Valley woman talks about experience at Pearl Harbor |

Valley woman talks about experience at Pearl Harbor

Record Courier Staff Reports

Charlotte Harding had just turned 17 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. She found out about the attack when she heard the bombs exploding on Dec. 7.

“We were in church when we heard the boom, boom, boom,” she said. “I was scared to death.”

Charlotte was attending St. Francis Convent near Pearl Harbor and after the bombing she refused to go back to school.

“A commander’s wife told my mother that I should come be a telephone operator because they sent all the Navy wives back home,” she said. “When my mom said Charlotte doesn’t know anything about operating a switchboard, the woman answered ‘She’ll learn.’ And I did.”

Charlotte was born and raised in Hawaii.

“There were planes flying over my house strafing the streets,” she said. “They strafed some children two streets over. It was a mess and very scary.”

Charlotte said the convent prepared the girls for service in a hospital.

“They sent us to St. Francis Hospital to be nurse’s aides and told us if there was a war we would be called. I didn’t want to be called.”

Charlotte is 81. Three of her daughters live in Carson Valley, as does a grandson and his wife. She’s been married to Frank Harding for 41 years. She met him when she moved to California and learned that he’d been in the Army in Pearl Harbor.

She and Frank have lived here for five years.

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Genoa painter Sonnie Imes has managed to get herself a job teaching painting on cruise ships.

She thought it was something she would like to do seven years ago when she took a watercolor class during a cruise.

“Ever since I’ve been trying to find out who to call and after all that research I finally made contact,” Sonnie said.

Because she is teaching on the cruise, she doesn’t have to pay for her trip.

She says her first cruise will be aboard the Marco Polo and will start in Santiago, Chile, and travel down the west coast of South America to Antarctica and the Chilean fjords.

“I’ll get to march with the penguins in Antarctica and then we come back up to Ushuaia, Argentina,” she said. “I have to fly back to Buenos Aries and then back home. I’ve already got a list of people who want to be my best friends and go along.”

Sonnie said she doesn’t anticipate any problems painting on a cruise liner.

“They have stabilizers and they’re pretty steady,” she said. “The beauty of working in oils is that if we make a mistake, we can erase it. That’s what’s good.”

So far Sonnie’s teaching has been limited to a few friends and family members.

“I’ve made artists out of four of them,” she said. “They already have the equipment they need and one is an avid artist.”

Next year she has two more cruises lined up, including one to the Mediterranean.

“It’s going to be my new hobby, running around on cruise ships,” she said.

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I received a note that Valley child care center Kids Kind of Place is experiencing more than their share of twins lately.

Nan Ferlisi wrote us and sent us a picture of her and the twins.

“We’ve had several sets of twins since 1982,” she said. “This year is the most at one time.”

Nan reports having four sets of twins at the daycare now, with a fifth set due to arrive next year.

“All of our children are special to us at our center, but we wanted to mention our twins,” she said.

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Connie Wennhold will be teaching a class in wreath-making in the newly restored Giovacchini barn in Genoa 1-3 p.m. Saturday. For $30, Connie will be showing folks how to tie evergreen boughs and other wreath-like items to wire frames. The evergreen boughs will be provided by Lisa Lekumberry, daughter of Shirley Giovacchini, and sponsor of the event. The barn is located at 2276 Main St. Look for the Christmas tree sales.

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News of Douglas County District Attorney Scott Doyle’s decision not to run for re-election shot out onto the wire to every corner of Northern Nevada but our’s. Due to a communication breakdown between Minden and Gardnerville we didn’t learn of our own district attorney’s plans not to seek re-election until after deadline.

After we received a phone call from Scott, we traced the problem to one of our fax machines which had died, taking Scott’s note and the Minden Town Board agenda and who knows what else with it.

So for the next while, send your faxes to 782-3192.

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