Birthday bash in Smith Valley |

Birthday bash in Smith Valley

by Ron Walker

Monique, is throwing a 50th birthday bash for her new husband, Steven. The festivities will take place at the Walker River RV Park situated on a bluff overlooking the West Walker River. We’re invited.

When we arrive, everyone’s talking a mile a minute. “Let me buy you a drink,” Georgia, Steven’s mother, says. Orllyene, my wife, and I belly up to the bar. Georgia likes to look out for Orllyene and me. I think she’s a little worried we might get trampled under foot. I see Monique. Long blond hair, dressed in a form-fitting red dress, she is stunning. Steven is movie star good looking, and a savvy rancher to boot. Even though the party is for Steven, they both dart around the room making sure everyone is having a good time.

With our plates heaped high with barbecued tri-tip, shredded pork, and homemade side dish treats, we join Theresa. Theresa is the sweetest lady you would ever want to meet. She had a nasty fall a while back and now uses two canes to get around. “Theresa, how the heck did we meet?” I ask. We decide it was the Smith Valley senior luncheoneers, many years ago. Speaking softly she says, “It was 20 years ago today that my husband passed away.” I give her a big hug. Showing your feelings in public is OK, when you’ve been around as long as we have.

Richard, Steven’s dad, and Georgia join our table, as do Ellie and Jeanne, Richard’s twin sisters. They were the Toni twins on television back when television was in black and white. Coming across the room is “comedy sensation, Kat Simmons,” a very talented comedienne. I’ve seen Kat hog-tie an audience so often, I always want to announce her when I see her. One minute Kat’s touring the country, next minute she’s on a Carnival Cruise Ship. Now in hushed tones, she confides, “I have been mixing some inspirational ideas with comedy.” A perfect fit for Kat’s talent.

Next to join our little group is Jeanne Mulreany. When the Mulreany’s owned the Carson Valley Inn, they turned it into a landmark. “You look happier than I’ve seen you in a long, long, time,” I comment. “I am. I made some changes and I’m doing just fine,” Jeanne says, but doesn’t elaborate. She almost sparkles.

It’s time for Monique and her group to perform. As soon as Monique takes the mic, the place starts rockin’. Monique sings her heart out, each and every song. After a few minutes, it becomes too much for me, and I drift over to the dance floor. I do my best to be Kelly, Astaire and Nijinsky incarnate. I find my groove. Soon the dance floor is full, couples dancing, kids dancing, everyone’s dancing. The best sight of the evening is when Richard brings Georgia out on the floor. The musicians may be jamming, but Richard and Georgia are slow dancing. Theirs becomes a dance of love and devotion. Married for 60 years, romance flares anew when Georgia gives Richard a peck on the cheek. For me, the evening is complete.

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“Sweetheart, it’s time to go,” Orllyene says, and being thoroughly exhausted, I comply. Outside, she says, “Sweetheart do you think you should drive?” “Sure, I’m fine,” I answer. “Well then, you may want to get in the front seat,” she says. (Joke)

Ron Walker lives in Smith Valley. He can be reached at

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