Carson City area residents share their love stories |

Carson City area residents share their love stories

Ernie and Leslie Mayhorn
Courtesy |

Editor’s Note: The Appeal is sharing love stories from its readers for Valentine’s Day.

Almost 30 years ago, Leslie Baldwin was my best friend. Her husband worked for me and my wife, and I would go out with them frequently.

When there was a concert coming to town that they didn’t want to see, Leslie and I went by ourselves and had an amazing time. Lunch together a few days a week, you name it, we were inseparable. Inseparable but purely 100 percent platonic. I won’t deny that there was an attraction there, as she was and is stunningly beautiful. However, it was never worth destroying an amazing friendship.

I ended up changing jobs and careers and we drifted apart. Fast forward to October 2010, nine months after my divorce. While teaching an evening class, I step outside for a break and my phone beeps and it is a Facebook friend request from Leslie Baldwin! I accepted immediately and sent a message to call me sometime if you’re ever bored. Ten seconds later my phone rang.

We spoke and it was as if no time had passed. She was living in San Diego, where, coincidentally, I was going to be three weeks later to go out on a cruise. We met up for dinner and had an amazing evening. We spoke the second the boat docked, and she came to visit Carson City three weeks later.

I picked her up Jan. 1, and we married in May. It’s been an amazing life ever since!

Ernie Mayhorn

Carson City

I met my husband Dennis by putting a singles ad in the Pennysaver in 1993. It was the best ad I ever placed!

We immediately clicked and we dated. On one of the dates we borrowed a horse, and I unfortunately got bucked off (the horse had not been ridden in over a year!), and the horse jumped on my hand, which got infected. Dennis took care of me as I got very sick from it. As a result we got to know each other very fast. A few months later he put an ad in the Nevada Appeal asking me to marry him on my birthday, Valentine’s Day.

We have been together for nearly 20 years and the rest is history!

Doreen Hoffman

Carson City

Chuck Matton and I met and worked together for a gold mining company in Reno, from the mid-80s until the mid-90s. Everyone admired Chuck, as he is an extremely nice person and will help anyone.

In 1995, the mining company was bought out. I went back to live in California (where I was born and raised), but quickly returned to Nevada, missing the beauty of the state — it’s incredible deserts and hills, sunrises and sunsets. I soon purchased a house in Dayton Valley, where I could look at both the Virginia and the Pine Nut ranges. Chuck and his wife moved back to Oregon.

Unfortunately, his lovely wife passed away. About a year and a half later, my phone rang. It was Chuck saying he was going to be in the Reno area and asked if he could take me to dinner. We had a wonderful time.

After he returned home, we called each other at least twice daily (eventually our phone bills came to more than $500). We were dating over the phone!

A few months later, he asked if he could come down to see me for a few days. I agreed immediately. I told him I had extra bedrooms he could stay in, but being a gentleman, he said, “I don’t want to ruin your reputation,” as we weren’t married. Chuck took a room in a nearby Carson City hotel.

We pretty much realized we were already in love. He didn’t know, though, this three-day date was actually going to be a test …

We went to Virginia City to visit museums. I wanted to make sure he liked going to them. He passed that first test with flying colors.

On our way back down to my home, we saw a rock outcropping which looked to have some crystals in it. Sure enough, we found some beautiful specimens. One of the rocks I picked up had an indention in it surrounded by tiny crystals. He handed me his magnifying glass. When I looked through it, the small hole became a much larger one. I excitedly said to him, “I feel like a little girl in a wonderland cave!” He said jokingly, “You’re a cheap date, want to marry me?” We both laughed and I said, “Yes, I will.”

But, the very last test was reading. I absolutely love reading and wanted to make sure he did as well. Some men don’t like to have a woman reading when they’re in the same room. Well, no problem here. He loves to read as much as I do, and now we can both read for hours, together.

I was married before for 25 years and divorced for 12. I wasn’t going to remarry unless I was 100 percent sure. Well, with Chuck, I was 500 percent sure!

We were married in 1999 in Old Town Dayton at the then Wild Horse Saloon. The name of the saloon couldn’t have been better, as I love horses. We took over the entire place. A local Dayton judge performed the ceremony in the beautiful garden in back of the saloon. The ceremony took only 19 1/2 minutes as a cook was barbecuing ribs in the garden at the same time and the audience was quickly becoming hungry!

After the ceremony, one of Chuck’s son-in-laws entertained the kids by grabbing the balloons, which were tied to the trellis under which we were married, and ran down the streets of the town, with all the kids following him. He looked like the pied piper! Everyone had such a grand time at our wedding, we had a small repeat wedding a year later. Of course, at the Wild Horse Saloon.

We will be celebrating our 16th anniversary this coming October and are still extremely happy being together.

I tell people I married him because he could fix anything, which was true. He tells people he married me to get back to the desert, which was really true!

Bonnie Matton


It was at a time in my life when I was lost. I had no direction. Sadly, no purpose or meaning. Until I walked into this woman’s home. Instantaneously, a sense of fulfillment came over me … serendipity.

I was not looking for love, but my heart felt comforted. Being around her made me feel secure. We met under exceptionally trying circumstances.

I never left her home after I walked in. It’s a funny story; I kind of just moved in. Shortly after, we became an item, Melinda and Tim, although family members and friends did not approve. They would rather see us apart. They even tried to get between us.

For two years we struggled to stay together. It came to the point things had to change in order for our love to remain. We had an idea to completely change our lives around. Leaving all old associates behind us. Starting a new life in a new place together. We moved into a nice neighborhood and became active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We have been giving our lives over to our heavenly Father.

Our bishop married us on Sept. 18, 2015. We’ve been married seven months and still going strong. We are happier than we have ever been.

Timothy Marshall

Carson City

We met as freshmen at the University of Nevada, Reno, at a “Hello on the Hill” dance.

Chuck was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, and I was a member of Pi Beta Phi Sorority. We dated off and on for several years, attending social functions, football and basketball games, studying, as well as working when we could. It was a fun time.

I realized how very special he was and we became engaged and married in January 1951. It has been a marriage of 65 years, and I have been blessed to have such a wonderful, loving husband and father to my children.

God has always been central in our family during good times and there for us when things were difficult. I love you, Chuck, with all my heart. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Jo Saulisberry

Carson City

It was live at first sight! I met my husband, Ernie, at work; he was shy and wouldn’t give me the time of day. He wouldn’t go out with me, maybe I was too persistent. But I knew we were going to get married one day — Ernie just didn’t know it yet.

They do say opposites attract, and we’re very opposite of each other. In the beginning of our relationship we may have done things backwards, in that we there was a lot of challenges for us. We had our son; we eventually moved in together then got married. All in the meanwhile we were still getting to know each other.

We overcame many obstacles, we now have a 14-year-old son, been married four years, we have a restored relationship and I love my husband more then ever.

Ernie wanted a better life for us, a better education for our son, a great community, so he moved us here to Nevada. I love it here, and I’m so proud of my husband Ernie. He’s a wonderful father to our son, he’s my best friend and I’m falling in love with him more and more every day.

Noreen Fematt

Carson City

The year was 1986. I went to a Super Bowl party at my sister’s house. The Chicago Bears were playing the New England Patriots.

This blonde walked in. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. I smiled at her and she smiled back. I introduced myself. We talked for a while and then before I knew it, the game was over.

Fast forward to 2003. On Feb. 14, 2003, Donna and I finally got married. Happy anniversary, Donna!

Ray Wungnema

Carson City

She was from New York. He was from California. She became a Marine after changing her age on her birth certificate so she could serve.

He became a Marine after he already served in the Navy. They met briefly on the beach in Northern California while wearing matching Marine-issued bathing suits.

Within weeks, Arlene and Henry were married. Henry left and fought at Midway and China while Arlene served by repairing rifles stateside. They lived by the Marine motto, Semper Fidelis, always faithful, forever.

Donna Batis-Wungnema

Carson City

Scotty Stewart was my very first boyfriend. It was spring of 1949 at Topanga Canyon Elementary School in California. We were both in the fourth grade.

Two summers ago, I was selling my 50 years of accumulation of “stuff” at the Tahoe flea market. I had packed up all of my items into boxes and told a fellow seller, “I’ll give you $5 if you will load my boxes up into my car.”

I have bad knees and need a lot of help sometimes. After my car was loaded, this fellow asked if I was from Southern California. I said, “Yes.”

He said, “Topanga Canyon?”

He got my complete attention. He was Mike Adams, from Kyburz, Calif., originally from Topanga.

I said, “I’ve always wondered what ever happened to Scott Stewart.” He said, “I have Scott’s address. He just moved to Florida. I’ve gone to all of the sixth grade reunions.”

I procrastinated and didn’t write a letter to Scotty until about four months ago.

About a month passed and on a Sunday, Scotty called me. Scotty had a hard time talking, he couldn’t get enough air into his lungs. But we talked for about an hour anyway.

Scotty had red hair and was the shortest kid in our class. I was the tallest kid in our class.

I told him, “You were my very first boyfriend. Remember you were sitting on the four-inch-high ledge around the patio and you motioned for me to sit by you so we could eat our lunches? It must have been Cinco de Mayo because everyone went to the patio and we danced the Mexican Hat Dance. You were my partner. Much later, you gave me a little brass-colored ring with an ‘O’ on it. I always thought it was your father’s ring because your dad was named Oaka. I still have the ring.”

Scotty said, “It probably came out of a box of Cheerios.”

That summer they had a free movie at the shopping center down in the canyon. Scotty and I were sitting on a blanket on the asphalt. Scotty leaned over and gave me my very first kiss.

Scotty said, “I don’t remember any of it!” I had a good, long, hearty laugh over what he said.

On Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, Patty Arnold Stewart called me and said, “I have sad news. Scotty passed away on Jan. 5, 2016. We were married for 48 years.”

I told her how sorry I was for her loss, but I was so glad I had a chance to talk to Scotty, my fourth grade boyfriend.

Shirley Mallinckrodt Fraser


Happy Valentine’s Day to my prince

Once upon a time when I was a young girl, 14 and in eighth grade, I saw the most handsome prince from afar. All the girls in school had a crush on this typing teacher, and I knew he would by my typing teacher the following year, but low and behold, the next year he was gone. He went to the high school.

At 16, a sophomore, I worked for the school office. I walked into the English class to pick up absent slips and there he was, my prince! It was our first and only eye contact encounter.

Well, fast forward 10 years. I had gotten married, had two children, was divorced and working in the Governor’s Office for Mike O’Callahan. One day I was delivering papers to the State Rehabilitation Division, and as I was walking in the front door, here comes the most handsome man, my prince! He opened the door and we rode up the elevator together to the fifth floor. He said, ”Aren’t you the young girl who use to pick up my absent slips? I said, “Yes, aren’t you Mr. Mack?”

That was our first conversation. We got off the elevator and went our separate ways. Little did I know the papers I was delivering were to the Deputy Administrator of Rehabilitation, Mr. Lloyd Mack.

I delivered my papers, and as I was leaving the building, who was pacing back and forth at the front door? It was my prince! He said, “I know you don’t know me, but would you like to go to lunch?”

I said, “Yes,” and that week we had a wonderful lunch at the Fireside Inn, now city offices.

We dated for a short time, I moved and we lost contact. I was raised that you don’t call a man, and I didn’t. I was in transition at work and was transferred from the Governor’s Office to Rehabilitation and my prince was now my employer. This relationship was destined to be.

We were married April 12, 1980, on a buoy tender ship, the High Water Princess, on Lake Tahoe. It was its first and last voyage. Lloyd adopted my two children, Vince and Shelbie, and to this day they have the utmost respect and love for him. Two months after we got married we rented our house to our son’s school teacher and took a year to travel the entire United States. Lloyd tutored the kids on our journey. As a family, we made a decision to have another child and in 1981, Paul was born.

We are now blessed with six grandchildren and one great-grandchild — the circle of life continues.

This year we celebrate 36 years of marriage. Lloyd is still my prince, my soul mate and my best friend. How blessed we both have been.

Happy Valentine’s Day, my prince. I love you.

Doreen Mack

Carson City

There are several interrelated love stories here. When my parents, Chester and Orpha Christenson, reached their late 90s, my husband, brother and I shared shifts caring for them. I did the mornings, my brother did the afternoons and was there at night and my husband handled dinner and bedtime. We did this every day for almost six years.

It was a joy for me to be around my parents after years of living far from them, and they had done many things for my brother through the years, but my husband did it all just for love.

Anne Christenson

Carson City

I was thinking the other day. I have known my wife, Ruby, for 49 years. And lucky enough to have been with her for 36 years. We watched our kids grow through the years. And then the grandkids and great-grandson.

Now we go through life hand in hand remembering the friendship and trust that guided us throughout the years.

I love you.

Mike Brackin

Carson City

My love story began two years ago on Feb. 20.

I had been a widow four years when I happened to meet Jack at a local ARCO station when I was ready to fill up for gas. When his car pulled up behind me, I pulled forward.

This handsome man hopped out of his car and thanked me and complimented me on my cute little dog in the car.

When I came into the station to pay ahead for my gas, I noticed him ahead of me with beautiful curly hair standing there with a photo to show me of his dog who had passed away.

We talked quite a long time while we both filled up. There was definitely a mutual attraction. He went to get something from his car and it was his card and phone number to call him.

I blinked and said, “I don’t call men.”

He seemed a bit baffled by this and said, “Well, can I call you?”

I was flattered by his charm, but confused — I guess because it had been a very long time since meeting men, and he was a stranger, after all.

I had prayed for someone loving and kind and a Christian. Somehow I felt it would be OK to get to know him and talk on the phone. Everything about him seemed to fit perfectly with everything about me.

Well, that led to falling in love, and now we believe we were brought together by God to share these later-in-life years.

For two years we have had no more heartache, only love and fun, and meeting at an ARCO station filling up for gas was just the beginning of our love story.

Rosamond Moranville

Carson City

It was Feb. 21, 1997. I had gone out with the girls and got home around 10 p.m.

It was a full moon, I decided the night was young, so I went to the Carson Hot Springs where there was a band. I spotted this “eye candy” of a young man and winked at him — twice.

He came over and asked me to dance. We’ve been together ever since and are very happily married with our pets.

I informed him I couldn’t have children. He replied, “I was adopted. If we ever wanted kids, we could always adopt.”

Ken is definitely the love of my life!

Ramona McClure

Carson City

Puppy love

When I was living in Hollywood, Calif., working in major motion pictures, it was on one of my days off that I was casually walking along the sidewalk near my home when I noticed a small group of children digging a sizable hole by the side of a house. At the same time, I noticed a strange aura about them — they all looked so sad, and several of them were just standing there crying as hard as could be. Out of mounting curiosity, I stopped and went over to see just what was going on. I was deeply moved by what I witnessed.

After they got the hole dug, one of the children carefully emptied a little brown and limp puppy out of a paper bag and into the newly-dug hole. They were actually conducting a pet burial.

I chokingly said, “Hey, children, you can’t have that burial without me … I’m an old hand at such things!”

So I joined them on the ground, as they were kneeling down.

“I love doggies, too,” I said.

Then a little guy named Charley corrected me and said, “It’s not a doggie — it’s a puppy!”

“I’m sorry,” I replied. “By the way, how did this terrible thing happen to your puppy?”

Another little boy named Bobby spoke up and said, “It got hit by a car. It’s Charley’s puppy, and Charley’s momma told us to go ahead and bury him, and ‘right away isn’t soon enough’ she told us.”

“OK,” I said. “We’ll do just that! Let’s hold hands now and pray!”

Well, did we pray. And as we knelt there praying, a burning though came to mind … why have a burial? Why not have a “revival” or a “resurrection?” Then the idea also came how this could perhaps be brought about.

I said, “Children, we’ve got to stop what we’re doing now. Instead, we’re gonna try to make something wonderful happen, and with God’s help we can do it. This is what we have to do. First, I’m going to make some telephone calls, then when I come back I’ll have you put your puppy back in the paper bag, and then we’re all gonna go somewhere special. I believe God has a wonderful surprise for us … something really special in store for all of us, and Charley’s momma’s gonna be pleased, too!”

I made my vital phone calls, then when I returned, the little children had already put their lifeless puppy back into the paper bag, then I walked several long blocks with those darling little skeptics carrying there precious cargo, their walk becoming more sprightly by the added thrust of hope as we approached the town’s pet hospital and emporium.

We went in, and I immediately explained to the ol’ doc there exactly what had happened and why we came to him — that we’d rather celebrate a resurrection than conduct a burial, if this is possible.

“Can you arrange such a thing, doc?” I pleaded as I winked at him and at the same time bringing my checkbook out and placing it firmly on his counter top.

“Could you make it so that this little puppy could become new, I mean good, again?”

The kindly old doc pushed my checkbook back and said, “You keep that! I get the idea,” he said as he recalled my recent telephone call. “I’ll have to take this puppy out back into my lab and see what can be done to match — I mean patch — it up.”

He picked up the paper bag with the lifeless puppy in it, and the minutes dragged by as we waited for the doc to return. He finally did, and with his clenched hand holding closed the opening of the now frayed bag, he placed it down on his counter, but this time, as the bag was released, it started to move and jerk around. There seemed to be something alive in it! There now were signs of life coming from that crumpled bag!

The little children, and even I, stumbled back in amazement as the apparent life in the paper bag suddenly waddled out and showed itself as obviously the same little brown puppy the children, just less than an hour ago, were going to put into a hole and cover over with dirt. I heftily shook the good ol’ doc’s hand, then I leaned in and whispered to him, “I’m sure glad you happened to have a live puppy back there just like the one we brought in!”

“You know,” he said, “I almost gave that puppy away only this afternoon, but something — something — seemed to keep me from doing it!”

Just then we turned toward the children, who were again standing in a huddle, and with their heads bowed, but this time it was different. Little Charley was holding his made-new-again puppy ever so close, and their faces were all aglow with such unexpected happiness, and little Charley, with his restored courage, spoke these words:

“Thank you, dear God, for fixin’ our puppy, and makin’ it just like new, because we all love it so. And, God, you’re really somethin’, you know, and we love you, too!”

Bleary-eyed and tears fast welling up, the ol’ doc and I looked at each other in joyful acknowledgement because we knew little Charley had just expressed what that “something” was that the doc himself had spoken about right before, and it was that something that made something so wonderful as this happen.

And, yes, I told them all the truth a short while later.

Thane Cornell

Carson City