Thanksgiving is about friends |

Thanksgiving is about friends

Record Courier Staff Reports

The holiday season is officially here and I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with family and friends, I know we did. But, it was a time, at least for me, to think about those who would not be with us this year. I guess that is some of what Thanksgiving is all about; a time to be thankful for all of those who have touched our lives in one way or the other and have left us with a smile and happy memories when they are thought of, even though they are no longer with us.

Last year at Thanksgiving we had an “Orphan’s Thanksgiving,” or at least that is what my better half calls it. This year we have collected a few more and we lost a few.

Last year Tommy and Carol Johnson shared Thanksgiving with us. This year Tommy isn’t with us, he died Nov. 11, 2007, in Carson City. But, the memory of the love he gave us, the laughter we shared, his generosity always present, his dedication to Carol (his wife of 40 years who is confined to a wheelchair due to advanced MS for the past few years); all these memories of Tommy are the gifts he has left with us.

Tommy had battled cancer for several years but came back swinging each time. He worked hard to take care of Carol and even when he was looking frail and sick from chemo, he was always trying to help everyone around him.

Tommy and Carol came to TRE more than 27 years ago. He had a career as a firefighter, attaining the rank of captain for the Fremont Fire Department in California. I remember the day Tommy dragged his uniform out of the closet to show us, hat still snow white, dress blues as crisp and clean as the last day he wore them. He was so proud of his years of service, as well he should have been.

He loved to tinker, he loved to fix things, he found uses for things most people threw away. He loved to play pool with his friends at Topaz Joe’s. He and Carol loved to visit with friends. Last summer Tommy worked so hard to get his boat cleaned up and running so he could join us on the lake. I remember looking back at him as we were out cruisin’. There he was, smiling from ear to ear, as he pushed the throttle forward, pacing us, side by side, happy as a lark.

Born in Resport, Ore., Tommy talked a lot about how much he loved the state he was born and raised in, but then Tommy just loved being outdoors and being anywhere that would allow him his favorite pastimes of hunting, fishing and boating.

So, as hard as it may be, Tommy will be missed by a lot of people, but I for one, can be very thankful to have so many warm memories of Tommy.

There will be a celebration of Tommy’s life planned for sometime in the spring.

As the holiday season begins, there are so many fun things to do in our area. Here are just a few:

— The Topaz Sagehens are gearing up for their annual Children’s Christmas Party which will be Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Topaz Ranch Estates Community Park Building at the end of Carter Way in TRE. Santa will be on hand for pictures and to pass out gifts to all the children as well as games, prizes, a hot dog lunch and plenty of holiday fun. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Also, the annual Topaz Sagehen’s Christmas luncheon meeting will be Dec. 19 at Barone & Reed in Minden this year. Anyone wishing to be a member of this wonderful organization should contact Topaz Sagehens President Janice Roberts, 266-1076 or Micky Joye, 266-1025.

— Don’t forget the Christmas events happening all around the Carson Valley. The Gardnerville Christmas Kickoff is 5:30 p.m. Nov. 28 in Heritage Park. Information, 782-7134. The Town of Minden will kick off the Christmas season in Minden with their annual park lighting event 6 p.m. Nov. 30, at Minden Park. Information, 782-5976. The Minden German Christmas Market in the C.O.D. Garage on Esmeralda Ave. in Minden, noon to closing Nov. 30, 10 a.m. to closing Dec. 1 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 2. The annual Parade of Lights, sponsored by the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Authority marks the beginning of the Christmas season in Carson Valley. This year’s theme is Holiday Traditions Around the World. Parade begins at Lampe Park at 5 p.m. Dec.1 and ends at Minden Park. Information, 782-8144.

Happy Holidays, enjoy the festive season and may all our loving memories keep on keepin’ on.

— Jonni Hill can be reached through The Record-Courier at or by calling 782-5121, ext. 213, or after hours at