Sunday was a sad day for Centerville landmark

The destruction of the Valley Bar touched a lot of lives around here.

Mike Schiller of Golden Nugget Automotive said he stopped on his way home from skiing and participated in an impromptu wake for the venerable water hole.

R-C advertising representative Julie Franklin showed me her cell phone on Monday. There was a picture of her playing pool there.

Folks were gathered around the remnants of the bar on Sunday and Monday. I had a long chat with Leola Tucker, who was parked in a truck along Centerville watching the firefighters work.

John Spradley, who arrived at the scene to take a photo while flames were still shooting out of the top of the building, has been a longtime correspondent of mine and someone who frequented the Valley Bar.

I've often said the chief means of communication in Carson Valley is the telesomebody, and that's how I learned about the fire Sunday morning.

I got the call at 7:15 a.m. from News Editor Sheila Gardner who'd heard about it from former R-C Production Manager Irene Gurley.

I was there by 7:30 a.m., but firefighters had already knocked down the flames and it was just smoking.

Gardnerville resident and Tahoe Daily Tribune photographer Jim Grant got there the same time I did. Jim knows bar operators Chris Plummer and Bryan Davis from their work at the Lake.

Chris and Bryan were upbeat as they watched the bar burn from across Highway 88, accompanied by property owners Sybil Dunagan and Julian Larrouy and other family members.

It sounds like they are going to try to rebuild the bar and there are a lot of folks who are rooting for them.

That an electrical problem was responsible for the fire doesn't surprise me much. I'm told that during the renovation in the upper story of one old Gardnerville building, workers found bare wires attached to insulators. They had to rewire the entire place.

Apparently, I've run afoul of the Smith Valley Mafia, or that at least is what a note I received from freelance writer Ron Walker said.

Ron is working on me to run his travel pieces, and has sent me one short enough that I'm thinking about it.

"As you will notice if you haven't already thrown the piece away, it is short," Ron wrote. "When you write short, you make fewer mistakes. Hence, this piece is darn near perfect."

I will give our readers a chance to draw their own conclusions in the near future.

Remember to set your clocks ahead on Sunday, otherwise you might be late for work on Monday or something.


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