Blinkin’ a holiday green


“Slim” Dickens, fourth and illegitimate cousin of Charles

Some columns are hard to rewrite any differently than the last one, and after a dozen Christmas columns, I give up and am just running an old one, this from 2007. Merry Christmas to all! Karl

As is our Christmas tradition to return to holidays past, we cranked the microfiche reader at the Nevada Historical Society and made a few notes from several Nevada State Journal editions published close to Christmas of 1960.

We find that if you’re gift shopping downtown later today, Ginsburg Jewelers will sell you an Omega Seamaster watch (still a classic today) for $175 and this new model even shows the date, right on the dial. Broili’s Nevada Machinery & Electric offers a Sylvania black-and-white 19” TV with “wireless remote control.” Remote control? The date on a watch? What’s next? Out on Wells Avenue Art Rempel is selling the same size Admiral TV, and will take a trade in on your old round-screen Capehart or whatever. Also on Wells Avenue, Murdock’s has a Ship ‘n Shore blouse for $3.98. A full page ad for the best-ever Christmas shopping place: the basement of the Eagle Thrifty on South Wells Avenue, (now a Mercado.) (CQ capitalized) In the Town & Country Center at the dead-end of Vassar at Kietzke, Reno Drug has Zippo lighters for three bucks. And by the way, in this morning’s paper we read that a stop light is going in at Mill and Kietzke next month.

Back downtown, an ad for Conklin’s Furs, always a favorite store; at Bricks (CQ no apostrophe) Men’s Shop downtown on North Virginia, a $4.98 Arrow shirt, just like General Custer wore. Menard’s (a cross between Menante and Bernard) Men’s Furnishings, Paterson’s, Sunderland’s and Hatton’s all ring in with fashionable Stetson business hats for gentlemen.  Here’s a full-page ad for Gray Reid’s on First Street, with artwork by Posie Edwards, who with her husband Revis were dear friends of many readers.  Hansel & Gretel (baby clothes) will be open ‘til 9 p.m. on South Virginia. If Santa’s bringing wheels this year, Richardson-Lovelock Ford’s ad pictures a gift-wrapped Ranch Wagon; something not-quite-appealing about that photo. Johnson Chevrolet’s pushing a ’61 Chevy Corvair at $2,600, with a heater.

In national news, Ike just passed a stem-to-stern physical at Walter Reed.  The free world is hot because the Americans are cooperating with the French, spying on Algeria with our U-2s. James Francis Durante was wed in NYC, (but not to Mrs. Calabash, who died in 1943, and does anybody out there remember what I’m writing about???) Cuba, a popular destination for college Easter break revelers was being discouraged by the State Department for this year. (But Bob Hope leaves tomorrow to entertain the troops in the Caribbean, with Zaza Gabor, Janet Paige and a new guy named Andy Williams.) Dagwood was bugging Dithers for a raise (I think I write that in every Christmas column…) (CQ ellipsis)   

Locally, Sparks High’s Jean Pagni and Joel Glover won the Nye Sbragia citizenship award. Eagle Thrifty (now Raley’s) founder Martin Gastanaga passed away; the stores all closed yesterday afternoon for two hours. Joe Battaglia and the Men of RENOwn singers (CQ as capitalized) are singing in several venues this season.  Future Sparks city councilman John Mayer pledged Omega Delta Phi fraternity at Linfield College in Oregon.  The name “South Lake Tahoe” was chosen over the other top candidate, “Shangri-La” for the growing town at Lake Tahoe (George Gobel is playing at Harrah’s South Shore Room in its inaugural Christmas season.) 

The newish home at 1855 Sharon Way was robbed last night – guns, coins, the usual. In the classifieds, SW home 3 BR, 2 BA, large FR with FP, cov. patio w vu, $36,750, call Jack Utter FA3-1026.  The county draft board is requesting reservists to contact them, as the board’s records have been misplaced. (Dream on!) The Fleischmann Foundation just gave the university (CQ NOT UNR YET!) a cool million for something called “an atmospherium.” Nilsine Nillson gave up a promising accordion career to accept a “Who’s Who in American Colleges” award and marry our buddy Skip Hansen.  A few society mavens were pictured planning the dreaded Junior Assembly Ball at Hidden Valley CC on Dec. 23rd.   

Food, always in the news: Uncle John’s Pancake Parlor (now Noel Foley’s Irish pub, and even later the Lucky Beaver) is serving a Christmas breakfast. Romance is not dead: Dick Grave’s Chicken Coop on West Fourth offered a gift-wrapped bucket of chicken. Cole slaw extra.  The Inscrutable East: The Chinese Pagoda out on B Street features an “authentic Chinese Christmas dinner.” The New (CQ cap) China Club invited Christmas shopping at Reno’s only coin shop. And Manogue High’s Christmas dance in the gym tomorrow night features a Chinese theme. Go figure…  (CQ ellipsis) Elsewhere on B Street two university students returning home to Yerington for the holidays were busted for heisting a lamb from Sparks’ living Nativity scene.

            Sports editor Ty Cobb wrote an impassioned plea to the city fathers to rebuild Moana Ballpark, torched by vandals last Hallowe’en. (They rebuilt it.)   The Packers and the Colts (Baltimore, that is) led the NFC.  In NCAA football, Ohio State and Bradley were #1 and 2.  Codding & Wetzel’s Jr. Ski Program (CQ as capitalized) starts Dec. 21st.   Greyhound Lines offered a $4 round-trip ticket for skiers to Squaw Valley, still recovering from the VIII Winter Olympics last February.

And finally, Aerojet General in Sacramento warned the North Pole that Santa, Rudolph and company should be wary of the 47 rockets, satellites and other space junk now littering the stratosphere.  Have a good week; try to find a gift made (or written!) in the Silver State, and God bless America.

©RGJ Dec. 2007