Patriotic van recalls earlier time

Carson City resident Lorry White is driving around an artifact from the Bicentennial.

It is a 1976 Econoline van that was one of 10 given away by Coca Cola, Levis and Hot Rod Magazine in honor of the United States' 200th birthday.

Her husband, Russell, said the van is one of three left in the world and the other two are in museums.

The Sheridan, Wyo., man who won the van in a national sweepstakes knew what he had and he placed it in storage.

"He put it in a storage unit," Russell said. "Then a little while back he had a heart attack and his widow sent it down to Fallon to sell it."

Russell was in Fallon one day making a delivery when he spotted it in a field.

The car enthusiast immediately recognized it for what it was.

"I was 16 years old then and my father was building hot rods," he said.

The van required very little work, Russell said.

"It was 99 percent complete," he said. "They had done up the whole inside with Levis material and the original '70s orange carpet," he said. "It has a bright blue flame job and they painted blue stitched pockets on the back."

The van only had 14,000 miles on it and has a 351 Windsor engine that really hums, Russell says.

Russell replaced the stitching painted on the van with reflective tape, so it practically glows in the dark.

The van cost him $8,000, but could be worth much more. He called Levi Strauss, but the company didn't show much interest until they found out about the interior. He put it up for auction on eBay to see what it would bring, but he thinks he's going to hang on to it, especially since Lorry has taken charge of it.

The van is presently on display in front of Summit Racing in Reno.

Former Washoe Tribe Council member Lenora Kizer called about a thank-you letter she sent about her sister, Virginia.

Lenora is living in Las Vegas and working for the Nevada Department of Personnel.

She was transferred south in 1995, but her retirement is coming up next year and she hopes to be back then.

"The traffic is the only thing, but I'm lucky that when I'm coming to work, it seems most of the traffic is headed the other way," she said. "But I'm looking forward to retiring."

Lenora will have worked for the state for 30 years when she retires in 20 months.

Vandals deflated the Sunset Rotary's plans to raise money for a new equipment shed at Edmonds Sport Complex when they slashed the tires on a Ford Explorer the group was selling to raise money.

Club president Debbie Young said someone slashed all four tires on the 1993 Explorer, which was donated to the club by Southwest Gas and has been parked at Hot Springs and College Parkway.

The slashing occurred after 6 p.m. Wednesday, Debbie said. The Sunset Rotary folks have been working since last fall to raise money and find materials to build the shed.

"We'll have to buy some tires, I guess," Debbie said. "Or sell it as is and tell people to bring a tow truck."

Debbie said there was a sign on the Explorer saying it was being sold for charity.

"Who would do something like this?" she said. "I don't understand this kind of behavior anyway."

Eagle Scout Jeff Lambin appears in this month's edition of Amazing Kids!

The Gardnerville 14-year-old and fellow scouts from Troop 495 designed and built the Carson-Tahoe Hospital Kids Cart.

Jeff is home-schooled by his mother, Debbie, and is a pilot.

To read the article go to

When some journalists shuffle off this mortal coil, they get a bust in the Capitol. Others earn a front page obituary. If members of the Nevada delegation in Washington, D.C., get their way, Reno Gazette-Journal columnist Rollie Melton will have the Fallon Post Office named after him. Rollie grew up in Fallon and his first job was at the Fallon Eagle Standard, which has since merged with the Lahontan Valley News.

Kristina Zahnter is headed back to the USS Theodore Roosevelt after a week's shore leave.

Kristina is a 3rd class personnelman aboard the carrier and was home after a deployment to the Indian Ocean, where the TR was flying missions against Afghanistan.

"She had a lot of stories to tell," mom, Patti, said. "She has a picture of herself writing on a bomb."

Kurt Hildebrand is managing editor at the Nevada Appeal. Reach him at 881-1215 or hildebrand@nevadaappeal. com


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