Some selected memories of events during the year 2004
December 17, 2004
By Don Quilici
As I have done for a number of years, mid-to-late December is a traditional time for yours truly to publicly reflect on events that have happened in my life during the year.
So, without further ado, here are some selected memories of the year 2004:
• The mule deer at our cabin:
Our “getaway” cabin is located at an elevation of 6,000 feet, high on a mountainside between Portola and Davis Lake in California.
My son and daughter-in-law, Jim and Kathi, and Elaine and I are joint owners in that cabin and the four of us spend as much time there as we can.
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During the course of this year, our cabin has been visited countless times by: A mother mule deer doe with very rare triplet fawns, a mother doe with twin fawns, another mother with twins, a total of five very small bucks and one trophy-sized 6X5 buck.
Those mule deer have given us many hours of enjoyment and it is amazing how they have learned to accept our human presence, even at close range.
In fact, I have been within three feet of the triplets’ mother.
And, we, in turn, have kept them well supplied with countless slices of white bread, fresh peaches, apples and pears.
• Having my brand new pickup trashed by a hailstone storm:
Elaine’s brother, Tim, is the general manager of a very large Ford dealership in Denver, Colo. And, as family members, we can get a very handsome “family” discount on a new vehicle.
So, while we were on vacation in Colorado back in May, I had bought a bright yellow, 4-wheel drive, F-150 pickup with all kinds of super special features.
It was to be loaded onto an auto-transport on a Thursday morning, transported to Nevada, and delivered to our front door in Carson City several days later.
On Wednesday afternoon at 4:30 p.m., Denver was struck by a devastating hailstone storm that did a total of $100 million in damages, of which $9 million damages were at that dealership, including my brand new pickup!
Thank God for insurance companies!
• The Money Pit:
If you have ever seen the hilarious movie “The Money Pit,” with Tom Hanks, you will appreciate what happened at our older home on the Westside, which was built in the mid-1940’s.
During the course of a very long and very expensive summer, we had to:
Replace the entire main waterline to the house (which included four of us having to dig a 4-foot deep trench across my front lawn!), repair two brand new lawn sprinkler valves (not once but a total of three times!), repair the air conditioner, replace our gas furnace, replace the entire roof (including the sheeting), replace our rain gutters, repair the back gate and part of our back fence, replace the shower faucet, trim a giant elm tree in the backyard and replace the heater ducts under the house.
All of this preceded my two heart attacks on Aug. 19.
Hmmm, I wonder if there was a connection? Nah!
• My two, near-fatal heart attacks:
I have to be the luckiest person on earth, as I suffered that first one in the emergency room at Carson Tahoe Hospital and then, the second one was in the Cardiac Care Unit at Washoe Medical Center in Reno, after being Care-Flighted there, from Carson City.
In the CTH emergency room, that first heart attack required the use of electric paddles to return my heart to its normal beating rhythm.
At Washoe Med., the Cardiac Care Unit personnel had to use CPR and electric paddles (not once but twice!) to get my heart back to a normal rhythm.
Most amazing, Dr. Larry Noble of Reno, the Cardiologist, told me, later, that because of where I had been with both heart attacks and the immediate actions taken, there is no, or very, very little damage to my heart!
Thank God, for Don Q being in the right place at the right time, with very special thanks to all involved.
• Catching and releasing a total of 65 Lahontan cutthroat trout at Pyramid Lake on Nov. 12:
My longtime friend, hunting and fishing partner and neighbor Dick Biggs of Carson City, and special friend, Archie Steele who was visiting from Dunkeld in Perthshire, Scotland joined Dick “Father” Murphy and Steve Mizzen of Sun Valley (North of Reno) for an unforgettable day of trout fishing at that lake.
We caught and released 65 cutthroat trout, up to 23.5 inches in length, between 9:15 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
We trolled the area in front of the Pelican Point boat ramp, at Pelican Point, at Windless Bay and at Spider Point.
On several occasions, Archie, Dick and I had three fish on, all at the same time.
A triple hook-up!
Steve and Murph finally joined us in trolling; and at one time, the five of us each had a fish on at the same time.
A quintuplet hookup! Something that I had never seen or experienced!
The action was red-hot and literally non-stop for everyone. It was like fishing in a fish hatchery.
• Saying Good-bye to “The Outdoor Recreation Show”:
I had the personal pleasure of serving as the Producer, Anchor and Co-Host for The Outdoor Recreation Show.
It was a live, one hour television show about the Great Outdoors, which aired on Carson Access Television Channel 10 and as a taped re-broadcast on Carson Valley Access Television Channel 26.
The show went off the air in late November after a successful run of many, many years, as a result of my cardiologist recommending that I cut back on some of my many different activities.
Being associated with The Outdoor Recreation Show for all those years was a ton of fun, but, sadly, everything has to come to an end, sooner or later.
I am going to miss that television show, all the people associated with it’s production and the underwriters.
Most importantly, I am really going to miss all of those special folks who were regular viewers on both channels.
They were the ones who make it a ton of fun, every Tuesday evening.
• Finally and More Importantly:
I would be remiss if I did not take the time to wish each and everyone of you:
A very Merry Christmas.
I hope that Santa brings you whatever you want this year.
• Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
Bet your favorite pigeon that he can’t tell you, which of those memories, listed above, is the topmost.
If he grins and says, “Don says that they are all equally memorable,” he could be one of my close friends.
Don Quilici is the Outdoors editor for the Nevada Appeal.