OK, I’ve been fooling around learning what I can do and what I can’t on this website that does all the work for me, so this column’s presence is about to get put onto my e-mail as a signature to attract a little crowd – as of this writing if you got here it was by accident. I am posting a photo (booking) of my research assistant, who has been with me for many years – his name is Carmine Ghia, which many find curious. They would find Carmine himself to be even more curious, but he’s an excellent researcher, as he has the time, about two-to-five. Photos of more members of my staff will follow, all from the old Blue Place Special days.
Our website RESEARCHER is Carmine Ghia, who matriculated at Julliard Institute in New York City and honed his research craft while with the New England Journal of Medicine. He became a household word in music while backing up, on steel guitar, the many appearances of the great Irish tenor Mary O’Lanza at Lincoln Center and Tanglewood, and later, while under contract to Buster Brown Shoes, adapting Mussorgsky’s Concerto in O Positive to the popular Teddy Bear’s Picnic used on the company’s Saturday morning radio program Big John & Sparky: No School Today!, a radio forerunner of TV’s 60 Minutes
Ghia (whose name appeared in our first Blue Plate Special in 1971) may frequently be found unearthing little-known nor cared-for facts about our valley, at the Nevada Historical Society (where we send particular greetings to senior librarian Mike Maher), the Sparks Heritage Museum, Sundance Bookstore where he goes to borrow information from the works of other local writers, the Reno Gazette-Journal’s morgue, the local fire departments, and just getting on the phone taking chances that someone who answers may know something about something. Often that works. Or, if Carmine’s totally stuck, we just run it on the website and see who disputes the story – that works like a charm (kidding. sort of.)