‘Way out in the land of the setting sun, where the wind blows wild and free,
There’s a lovely spot; just the only one that means Home Sweet Home to me…
It’s Nevada Day, 1947; the torchlight parade wove through Carson City last night and 40,000 folks, most from Reno, convened in our capital city to watch a half-dozen high school bands and a parade that stretched for over a mile. Many of them rode the Virginia & Truckee Railroad that according to the Oct. 31, 1947 Reno Evening Gazette put a second train on the line just for the occasion. A highlight of the parade was the six-horse Prairie Schooner from Dangberg Ranch. Prominent Reno attorney Lester Summerfield delivered the Admission Day address after the parade, and following that some went to the Capitol Plaza to watch the Quadrille dancers. Other revelers went to the traditional Carson City Senator/Reno High Huskie football game.
In a convergence of three great Nevadans, storied Judge Edgar Eather administered an oath of the court to Julien Sourwine [Senior], who was then introduced to the crowd by Senator Patrick McCarran. The Governor’s Mansion will be open from noon to four o’clock today, and then close so that Governor Vail Pittman and the first lady Ida can dress for the annual 1864 Ball tonight (one of the V&T trains will stay late to return dignitaries to Reno after the festivities.)
• • •
If you follow the old Kit Carson Trail until desert meets the hills,
Then you certain-ly, will agree with me, it’s the place of a thousand thrills…
In other news today, the County Fair & Recreation Board approved $15,000 for the Silver Dollar Derby and University’s Winter Carnival, two longtime staples in the Sierra skiing scene (and just in time, Sears Roebuck on Sierra Street is advertising J.C. Higgins skis, $12.50, with bindings.) The upsweep is in, the sidesweep is out, per a Hollywood hairstyle maven, but we all knew that. The state approved bread prices to rise by a penny, to 15 cents a loaf. Donner Pass closed for snow yesterday, the first closing this year, but the weather was OK for the parade today. A motorist remaining unnamed herein was fined a dollar for contempt of court while grousing about a parking ticket. The demand to see Forever Amberforced the Nevada Theater to schedule an extra 8:30 a.m. screening.
R. Herz Jewelers – civic-minded in 1947 and remaining so in 2014, sponsored the aforementioned Quadrille dance in Carson City (the Quadrille’s an incredibly graceful dance to watch or perform, often to a Scott Joplin slow drag. Pity it died out.) Order your Christmas cards, a term politically acceptable in 1947, from Armanko’s Stationers on North Virginia Street soon. The two motorists who canned up their cars on Geiger Grade last night, according to the Ormsby County deputy sheriff, can try a new-fangled concept and rent a car from Hertz Drive-Urself while they fix the wreckage. (For the newer folks, Ormsby County later was re-chartered as Carson City, and yeah, I know Geiger Grade’s in Storey County – I’m just parroting what I read in the Gazette.)
• • •
Whenever the sun at the close of day, colors all the western sky,
Oh my heart returns to the desert gray and the mountains tow’ring high…
Let’s see here: The University of Nevada’s Tommy Kalmanir was fourth in the nation in kickoff returns. The Wolf Pack is off tomorrow to St. Louis, by airplane yet, but Coach Joe Shekeetski says that halfback Dick Trachok is questionable for the game with an injury. (By the way, to several who wrote: The appearance of UNR herein last week was an editing change that didn’t tickle me one bit. I write that only with respect to university events following 1967, when we first had a UNR and a UNLV.) Penn State has the top defense in the nation this week; I don’t think Joe Paterno was coaching there in 1947 but wouldn’t bet against it. Some things never change: Michigan was picked for the National Championship in 1947, and now in 2006 the game of the year might be the Wolverines vs. Ohio State. Nevada has a two-day chukar season in 1947, three birds total.
Want to get away? Ride the mighty S.P.’s City of San Francisco, 33 hours to Chicago for 44 bucks. Or fly Bonanza Airlines’ daily DC-3, $22.50 to Las Vegas, only $11.60 to Tonopah. This is cool: Joe Patrucco and Gilbert Vasserot are re-opening Eugene’s on South Virginia Street. Fifty-four years later in 2001 I would write back-to-back columns about Eugene’s, describing it as the benchmark that other Reno restaurants would strive to reach, and taking its place alongside the finest restaurants in San Francisco.
And no one disputed my words…
• • •
Where the moonbeams play in shadowed glen, with the spotted fawn and doe,
All the live-long night until morning light, is the loveliest place I know…
There were six, count ‘em, six, fire calls in the last 24 hours. Lucky Cowboy screens tomorrow morning at the Tower Theater; bring 14 cents and an Old Home Milk lid. We spy a furnished two-bedroom home in Sparks FSBO, telephone 6541. Lou LeVitt, a great guy I knew as a kid, is playing at the El Cortez’ Trocadero Room. A Stetson felt hat at Grey Reid Wright was advertised for $12.50; get the same skypiece for only eight bucks at Parker’s (and no sales tax!). Spike Jones and the City Slickers are live on the ABC radio network, affiliating with KWRN in November (that’s K-Washoe-Reno-Nevada).
We sang Home Means Nevada as kids on Friday mornings throughout Reno and probably the whole state. Thanks, Bertha Raffetto, for penning it in 1931. God bless America, and Happy 142nd, Nevada; you’re lookin’ good!
Admission Day, 2006
© Reno Gazette-Journal 2006