Letter serves as reminder to suport animal project

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I received a letter from 12-year-old Lea Cartwright, who read about the theft of the two collection boxes belonging to Silver Springs Spay and Neuter Project.

Lea is no stranger to the project. She lives nearby and visits the animals all the time.

"The money in those boxes could have fed Duke, my dog's friend, or bought a toy for Cleo-catra," she wrote.

The project helped Lea get her animals spayed and has been working to spay and neuter strays and other pets in the area. She has a new puppy, Phobe.

Lea is an eighth-grader at Silver Stage Middle School and said she hopes that some big companies looking for a charity consider the project.

Anyone interested in helping out can contact Tom Blomquist at the Spay and Neuter Project. His number is 577-3518.

I also received in the mail an excerpt from a new book called "Best Little Stories from the Wild West" by C. Brian Kelly.

The excerpt was about Peter Lassen and was interesting enough. However, there was also a column by a journalism professor reviewing the book.

The professor, Bill Ruehlmann, teaches at Virginia Wesleyan and writes for the Norfolk, Va., The Virginian-Pilot.

It was, no doubt, included to provide some background on Mr. Kelly, who is a former editor at Military History magazine.

However, the tale Ruehlmann chooses to relate is an old saw familiar to many of us in the Eastern Sierra about Hank Monk and Horace Greeley.

The story as related by Mark Twain in "Roughing It" is essentially that Horace is in a big hurry and hires Hank Monk to get him across the Sierra. In Twain's version Horace's head goes through the top of the stage and he tells Hank he wasn't in such a hurry after all.

"Within a period of six years I crossed and recrossed the Sierra between Nevada and California 13 times by stage and listened to that deathless incident 481 or 482 times," Twain wrote. "I have never smelt any anecdote as often as I have smelt that one."

There it is again.

My wife, Jennifer, and I were talking about Charlie Condron, who resigned as principal of Douglas High School a little while ago because of a family health problem.

Charlie has lived in Carson Valley since 1958 and served as principal of Pau Wa Lu Middle School and Gardnerville Elementary School. He was Jenn's seventh-grade science teacher at Carson Valley Middle School.

Jenn said Charlie was a good teacher and it was in his class that she and her partner won the science fair by growing beans.

Charlie must have done a good job because the two girls then went on to state, where they took second place.

We wish him and his family the best during this time of trouble.

I'm still harvesting tomatoes. I've been quiet about it because there really wasn't much to report during the summer. We had a few handfuls, but nothing to speak of.

I built a shelter for them because I hate to give in to something as feeble as the seasons. Fortunately, between my shelter and this beautiful, warm fall, I've been able to keep four tomato plants and one zucchini alive while the trees lost their leaves. I'm shooting for fresh tomatoes on Thanksgiving.

Volunteers in Dayton will be cutting trails on the east side of Dayton State Park beginning 9:30 a.m. today. There will be a barbecue after the work's done.

Happy Nevada Day everyone and watch out for children trick-or-treating on Thursday.

Kurt Hildebrand is former managing editor at the Nevada Appeal. Reach him at 887-2430, ext. 402 or e-mail him at kurt@tahoe.com.


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