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Street sign inspires honkey tonk tune

Column: Kurt Hildebrand

Gardnerville resident Windy Drury says she had no idea there was a place called Willowbend in Genoa when she wrote the lyrics and music to her song, “Wild Rose of Willow Bend.”

The 59-year-old Gardnerville resident said the idea popped into her head after driving past a Willow Street.

“I just thought, ‘Bend in the road, willow bend, what a nice name,'” she said.

Windy and husband, Chuck, have lived in Gardnerville for about seven years after moving from Carson City.

She said she always wanted to write songs and stories, but the pressures of keeping body and soul together prevented her from following her dream.

“I got stuck doing office work all my life,” she said. “When I was young you got a job that would put food on the table.”

Windy had a few adventures along the wa,y though. Born in southern Texas during World War II, she joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1966.

“Once they found out I could type, I got stuck with that during Vietnam,” she said. “I got to go to Japan.”

After spending two years in the Marines, Windy worked at the Pentagon for a year until she learned she could join the U.S. Navy.

“I made yeoman second class,” she said of her eight or so years in the service. During that time she got to go to Rota, Spain.

When she got out of the service, she was trying to decide if she wanted to live in California or Las Vegas and settled on Vegas when she was told the old MGM Grand was hiring armed female security officers for the first time.

She met her husband, Chuck, while working at the MGM, but she quit after they were put on different shifts.

Windy said she has had several people listen to the album and they seem to like it. I would describe “Wild Rose of Willow Bend,” as pure honk- tonk.

Brad Stanfield, a Southern California musician and singer, performs the song on Windy’s compact disk.

She said she was helping out an elderly woman who said her son was in a band in California.

“When I told her I’d written a song, she said I’ll see if my son can perform it,” Windy said.

Former Record-Courier and Tahoe Daily Tribune reporter Andy Bourelle has given up being an ink-stained wretch for academia.

Andy, who most recently worked the city beat for the Carson-Douglas section of the Reno Gazette-Journal, is attending graduate school at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Andy recently married former Record-Courier reporter Merrie Leininger, who will continue to work as a copy editor at the Gazette. The couple makes their home in Genoa.

Both Andy and Merrie are Ohio University graduates and have lived in Douglas County for about six years. Andy spent his early years living at the Adavan Hotel in Gardnerville.

“Once an Eagle Scout, always an Eagle Scout.”

Wanda Beckman, a member of the Pinenut District committee of the Boy Scouts Nevada Area Council, reminded me of that in an e-mail last week after I committed the faux pas of saying that Carson City resident “was an Eagle Scout.”

I got to hear it again when I asked the Appeal’s resident Boy Scout Karl Horeis the same question.

“You were an Eagle Scout, weren’t you, Karl?” I asked.

“Once an Eagle Scout, always an Eagle Scout,” he answered.

I get it.

Tuesday’s floods in Las Vegas may have officially been the biggest since 1999, but my mom said the Hildebrand property got more water than she has seen since moving there in 1963.

According to a map that appeared in Wednesday’s Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Lone Mountain basin, located about a mile from my parents’ house, received 1.81 inches of rain in a sudden thunderstorm.

Fortunately, Lone Mountain is just south and downhill of the homestead, but it is an indication of how much rain fell.

My dad said he thought all the development above them would have diverted the flood waters, but apparently not.

Kurt Hildebrand is acting city editor at the Nevada Appeal. Reach him at 881-1215 or e-mail hildebrand@nevadaappeal.com