An update and newer photo of the Black Mariah in the old Reno Rodeo parades

the restored Black Mariah

BRINGING THE READER UP TO SPEED: LAST SUNDAY, JUNE 20, I WROTE OF THE BLACK MARIAH, USED AS A PADDY WAGON TO HAUL PEOPLE WITH NO WESTERN ATTIRE TO THE KANGAROO KOURT IN EARLY POST-WAR RENO. I MENTIONED THAT FINDING INFO OR PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE PADDY WAGON WAS DIFFICULT, AND RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING FROM JOHN EVANOFF, A LOCAL HISTORIAN WHOSE WEBSITE FOLLOWS HIS NARRATIVE. HE ENCLOSED THE PHOTO OF THE BLACK MARIAH FOLLOWING ITS RESTORATION; NOTE THE LETTERING IS NEW AND DOESN’T COINCIDE WITH THE ORIGINAL LETTERING DESCRIBED IN MY COLUMN FOLLOWING ITS RESTORATION. I’M GRATEFUL TO JOHN FOR HIS EFFORT; HIS STORY FOLLOWS:

John: Here I am with the Black Mariah in 1980 in front of the Eldorado. I was the vice-president of the Reno Jaycees and the new winner of the Nevada Jaycee-of-the-Year award. We worked tirelessly all year putting the jail back together and getting the Mariah back in shape for this and many other events. The Reno Rodeo was our most fun event though. We gave out Reno Jaycee Rodeo garters for a $1 or more donation to get out of our fun jail. Everyone wanted to have their picture taken next to the Mariah or while they were in the jail. Our Kangaroo Court enlisted the help of anyone who wanted to enjoy the chance to be part of this fun event every year. We had as many as five thousand garters sold as a get out of jail donations to help many Reno/Sparks charities each year. During the Reno Rodeo Parade, we threw candy and pins to the crowds along Virginia Street and won Parade Honors annually for our contribution to the festivities. We even towed the Jail one year and had crowd volunteers jump in to be part of the parade, after which we gave them a garter for participating.

Responding to my request to reprint the photo: Yes, of course. The jail was in total disrepair and we bought the supplies to bring it back in 1979. We took it downtown that year with the help of my truck and parked it on Virginia Street in front of the Horseshoe Casino and then the next year began to move it to more events. I left the Jaycees in 1981 after six full years of service and a friend told me they had problems with getting a permit for the jail so they put it away in someone’s backyard. The Mariah had engine problems and was tough to keep cool after just a half hour on the Rodeo Parade route so we had lots of water which we added constantly to try to keep it running throughout the day. I think one of the guys tried to get it back in shape a few years later but it cost too much to bring back and so it was parked.

Check out John’s column for other interesting facts about Northern Nevada… http://visitreno.com/evanoff/index.php

My column about all this is at http://www.rgj.com/story/life/2015/06/19/breckenridge-black-mariah-kangaroo-kourt/28980431/

AND THAT’S THE WAY THE COLUMN HAS WORKED FOR 27 YEARS – I DON’T KNOW IT ALL BUT HAVE FRIENDS AND READERS LIKE JOHN, AND BIT-BY-BIT WE WEAVE THE TALE OF OUR VALLEY! THANKS, JOHN…

FRED SANFORD REMEMBERS BAKER’S STABLES AND OLD SOUTHWEST RENO

xxxxxTHIS ARRIVED EARLIER TODAY, TOO GOOD NOT TO POST! NOTHING CHANGED OR EDITED, THANKS FRED!

Hello Karl,

I enjoy reading your Sunday Column in the Reno Gazette-Journal. I came to Reno, when I was 13 years old. I graduated from Reno High School, class of 1961. So, I am one of the old guys. Your article that appeared this Sunday really brought back memories of old Reno. My step-dad built a house at 300 W. Peckham Lane back in the 1950’s. He later built and subcontracted another house at 325 W. Peckham Lane. He was ahead of his time at that time we were on well water. He ran pipes through the floor of both house connected to a geothermal well.

Your article last Sunday, June 14th on Rodeo reminiscence: Nevada White Hats brought back memories in reference to Baker Lake and the Baker Ranch. A couple of friends and I use to build rafts and float down the ditch along Baker Lane in Baker Lake. I remember someone had built a tree house in the branches of a lone large tree in the lake. I remember back then that across Moana Lane from Baker Lane there was a marsh small lake area, we use to call it Berrum Lake back then. We would float our rafts there also. This area was above the old Isbell Construction site, where a group of apartments now stand on South Virginia directly across from Grove Street.

We used to go horseback riding at Baker’s Stables. One of my friends use to work there during the summer. A friend of ours owned a horse that was stabled there. We use to ride down Peckham Lane which was a dirt road back then and head west across Lakeside and continue on a bridle path up to Horseman’s Park and then head up the mountains to Hunter Creek and up to Hunter Lake. It was a good ride up and back in a day. We use to take our fishing gear with us and fish in Hunter Lake. If it was early summer, we use to catch small brookie trout on dough balls. They were pan size just right for cleaning and eating.

I look forward to your columns about a lot of the things I remember about our area. Please keep up the good work Karl.

Another Old Guy,

Fred Sanford

Some shots by Cal Pettengill taken June 14 of the Virginia Street Bridge demolition progress. Note photo #2 demonstrates vividly how much of that bridge was earth within the shell of concrete!

Sierra Exif JPEG

Sierra Exif JPEG

Sierra Exif JPEG

Sierra Exif JPEG

Sierra Exif JPEG

Sierra Exif JPEG

Sierra Exif JPEG

Sierra Exif JPEG

Here’s some shots that Cal Pettengill took with his Brownie Hawkeye earlier this Flag Day. One is of the drained pond at Idlewild; the others are of the progress of the removal of the Virginia Street Bridge. That pond in Idlewild was Reno’s first municipal swimming hole!

Thanks, Cal! The torture continues at AT&T Park – After Brandon Crawford made two errors on one play I decided the time to post had arrived. White Hats stuff is in the mill. Don’t ask me what the “Sierra Street exit” is, must be a GPS thing

An old Reno guy, Terry Cafferty, checks in…

SOMETIMES IT’S JUST NICE TO GIVE THE JOYSTICK OVER TO A BUDDY AND LET HIM FLY THE PLANE! THIS IS SUCH A TIME, (AND YES, I DO KNOW WHO TERRY IS WITHOUT HIS REMINDER.) I CHANGED NOTHING [OK, I DELETED ‘LITTLE” PRECEDING WAL ON HIS TEXT], GOING TO SIGN HIM UP FOR SUNDAY MORNINGS!  AND I E-MAILED HIM TO SEND A BIO FOR HIS OLD FRIENDS…

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CaffertyHi Karl, I’m Terry Cafferty, (now 70-year-old) son of Cactus Tom and brother of Jack Cafferty of CNN (now retired). I really enjoyed your column on Reno restaurants. As a young boy (when the family was still one), when my dad left the house for work early weekday mornings, he’d sometimes take a large pot, so that on the way home he could stop by Toscano, where Dimitri would fill the pot with scrumptious mostaccioli. Pizza at Festina’s was a treat beyond compare. I’ve eaten pizza all over the globe and never found anything to match it. Ralph could barely speak English, but man, he could make pizza! I also remember the Christmas Tree, halfway up the Mount Rose Road on the Reno side of the mountain, where owner Guy Michaels’ wife made Roquefort dressing beginning with beer as base liquid. The steaks were fantastic, but the roquefort salad was my delight. Mrs. Michaels also kept at least one African lion as a pet! All night dancing on weekends was often followed (before heading home to bed) by a steak-and-eggs meal at the Waldorf, where Jack Joseph was sometimes found wrapping up his late, late, late jazz music show. Soul food could be had at Kiah’s Squeeze Inn near Chet and link’s Sportsman store. And a terrific chili-and-cheese omelet could be had at Landrum’s diner on close-in South Virginia Street. For Mexican food, Pancho’s in Sparks, near the (then at least) east end of town, and run by Pancho and his wife alone, was peerless. My favorite was the chili verde, with sides of (not refried) pinto beans and freshly-hend-made corn tortillas. Previous to Pancho’s truly excellent Mexican cuisine was to be found at the Moana Steak House (in the parking lot of Moana Ball Park, where the Reno Silver Sox plied their trade in the Pacific Coast league. And let’s not forget bar sandwiches at the Wells Avenue Lounge, where after-hours show musicians came to play great jazz until the wee hours. Thanks for taking me down memory lane, Karl.