Street Talk: Five-way heart bypass surgery doesn't slow down Carson man

Late night television talk show host David Letterman has nothing on Carson City's John Rough.

"On the day after my 70th birthday, Nov. 17 of last year, I had five-way heart bypass surgery at Washoe-Med in Reno," said John. "A quintuple job just like David Letterman had."

And while Letterman thanked his doctors on national television, John can only praise them here but "that'll do" for him.

"They don't do bypasses in Carson City and Dr. Todd Chapman of Reno did the surgery," said John with a smile. "He did a great job, along with my cardiologist Dr. Tony Field of Carson City .... I feel great! The surgery was a success."

John, whose last name is pronounced like the word "Wow" was born in San Gabriel, Calif. He and Inez have been married 32 years. She just celebrated her 70th birthday last Tuesday and was born in Sayre, Oklahoma.

Inez is quite a story herself. She used to be a cotton-picker, among other things.

"My family were migrant farm workers," she said. "I picked cotton, peas, potatoes, peaches and whatever. When I was 5 years old we moved to Central Valley (Calif.) from Oklahoma. We followed the crops."

When those days ended, Inez went to work and guess who hired her?

"John was the manager of Pacific Finance Company and I applied for a job as a secretary," said Inez happily. "He hired me and married me after we went together for a couple of years. We were married in Laguna Niguel, Calif."

The couple have three children and two grandchildren. Oldest son Dave lives in Yorba Linda, Calif. Daughter Linda lives in Carson City and Steve lives in Phoenix. Grandson Matt, 16, lives here with his mom Linda and grandson Anthony, 28, lives in Hemet, Calif.

"Linda is a legal secretary at the Attorney General's office," noted Inez. "And Anthony is into politics in California. Matt works here with us."

That would be at the Mail Depot in the Frontier Plaza. John and Inez, who moved to Carson City seven years ago, opened the Mail Depot almost four years ago. They came here after visiting friends and "checking out" Carson City.

"We're just a neighborhood, family business," said Inez. "Our business is mainly a mail forwarding business, mostly for people who travel. We have personal mail boxes, UPS shipping, sell mailing supplies and stamps and I'm a notary and do notary services."

John's part of the business deals with the Secretary of State's office.

"I do incorporating for out-of-state businesses and act as their resident agent," he informed. "Most of my work is done over the phone."


Also at the Mail Depot is John's "Wall-Of-Fame" that includes over a dozen photos and plaques of famous sports figures and he invites you to drop by and see the wall.

Some of the famous people he has there are Michael Jordan, Joe Montana, Troy Aikman, Jerry Rice, Joe Namath, John Elway, Terry Bradshaw, David Robinson, Charles Barkley and others, including the infamous O.J. Simpson.

"I started my collection 10 years ago with Johnny Unitas," he said as we looked over the display. "I got these in Southern California from the guy who made them."


John found out he needed that bypass surgery because of his running.

"I'm a runner and I run four miles a day, five days a week," said John. "I've done that all my life. It usually takes me 34 minutes to make my run but in September I found I could only run for three minutes and I knew there was a problem even though I had no pain. I took tests and medications and, to make a long story short, I was diagnosed with a heart problem that required surgery."

How's it going now?

"Fantastic," replied a happy John. "I'm back to running my four miles and I'm better than I was before the surgery .... I'm back to the old me."

This whole episode was something of a relief for Inez once they knew what the problem was.

"I knew something was wrong but wasn't sure what," said Inez. "When we found out I was actually relieved. At least we knew what it was and how to fix it. I knew it would be taken care of and even though it was scary, I wasn't worried. John came through it just fine."


John, who coached Pop Warner football for four years, is a bowler and has been for a lot of years. A pretty good one too as he carries a 208 average but he's never bowled a 300 game, until now.

"It was the night of the day I had my 6-month checkup," John said proudly. "I'm in the mixed-foursome league at Carson Lanes on Tuesday night. I bowled my 300-game in league play on my second game of what wound-up a 710 series. I was in the zone. It was one of those games and I wasn't nervous at all. I knew I was on my game."

How he knew is something only those who have been there and done that will relate to and that includes son Dave.

"He's a bowler too and has bowled three 300 games," added John cheerfully. "For my 300 game I just knew I would roll a strike everytime. I can't explain it and I have not been able to duplicate that feeling but I will again."

John received $100 from Carson Lanes for his 300 game that was "certified official" by the American Bowling Congress and he will get "an official 300-game ring" from the ABC soon.

"I haven't got it yet but it's coming," he said. "I will wear it proudly."

And while he's bowling and doing other things, Inez prefers to "stick close to home" for her fun.

"I'm a home person," she said. "I like to cook and sew and do things like that. I also like to gamble a little bit. John and I both like living in Carson City .... We shoulda moved here 20 years ago."


If you read Don Quilici's Wednesday Outdoors column in the Nevada Appeal Sports section, you know I had the dubious honor of seeing Don's rear end!

It happened while I was talking with System Manager Mike Ivie in his office at the Appeal. Don limped over, told us his "I got thrown from a horse" story (words you will never hear from me, by the way) and then dropped his drawers and showed us his rear end.

I suggested to Don that we go to Sacramento where the U.S. Olympic Trials are taking place and I would get a paddle, whap him on that sore butt of his and see how high he'd jump. A cinch Olympic gold medal in the high jump and a possible world record would certainly follow as I'm sure he'd clear 10-feet easily after I whacked him!

Don just winced at the thought and painfully limped off to show someone else his butt ....

ALAN ROGERS is a Nevada Appeal columnist. His message phone is 887-2430, ext. 402.


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