In the cacophony called Life in this Big City during the past month, a dear friend of ours passed away, but shall not here evade the publicity of this scribe. Her name was Nancy Trabert.
Nancy, a year older than I, came to town and the University of Nevada seeking employment, with an eye toward teaching school. But her attention was drawn to a little casino on the north side of B Street in Sparks called the “Nugget,” owned back then sorta by Dick Graves, yet sorta by a man named John Ascuaga. Nancy rolled the dice and went to work as a secretary to John, thus starting a relationship that would last for six decades. She in my mind went a long way in tacitly running the Nugget, and almost everything I ever wrote I probably checked with her for accuracy. As did RGJ senior editor Tom McGuire when he was penning the Nugget’s 50-year anniversary hardcover book for the RGJ’s Custom Publishing Group.
I have come to know John, and sense that Nancy’s passing from cancer a month ago grieves him as greatly as would the passing of a blood relative – if we saw John or Nancy in recent years, they were probably at the Coney Island, one of their favorite lunch haunts!
I’m sure that I am joined by every other ink-stained wretch who ever called upon Nancy to confirm a date, or a performance, or a menu item or something to do with an elephant or the spelling of a gnarly Basque name, in expressing condolences to John and Rose, to the members of the Nugget family, and to members of theRapp and Trabert families, and offer posthumous thanks for the many courtesies and information she gave us.
Nancy Rapp Trabert – (1940 – 2020) – was truly the chronicler of the Sparks Nugget, from the time of its maturation as a wide spot on B Street to becoming a principle voice in the patois of our valley.
So long, Nancy…..