Catching the Christmas spirit

A Dayton woman found a way to make someone's day at the Makin' Coffee Espresso and Smoothie Drive-Thru on Highway 50 and started a chain of kindness.

A few weeks ago, Jan Duke bought her coffee then gave $10 to the owner, Larry Larson, to pay for the coffee of the next customer, on the condition the next customer do something nice for someone else that day.

"I go through there quite a bit," she said. "It's the holiday season and we don't do enough for each other, plus it helps the new businesses in the county."

Duke said the next time she saw Larson, he gave her the news on how her random act of kindness worked.

"He told me the elderly couple that were his next customers, when they pulled up, they were so tickled that they put $10 on the next people," Duke said.

So she did it again, and even more people followed suit.

"It lasted until Wednesday morning," Barbara Larson said. "People would add to it and give extra money. People even came back the next day to do it and someone at the counter paid for the drink of the person next to them and they didn't know each other."

Larson, who with her husband have had the business since April, said the recipients were surprised but caught on quickly.

"It was unexpected and they were surprised, but they were certainly aware of the concept of pay it forward," she said. "It was amazing; we had a lot of fun with it."

Duke also found another opportunity to pass on the Christmas spirit recently when she saw a woman and two young children standing by a bus stop in Carson City with about six suitcases.

"I asked where they were going, and they said they wanted to get to the Reno airport," Duke said. "I just said, 'hop in,' and I took them to the airport."

Duke said she thought folks should take the time during the holiday season to reach out to others.

"Just little things mean so much," she said.

T hree hardy Virginia City men braved a climb up Mount Davidson to repair the lights on the "V" that adorns the mountainside above the town.

Steve McBride, Gary Greenlund and Mitch Giberson made the trek in late November after some of the lights burned out, making it look more like a "J" than a "V."

No small feat, since that section of the mountain is about a 30 percent grade.

McBride said it wasn't too tough a job.

"We got it done in about four hours," he said. "We replaced all the strands of lights. There were about 20 strands with about 400 lights."

The "V" is located about halfway between Virginia City at 6,220 feet and the mountain top at 7,868 feet.

A lso in Virginia City, the winning entries in the Dec. 3 Christmas on the Comstock Parade of Lights have been named.

For best float, first prize went to Edith Palmer's Country Inn in Virginia City. Second prize went to Bill Williamson of Carson City whose dog, Beauregard, drives an antique Ford truck. Third prize went to the Dayton Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8660.

For best marching entry, first prize went to the American Legion Post 56 of Carson City, second prize went to the Comstock Living Legends of Virginia City and third prize went to the Sierra Pacific Hot Stix drill team of Reno.

For best animal entry, first prize went to the Seven Mile Canyon Ranch in Virginia City; second prize went to Rachel Pettway of the Virginia City Highlands and her miniature horse and third prize went to John and Eileen Herrington of Virginia City.

For best musical entry, first prize went to the Girl Scouts and Brownies of the Sierra Nevada, second prize went to the Mark Twain Saloon in Virginia City and third prize went to the Carson and Comstock Coyotes 4-H club.


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