Why, with thousands of acres, maybe even hundreds, a new control tower for the Reno-Tahoe International Airport has to wipe out nine holes of a golf course escapes many of us, but rise one will, on Brookside golf course just northeast of the airfield. The most salient comment to emanate out of this civic mini-brouhaha came from a linkster who knew of another golf course that shares its rough with a control tower already, in complete harmony and the tower’s structure playable as winter rules.
Longtime Reno resident and dynamite golfer Virginia Thompson writes from out in the 89509 with some interesting background about Brookside. The little player-friendly course has been popular with local golfers, with an untold number of kids starting their paths to the Masters in Augusta on its level fairways. It opened in 1967 as the brainchild of some local folks, including the late Jack Mathews and his very-much-alive wife Mary (Duffy), Dr .Jack Brophy, barrister Loyal Robert Hibbs and golf course architect Bob Baldock. They secured a lease from the City of Reno on land then housing the city dog pound and a duck hunting club (yup – Reno was a bit smaller then).
Somebody donated a refrigerator for the snack bar, and they hired a golf pro and another person to maintain the course and work the desk. The trees lining the course, then and now, have somewhat of a heritage: They were brought to Reno from Winnemucca, where they were in the path of some construction, then transplanted at Brookside and are still flourishing nicely. The golf course operated privately for about five years, then was transferred to City ownership and has been a popular and profitable asset ever since.
But – the little course’s days are apparently numbered. At press time (like that?) I have a call in to Duffy to learn a bit more about Brookside. Watch this space.
Recent talk on page 8 about Reno Browne’s Singing Pioneers and Cactus Tom’s “Smokey Joe” Christmas paean smoked out ol’ buddy Jim Henry, who transmits some dope on the 1954 sizzler “Reno, Nevada – the Biggest Little City in the World”. This chart-buster was recorded on a 12-inch 78 phonograph record (ask a geezer), just as it was written by Edwin T. Church, who doesn’t exactly light up Google on a Web search, and as performed by Hal Southern, who Googles, if that’s a verb, as a buddy of Tex Ritter’s. Jim sends a photocopy of the RCA Victor record label, and describes the song as kind-of-Sons of the Pioneers except worse, but the record does have the standard number of grooves for a 78 RPM record. Imagine that: A song with our very own city’s name, move over Abilene, My Kind of Town Chicago, Tijuana Taxi, St. Louis Blues and My Heart in San Francisco. Maybe we can get it on the radio someday; we’ll warn you ahead of its performance. The Homefinders thank Jim for this information. I think.
The end of an era: Scolari’s Market on Lakeside Court is closing tomorrow – who’d have ever thunk it? Many have forgotten that the forerunner of that grocery and social institution had its early roots as a Warehouse Market, in the south end of Moana West where Ben’s Discount Liquor, er, Ben’s Fine Liquors, is located now. And, for the record, let’s not forget that the structure that Scolari’s is closing was originally built as indoor tennis courts. Right across the parking lot from the Elegant Wagon, a popular early 1970s watering hole then in the southwest corner of Reno. That joint and the one at the Golden Road – now the Atlantis – deserve our recognition one of these Saturday mornings as headquarters for sybaritic nocturnal misbehavior in south Reno.
The standard number of grooves in a 78 RPM phonograph record is, all together: One. A long one. Have a good week; thanks for last week off, our days can warm up anytime now, and God bless America.
© RGJ April something, 2005