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Six names to remember
by Harry Spencer
Dec 31, 2012 | 2623 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
One of the most popular traditions on New Year’s Day is to sum up the previous year. As for me, 2012 was especially poignant because I lost six close friends.

The first was Bill Raggio, whom I had known since 1975. During the following 12 years we were very close as I handled his campaigns for District Attorney. We made many trips to Las Vegas and all points in California during that time. Perhaps our most memorable excursion was to Hollywood and Paramount Studios where, through the good graces of Frank Sinatra, we did filming on a number of political commercials.

The second was Roy Powers, who was considered the ideal PR man in Reno. I first met him in 1950 when I interned as a college senior under his guidance at the Thomas C. Wilson Advertising Agency. Later, we worked on many Reno promotions together when he was at Harold’s Club and I was at the Mapes Hotel. The most significant of those promotions was the National Championship Air Races.

Next was Foster Mullen, the owner of QM Resorts, who died far too young as a result of a bike accident. He was the son of another good friend, the late Bill Mullen, with whom I worked closely on the 1960 Winter Olympics. His father would have been proud of his son’s work in establishing highly successful timeshares in Washoe Valley and on the North Shore and South Shore of Lake Tahoe.

The fourth was Paul Sutton, who contacted me some 40 years ago through a mutual friend, Peter Paxton. Sutton became a Nevadan by choice, having spent most of his business career in Southern California. Lake Tahoe and the tennis facilities there were a strong attraction for him. He also became very active in all phases of Nevada politics from the state level on down.

The fifth was George Galante whom I met in 1968 when he arrived in Lake Tahoe to test the winter ski slopes. As a skier he was naturally inactive during the summer months until he discovered the sport of tennis. He quickly mastered the racquet activity and in a couple of years became a teaching pro. All of his lessons were pro bono both on the slopes and on the courts. A massive throng attended his memorial service at Lake Tahoe in December.

The sixth was Duke Drakulich whom I first encountered in the early 50’s when he was the basketball and football coach at the original Manogue High School and I was the editor of the Catholic newspaper. We were joined by Father Maurice Welsh who acted as Duke’s assistant at many exciting games both on the gridiron and the basketball court. One of the highlights that the three of us enjoyed was traveling to Los Angeles for the biennial game between Notre Dame and Southern California. The most memorable of which was the one that was O.J. Simpson’s last game and Joe Theisman’s first appearance for the blue and gold.

Harry Spencer is a long-time northern Nevada resident.
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