Couple celebrate 50 years of togetherness
March 11, 2003
A belated 50th wedding anniversary celebration for Blaine and Joni Wines of Stateline took place recently at the home of their eldest son and daughter-in-law, Jaby and Kris Wines, at Sparks, Nev. The couple was married Feb. 23, 1952, at Elko, Nev.
In attendance were their other five children, Kelley, Shannon, Kevin, Tacy and Lindsey and spouses as well as 13 of their 14 grandchildren.
The celebration also honored Blaine’s mother, Lourinda Rahbeck Wines, as she observed her 101st birthday. She was born March 10, 1901, at Gardnerville, Nev., and has lived in Ruby Valley, Nev., for more than 80 years.
Blaine and Joni were children during the Depression years. They both started working at age 7, he on the family ranch in Ruby Valley and she in Texas, where her family lived until 1934, when they moved to Rochester, N.Y. Almost 70 years later they still both work, but say they may think about retiring in a few years. Blaine was in the U.S. Infantry during World War II and was a prisoner of war in Germany. After the war he attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and graduated in 1951. He came to Lake Tahoe to work for his uncle, Spec Rahbeck, at the Nevada Lumber Company, which was then located near Highway 50 and 4th Street. Joni’s family moved to Colorado on VJ Day, but she returned to New York City to become a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall. She had studied dancing for 10 years and dreamed of being a dancer. There were no openings, so she took a job at the information counter in the lobby of the music hall and had a chance to observe the Rockette’s life style first-hand. After a year, when there were still no openings and she had discovered their way of life was really not much fun, she decided to return to Colorado and go to school at CU.
Joni met Blaine while he was dating her room mate and the three of them worked at the local theater in the evenings and attended classes during the day. Eventually, Blaine and Joni began dating. In June 1950, Joni accepted a job with United Air Lines as a stewardess and was stationed in Denver. Blaine graduated in 1951 and came to Tahoe. Their long distance courtship resulted in marriage and she retired from the airlines and came to Tahoe in 1952.
The Wineses helped organize and worked with every youth activity and organization that was started at Tahoe from 1952 to 1970. They began attending activities and supporting students at Whittell High School the first year the school opened, years before their own children were students. Their daughter Lindsay was 3 weeks old when she attended her first game at Whittell. They have continued to stay involved and attend activities for 44 years. Blaine was secretary of the Tahoe Douglas Rotary Club for many years, a member of Toastmasters, Master of the Masonic Lodge and Worthy Patron of Eastern Star, Board member of the Tahoe Community Church and clerk of the Douglas County School Board for nine years. When Nevada Lumber Company sold he went to work for Del Webb’s Sahara, where he worked the swing shift for 27 years and taught school during the day.
Recommended Stories For You
Joni worked at Zephyr Cove Elementary School for 14 years until they moved to Nye County, where Blaine was teaching and still worked for Del Webb at night. Joni became interested in her new community and decided they could use a new sheriff, so she ran for that office and was elected in 1978. That experience, taking on the good old boys and corruption in they county, seemed interesting to Hollywood, so they made a TV movie based on her story. “Incident at Crestridge” starred Eileen Brennan and Purnell Roberts. After she left Nye County she remained in politics and eventually was a candidate for U.S. Congress and governor of Nevada. She was not elected but was appointed by the Nevada State Judicial Commission to two terms of eight years on the Nevada State Commission on Ethics. Joni’s name was submitted to the “Guiness Book of Records” for walking the entire state of Nevada during the political campaign in 1984. She believed she could not represent the people very well if she didn’t listen to them. She preferred going door-to-door to hear their ideas and opinions rather than spend time speaking at gatherings where they could her her, but she couldn’t hear them. Three organizations submitted Joni’s name as a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize in the early 1980s for her “Interest in Humanity” efforts while sheriff, trying to bring honor and decency and clean up the corruption. These groups also recognized her efforts in starting and chairing a statewide drive to raise funds for food the the starving children of Ethiopia during a famine.
The Wineses built their home on Kingsbury Grade in 1959 and live there today. Their daughter, Lindsay, is a teacher and girls coach at Whittell High School and son, Kevin, has been with Harveys for 28 years. Tacy has been with Safeway in Carson City for 22 years as produce manager, Shannon is a teacher and coach at Dayton High School in Dayton, Nev., Jaby has been with Sierra Pacific Power since 1970, and Kelly was a nurse until she had to retire due to health in 1990. Kelly lives in Alameda, Calif., but the other five children all live in the Carson City and Reno area.
Blaine and Joni hope to host the Old Timers reunion party this summer for people who lived at Tahoe during the Big Winter of 1951-’52.