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Bruce Nystrom has fun at his party Saturday

by Merrie Leininger

The day was named in honor of Bruce Nystrom by the governor and he was given recognition Saturday by those who had worked with him for the more than 20 years.

Nystrom has been on the Gardnerville Ranchos General Improvement District board since 1985 and a member of the Ranchos Volunteer Fire Department for 23 years, much of that time as the chief engineer.

“The party went great. We had our open house, voting and gave away fliers on water conservation, coloring books for kids and plans for some of things we’re doing this summer. There were about 12 fire engines of one type or another,” said District Manager Bob Spellberg said. “We gave Bruce his plaque and the proclamation from the governor which said May 15 was designated as the day to honor Bruce Nystrom. The board also read their resolution honoring him for the years of service to the district.”

East Fork Fire District gave him a bell that will be put on Engine 7, the truck that is always first out to emergencies. It will make the Ranchos the only station that has a bell on its first-out truck, Nystrom said, which makes it special to him.

Spellberg said about 300 people came to the open house and they even ran out of the hamburgers and hotdogs they were preparing for lunch.

“Boy, it was so darn much fun,” Nystrom said. “There were scads of people and I tried my darnest to acknowledge everyone. I was overwhelmed. That’s the only word that comes to mind to describe the day. The outpouring of love and support from the folks there was very gratifying.”

Nystrom humbly said he never expected recognition for the work he did.

“I never thought what I was doing really deserved recognition, it wasn’t anything other than what I should have done,” he said.

Nystrom said he originally got involved with the board because he got mad at speeders.

“Arrowhead didn’t have a stop sign and people would get up a head of steam, I got tired watching them speed up and down and got a bunch of signatures and got some stop signs put up. I sat through a couple meetings and I just thought getting involved sounded like a pretty good deal. It has been rewarding and fun,” Nystrom said.

Nystrom said he was especially touched that so many people he knew came from so far away.

“I had a great time and I saw people I hadn’t seen in 16 or 18 years. I think the long distance award goes to my sister-in-law who came from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. People I worked with from Xerox came from Reno and Truckee. People I had worked with who live in Sacramento also came,” he said.

Nystrom has worked as a Xerox service technician for 34 years.

Nystrom, who has been fighting cancer, said he wants to focus on getting better now.

“It was humbling, and now I just am going to keep on, keeping on and try to get well and back doing all that I can do with the fire department,” he said.