Miracles happen even as times change | SierraSun.com
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Miracles happen even as times change

The word on the street is that Ponderosa Golf Course has been saved.Apparently the owners of the golf course and the Truckee-Tahoe Airport District came to an agreement for purchase by the district, and in turn, the Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District will take over the operation and maintenance of the course.The sprinklers have been turned on and the work to get the course open has begun. Although the course will probably not be able to open for awhile, the fact that this longtime local golf course is reopening and will remain open for generations to come is fabulous news. Well call it a modern day miracle!Thank you to all the parties involved that continued to negotiate, to the final hour, to make this happen.

Unless there is a final hour save, OBs Pub and Restaurant will be closing its doors for the last time Sunday night. Unfortunately it has become another victim of downtown businesses that can no longer operate at a reasonable profit due to escalating costs of operation, a slowing economy and higher rents. Other longtime businesses that have closed down (or are about to close down) have included Earthsongs, Ponderosa Deli, The Llama Ranch, Cigart Gallery, Mollys Cupboard, and Schone Sachen. Times are a changingWhen Zena and Al OBrien came to town in the late 60s and opened OBs Board, I am sure that a lot of eye brows were raised by the local merchants and towns people who wondered how such businesses, run by a new generation of long-haired hippies, would change Truckee. Its equally amusing that some 39 years later we identify OBs as a symbol of what Truckee was all about for the past two to three generations.According to OBs owner Dick Howell, he became an employee of OBs on September 15, 1972 at 4:30 p.m. (good memory Dick). Until 1976 OBs was run as a dinner house. In 1976 they began serving lunches, and in 1978 the name was changed to OBs Pub and Restaurant. At that time Dick, Al, and Mike Linnett were owners.In 1983, Dick and Mike became owners of the business, and Al retained ownership of the building. Finally in 2000, Dick bought out Mike and he has continued to run the business to this day.We always tried to maintain the spirit of Truckee through our food, service and ambience, said Howell. OBs was the first fine dining restaurant in a town where coffee shops and cafes were the only places to eat.Over the years OBs has served tens of thousands of meals, has been the meeting place for many a meeting, party, celebration, reunion, etc. And over the decades the business has employed hundreds of people many of whom could remember eating there when they were kids. Dick has asked us to acknowledge the following dedicated employees who worked for OBs at least 10 years and in some cases over 20 years: Stan Ripley, Mike Babb, Steve Hebard, Mike Barna, John Reedy, Pat Gorman, Greg Mihevc, Bob Phariss, Becky Jensen, Dave Heep, Judy Besig, Jose Frutos, Felipe Salas, Max Layman, Heidi Blide and Lori Fissel. We, in turn, would like to thank Dick and everyone that ever worked at OBs for providing so many of us good food, an atmosphere, and a meeting place where everybody (or nearly everybody) knew your name. Thanks for 39 great years. OBs will be missed!

The question, Who were the original owners of the Gateway Bottle Shop prompted two correct answers (under our rules). Mark Brown, Mary De Lisle, and Mary Ann Tonini Haswell identified Elden Tonini as the original owner of the Gateway Bottle Shop. Mary Ann explained that her father and Dick Joseph were business partners and Joseph built the Gateway shopping center in 1949 or 1950. Her father, Elden, secured a liquor license and ran the Bottle Shop for more than 20 years.In 1971 Bob and Karen Zirbel purchased the liquor store from Tonini and renamed it Zirbels Gateway Bottle Shop. They ran the business until 1979 when they then sold it to the owners of Mountain Hardware. Those who identified the Zirbels as owners included Carla Beebe (this weeks early bird winner), Dean Litchfield, Buffalo Cano, Dan Warren, Norval Ayers, Bob Zirbel (himself), Grace Schmidt and Don McKechnie. Everyone is a winner!It has been some time since we explained the rules for This weeks question. We reward the contestants who correctly call or e-mail in the correct answers as follows: The first person that calls or e-mails in the proper answer is considered the early bird winner and will be awarded three chances for our year-end raffle. All other contestants will be awarded one chance. At the end of the year, we will draw a name and the winner can select their charity of choice. We will, in turn, donate $500 on their behalf, to that charity. All players will have their names put in the following column. Former winners have been Robie Wilson Litchfield, Leah Krone, and Katie Shaffer.Norm and Alan Nicholls of the Nicholls Real Estate Group are affiliated with Dickson Realty at 11500 Donner Pass Rd.


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