Our Town: Is Cocking’s delight Basque food in an Airstream trailer?
Dennis Cocking and his wife refurbished a beat-up, old Airstream trailer sometime back, and their lives haven’t been the same since. The rolling motor home periodically takes them to the desert in the winter, where Death Valley invariably beckons, and to other places during the year where hunting, fishing and hiking are plentiful.
Cocking, 55, was born in Sacramento and moved to South Lake Tahoe with his parents in 1960. For the past 10 years he has been the public information officer for the South Tahoe Public Utility District.
For many years his family owned Cocking’s Family Restaurant on the South Shore until the business closed in the early 1980s.
Cocking has been married to Kathy Cocking, chief operating officer at Barton Memorial Hospital, for 29 years. The couple have three children: Molly, 22, Tom, 20 and Reid, 18.
Here are Dennis’ answers to the Tribune’s questions:
“That’s an easy one. It’s Basque food, and my favorite restaurant is called JT Basque Restaurant in Gardnerville. My perfect dinner is Basque with Picon Punch Basque drink. The first one you choke down and wonder why anyone would have a second one, but after the second one, you say, ‘Hey, this is kinda good.'”
“The biggest challenge is to the infrastructure of our country. A very good portion of it (infrastructure: bridges, water and wastewater systems, highways, schools, etc.) is coming to the end of its useful life, and we need the funding to replace and repair it and pass it along to our kids and their kids in useful shape.”
“I typically have a couple of them going at a given time. I’m currently reading ‘Nevada Towns and Tales,’ by Stanley Paher. I love history. I just started another one called ‘The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid’ by Bill Bryson. It’s a nostalgic look at growing up in the ’50s.”
“I’ve got pretty eclectic tastes in music. I like classic rock, Led Zeppelin and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. I like country and the Garth Brooks song ‘The Dance.'”
“My wife always tells me I was born 150 years too late and would have made a good cowboy or rancher. If I had college to do again, I’d be a cultural anthropologist and specialize in the history of the western U.S. from 1800 to 1900.”
“My wife. I really got the pick of the litter, and she’s the best wife and mother you could ask for. I’ve always said she gets more done accidentally than I do on purpose. She’s very organized.”
“Teddy Roosevelt. He was a conservationist before it became fashionable and established the national park system. He spoke his mind. ‘Walk softly and carry a big stick’ is not bad advice in general for life sometimes.”
“I’d marry Ann Coulter. She gets out there pretty much, stimulates conversation and she’s pretty easy on the eyes, too. She’s kind of the spokesperson for conservative women, and that might be interesting.”
“My faith is important in my life, so I’d say that people could take the golden rule to heart a little bit more. It’s very simple and you could apply it to different facets of your life.”
“Being stranded on an island without the ability to communicate would be pretty bad, so I’d say my laptop and my iPhone. If you had batteries and a generator you could still have access to the outside world and all the information you would want.”
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