New undertaker arrives just in time for Halloween

There's a new undertaker in town and his name is Rick Noel.

Rick took over as manager of Walton's Funeral Home on Monday, after arriving on Friday from Washington.

The 36-year-old has been working for mortuaries since he was a senior in high school, when he went to work for his father, Lewis.

"We were part-owners in the mortuary before we sold out to a larger firm in 1989," he said. "We stayed on for six years, but we began to see the future and decided to move on."

Both Rick and his dad will be working at Walton's.

Rick plans to live in southeast Reno. He is married to Donna and has three children, Ryan, Dylan and Kayla.

"We love the climate here," he said. "In Washington it rains a lot. We plan to be here for a long, long time."

Actually, I kind of hope he brings some of the rain down with him this winter.

Sonnie Imes will celebrate her 66th birthday on Monday starting at noon at Costco.

She expects 30 or 40 people. They're going to mark off an area for the celebration with balloons and streamers, etc.

Why Costco? "Last year, two of my friends said 'Where can we take you for your birthday?' I said, 'I want to go to Costco.'"

Lenore Speer said she has heard from three people that someone left a message for an ex-girlfriend urging her not to fly on Sept. 11 or go to the mall on Oct. 31.

The 20-year resident of Silver Springs expressed a healthy doubt about the story, but said she heard the same thing from three different sources, so it started her thinking.

The good news is that, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the threat to the malls is not a credible one.

A New York Times story from Oct. 12 said the story, which has been going around by e-mail, falsely indicates they received the letter from the ex-girlfriend.

Lenore's computer has been in the shop, so she got the information from people whose computers are working nicely.

Whenever I hear a story like this, I visit Urban Legends Resource Centre at Another source is the Urban Legends Reference page at They have a whole list of claims following the attack both true and false.

For instance, I always thought only sons were exempt from military service, but that is not always true. According to the Web site, whatever exemption there might be goes out the window during war time. Good to know.

Robert F. Kennedy assassination conspiracy buffs will have something to go for when an archive belonging to Ted Charach, who produced the 1973 film, "The Second Gun," goes up for auction 1 p.m. Thursday at Pacific Book Auction Galleries in San Francisco.

The live auction will be held at the Mechanics Institute Library, 57 Post St. between Kearny and Montgomery streets.

According to an article appearing in Antique Trader magazine, the collection consists of photographs, audio and video tapes of witness interviews and legal documents and is valued at $300,000.

A court order prevented the sale of the material in 1999.

At least two Carson City residents have established shrines to Kennedy's assassination.

Jason May is serving as Charach's agent in the sale.

"He's the one who got the collection appraised in Reno," Charach said.

Carson City attorney Day Williams maintains a Robert F. Kennedy Web site.

Both men and Charach believe a second assassin was involved in Kennedy's slaying.

Even as I was writing about sending mail to any serviceman, the American Red Cross was issuing a statement that the military was canceling the program, thanks to the anthrax scare.

So if you start getting your letters back, that's what's happening.

Former Appeal business and education writer John Sammon is publishing a column on the Web.

John was writing his column the entire time he was working here for small Sierra newspapers. The column appears on I was hoping the Web site might offer some information about what John is up to, but there's not much to it.

A total of 31 people attended the Capital Humane Society's fund-raiser at the Governor's Mansion on Thursday. They raised $431.

But, president Isabel Young said she is trying to reach a broader audience and it is just not working for her.

"Maybe I should stand by Carson Street with a sign," she said.

That might do it.

Bill Dolan told me that one time there were 10 women at a Landmark Society meeting celebrating their 50th wedding anniversaries.

"That's half a millennium of wedded bliss," I answered.

Kurt Hildebrand is the assistant managing editor of the Nevada Appeal. Reach him at 881-1215 or


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