Washington boy writes back to say thank you

When I last heard of Alfredo, he was in Mount Vernon, Wash., unknowingly about to receive another package from Mabel Masterman, secretary for the Dayton Museum Historical Society and sender-extraordinaire of all things Nevada.

In that second package, Mabel included more bits of Nevada: a signed letter from Gov. Kenny Guinn, a snow globe from Reno, a map of Nevada, a silver souvenir coin with the state seal on one side and Guinn's likeness on the other, and the May 23 Appeal article about the fifth-grade boy.

"I'm sure he'll write another letter back and say thank you," she said.

Well, the boy knows his manners and sent Mabel the letter. Alfredo, just to remind you, caught the lovely Mabel's eye when a letter he wrote was published in the Appeal. He said he was doing a research project on the state and was looking for more information.

Enter Mabel.

Here's what she sent me recently: "Hi Maggie, just wanted to let you know the student from Mount Vernon, Wash., sent another thank-you note to the Dayton Museum Historical Society for the last packages we sent him for his school project. Also... his teacher wrote us a letter of appreciation! (That was sooooo unexpected and wonderfully thoughtful of her to have gone the extra step to thank us also!)

"Unfortunately Alfredo's letter is too light to fax well, so here is what he wrote (typos, capitals and all):

"Dear Mabel Masterman, I had received everything in the 2nd package and the package with the articles about me on the 26th. My teacher was shocked about the last two packages. Everyone in the class has liked the things that you have sent me. Well anyway THANK'S AGAIN !! At the end of the State Fair I will tell you how it was. Write back when you get a chance please. Maybe I will send you my state report notebook for you to see and send back. So Long!"

I think the lesson from this story is that there are plenty of fifth-graders across the country who are doing research projects each year. I know Alfredo's request for information was just one of several letters that we ran last year. So if you want a pen pal or to help a kid have the most-talked-about project in their school, you know how.

After all, Mabel can't do it all - although I'm very sure she'd like to.

Speaking of wonderful ladies, boy, did I meet a bunch at Hazel Parkins' surprise 90th birthday party earlier this week. Hazel was altogether surprised, but she was just one of many terrific people there. A lot of planning went into the event by Sue Konkol and Kandy Little, with help from Janice Frost and Caroline Lowman.

I was very touched that these people would go to such effort. It's so important to be remembered, not just when we're older, but in all facets of our lives. My co-worker liked Hazel's quote about celebrating the 30th anniversary of her 55th birthday so much that he adapted it to his own circumstances: "I," he said, "will be celebrating the first anniversary of my 29th birthday."

Just want to mention a couple of upcoming events for kids, a column being one place I can say kids without being told they're children, not goats.

• Band camp, from July 25-29 at the Carson City Community Center. Cost is $85. Call Vivo Band Instrument Repair at 883-2219 for more information.

• Communication Arts Day Camp from July 25-29 and Aug. 1-5 at Carson High School and Mills Park. Free of charge. Call 887-1060 for more information.

• The Carson City Recreation Division has openings in its Tuesday and Thursday classes for Kids Klub, which is a licensed preschool with a certified teacher. The class is for 3- and 4-year-old students at a cost of $64 per month. For more information, call 887-2290 ext. 100.

And, Carson High School students, be sure to watch your own classmate Amanda Barnes as she appears on MTV at 10 p.m. Wednesday. I'll be watching because she is just a fabulous, cheerful, enthusiastic girl and I'm sure, despite all the vomiting from food poisoning the night before, that she placed in her final snowboarding competition.

Any thoughts about Amanda's show or anything else, drop me a line.

n Contact reporter Maggie O'Neill at moneill@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.


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