A Truckee original celebrates 88 | SierraSun.com
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A Truckee original celebrates 88

Norm andamp; Alan NichollsCaring about Truckee

What a great day we had celebrating Mary De Lisles 88th birthday! We took the opportunity of using the monthly Friday Birthday Lunch at the Senior Citizens Center on Friday, August 29, to celebrate and to enjoy a wonderful roast tri tip dinner prepared by Sandi Madigan and the senior center staff.Denise Doris, Lucy Greene, and Verna Wall were also celebrating their birthdays. Other attendees, friends, and staff included Annie Raber, Dorothy Wittmann, Wally Pascoe, Jeff Furnell, Jean DeLight, Pauline Milton, Blanche Williams, Alice Nicholls, Sarah Deardorff, Cande Torres, Catherline Tollinson, Irene Akin, and some others that we unfortunately did not get their names.After lunch Annie, Dorothy, Wally, Jeff, Alice, Mary and I hung around and reminisced about Marys many years in Truckee.Mary was born in Truckee on September 3, 1920 to Angelo and Emilia Giovannoni. She attended Truckee Grammar School and Truckee Union High School. I dropped out of High School because I was bored, said Mary, but the rest of her life has been far from boring.During her life time she has been a baby sitter, employee in the telephone office, worked at a bakery, made beds at the S.P. Hotel, and she has waitressed, tended bar, been a cashier and, according to Annie Raber, she was a call girl … well sort of.During her employment with Southern Pacific Railroad, she used to receive calls from Sparks whenever a train was in route to Truckee and in need of extra locomotives to push the trains over Donner Summit. Her job was to call out the engine crews to man the engines. In those days there were few phones, so she would walk around town to homes, hotels, restaurants, bars, and an occasional brothel to hail the crews to duty. She and her husband, Ernie De Lisle, opened the M andamp; E (for Mary and Ernie) Cafe in 1950 on Commercial Row where Marilyns Catwalk is now located. In those days you had to serve food in order to get a liquor license, said Mary. We were open 24 hours a day, and it was hard work. A year or so later the law changed to where it was not necessary to serve food for a license, so we changed the business to strictly a bar and renamed it the M andamp; E Club. They operated the business until 1974.Mary worked for Taylor Tires from 1978 until 1983 and then retired. She lived at Coachland for 11 years, and then moved to her present home in Sierra Meadows. She lives next door to her daughter and son-in-law, Michelle and Alfonso Ramirez, and she has two grandchildren Armando Ramirez and Maria Palafox, and two great grandchildren Preston and Luna Palafox. Mary is enjoying life and likes playing Pinochle and Scrabble with her friends, stamp collecting, eating, and enjoys going to visit her great grandchildren in Roseville, her sister Yolanda Olano, in Fernley, and her brother Frank Giovannoni in Elk Grove. She also looks forward to her frequent outings with her half brother Eugene Gini and other family members. She is a good friend to many and she has become the most avid reader of our newspaper column. We wish Mary a good life and many more Happy Birthdays!!!How Many is Too Many was an article written last week about the population and projected growth of Truckee. The article, as a whole was a good one and emphasized that people should get involved with the planning stages of Truckee. It also identified the Hilltop, the Railyard, Joerger Ranch and Coldstream projects as coming aboard soon.I am a real estate agent and believe in property rights and good judgment. Currently the economic climate in our area, like others, has slowed the number of property sales, has affected the success (and failure) of many small businesses, and yet the vision of many of our developers, planners and politicians is to continue to build a playground for the well to do.Build it and they will come has been an ongoing attitude despite the fact that a good number of developers of recent projects (both commercial and residential) are struggling, at best, to sell or rent their product. Look at the amount of empty condos, town homes, spec homes, commercial space and unsold lots. Build the Ritz and here come the rich seems to be part of the dream of the new visionaries.It may be time, at least at the town level, to slow down a bit and take a hard look at the near future and whether new development (at least in the short term) is going to help, or hurt those who live and work here and those that want to live and work here. It may also be time to take a look at promoting subdivisions with affordably priced lots and CCandamp;Rs that allow for construction of smaller, more affordable single family homes.

Shirley Reynolds, Irene and Bob Schwinning, Corine Harvey, Norm Justesen, Leah Krone, Sandi Madigan, Lil and Don Schaller (and their new granddaughter Addie), Larry McEneaney, and Mary De Lisle (herself) identified Mary as our most avid reader and question of the week player. Norm and Alan Nicholls of the Nicholls Real Estate Group are affiliated with Dickson Realty at 11500 Donner Pass Rd. in Truckee.

(Compliments of Jay Price, former General Manager of Boreal):Where was the first Cadillac Ball held? Call us at (530) 550-5035 or email us at nnicholls@dicksonrealty.com with your answer.


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