Pine Nuts: But for thee I would not be alive |

Pine Nuts: But for thee I would not be alive

Happy 25th birthday to our celebrated recreation center, but for thee I would not be here to toast you.

A few of us Tahoe relics like to smoke cigars, sip whiskey, play poker ‘til the early morning hours, go to church, repent, work out at the Wreck Center, then do it all over again. This routine has kept us around long enough to celebrate our Wreck Center’s 25th birthday with gusto.

At risk of damaging my reputation for modesty, I was working out on the very site of today’s Wreck Center before the Wreck Center was ever there. Yes, I lived at the Racquet Club, only a hundred yards from the present Wreck Center location, and was out pumping iron one morning with my 50-pound dumbbells in a clearing on that very spot, when a gentleman walked out of the woods and asked, “Is this a good place to workout?”

“Best in the village.” I huffed between lifts. That was Rob Hunt, general manager of the Incline Village General Improvement District (IVGID). The next day I was delighted to see a crew on that sight starting construction of our new Wreck Center. Imagine my disappointment when the building was completed and a plaque went up in the lobby with Rob Hunt’s name emblazoned in bronze, and no acknowledgement of the aforementioned, “Discoverer.”

A few years ago, one of our gray gym rats invited me to join the, “Old Lake Tahoe Athletic Club,” and I asked, “What is that, exactly.”

He said, “Well, we have a vow to never drink in public while wearing our OLTAC insignia.”

“I’m not interested in that.” I replied.

“But wait, there’s more … if we do drink in public we will not get drunk. But if we do get drunk we will not pass out. But if we do pass out we will fall forward so nobody sees our OLTAC insignia.”

“I’m in!”

Retired dentist and all around good guy, Dr. Bill Cherry is one of everybody’s favorite personalities at the Wreck Center. When I first arrived in the village, I went to see him and couldn’t help but notice all the University of Oregon Ducks scattered around the waiting room. I wondered if perhaps we could have been Ducks at the same time, and you know how you always think someone your age looks older than you think you look? Well, Bill stuck his head out and said, “I’ll be right with you.”

I immediately surveyed that he had graduated before me, but as I climbed into the chair I was still curious. “When did you graduate from Oregon?” I asked as he jammed a humongous needle into my gums.

“Sixty-five.” he replied.

“Sixty-five?!” I blurted out of one side of my mouth. “You were in my class!”

“Really?” he asked looking me over, “What did you teach?”

Happy 25th anniversary to the outstanding administrators and staff of our incomparable Recreation Center.

Learn more about McAvoy Layne at

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