Carson Column: Teen Angel Tree

Lori Hogan thinks the way to help the teenagers who didn't get any toys is to set up a teen angel tree, with tags specifically aimed at the 100 or so children 13 years and older who were missed.

Salvation Army Capt. Amanda Mitchell said Thursday gifts for that age, particularly boys, were coming up short.

Lori said she was sympathetic, but this close to Christmas it's tough to do anything for someone that age.

That's aside from the inherent difficulty of shopping for a teen male.

Sports equipment, bags, shoes, electronic games, the sort of thing I would get someone that age is pretty expensive.

While it is too late for this year, Lori thinks the teen angel tree would be a good idea for next year.

I thought it would be a good idea to play the song "Teen Angel" around it and then I looked it up to see who sang it and found out it was about a 16-year-old girl getting hit by a train.

Whoops.

A Carson City woman will be the only Nevadan marching with the Notre Dame Band on Thursday.

The 1997 Carson High School graduate Sandra Johnson, 21, will be playing her clarinet at the Fiesta Bowl, where Notre Dame is playing Oregon State.

She is home for holidays, but had to bring her uniform for the trip down to Tempe for the game, according to her mom, Jolena.

Sandra is a senior at the South Bend, Ind., college where she is majoring in history and psychology on a Kiwanis scholarship.

"We moved here when she was in the second grade," Jolena said.

The week before Christmas is always a busy one at the newspaper. I'm inundated by requests for photographers and reporters to go to choirs, and gift distributions and every other sort of holiday gathering imaginable.

We get to as many as we can and solicit photos and stories from the rest. I like to think we at least tried to keep up the pace, but there is always that nagging fear that I've missed something.

One of those things is the Santa Train coloring contest winners.

So to 5-year-old Kelsey Lalonde, of Gardnerville; 8-year-old Danielle Moffitt, of Carson; and Minden's 10-year-old Taylor Clarke, of Minden; congratulations on your artistic skills in the cause of the Nevada State Railroad Museum.

I shed a tear when I learned the North Carson Street Taco Bell closed its doors.

Many a night working the news desk was broken by a run up the street for a bag of tacos and other treats. There have been late-night newsies who would have starved had it not been for a quick run to the border.

The note on the door said that after 30 years, the owners' franchise lease expired Dec. 21.

The two new Taco Bells, Highway 50 at Airport and South Carson Street, are still going strong, but that's a bit of distance for those of us on the northwest side of town.

There was no word on a memorial, but we in the newsroom will observe a moment of silence.

Speaking of restaurants, Mia Kuerzi, of Mia's Swiss Restaurant in Dayton, came by to reassure us she has not closed.

When we reported she and Max had listed the restaurant for sale, people assumed it was also closed.

Mia says she has special dinners planned for both Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

Calls came in to Mia's from people concerned the place had closed including one call from a man who said he was afraid he wouldn't be able to get any more of her wonderful Wiener schnitzel.

"It would be a shame to cut off a man's Wiener schnitzel," I replied.

Merry Christmas, everybody.

Kurt Hildebrand is assistant managing editor at the Nevada Appeal. Reach him at 881-1215 or e-mail him at Kurt@tahoe.com

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