Bartender/cook makes a difference at Topaz Joe's

Topaz Joe's has a new look these days.

Susanne McLaughlin moved to Topaz Ranch Estates about a month ago and is now the new bartender/short-order cook at the bar, providing some of the best tacos and hamburgers available in TRE.

She came to us from San Leandro, Calif., where she was raised, but her family had roots that settle deep in the Sierra community of Markleeville. Her Alpine family were pioneers that go back to the Hawkins family, a name left indelibly on many landmarks in the Alpine County region, including the Hawkins Ranch.

"I always knew, from the time I was a little girl, I wanted to be in a place like this," McLaughlin said, speaking of TRE. "This is my kind of town and this is where I have always wanted to be."

Go into Joe's, have a wonderful lunch, served by a special person with a sunny smile that will warm your heart and brighten your day. Susanne, welcome to the neighborhood.

n Small rural areas are a wonderful place to be when togetherness is needed after the loss of a dear friend. Bobby Carson passed away Jan. 15, 2006. He had been a Sierra Pacific Power Co. lineman for 32 years, spending many of those years in the Topaz area as well as around Douglas County. More than 100 friends attended the celebration of his life at the Topaz Landing Marina, March 26. Ellis Spooner, the previous owner/operator of the Valley Bar, attended the celebration. He was there, even though that establishment, a place he had been owner/operator of for many years and a place Bobby Carson had frequented on many occasions, had gone up in flames earlier that morning. In a light-hearted moment and yet as a moment of respect, many people commented that it was Bobby's way of taking his favorite place with him.

Things to remember in southern Douglas County:

n Open burning began last weekend. To burn refuse in the form of yard clippings, brush, natural organic matter,( no garbage please), apply for a burning permit at the Douglas County Sheriff's Office substation located in the new Med Direct Urgent Care building at Holbrook Junction, 1550 Highway 395, Gardnerville. Call 266-1028 for more information. Along with medical services and a sheriff's substation, the Douglas County Public Library kiosk is now available to residents.

n Lucky northern Antelope Valley and southern Douglas County. Lucky, because just a few months ago, close medical services were non-existent. Today, two professional medical services are here for the residents in need of urgent care as well as out-patient services, which in the past, would have required a trip to Gardnerville. Now, Med Direct's Holbrook Medical Clinic offers quality and community service from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the northwest corner of Highways 395 and 208. No appointment is necessary but scheduled appointments are accepted. Call 266-3003.

Further down Highway 208, located at 3919 Carter Drive, is the recently opened Topaz Ranch Medical Clinic, with services provided by Carson Valley Medical Center and South Lyon Medical Center. The hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, one block away from the Topaz Ranch Estates Volunteer Fire Department. Call 783-3096 for information.

Both urgent care and family care clinics are moments away from the Careflight landing area located at the intersection of highways 395 and 208.

n Make plans now to attend the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3630 annual fundraising pancake breakfast at the Topaz Ranch Estates community center, at the end of Carter Way. This event takes place from 8-11 a.m. on April 15. The cost for breakfast is $4.50.

n Tomorrow the Antelope Valley Lion's Club will host its fourth annual Cow Pasture Golf Tournament and barbecue in Topaz, Calif. This event is a fundraiser for the Jackie Giorgi Scholarship, given to a graduating Coleville High School student planning to attend college. This event starts at 8 a.m. and runs until it's done. The cost is $25 to participate in the golf game and the barbecue or $12 for just the barbecue. It is a fun day with a raffle, and remember, all the money goes to help a college-bound Coleville High School student.

Until next week ... I'll be seein' ya.

n Jonni HIll can be reached through The Record-Courier at or by calling 782-5121, ext. 213. You can also e-mail after hours and on weekends.


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