Yolanda has a new job and an old name
Two big changes in the life of Yolanda Garcia took place just a few months ago.
She got a new job and an old name. We start with the job.
“I started in September as Sen. Harry Reid’s regional representative and I run and maintain the Carson City office for the senator,” said Yolanda, who is 47 and was born in Tulare, Calif. “I’m enjoying my new job. It’s keeping me very busy in and out of the office.”
Before taking on her new duties, Yolanda worked for the state.
“I was the executive secretary for Gov. Miller for five years and the last six years I was the management assistant at the Division of Mental Health and Developmental Services,” she said. “I’m also the vice-chair of the Carson City Democratic Central Committee and I work and help out with Nevada Hispanic Services. It all keeps me busy … I like that.”
Yolanda and I met almost 20 years ago when she was married to Kurt Tella and her name was Yolanda Garcia-Tella. Those were the days when sons Tim and Robbie – both now live and work in Atlanta – were into amateur boxing when the CCPAL boxing gym was located at Third and Curry Streets. She and Kurt are now divorced.
“We got divorced earlier this year after 22 years of marriage and five years of living together,” said Yolanda, as she told of taking her maiden name back. “It wasn’t a bitter divorce. We’re still friends.”
Yolanda is the second oldest of five children. Her dad and mom, Frank, 70, and Clara, 68, live in Pacifica, Calif. Older brother Vince and younger brother Thomas live there with Mom and Dad. Brother Frank and his wife Andrea live in Tracy, Calif., and Reuben lives here in Carson City with his wife, Annette.
Yolanda just returned from spending Thanksgiving with her family at Frank’s home.
“We had 15 family members there and it was wonderful,” said Yolanda as she showed me photos of her family. “I went with my new boyfriend Federico and we spent three days there. I ate all kinds of turkey and trimmings and I can tell you there wasn’t much left. It was a nice trip and it felt good to get out of town and travel. I had a good Thanksgiving.”
Let’s back up a bit here, Yolanda. Tell me about your “new boyfriend” Federico.
“I met him by chance at the Pinon Plaza,” she said happily. “He’s an airline mechanic at Union Flight at the Dayton Airport. We’re just dating and still getting acquainted. We’ve been together for two months.”
A SPECIAL CHRISTMAS – This year Christmas will be a “little more special” than most for Yolanda and her family because her parents will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on Dec. 24.
“We’re having a big celebration here in Carson City for them,” said Yolanda. “It’ll be at the new Brewery Arts Center and we expect 80-100 guests to attend.”
You gonna bellydance at it?
“No, I don’t think so,” laughed Yolanda. “It’s not quite the right setting.”
Oh, did I mention that Yolanda is a pretty famous bellydancer? In the past she and I have done a couple of these columns about her bellydancing, so I asked if she was still doing that.
“I still perform,” she answered. “I’m a member of the ‘Babylon Babes’ and am their director. We have eight members and are looking for more. I will be teaching a bellydancing class in mid-January at the Brewery Arts Center. Anyone who would like to attend or learn more about bellydancing can call me at 882-1405.”
The Babylon Babes are a non-profit group, I should note. And they do more than bellydance.
“We spend a lot more than we make,” laughed Yolanda. “It’s an expensive hobby. We also do ballet, hula, modern African and Mexican dancing and I do the Ballet Folklorico too. It’s fun, good exercise and keeps you in shape.”
A GRAND TIME – Yolanda had two of them recently. First was the 1864 Grand Ball that took place Nevada Day weekend at the Ormsby House. I can report Yolanda “danced the night away” at the ball in her “velveteen and lace beaded gown” that is a replica of an 1864 ball gown.
“It was a really fun ball,” said a grinning Yolanda. “About 150 people attended.”
Yolanda also had a grand time earlier this year when she was nominated for the “Citizen of the Years” award.
“It was quite an honor,” she said. “I didn’t win. Barbara Gurney did. She’s a friend of mine and we’ve worked together in the past.”
We’ll end our visit with Yolanda now. And there is no doubt about it, she’s had a “crazy and different” year to close out the ’90s and it’s safe to say Yolanda is looking forward to the 21st century and all the fun and surprises it will bring ….
SEE THAT GOWN – Yolanda will show us her ball gown and bellydance for us tonight on our Street Talk TV Show that airs on CAT-10 at 6 p.m. The show repeats Monday at 8 a.m.
ALAN ROGERS is a Nevada Appeal columnist. His message phone is 887-2430, ext. 402.