Cutting Christmas Trees – Beaver Dam State Park

Our cat, Buffy, inspecting the Piñon Christmas tree at 5100 Margo Drive.

While rummaging through a picture box recently I ran across photos of two trips to Beaver Dam State Park to cut Christmas trees. Denise and I were married on Groundhog Day in 1980, and for three years in a row I traveled to Beaver Dam to cut our Christmas tree. We were renting a small cinder-block house from Uncle Art on the east side of town, and the wide-bodied, pear shaped piñon pine trees really filled up the living room window during Christmas. 

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Martis Creek, Lake Tahoe

The new family: Kathy, Jill, and Bill. 

From the early 1980s through the late 1990s I worked for EG&G Energy Measurements. Las Vegas was our headquarters, but I often traveled to our satellite locations. We had seven offices scattered throughout the United States (and one in Europe) that supported the various national nuclear weapon laboratories. One of those facilities was in Livermore, California, obviously near the Livermore National Laboratory run by the University of California. These business trips to Livermore got me within reasonable driving distance to Sacramento where my good friend, Bill Bergan, lived.

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Ruby Mountains – Elko, NV

Bill snapped the picture just as I struck a Brookie taking a dry on Favre Lake. Liberty Lake lies above and to he left of this picture.

I was just a fledgling angler in my early 20s.  Just out of college and working for a certified public accounting (CPA) firm to achieve my Nevada license, my audit practice supervisor was Bill “Bergie” Bergan.  Bill was a weekend climber, and we somehow agreed to exchange hobbies with each other (see Early Climbing / Mountaineering Adventures for the details of that story). 

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Early Climbing / Mountaineering Adventures

The post-climb descent from Yosemite’s Munginella, circa 1982 (note Lost Arrow Spire to right in background).

My acquaintance with Bill Bergan began when I was a young staff accountant working for a local Nevada certified public accounting (CPA) firm. Bill had recently moved back to Las Vegas to manage the audit practice of the firm I was working part-time for while attending the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I was assigned to perform “grunt work” for Bill on an audit engagement, and we quickly became good friends upon discovering we shared certain skills in sarcasm. Bill is nine years my senior, so that made him about 29 when I met him. As a practical reality of our age difference, our relationship began as mentor-protege. We obviously shared a career interest, but it turned out we shared adventuresome spirits and love of the outdoors.

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