Dayton dogs to enjoy CAHI playhouse |

Dayton dogs to enjoy CAHI playhouse

Karel Ancona-Henry
For the Appeal

Nicole and Jed Block won the Citizens for Affordable Homes playhouse. The winning ticket was drawn by CAHI homeowner/builder Lana Underwood at the now-vacant offices at 100 Pinecone Road in Dayton.

Citibank provides the money each year to build the playhouse that is then used to raise money to help CAHI, Nevada’s largest self-help home-building program, continue its work. The house also makes several appearances throughout the year at various events and parades.

The Blocks’ dogs, Guido and Bella, will be living in style, as the couple plans to use the playhouse as a doghouse.


Breaking News! We just received a Business Profile on, of all people, Santa Claus. While most folks don’t think of providing everyone with a gift this time of year as a “business,” it might be safe to say it takes as much time to run Santa’s Workshop as being self-employed. So here goes:

Company name: Santa’s Workshop

Address: 1 North Pole

Name: Santa Claus

Job/position: Owner

What I actually do: Everything! I oversee toy building and quality control; manage 2,000 elves and make sure the reindeer are well-fed and cared for. I check the Naughty & Nice list throughout the year (yes, children, all year. Not just the month before Christmas!) and update it accordingly. I also work out 30 minutes a day, because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to get all the presents delivered in one night.

Family: Mrs. Claus, four children, six grandchildren and of course, all the elves.

Where I grew up: Right here!

My first job: As a gas station attendant at the age of 10 (did you know we have gas stations at the North Pole?) Well, we do!

How I got it: The gentleman who owned it, had an emergency and he told me to watch the till. When he returned I wasn’t a penny shy. He asked me to stay on and with the money I earned, I bought my mother a pearl necklace for 75 cents. When she died, she still had that necklace.

Favorite pastimes: Fishing, being Santa

Best advice I ever got: Don’t leave scars on your loved ones’ hearts.

What I would do with $1 million: I would make sure everyone was in good health.

My inspiration: My wife and family and the innocence and love of children in general.


It’s that time of year … again!

Many years ago, while working as a journalist in California, the local Latter-day Saints were staging their annual live Nativity, complete with donkey, sheep, the Magi and of course, the Holy Family.

As was customary, the newspaper covered this five-day event, which began in late afternoon and continued until about 9 p.m. Folks driving by would wave and honk enthusiastically. It was an observation of Christmas the community anticipated each year, and I would have been remiss to not cover it.

So I headed off, armed with my reporter’s notebook, to talk with the church folks about why they did what they did, the importance of it and so on.

About 15 minutes into my interview, I asked one distinguished-looking gentleman, dressed in colorful robes, how long he had been participating, to which he replied, “I am a neophyte.”

Now, inside my head I’m thinking, “That’s not what I asked you and besides, I thought you were a wise man. I don’t remember any neophytes in the Bible.”

Apparently the last part of what I thought was a private thought had flown out of my mouth, which is not unusual.

So this man, this neophyte, apparently unwritten of in the Good Book, was laughing. As were the shepherds, Joseph and Mary. If Jesus hadn’t have been a plastic baby doll, he’d have been laughing, too. I’m sure.

“A neophyte,” he said, “is a first-timer.”

I moved from mortified to laughing at myself, accompanied of course, by the entire LDS cast, at lightning speed. Returned to the newsroom, where I shared what had happened and we had a laugh.

Two years later, I returned to do the story.

One of the shepherds made a comment.

“Aren’t you the neophyte writer?”

Again the thoughts were racing through my head.

“Were you here when that happened?” I asked.

To which he replied, “No, but I read about it in the newspaper.”

Yep. My colleague and girlfriend had taken it upon herself to include the retelling of the neophyte incident in her column. A whole town then knew of my ignorance. But it was well-written, quite funny, and I was happy to have provided a bit of community Christmas cheer at my expense.

I’ll never forget the meaning of “neophyte.”

What more could a girl want for Christmas?

May Christmas be peace-filled and blessed for each one of you.

• Karel Ancona-Henry can be reached at or at 246-4000.