Hard-working Carson City man remembered by friends and family
April 25, 2003
Laurie Livermore remembers when she got her phone call at school from the new A&W hot dog stand offering her a job as a car hop.
It paid 87 cents, and it was one of the coolest places to work in town.
The year was 1960 and Harold Staub had just opened his first business selling hot dogs, chips and 10 -cent root beer. The small town held no more than 8,000 residents and the drive-up stand was only open on the weekends.
The job taking trays of hot dogs to cars opened the way for the rest of the young girl’s life. Pete Livermore, a young U.S. Marine, hung around the place for a year, flirting with Laurie and soon became good friends with Staub.
Even after Pete and Laurie Livermore married a year later, the couple stayed with the restaurant with one or both of them working there. They watched as Staub’s children, Sondra, Richard and John, washed and cleaned gallon-sized glass root beer bottles that customers bought.
They became so close, up until the day Harold Staub died last week they met nearly every morning at the South Carson A&W restaurant, owned and operated by the Livermores, for coffee and to talk about the latest news or city politics.
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“He was such a part of our lives, I don’t know how to fill the hole,” Laurie Livermore said in the small office of the store, wiping away tears.
Back in the late 1950s, Staub and his wife, Marlene, decided to pack up their car and their children and move to Carson City from Modesto, Calif., to open their own restaurant. Born in Glendive, Mont., to John and Anna Staub, Harold was the youngest of 14 children. He was raised by his brothers and quit school to join the U.S. Marines where he became a sergeant during World War II.
He met his wife, Marlene, in Salt Lake City and they eloped to Elko in 1948.
“He just worked hard all his life,” Richard Staub said. “He put it all out on the line.”
After the young family packed up and moved to Carson City, Richard Staub remembers playing in the dirt next to where his father laid the bricks and built his first A&W stand at 10th and Carson streets.
The restaurant was moved when the city grew and is now located on the south end on Clearview Drive. Richard Staub now owns the land where the old restaurant first stood.
The family worked the restaurant from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., Richard Staub remembers. It was only open weekends at first and then every day from April to Nevada Day at the end of October.
Harold Staub would plow snow for the state during the winters and coached his son’s baseball teams. When Carson grew large enough by the late 1960s, the restaurant stayed open all year.
The family worked together and the children worked until they left for college, Richard Staub said. Now, a successful attorney with his own two children, he remembers working his way up from washing jugs to flipping hamburgers.
Pete Livermore, who watched Richard grow up, now sits beside him on the city’s Board of Supervisors.
Harold Staub sold the restaurant to Livermore in 1971. He bought another A&W restaurant in Winnemucca and sold it five years later.
He liked to fish, hunt and camp in his retirement. He was with his wife of 56 years on the way to Reno last week when he died suddenly of a heart attack at 76. The state Senate adjourned its April 16 session in his memory.
“He’d do anything you asked if he could,” said his daughter Sondra Amodei, who works for the state. Marlene Staub works part-time at the state Legislature.
He is survived by his sisters Josephine and Betty of Seattle; wife, Marlene; sons John and Richard and daughter Sondra Amodei, all of Carson City; daughters-in-law Judy Staub and Janet Staub; and grandchildren Lindsey, Matt, Ryanne, Erin, Sam and Sadie.
A celebration of life will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at 2425 S. Lompa Lane.