Manual training: It's shop, not jumping jacks

A half-dozen people called to inform me that the manual arts referred to shop, not jumping jacks as I had supposed.

My favorite was call was from Andy Zoppi, who took manual training at the high school in Susanville in the 1940s.

Andy said he took woodwork, but there was also auto shop and farm maintenance.

"They had an area where they taught you how to work on cars and another where they showed farm kids how to work on farm implements," he said.

Andy didn't finish high school because in 1942 he volunteered for the U.S. Army to fight in World War II.

"I ended up in the Corps of Engineers in the Pacific," he said. "I made four landings."

After the war, he went to work in construction and, even though he will be 79 in August, is still doing a little sidewalk supervision.

"I settled in Reno in 1956 building mainly commercial," he said. "I've built a lot of businesses."

He was building the minimum security prison when President Kennedy was killed.

Andy and Mike Darling were partners on a Carson City home development that they planned with a golf course in the mid-'70s.

"What you did back then was develop a golf course and give it to the city," he said. "Twenty-five years ago you didn't make money on the golf course."

Andy is living in the Pine Nut Mountains and was watching them build a dance studio in Minden when I talked to him on Thursday.

Carson City's Dick Bell was surprised to see himself featured prominently on the front page of Monday's edition of the Nevada Appeal.

Dick, 54, appeared in a photo talking to U.S. Coast Guard personnel during a safety inspection. Though we didn't report it at the time, Dick was cited by the Coast Guard for not having a fire extinguisher in his boat.

These are familiar waters for Dick, who has been fishing Lake Tahoe since 1974.

"I used to launch at the Coast Guard station," he said. "I've been through lots of safety inspections and I told them that unless they changed the rules, I don't have to have an fire extinguisher in an open boat without a gas tank."

Normally, Dick does his fishing during the winter, because it is too crowded on Tahoe in summer.

"They asked me if I'd ever taken a class in boat operation and I told them that in the Navy I used to drive submarines," he said.

Dick was an engineman second class in the service during the late '60s.

He goes fishing with his dog, Hannah, a black Labrador.

"She loves the water," he said. "She'll jump in after birds if I let her."

Dick says he's plans on fighting the ticket all the way.

"I'm just trying to make them more knowledgeable about the rules," he said.

Regular readers of the Appeal may have noticed a couple of new bylines in the newspaper in recent weeks.

University of Nevada, Reno journalism students Maggie O'Neill and Samantha Fredrickson are interning with the Appeal this summer.

Maggie is in her first year seeking a master's degree, having moved to Reno in 1999.

"I moved to Reno in November 1999 after vacationing at Lake Tahoe," Maggie said. "My piece of advice is never to travel cross country with two cats in the car."

Maggie has an English degree from Saulisbury State University in Maryland, where she grew up.

Samantha is a senior pursuing a journalism degree who plans to graduate in May 2003.

The soon-to-be 21-year-old was a competitive figure skater until she was 16. She worked for the Sparks Tribune for eight months, starting out as a reporter and staying on through the end of the year.

I was opening my mail when inside one of the press releases I spotted a photo of what looked like Robert DeNiro in running clothes. Then I realized it was really former Appeal sports writer Eric Studenicka, who is a staff sergeant in the Nevada Army National Guard and runner.

According to the accompanying press release, Eric and Dana Sparkes ran in the Guard Bureau Marathon at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

Eric ran his half marathon in 1 hour 27 minutes and 41 seconds, or an average of a mile in 6 minutes, 41 seconds.

Eric is the counterdrug administrative noncommissioned officer in the guard's Reno office.

Kurt Hildebrand is managing editor of the Nevada Appeal. Reach him at 881-1215 or e-mail him at


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