Valley couple has four children in military

Proud papa Rich Christensen of Christensen Automotive said four of his seven children are serving in the military this Veteran's Day.

Rich, 54, and Wendy, 53, are the parents of seven children.

"We knew each other three weeks when I proposed," he said. "Within three months we were married."

Son Bryan is a 2001 South Lake Tahoe graduate who is serving in the Philippines with the U.S. Army. Bryan served in Iraq last years and is stationed at Fort Lewis, Wash. He's married and lives in Seattle.

Son Aaron graduated from South Lake Tahoe in 2002, and after working a year for his dad, joined the U.S. Air Force.

"He did about a half-dozen deployments to the Middle East with in-flight refuelers," Rich said.

Aaron is currently stationed in New Mexico, where he's the sensor technician on Predators being flown in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"They're following these guys around, who don't know they're being followed," Rich said. "They're working out of an office."

Douglas High School 2004 graduate Craig has been in the U.S. Navy for three years and is stationed with his squadron in Japan. An avionics technician working on F/A-18 Hornets, the unit is attached to the carrier George Washington.

Youngest son Sam is a mechanic in the U.S. Marine Corps. The 2007 Douglas High School graduate was a member of the band, and is stationed at Camp Pendleton awaiting deployment to Afghanistan in February.

Two of Rich's oldest children, Janelle and Andrew, did hitches in the service and Janelle's husband, Eric, is still in.

Janelle served in the U.S. Army for four years after she graduated from high school back in the mid-90s.

"My wife took her down to the Air Force recruiter, but she didn't like the color of the uniform, so she joined the Army."

Now 30, Janelle married a man she met while serving. Her husband Eric, who is stationed at Fort Bragg, got back from his second tour in Afghanistan a month ago.

Rich's son Andrew graduated from South Lake Tahoe High School and did a hitch in the Army where he served in the 82nd Airborne as a paratrooper. Andrew is now working at Heavenly and lives in South Lake Tahoe.

The Christensens have lived in Minden for six years and at Lake Tahoe for a decade before that.

Veterans Day is Tuesday, which means that Monday Justice of the Peace Jim EnEarl will be observing the Marine Corps birthday with cake and coffee.

You'd think everyone in the Gardnerville Ranchos would know that Shelina Jenkins has the loudest car stereo in the county.

But I learned from her husband Rick that's not how it works.

Shelina's tricked-out 1993 Honda Accord took second place in its class for the loudest car stereo in the world.

She and, Rick, participated in the world dB Drag Racing finals Oct. 10-12 in Laughlin.

Most of the competitions leading up to Laughlin were over the Internet. Judges measure the sound pressure level inside each vehicle and compare them in different classes.

As Rick is describing the competition, I see a bunch of tricked-out cars with stereos blasting music.

Goes to show what I know.

"They only measure the sound pressure," he said. "It's not like volume. When you go to the competitions, they don't play the high or the mids. They only play a single 50-hertz note called a burp. You have to be outside the vehicle when they play it."

According to Rick, a person who is 50 feet away from a 747 taking off experiences 138 decibels of noise. The burp inside Shelina's Honda hits 143 decibels.

"About every three points doubles the sound intensity," he said. "Anything over 140 and the person isn't allowed to stay in the car. There are extreme cars where the bolt the doors down and cement the inside where the sound pressure hits 180 decibels."

"It's not all that loud on the outside," he said. "The whole idea is to keep the sound inside the vehicle."

Rick described extreme sound cars whose doors are bolted shut whose stereos hit 180 decibel.

The couple has always been into stereos, but only recently began competing.

"We got a flier and thought it would be fun," Rick said. "We had no idea what we were doing and got our butts handed to us until we figured it out."

About 50 cars participated in the competition, with five cars in Shelina's Street B class.

The second-place trophy the couple brought home is taller than Selina.

The couple has been together for about 15 years, but recently married.

I Googled Shelina and she comes right up at the top of the list. There's even a fantasy dB racing league, that lists her.

All those turkeys lurking around the pages of The Record-Courier contain important information for our readers. If your name shows up in one, come down within seven days and receive a free $15 Raley's gift card. You can use it to buy a turkey, ham or perhaps something else.

- Kurt Hildebrand is editor of The Record-Courier. Reach him at or 782-5121, ext. 215.


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