It’s reader e-mails like this that keep the column afloat. I was happy to receive this from Cristi. I never know from week-to-week what I’m writing about and if it all works out I will indeed talk to Valdo. Cristi’s right – too much of our lore is getting away from us. But for the moment, I’m happy to take a rainy afternoon and watch a Giants game, and post this. And put it onto Facebook also, in hopes that Valdo’s old FNB buddies can get a kick out of it. And – thanks, Cristi.>>>>>
Since you write about Reno history, I think you’d be very interested to chat
with my grandpa Valdo Renucci. He was born in a little railroad house at [xx] F
Street in Sparks. He’ll be 95 this year. He can still tell you the names of
every family that lived in each house in old Sparks. He used to take the 4th
Street bus to work at First National Bank in Reno every day, till he saved up
enough for a car in the 1950s. He retired from the bank in 1985, working his way
up from the mail room to vice-president. He also fought in Normandy in World
War II. He can tell you when Prater Way was lined with the cabins of French
trappers, and of his aunt Chita who owned a divorce ranch in Reno; of how his dad
still made wine (thanks to the Volstead act) during Prohibition. Also the
misbehaving gangs of Italian boys who’d cause a ruckus by pulling pranks on the
Sparks police! I’d really like all of his knowledge to be documented before it’s
too late. Not many fellas his age are left, who saw all the changes first-hand,
and are still so clear in their thoughts and memories. Please let me know if
you’d like to speak with him.
[here’s some pictures of Valdo, with the description following:]
[L to R]: World War II, France
Angelina and Valdo, honeymooning in San Francisco when he came home from the war.
Ace’s ballpark where he threw the first pitch last year.