Model T’s, Tennis Balls and a White Piano

A flood of childhood memories flows through my brain every time I drive on Talbot Lane. Monday morning I took the road again to my doctor’s office.

I used to watch my relatives drive go-carts around the grounds of what later became known as ‘Rancharrah’ on Easter and the Fourth of July.

I distinctly remember the sharp blades of grass piercing my back every time I fell down, the water rushing down the small concrete canals and the orange sunsets through the tall trees.

I nearly grew up on that piece of land before it turned into the above picture.

My father’s uncle was the caretaker for Bill Harrah’s ranch after he died in 1978. I kind of remember hearing about him, but I really didn’t understand what happened and why he was never there.

We were never allowed in Bill Harrah’s home, but I do vividly remember the pool that wrapped around the house, and the cherub statues that flanked the edges. There was also a separate men’s and women’s changing room nearby complete with western-style swing doors.

Three dirt parking spaces sat in front of the closed-blind one story.

One day when I was a kid, Jack (the caretaker) asked us if we would like to take a tour of the grounds. Don’t know why he offered it, but I didn’t want to stay behind, so I went with my mother and several other people I really didn’t know.

I am so happy I did; the land looks like nothing like it did more than twenty years ago.

I never really ventured beyond the five? car door garage and small vineyard/orchard so I was surprised to discover a Model T and dusty gold-trimmed horse carriage in two small white garages, a white grand piano inside one of the 1940’s? era twin guest houses, the conspicuous plumbing that accompanied those homes, the basements and high beds.  

Jack periodically gave us several bucketfuls (literally) of tennis balls for our dogs. A tennis court was upstream from the barn area where some horse stables sat. I never really went to that area since it sat in the sun and was too hot for me. I just remember loud go-carts whizzing by all the time in that particular area.

Who knew a doctor’s appointment could remind of me of childhood right? Only me……


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