makes you nauseated. (MB)

...You remember when groceries were charged and delivered.(CB) & (MB)

...the polio epidemic and the vaccines and sugar cubes. (CB)

...Hornbuckles Pool Hall when girls were not allow in or to play. (CB)

...dragging up and down Main Street on Friday and Saturday nights. (CB)

...the after school clubs: Future Farmers, Future Teachers, Future Homemakers, German Club, Spanish Club, Journalism & Photography Clubs, Math Club. Drill Teams, Marching Band (CB)

...when beer and sometimes Giomi Stomp (yuk-but free) was the drug of choice.


….Saturday night dances at the VFW hall or Eagles Roost. (CB)

...The red “Valley Dairy Punch” and it’s unique taste and the price was right. (MB)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

You’ve Stood the Test of Time

You’ve Stood the Test of Time


Today, my Aunt Connie is going on the Honor Flight to Washington D.C. with the vets to see the WWII veterans memorial and other sites.  This is a program put on by the University of Nevada.  It is completely paid for by volunteers.  Someone from Aunt Connie's church will be her chaperone.  My aunt, Carol Conrad McGee, was a WWII navy nurse.  She is now 94 years old.  This will be a challenging trip for her, but has a sweet determination to go.  

On her trip, they’re going to have a “mail call” on the flight, just like when these Vets were in the service. They’re encouraging friends/family to write them a letter and they will surprise the Vets with this, so it’s a secret. This is my letter to her.

April 9, 2015
Fort Worth TX

Dear Aunt Connie,
I hear you are on your way to our nation's capital to see the WWII veterans memorial and wanted to let you know how honored I am to have you representing our WWII veterans. I also want to thank you for your service to our country during that terrible war.  I’m sure this trip will bring back a flood of memories.  I am including in this letter some photos of that time that I took while visiting you.  They ought to jog your memory banks a little as well.

I am also grateful that you were in the armed forces at that time because that is where you met and married my uncle, Jack, who was also a pilot in the Navy, and became an official member of the McGee clan.

You’ve stood the test of time
through war you nursed the wounded
and your cheerful countenance
made your patients spirits climb.

You’ve stood the test of time
through marriage and motherhood
and you never complained
when you were down to your last dime.

You’ve stood the test of time
through trials and tribulations
without any standing ovations
your endurance was prime.

You’ve stood the test of time
serving your Lord in meekness and humility
And I can almost hear Him saying
“Well done, Carol, your service to me is sublime.”

It is my prayer this will be a wonderful trip for you, and look forward to hearing all about it when you get home.

Your Loving Niece,

Monday, April 13, 2015

Yerington’s 1950’s Kids Chase The Mosquito Truck

Yerington’s 1950’s Kids Chase The Mosquito Truck
A Memoir by Mary Burns
(Published in the Mason Valley News in 1987)

Burns Kids 1950's
Mary Burns

The year is 1959(ish) in a South Yerington neighborhood after dinner on hot July evening. Twenty or so juvenile type renegades come streaming out of our houses and start gathering on the big lawn.  Our tummies now full - we are ready for some action.  

Could this be the night? It hasn’t happened in awhile. Maybe it will show tonight.  Twenty little kids, nauseous with anticipation, are impatiently shifting around the big lawn.  At dusk, the slaughter house’s pungent fragrance permeates the air.  “Where is it?”.  “A no show?” (Hissssss) -”Quiet everybody!!  Do you hear that?”  “Ah, Dennis, knock it off, you’re always imagining things.”  Dejectedly, we slowly, wander to the best hide and seek house.  I guess “it’s not coming tonight”.  What a drag.  Another boring night of hide and seek….(Hissss) Then louder (Hissss)...”Hey guys, hold on, ya hear that?”  We looked….and there it was!  The sure sign of our famous visitor -  a dark cloud about four blocks away.  We dashed for our bikes and raced our flat wheeled machines toward the dark hissing cloud - forty little legs in a blur.

We flew around the corner as one unit and immediately slammed on our brakes.  “Wow, guys, look at that!  The biggest, darkest, badest, loudest clouded ever.”  This is amazing!!...  This is better than Disneyland!…This is the mosquito  fogger!!.. And the chemicals are stronger than ever!  We each disappear into the poisonous cloud - in ecstasy - riding blindly. “This is great - I can’t even see my handlebars.  The best  fog bank in weeks!”  The noxious fumes penetrate our every pore and we reek with pleasure. My eyes are streaming hot lava and I’m sure I’m blind.  My lungs suffocating with fire, are screeching for air.  My nose is stinging and starting to run.  I start to cough, gag and choke.  “This is super and who says there’s nothing to do in Yerington?”  Eventually, one by one, we fall back out of the poisonous vapors.  As the fogger lumbers down the street, we circle our bikes for the storytelling part of the experience. I think Billy won that night.  He said he rode right up to the poison emitting spout and put his finger in it!  What a man! (What a B.S.’er!)

Darkness was near now.  Being on the downhill slope of our adrenalin highs. we were physically and emotionally spent and welcomed the calling home by our moma. (Actually Danny’s dad whistled him home,  as did Billy’s and Larry’s, and my mom honked the car horn three times,) The calm of the evening  had returned as we shuffled to our respective homes.  Just as the screen doors closed us in, we could hear twenty maternal voices shrieking through the screened windows and out into the sultry evening.  “Whew, get into the bathtub right now and take off those clothes off outside”, to which twenty little juvenile type renegades whined, “But mom, I went swimming today. ‘member?  I don’t need a bath”

I can’t speak for the Utah accountant, insurance broker, airline pilot, assessor, Governor’s chauffeur, Nevada State special investigator, telephone company retiree, M.D., R,N., Yerington businesswoman, newspaper owner/editor, attorneys, educators, trucking exec, contractor, butcher, baker and candlestick maker, who came out of that neighborhood; but I do know that the weekly dose of caustic fumes inhaled in our lungs and brain tissue didn’t bother me...bother me...bother me…  It’s the North Yerington kids I’d worry about!  Oh, yes, and as for our dogs, our ever faithful companions - who stuck with us through thick and thin or mosquito foggers - they either died from old age or car tag (as did their offspring).

The bottom line is encephalitis and other mosquito related diseases can be -and are often- deadly.  Do what it takes to get a handle on it!

You May Be From Yerington In the 50’s-70’s If…. (Part One)

You May Be From Yerington In the 50’s-70’s If…. (Part One)
(Compiled by Mary Burns and Chere Brown)

...You wait to plant your “toms” ‘till after the snow melts off Pevine. (I’m loving all the southern Californian gardeners out today - we’ll have another freeze - guaranteed) (MB)


...You know what a Lion’s Club Manure Haul is (was?)  (Lions club manure clean up for the fair. They haul the previous days straw and manure away to keep the fair clean.) (MB)

...You remember school sports and activities were the town’s rallying hub. (MB)

...You called in sick at school on Friday - then went to a home game.  The principal would remember you were out that day - and send you home. And on that day, you did call in sick, ”Ma” Ricketts, the schools secretary, would call your home later to check. (Did she check on teachers, too?) (MB)

...You would say you worked on “the hill” and there were no questions. (Reminds me - Dorthelia Hill, a bunch of years ago, told me her son worked on “the hill” - and when I asked her how long he’d been back home - she choked and said she meant Capitol Hill in D.C.) (MB)



...You can remember when we had one TV station. - Bob Carroll, Betty “a nip here and a tuck there” McIntyre, Stroddard, Muncie. (“We were the last family to get TV.” MB) And it would sign off at midnight with the “Star Spangle Banner”. (CB)




...You remember the only radio stations were KOH (Catus Tom) and KVLV (Eddie Pearce - Teensville, and Ted Romero, and Gallagher’s Livestock and The Trading Post) (MB)

...You remember when all drivers stopped at the crosswalk in front of the Thrifty Market and the Post Office, whether there were pedestrians or not, just to scope out all the sidewalk happenings.  And you actually enjoyed daily trips to the Post Office. (MB)


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