A Christmas present everybody can enjoy

As it often happened at our house, folks gathered around to listen to Pop tell his tales. He had an uncanny memory plus the ability to add enough lace to keep one's ears tuned in.

Christmas was especially a great time for gathering around to enjoy the cookies fresh out of the oven as well as other goodies brought by those who came to visit and tell stories. On one particular occasion, the subject came around to collectors and their collections.

Pop had tried to get me started on a collection by bringing me bells. I had one bell that was given to my mother when her brother, my uncle, who was a school teacher, no longer used it to call the students to class. Mom put it to good use. Other mothers called their children home, some whistled, but my mom rang the bell.

Pop gave me a set of harness bells, which I treasure, but I never became an avid collector.

Diana, a very dear friend of ours, spoke up and said, "Ida collects friends." What a compliment! I will always love her for those nice words.

Pop was a Wyandotte Indian of the Turtle clan plus a cowboy every chance he could get. So his collections centered around turtles, Indian artifacts and cowboy memorabilia. But his greatest desire was to build a Concord Stagecoach ... and he did build one. It was a beautiful piece of art.

After Pop died in 1999, I put the stagecoach up for sale, but my heart wasn't in it. There was just too much of our life wrapped up in it, so when December 2004 rolled around, I called Bob Nylen at the Nevada State Museum and offered it as a gift to the museum.

On Dec. 27, 2004, the Concord Stagecoach, built by Taurone Kenny Walker, became the official property of the Nevada State Museum in Carson City, a rather unusual and precious Christmas gift that everyone can enjoy.

• Ida G. Walker, of Carson City, writes that "Pop and I had what he called a century gap. His was horse-drawn vehicles. I had my own airplane and was manager of an aircraft parts department."


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