Faces in the crowd — Evie Hublar
For 13 years, 71-year-old Evelyn McQuary Hublar has been driving over Brockway Summit to her job at the Crystal Bay Club-Casino in Stateline, Nev., where she works the swing shift as a receptionist.
Others might know her as the employee who sings Happy Birthday songs to guests on the microphone.
“I sing the jazzy version of Happy Birthday,” said Evelyn, who goes by “Evie.”
Evie, who hates to miss a day of work, was recently out for a week when her truck broke down driving back to Truckee from Sparks. She had to get a ride back to Truckee with a truck driver.
“Me and my short legs, you should’ve seen me trying to get in that truck,” Evie said, breaking into a stream of giggles. “I look on the bright side though – the sun was shining, I wasn’t hurt and no one else was hurt. There’s always a bright side.”
After buying a new used 4-wheel drive automatic truck last week, Evie is back at work five days a week. She said she loves working the swing shift, from 4 p.m. to midnight and wouldn’t have her schedule any other way.
“That way, it gives me time for the mornings. That’s the only way to stay busy and get things done,” she said. She spends her morning hours with her eight grandchildren whenever possible, who range in age from 3 to 22. “When I’m off work, I’m with my family. You have to stay alert, especially for the children.”
“I love work,” she said. “I enjoy it, it keeps me abreast of everything. I hear all the latest jokes and the latest language. It’s great to be out in the world.”
When fellow employees, who are much younger, come to her for advice, it feels good, she said.
Just recently Evie attended a staff party at the Crystal Bay Club and was surprised to be recognized as the 1999 Employee of the Year. She was presented with a certificate and a special jacket that states she is employee of the year. She also received a cash prize and a complimentary ticket to dine at the steak house. Now she wears a special employee of the year identification pin to work.
Evie has lived in Truckee since 1955 when she moved into a house on Brook Lane in Gateway, where she lived with her family until 1990. She has seen a lot of changes in Truckee since 1955 and remembers a lot of happy, funny times.
The only grocery store in town when she first moved here from the Bay Area with her husband was Z’s Market. They moved here with nothing, but Evie said her first year in Truckee was the happiest year of her life.
She saw every day of the 1960 Olympics at Squaw Valley. She skied with her family at the Hilltop Lodge, riding up the hill over and over again on the T-Bar. She worked in the first post office downtown, when post office boxes were made out of little wooden boxes.
“I loved the post office,” she said. “It’s the people, we got all the gossip and what we didn’t know we’d find out.”
She remembers pulling her daughter in a sled to Z’s Market to pick up some food. She was even known to pull up to the Pastime Bar on a horse with friends, to grab a “snort,” the old term for a cocktail.
“There’s been such good funny things that happened,” she said.
Her daughter, Kelley Eileen (“Sissy”), was the first diabetic child in Truckee, Evie said.
“Children are my life,” she said.
Her sons, Patrick and Brent, live nearby and she visits with them and her grandchildren often. Patrick, who was born in the Brook Lane home, married there also, and still lives there with his wife and children. Brent’s family lives in Sparks.
Her daughter passed away eight years ago, unable to recover from injuries she incurred in a head-on car accident in Truckee.
“The pain never goes away,” Evie said, her voice cracking. “Everyone in town loved her.”
But to get by, Evie remembers the happy times and relishes the time she spends with her sons and grandchildren.
And she dances.
“I still out-dance my boys,” she said mischievously.
When she was in her 60s, she dressed up like Madonna in a talent show on a cruise, and performed Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” for guests. Theatrics and the stage make her feel alive and fun.
She cherishes her memories and the love for life she still has.
“I am proud of my life,” she said. “I have done O.K.”
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The Truckee boys’ soccer team shutout its third straight opponent on Saturday, taking a 5-0 win at home against Dayton.