The best Christmas present 13-year old David Hoyt will receive won't come until next July but when it does it will be a dandy!
That's when David goes on a 21-day "adventure" trip to England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland and that's because David was just nominated to be a Northern Nevada "People To People Student Ambassador" and we'll tell you all about it right after we talk with David, his mom and dad and his sister Amber.
We'll start with his mom Pam. She is 39 and was born in Green Bay, Wis.
"My parents (Pat and Charlie) aren't together now and dad is retired from working on a oceanographer ship most of his life," said Pam. "He's 74 and lives in Green Bay. Mom lives in Whittier, Calif. She's retired from raising nine children. I'm the second youngest. I have three brothers and five sisters and all live elsewhere ... I'm the only one living in Nevada."
Pam and Jim have been married 17 years. He's 45 and was born in Montebello, Calif. They were married at Lake Tahoe.
"Jim and I moved to Dayton five years ago from California," said Pam. "We did it to make a better life for our kids and us. It was a good move and I'd do it again in a heartbeat."
Pam works and she is the photo lab manager at Smith's on Highway 50 in Carson City.
"I started in California at Long's Drug store as their photo supervisor before coming here," she said happily. "I love my job. I get to meet tons of people and since I'm a people person it's great!"
Her job at Smith's involves many things beside just developing film.
"I do everything from fixing the equipment to scheduling, ordering, developing film and all the paperwork," she continued. "It's fun and I like going to work everyday."
Husband Jim works for T&D Machine Products in Carson City.
"I'm their inspector and I've been a machinist all my life," said Jim. "We make competition rocker arms for boats, auto racing cars from dragsters to NASCAR Winston Cup cars and even those little cars that run at Fuji Park ... From the big guys to the little guys, we make'em."
Both of Jim's parents are alive but also not together.
"My dad Bill lives in California and is 74 and retired from Edison Electric Company," said Jim. "My mom Ann is 65 and lives in California too. She's retired from Sears. I have two younger sisters and both live in California."
Pam and Jim met when she was 18 and he was 24 in Whittier, Calif.
"We met through a friend of hers at work," said Jim. "We were friends for a long time before we started going together and married."
TALKING ABOUT HIS ADVENTURE
David and Amber, who is 11 years old, both attend Dayton Intermediate School. He is one of 35 students who have been nominated from Northern Nevada to be a People To People Ambassador and I asked him about that.
"I think it's cool," he replied with a big smile on his face. "I'm anxious to go and see how other kids my age and their families live. As part of my trip I'll get to stay with people in their homes over there. I plan to keep a daily journal and I'll take my camera and take lots of photos."
The three-week trip is called "The British and Irish Heritage" and David will travel with a People To People delegate. Pam and Jim do not go ... Neither does Amber but she's OK with that.
"That'll be cool," she laughed as she gave her brother a funny look. "He'll be gone three weeks and I like that ... I'll have mom and dad all to myself. That'll be fun."
Amber did admit she and David "get along OK" but not "all the time" and when I asked if she'll miss him she just shrugged and said "I'll miss him a little bit when he's gone but not much."
She paused and laughed at that before admitting it really is an "honor" for David to have been nominated and accepted into the program.
"Someday maybe I'll be nominated and get to go," added Amber. "I hope so."
IT COSTS MONEY TO GO
Jim and Pam did say that for "David to go" they need some financial help because the cost of the trip is $4,290 and like most of us, they aren't able to come up with all of that money themselves.
"We plan to use our own money as well as help from relatives and friends and from individuals and businesses," said Jim. "Donations from the public are welcomed and anyone who wants to make a tax-deductible donation, there is a special Nevada State Bank account for David. Donations can be sent to the People To People account of David Hoyt. Anyone who wants more information on the trip or the People To People program can call us at 246-5409 or E-Mail us at HOYT4@AOL.COM."
David did promise to tell us all about his "adventure" when he gets back and show us "lots of photos" he'll bring back with him.
We'll close by telling you the Hoyt family likes to "do things as a family" and they do.
"We go on picnics and things like that," said Pam. "Jim and David like to go fresh water fishing and go camping and David likes to hunt anything he can get a tag for."
Jim noted that Pam collects "antique kerosene lamps" and she's a "crafty person" too.
"I collect hot-wheels," he added with a laugh. "I still have my cars from the 1960s."
I told them I wish I had saved my comic books and baseball cards from my youth as I'd be a rich man today but that's a different column for another day.
ALAN ROGERS is a Nevada Appeal columnist. Call him at 887-2430, ext. 402.