More about the Nugget’s monkeys…

Trader Dick's

Dear Karl,

In regards to your great story about the monkeys at the entrance of Trader Dicks.

My childhood friend Tom Conn whose father was Don Conn, had the house band at the Nugget. (Don Conn and his orchestra) When they decided to get rid of the monkeys, Don brought one to his home near Idlewild Park across from the pool.

The monkey was a Gibbon named Sunny. He was quite an escape artist and got out all the time. One story that made the papers in the 50s, was Sunny had jumped in the back of a cab in front of Don’s house and was found sitting on the lap of a passed-out street person in Douglas alley.

Sunny soon became aggressive and bit Don’s son Mike in the face and myself on the arm (my first stitches). Sunny eventually ended up at the Christmas Tree restaurant on the Mt. Rose highway and unfortunately perished in the fire that also claimed the restaurant’s lion.

P.S. Great story on the Flagpole sitter. As a kid I remember looking up at him waving down at me.

Thanks for your stories regarding the great history of Reno/Sparks.

Lifelong Reno resident, Tom Gardner

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