April 19 • Fireworks at Mackay Stadium!

…how it began

KF_headshotSchool starts but it’s still summer in my new town of Reno, and Dad wants to go to the stadium at the university by our house on Ralston Street and watch the fireworks! They’re put on every Friday all summer by a night club downtown owned by a guy named Harold, so it’s called “Harold’s Club.” In a few years he’d quit putting that little comma up high between the “d” and the “s” but that wouldn’t happen until 1949.

It’s Friday, so dad and I are walking down University Terrace toward the university. Mom’s staying home with my sister Merilynn, she’s still in a bassinet. We walk past my friend Bill and Margaret Eddleman’s house and then around a big curve. There’s a rock wall on the south side of the street and no sidewalk. Just below that wall the Orr Ditch is flowing full. The wall was built a few years ago as a government project to keep men working after something called the “depression,” when everybody was out of work. I heard that they also built a big lake with an island in the southwest corner of Reno by the old airport that was turned into a golf course. We’re going to go to there someday. I’ll tell you about that when we get there. I’ll write about it.

But tonight is fireworks, and they are free to watch. We walk past Mr. Goodwin’s house, a friend of Dad’s who owns the Kentile floor covering business in Reno. He’s the president of Reno’s banjo band, and there’s about 20 guys out in his front yard playing banjos and we can hear them from around the corner.

We get to Sierra Street and cross it and walk down to Virginia Street. It’s the main highway to a town called Susanville. We keep walking to University Street, the next street, and go through some big granite pillars with dates on them, a gift to the university when every graduating class donated some landmark with their class’ date on it. Then we turn left and go up the hill into the university itself.

There’s a couple of cannon at the top of the hill, and two twin buildings, called Morrill and Stewart Hall. We keep walking up past a big grassy park about as big as a couple blocks downtown. Dad said it’s called the “Quad,” or Quadrangle. Dad says MackayStatuethe Quad copied a design by Thomas Jefferson for the University of Virginia’s campus. All around it are a bunch of old brick buildings where kids go to learn something. There’s a statue of a guy named John Mackay at one end of the Quad, put there by his son Clarence who also paid for the stadium that we’re going to, so they named it after Clarence when it was built in 1908. Then we walk past a building called Lincoln Hall where a lot of guys live.

Mackay1Then we cross a dirt parking lot to the stadium – Mackay Stadium – and go in. It’s all concrete steps like seats on the west side where everybody sits. And there’s no lights, so it’s starting to get pretty dark. Across the stadium is another grandstand for the kids that go to the university to sit on. Behind that, on the left side of the picture, is a “fieldhouse” where all the lockers and showers are for the ballplayers. It’s getting dark and everybody is excited about the fireworks starting to begin.

There’s a loudspeaker system that’s pretty crackly but it works, and a guy in a whiteHarolds Club Buick suit gets out of blue Buick woody station wagon with bull horns across the roof, and he starts talking in the middle of the field. And here my nose is getting long like Pinocchio’s because this is supposed to be 1946 but the Buick is a 1949 so I must be fibbing, but hey, I’m only six years old.

The guy in the white suit and Stetson hat is Mr. Smith himself – Harold – and he welcomes everybody to the fireworks show. Then RoaringCampthey play some music by some guys called the “Sons of the Pioneers” over the loudspeakers and make it pretty plain that he wants everybody to come to Harolds Club soon. Even the kids can go, because he shuts off gaming in the “Roaring Camp,” the name of his western museum, every Saturday morning between ten in the morning and noon, just so us kids can go in the museum. We can’t go other times because there’s people gambling.

OldMackay2The fireworks start soon and they’re really neat. It seems like half the town of Reno and Sparks is there in the stands on both sides of the field. The stadium is pretty full, and it holds almost 2,800 people on the west side seats. A lot of people brought blankets and are sitting on the grass on the football field. And they’re all “ooh”ing and “ahh”ing with the fireworks that go on for about a half-hour. They’ve been going on all summer, and tonight is the last night.

We get a Coke at the stand that some bunch of guys, Dad’s friends, run, the “Lions” or “Tigers” or something like that. I’d get to know them pretty well in years to come, because Dad got involved a year later in the “Friendship Train” collecting stuff to send to a town called Berlin somewhere in Europe that was blockaded by another country and the people were cold and starving. Two brothers named Sewell built a grocery store down the street, and loaned it to Dad and his friends to collect groceries and clothes and stuff. But that’s a year away so I can’t write about it yet. I’ve just got to grow up faster so I can write about the Friendship Train and the Lake Street Fire and some other cool stuff that hasn’t happened yet.

But, tonight’s tonight, 1946; we’re in Mackay Stadium and about to walk back home to Ralston Street.

Come back again, we’ll walk somewhere else!

(By the way, Dad says if I’m going to steal pictures I’d better say where I got them; some of the pictures, of old Mackay Stadium, are from the University’s Special Collections archives. I don’t know where they got them…)

NOTE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BLACK BAR BELOW, A CLICK TO

TAKE YOU TO THE NEXT POST IN THIS SERIES…

 

 

 

Advertisements

April 2 • Knockin’ around town on a Saturday

  How it began, click here… 

1941_chevvyI’m writing again, in my best handwriting, trying to practice as I’ll be starting kindergarten next week at Mary S. Doten, just down the Ralston hill from our new Reno house. It’s a Saturday morning; Dad and I are off in the Chevy to handle some of his chores, and I’m tagging along.

We take off on Fourth Street through town to Alameda Street. Across the Truckee to the south is the same street, called Wells Avenue because a rancher named Wells used to drive cattle up the street and across the river to the slaughterhouse a block west of Alameda. My uncle John, who just got out of the service, opened a Flying A service station on the northwest corner, almost next to the slaughterhouse. He has a nifty Harley Davidson motorcycle “tricycle” with a box on the back and his station’s name on the back of the box. My grandmother hates motorcycles and people who ride them. Uncle John promised me a ride on his Harley one time and my mother told him she’d kill him if he did that. Women I’m learning at age six are hard to understand.

There’s a neat little store across Fourth Street, Akert’s Market it’s called. There’s a fun guy in there named Ben, probably in college now, who wants to open a store that sells booze and call it “Ben’s Liquors.” My mom told me not to use the word “booze.” Oh well.

Dad said that the city was going to build a fire station on Morrill Avenue, a couple blocks to the east. It would replace the old fire station almost across the street, called “Reno East” which is a duplicate of the one at the dead-end of California Avenue on Virginia Street. This is a busy area of town, East Fourth Street, with a lot of nice stores, hardware, auto parts, lot of auto stuff and garages. Mr. Blakely, a friend of dad’s since high school, operated Eveleth Lumber kitty-corner from my uncle’s service station. It makes custom cuts of lumber and is in high demand from people building houses needing weird stuff like handrails. It is part of a sawmill up the river toward Truckee.

We got back in the car and left to see my dad’s friend Mr. Menante, another schoolmate. His family owns a shop by the railroad tracks on Virginia Street, that takes the tires off cars and “vulcanizes” new rubber and treads onto them and they put them back on your car, to save buying new tires. Dad said it was a wartime thing. Mr. Menante’s business is called Reno Vulcanizing, pretty original. His plan is to move further north on Virginia Street to his partner Mr. Besso’s family ranch, and build a new Reno Vulcanizing shop on what will become Sixth Street.

Mr. Menante told me how my father shot him with a pistol in their senior year in high school, which cost my dad his appointment to Annapolis, which is a big Navy school back east. Turns out they were in a play and my dad’s character shot Mr. Menante’s character, but the gun misfired and bent my dad’s trigger finger so it wouldn’t straighten and he never got to that Navy school. Mr. Menante was a fun guy.

We got back in the Chevy after dad made arrangements to get the tires fixed, and drove across the railroad tracks to have coffee – ugh – how grownups can drink that stuff is beyond me. Dad parked the Chevy at kind of an angle in front of Tiny’s Waffle Shop south of Commercial Row. We went to see Mr. Southworth in his tobacco shop on Douglas Alley. My grandmother, after my grandfather died in 1906, married Mr. Strausburg who was a stockbroker and owned the little building, his office on the second floor, Southworth’s Tobacco on the street level. Mr. Southworth was a nice guy, had a cigar-store Indian in the window that would piss some people off in years to come. Likely not the Indians. But, this is 1946 and I don’t know anything about that yet. (Three years later Harolds Club would put up a mural with Indians all over it, and more on the roof of the building, but I didn’t know that yet either…)

We went into Tiny’s for coffee, and a bunch of Dad’s friends were in there at a big table. I met Mr. Tripp, who worked for Mr. Smith at Harolds Club across the street. His job was making little plastic name tags for the ladies who worked in Harolds Club, with their first name and hometown. Mr. Tripp, I think his name was Walt, was a nice guy, had a couple of sons my age, and wanted to open his own engraving shop – “Tripp Plastics,” he’d call it. Mr. Smith I understand was going to help him get started.

Mr. Cobb was in Tiny’s at the big table. He was a sportswriter from Virginia City who worked at the newspaper, over on Center Street. He was also the announcer at the Silver Sox baseball games in Moana Stadium, a long way out of town to the south, and he told me that he’d let me sit in the booth some night during a game. He was a nice guy. I soon met his two sons and daughter, tell you all about them one of these days.

All dad’s friends were nice men. One was funny, his name was Mr. Maffi, and he and his partner Mr. Lyons owned a service station at the end of California Avenue across the street from the Lake Mansion, which I’ll have to study to learn more about and write about it another day. Mr. Maffi came to our house on Ralston Street later today to help dad adjust the furnace in our new house, which originally burned coal but was converted by Mr. Maffi to burn oil. Dad and Mr. Maffi, (and Mr. Sala, our next door neighbor; I’ll write a lot about him in the future), had to leave to get a furnace part and probably some more beer (surely Sierra!), and Mr. Maffi, who had a glass eye, took his eye out and put it on the kitchen table and told my mother, who had a limited sense of humor, “Here, Floie, (for her name was Flo), I’m keeping an eye on my beer.”

Dad and Mr. Sala laughed, but Floie (Flo) fainted, right on the kitchen floor, cold as a mackerel. Mr. Sala went next door to get Mrs. Sala to help out. Floie soon returned to consciousness, and Dad, seeing this, went out the front door with the other guys to Mr. Maffi’s pickup and took off down Ralston Street to get the furnace part. And some beer.

As I recall, they discussed Mr. Maffi and the occurrence further that evening.

I’m worn out from writing; I’ll start school in a week down the hill at Mary S. Doten, and maybe I’ll learn how to write cursive so it will be easier to read. Come back in a week and we’ll stumble off around Reno some more, maybe visit my new school and my new friends, all neighbors, Tom Cook, Cecelia Molini (Pearce), Jimmie Ceander, and Marilyn Burkham. And another new friend that I’m going to introduce next week, Cedric Parkenfarker from up University Terrace. Cedric has the ability to look into the future, which will enable me to write my 1946 memories, but interject what happened in the future, like Marilyn Burkham becoming known as Ma Bell. And I’ll get my Brownie Hawkeye fixed so I can add some pictures again…it’s busted today.

See ya soon…………

 contact the six-year old at kfbreckenridge@live.com

NOTE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BLACK BAR BELOW, A CLICK TO

TAKE YOU TO THE NEXT POST IN THIS SERIES…

 

March 24 • Dad’s new office in Sparks

Go to the first tale in this adventure

 

_BandstandWell, we’ve been here in Reno for a couple weeks; school will be starting soon down the hill at Mary S. Doten. Dad got a job as a real estate man working for an agent named Charles H. Skipper, whose office is in Sparks, a little town just east of Reno. Dad said he thinks it will grow pretty fast with a guy named George Probasco, building houses that the guys getting out of the service will be buying.

Dad took me out to Sparks this Saturday morning. We went out the Lincoln Highway, past a lot of old pre-war businesses and some “auto courts” that I’ll tell you all about one of these times when I’m writing again. But this morning I start our walk at his office, in a little tiny house on A Street. The main drag through Sparks is the Lincoln Highway, but in Sparks it’s called “B Street.” Skipper’s office is on “A Street,” south of the highway and on the south side of a pretty little park called the “Reserve” by the Union Pacific Railroad when they moved to Sparks in 1903. It was reserved for a park for employees of the railroad, and had sat there for 40 years, grassy with nice walkways, early light fixtures and a small eight-sided “Queen Anne” bandbox on the east end of the Reserve  (pictured above). It started at about 12th Street which in time to come would be a casino called the Nugget, and went from there east a long ways, toward what I’d learn in 1955 would be a bunch of great big tanks to hold oil and gas and stuff, starting about 4th Street. Getting myself adjusted, I figured out that 8th Street would become known as “Pyramid Way” because it went to Pyramid Lake.

SP Sparks roundhouseThe railroad’s property was fenced, on a line which started south of dad’s new office on A Street. There were a couple of gates, the big one that most of the employees used was at the foot of 8th Street, Pyramid Way. Just beyond that gate was the railroad’s “roundhouse,” a big building to turn locomotives with. I didn’t know it that morning but in a few years it would be torn down and its bricks used all over Reno and Sparks. There was another big building to the east of the roundhouse, where the railroad worked on its locomotives. During the war, which was just ended, a wing was added to the east of that brick building. There were big locomotives everywhere, with silver fronts and their smokestacks in the back, which was different than what I saw in El Cerrito when we lived there. And you could hear (and smell!) them from blocks away from the railyard.

 I met Mr. Shelly that morning with dad. He was a neat guy who owned a hardware store a little ways up Pyramid Way by the airport. He knew all about the railroads, and told me that there was over 30 miles of side tracks in the Sparks railroad yard. The ground had been built up in 1903  before the railroad laid all that track, with dirt that had been brought in from a little place west of Reno by a street that would later be called Stoker. But this was 1946, so I didn’t know that street’s name then. He told me that when the railroad opened their railyard they brought in over 1,000 tons of coal and made a big pile of it to use in their engines

The engines were built for the snow sheds west of town, with the engineers’ seats in the front and air pumped into the cab, to keep the smoke out when they were in the tunnels on the big mountain west of Reno. Boy, I can’t wait to go up and see those snow sheds and tunnels! I’ll write about it here when I do! The railroad bought a lot of those locomotives. Mr. Shelly told me that at one time over a hundred of them were built by Baldwin Locomotive in Philadelphia and towed to Sparks. He gave dad and I a ride in his pickup to the far end of the railyard, where we went over 14 sets of tracks, I counted ‘em, on Stanford Way to cross the yard. The street was named for Mr. Stanford, one of the railroad’s owners. And it was later closed to cars. One day in the mid-1950s they would start building those tanks, but we didn’t know that then.

FiremanSparks was a fun town to walk around in while dad worked selling houses. I’d go often with him on Saturdays. The Reserve got a lot of use with kids like me during the day and in the evening they’d have band concerts and dances in the little bandbox. There was a library across B Street that took good care of kids. On a sad note I remember a procession one morning with firemen marching slowly alongside Sparks Fire Department’s pumper truck. All its hoses were removed and a casket with a flag over it was in the hose bay. Dad said it was for the Sparks fire chief, who died fighting a fire in Reno at the Greyhound bus station on Lake Street. That was August 1948, and I think everybody in Sparks and many from Reno were on the lawn at the Reserve. That really stuck in my mind for a long time. There’s a memorial statue now for fallen firemen on Pyramid Way.

There were some nice stores on the north side of B Street. One all us kids liked was theAdams Sparks Bootery, where you could stand on a gadget and see your feet and all the bones and stuff inside your shoes, in a weird green color that looked right through your shoes! Another neat store was a friend of dad’s, Mr. Adams, who was the official watch repair guy for the railroad. He took care of all the railroaders, who had to own a certain kind of watch, and have it inspected each year. He had a big board full of pocket watches that he’d loan to the engineers and conductors while their own watch was being tested. I got lucky and got to have one  of those old “loaners” in later life.  

 Well, dad’s calling me now across the park so I’m going to go. We’ll meet again soon – there’s a lot more places to walk in Reno and school will be starting soon and I’ll be off to kindergarten! Maybe I’ll be a better writer then, come back and we’ll see……

 Contact the six-year old at kfbreckenridge@live.com

NOTE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BLACK BAR BELOW, A CLICK TO

TAKE YOU TO THE NEXT POST IN THIS SERIES…

March 18 • Lumberyards and Ironworks!

Go the post that started this all…

kf_headshotI’ve grown braver in the past few weeks and discovered that my parents aren’t watching me like a hawk so this fine August 1946 morning I’m going to take a real walk, all the way down the Ralston hill to Fifth Street, buy another Bazooka bubble gum stick at Beetchen’s Cottage Market just east of Ralston and keep going. There’s a neat little brick house across the street from the market, surely a Delongchamps design with his hexagonal turret trademark. I’d learn later that it was owned by Mr. Brown, who with his partner Mr. Milbery fixed electric motors.

I crossed Nevada Street and turned to my right on Chestnut Street. Dad said that if oneBelmontApartments walked to the Truckee River on Chestnut Street, that he’d then be on Belmont Street, until he walked all the way up the hill to California Avenue, then he’d be on Arlington Avenue – same street, three names. And dad knew Belmont Street – he soon took an account for his new office as the manager of the Belmont Apartments on the corner of California Avenue and Belmont [above]. A nice building; the lobby reminded me of the lobby of the Majestic Theater. We’ll walk down there someday.

This is pretty neat! Since I started writing down what I’ve seen on these walks this is the furthest east I’ve been. I’d left the “two-one” section of Reno, and was now in the 1947 Fire ladder“two-two.” Reno’s fire department separated the town into 12 districts, with the “one” being south of the train tracks and the “two” being north. The second number divided the town into six zones, “one” being the furthest west, where I lived, and becoming larger as one went east. I had now passed into the “two” zone – the “two-two.” The fire bell in the belfry of the fire station on Commercial Row would ring two bells, then two more to tell the volunteers where the fire was if it was here. Before they had more sophisticated systems. But no fire today (that’s Reno’s new 1947 aerial truck in the picture…)

Walking down Chestnut, I passed Reno’s only high school. It actually faced West Street, away from me. I passed a row of nice, small wooden houses that would one day be removed to make a playground for the school. And I passed one house that had been turned into Reno High’s music department after it was given to the Reno School District. (I learned in later life that in 1955 the Reno School District would join 16 other Washoe County districts, and nothing would go right since  until complete paralysis set in. Too bad.)

30070 cab forwardApproaching the railroad tracks I passed my new friend Ty Cobb’s house on the east side of the street. His dad worked for the newspaper. I could hear the whistle on a locomotive so I waited for it to cross Chestnut Street. It was a “cab-forward,” sometimes called a “Mallet” which it wasn’t but that name hung on. The last Mallet went through Reno in 1929 but the cab-forwards were still “Malleys” – and boy did it lay a plume of smoke. No one ever talked about that but it really stunk up the town when it went through.

I kept walking after the train passed (did I tell you that I pretended to pull the whistle cord when the engineer passed, and he responded with a little yank on the loco’s whistle, and a big grin…? I meant to…) Beyond the tracks, passing Commercial Row, was a neat building on the east side of the street, between Commercial Row and Second Street. I poked my head in one of the big doors to see what it was, and saw sparks flying everywhere and heard a large din. It was Reno Iron Works, where men would cut and weld and fabricate steel into all sorts of things, like fire escapes and porch rails and stairwells and stuff. I learned later that Mr. Ginocchio started it in 1922 with a friend of mine’s dad, Mr. Avansino. Mr. Ginocchio’s daughter, Andrea, was to become my babysitter! She later married a doctor named Pelter and took over the iron works when her father passed away, but this was only 1946 as I write this so I don’t know any of it this morning. They gave me a tour, and I learned that most of the ironworkers lived in Little Italy, where I walked a week ago. There was another steel plant in Reno, owned by Mr. Schwamb, and all the workers there were either German or Italian. We’ll walk out East Fourth Street some day and see if they’ll let me in so I can tell you about it.

lumberyardburnerAnd so it goes – I walked to Second Street and turned back west again to go home. I hit Ralston Street, and turned right to start up the hill. There was a motel being built on the corner, the B-Gay Motel, the sign said. But the neatest thing on Ralston Street in 1946 was the White Pine Lumber yard on the east side of the street, just south of the tracks with a three-story-high wood burner [left]. This is where Mr. Jaksick made “Presto-Logs,” compressed sawdust held together by the pitch from the pine trees, that were clean to handle and burned quite nicely. Three years later when my dad was chairman of the Berlin airlift train campaign that took stuff to Berlin, in Germany I think, when it was blockaded. A PrestoLogphenomenal number of these Presto-Logs were brought by Reno residents to the new Sewell’s Store on Sierra Street and were loaded onto the S.P. train bound for New York City harbor on a Saturday morning, to keep those German people warm. That’s a good story; someday I’ll write about that, but it wouldn’t happen for three more years so I can’t this morning.

But – on a frigid night in January, January 11th, it was in 1952, the Presto-Log storage area picked up a spark, and the stored logs plus the building plus a couple of other buildings at White Pine Lumber went up like a torch in a fire they could see from Truckee (well, not really…) and our town, relying heavily on those logs for heat, had none. Mr. Jaksick had another plant in Alturas, so he started bringing logs from there, but they were a little bit more expensive – five dollars for sixty logs. Two things beg to be told here: My dad at one point picked up a trunkful of Presto-Logs in our 1941 Chevrolet coupe. It was a straight shot up Ralston Street to our home across from Whitaker Park, but the logs were too much for the Chevy’s little “Blue Flame” six-cylinder engine. He damn near fried the clutch, then stopped the car at the bottom of the hill by my friend Marilyn Burkham’s house (“Ma Bell!”) and left me to guard them as he drove off with what the Chevy could handle, then came back and got me and the rest of the logs.

The second thing as I re-read this that I’ll include, is that Mr. Jaksick had a son a little older than I whom many of us know, and it was this younger (late) Sam Jaksick’s dad, Sam Sr., who built the sawmill by the railroad tracks.

Frandsen ApartmentsAnyway, I cross the Lincoln Highway now – West Fourth Street – and start to trudge up the Ralston Street hill for home. I passed the elegant Frandsen Apartments to my right toward downtown Reno. If you want, we could all walk together a half-block east on Fifth Street, to the Cottage Grocery and get some more treats.

See ya back here in a few days – I’m getting into this walking-and-writing groove, don’t know where we’ll go next…

write the six-year-old author at kfbreckenridge@live.com

NOTE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BLACK BAR BELOW, A CLICK TO

TAKE YOU TO THE NEXT POST IN THIS SERIES…

 

Walking East Fourth Street – 2001

 

F-carI pretty much left this alone from its original publication in the Gazoo. BTW, “Homefinders” was the section of the paper I wrote in, and I formed a Homefinders Club for the readership. And don’t ask me why I used a SF Muni streetcar for a photo – there’s no reason whatsoever…

“You’ve walked all over town in past columns, why don’t the Homefinder readers walk East Fourth Street?”  Or so a few readers wrote.

          It’s mostly because the RG-J recently carried an excellent three-issue overview of East Fourth with more ink and graphics than I could ever hope to squeeze out of the real estate editor.  This piece started as a commentary on old signs, but while riding around with a notepad some quirky thoughts of East Fourth in Reno and B Street – Victorian Way – in Sparks still beckoned to be heard, so we’ll mix up the two themes this morning.

          The two neon signs that most interest me while I’m enjoying an ale or three at Great Basin brewery in Sparks are first, the Pony Express Motel sign at the Prater/Victorian “Y”, a late-1940s product of Pappy Smith’s (Harolds Club) and Young Electric Sign’s imaginations.  I started to write that it was the first “motion” neon sign in town – (the arrows being shot from the Indians’ bows) – but I now spell-check out any superlatives, like first, oldest, highest, etc.  And “railroad” or “architect” for that matter.

          It’s much too big to steal, but the second sign I lust after is more portable, in front of the old Park Motel on Prater Way; the Phillip Morris-type bellboy with the once-waving arm that used to beckon travelers into the “motor lodge.”  It’s a creation that would blow the CC&Rs of the God-forsaken desert to smithereens if I lit it up in my backyard, waving at the architectural committee.  No chance.  Note the other remaining motor hotel signs on East Fourth – the Sandman, with the tires on the prewar sedan that once appeared to revolve.  And the classic neon art style, with no name that I know of attributed to it, on Everybody’s Inn and Alejo’s motels’ signs, and a few others – hopefully they will all be saved, rehabilitated and displayed somewhere as signs of a bygone era, no pun intended.  

          Check out the architecture on East Fourth – the brick patterns in the Alturas Hotel, J.R. Bradley Company, the buildings that flourished in the early postwar period like Siri’s Restaurant, Reno Mattress and some of the retail stores.  Replicating the rococo brickwork style in some of those buildings today would cost a fortune.  And Ernie’s Flying “A” truck stop, we called it then, now signed as RSC Something-or-other: The fluted column-tower signature of Flying “A” stations has long since been all but removed from this garage, but look close and you can easily detect a close resemblance to Landrum’s Café architecture on South Virginia – a very prevalent commercial style of a prewar period.  (Ernie’s was, with McKinnon & Hubbard on West Fourth Street, the forerunner of Boomtown, the Alamo and Sierra Sid’s to old U.S. Highway 40 truckers.)  And, if I’m permitted to editorialize, hats off to my old buddy Steve Scolari, whose family business Ray Heating – now RHP – has been on East Fourth for 70-plus years.  Faced with the need to expand, he turned the main office building facing East Fourth Street into a great-looking little office, yet retained its post-war nuance, then upgraded a half-dozen industrial buildings on the street and railroad land to the south into very serviceable first-class modern shops, preserving the workforce and tax base in the East Fourth corridor.  A gutty move, but a lead that more property owners in areas like East Fourth and South Wells Avenue should follow.  And progressive city management, not hell-bent on plowing two or three hundred million dollars into a hole in the ground, should offer tax incentives for this “infill” redevelopment like other cities do.  End of tirade.

Evidence of a bygone retail presence on East Fourth is Windy Moon Quilts on Morrill Avenue, the only quilt shop in town with a drive-up window.  Why?  ‘Cuz it once was a busy and highly profitable branch of First National Bank, that’s why.  [2016 note: Windy Moon has a second location now, in the old Mary Ann Nichols Elementary School on Pyramid Way.]

          We couldn’t tour East Fourth without stopping at the architecturally resplendent Tap ‘n Tavern, where that’s not sawdust on the floor, but last night’s furniture, and then mosey on down Highway 40 to Casale’s Half-way Club for world-class pizza, and if Mama Stempeck ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. What a great lady…

          Many notes remain and readers will kick in a few more, so we’ll probably go back and finish this tour soon.  (I’LL PUT IT ON THIS WEBSITE AFTER HOT AUGUST NIGHTS – kb.) I detected a slight deterrent to development on East Fourth while driving, starting, stopping, backing up, making notes and taking pictures, stopping again: on several occasions local ladies practicing the world’s oldest profession invited themselves into my pickup for a good time, some of whom were probably undercover police.  “Honest, officer, I’m researching a column for the Homefinder.”  (Good story, buddy, tell it to Judge Salcedo.)

  • • •

Giddyup: I’ve mentioned Mt. Rose Sporting Goods liberally in columns about downtown Reno and Park Lane, and thanked Kenny York and his late brother-in-law Sonny Burke for putting half of us through college by giving us jobs.  There probably won’t be more than 10,000 Homefinder readers delighted to know that Kenny will be the Honorary Grand Marshall of the Reno Rodeo this week, lookin’ good on his ol’ cayuse.

          The G-rated story of the Southern Pacific’s call girls in Sparks promised two weeks ago has not been forgotten, stay tuned.  Yes, all 17 of you nit-pickers, the old main fire station was on the southeast corner of Commercial and West Streets, not northwest as I wrote.  I knew better, my Cub Scout Pack 304 went there once. 

          And our friends at Ralston Foods on Greg Street, all 124 of them, are working on 522 Accident-Free days as I write this.  That’s close to 65,000 man-days without an accident.  Hell, I didn’t do that well at Breckenridge Realty, and I was the only employee with the most dangerous machine an electric pencil sharpener.  Good for you all, keep it up.

          Have a good week, Let’s get it on, Mills; ride ‘em cowboy and God Bless America.

 

© Reno Gazette-Journal, 2001

A story of Reno resident Mel Vhay

Reed/Sparks High reunion info here

MelVhayMy original hed for this tale was “A story of Reno resident Mel Vhay, who was originally married to architect David Vhay, then married Don Powers following David’s passing, and was the daughter of the Mackay Statue and Mt. Rushmore sculptor Gutzon Borglum.” I saw it in print and decided it was too wordy, even for me. So, you read the above hed. My contemporary  Des Powers sent me an extremely well-written e-mail about Mel Vhay, so I here post it for all to see:

Thanks for the update on the development of your column on the Holiday Hotel’s “Mug Hunt.”  Newt Crumley’s wife, Fran Crumley, and Mel were very good friends.   As you likely know, Mel’s dad was Gutzon BorglumBorglum [pictured to the right], sculptor of Mt. Rushmore and friend of Clarence Mackay.  Hence, the statue that Gutzon sculpted, of his friend Clarence Mackay, that stands on the Quad to this day.

Mel and my dad were married in 1990 until my dad’s passing in 1995.  Our mom passed away in 1988.  While married to my dad, Mel’s name was Mel Borglum Vhay Powers.  Kind of a long one, so she went by Mel Powers during those years.  I was very fond of her and felt very close to Mel during the years I knew her.  Mel was immediately very welcoming to my sisters and me, and to our extended families.  She was a remarkable woman and lived a very interesting and fascinating life.  She told a few stories over the years about how the concept of what became Mt. Rushmore came about, and some stories from the days during her father’s  sculpting of Mt. Rushmore.  She told the story of when she met President Franklin Roosevelt when he came to the dedication of Mt. Rushmore in 1941.  The stories she told still have me absolutely riveted to this day. 

[Here, I’ll interject a thought: Mel and David Vhay’s son Tink lives in Reno with his wife Muffy. I haven’t spoken to Tink but would surmise that he and Muffy were aboard for this also. ed.]

For me, in addition to being my step-mother who I loved, she was a living connection to significant times in American history.  In 1991, a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Mt. Rushmore was held at what Mel’s family affectionately refers to as “The Mountain.”  I went to the celebration with Mel, my dad, many of Mel’s family and a few thousand others whose names I don’t recall.  President George H.W. Bush presided at the celebration.  The celebration was in July 1991.  President Bush had already nominated Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court and the President could not hold back including in his official remarks, on the 50th anniversary of Mt. Rushmore, some comments on how important it was to see that Clarence Thomas received approval from the U.S. Senate for his appointment to the United States Supreme Court.  Well, as we know, the rest is history.

The seat I received for the celebration entitled me to a “third-class” view.  Mel and my dad were “down in front” enjoying a “first-class” view right in front of the podium and across the aisle from John Sununu.  Mel took some pictures of the speakers at the lectern on the podium.   I know that he was quite busy with other matters and likely overlooked getting many of the “small things” in his life done on a timely basis.  Anyway, I found a very nice viewing position on the top of the roof of a utility building.  As I got settled in, a young man, dressed in Army attire, who was apparently an ROTC cadet or a 90-day wonder in training, approached me and said, “Sir, you need to move”.  My response was, of course,

“Why?”  His response to my response was, “Because the Secret Service says you have to.”  I continued my protestation by saying, “I’m just sitting here and have already gone through security”.  He said, “Sir, you need to move.”  So I did, most likely with my movements being observed through various types of scopes held by various agents associated with various federal agencies.  I found another place to view the festivities, but it was not as nice as that spot on that roof.

Joining Mel and my dad on the trip was Fran Crumley.  Fran was a delightful lady and always very warm and welcoming to my sisters and me.  I occasionally saw Fran at family events subsequent to the Mt. Rushmore trip and I was always greeted warmly by her.  Fran had a great amount of class and I have remained impressed by her to this day.

MackayStatuePerhaps sometime you could write a column on Gutzon Borglum’s connection to Reno and the Comstock.  Gutzon Borglum, in my view, has yet to be fully recognized for his place in American history.  His connection to Reno and the Comstock’s history, in my recollection, has received only very brief references, if at all, over the years.  His impact on American history lives on to this day.  For example, in a conversation with her, I asked Mel why Teddy Roosevelt is on Mt. Rushmore along with Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln.  Teddy Roosevelt, while a significant American and a significant American president, to me, was not in the same category, in terms of their impact on American history, as Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln, yet he is with them on Mt. Rushmore.  Mel told me that Teddy Roosevelt is on Mt. Rushmore because, in her father’s opinion, he made very significant contributions to America, which he did, but also because Teddy and Gutzon were friends of long standing.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Footnote: Mel (Mary Ellis) Vhay Powers, who resided in Lakeridge Terrace, passed away in September of 2002. 

Good words from a man not a writer, but a CPA. The letter goes on with some personal information. But Des’ point is well-taken; Borglum, who had local roots, is a person who should MtRushmore30061 Mt Rushmorehold a higher place in local lore. We know of Mt. Rushmore, and of the John Mackay statue on the Quad. Few know that Borglum was tapped by the National Park Service to re-sculpt the hand and arm of Lady Liberty, who was originally sculpted by Bartholde holding the torch in an awkward position, and thus was redone to the present appearance. I’ll work toward more Borglum stories as time marches on. And, I thank Des for a great letter. KB

Reed and Sparks High Class of 1976 + ’77,’78 and ’79 Reunion – save the date: Friday, July 29

raidersI’ve been called a cheerleader for Reno High School, been reminded that there’s other schools in the valley, and been criticized for not including them in columns. To allay that accusation, I’m glad to post this letter that I received today from Debbie Rossi. I’m glad to post it on this website for all to enjoy! Lightly edited, Debbie writes (beautifully, I might add!):
Edward C Reed High School opened in 1974 – at Sparks High School. In the summer of 1975, before school began, the parents and students of Sparks High and the yet-to-be opened Reed High were sent letters explaining that Edward C. Reed High School – the building – was not complete and would not be able to house students until later in the fall. So the solution was to house both schools at Sparks High School.  Sparks High’s schedule for all the students, administration and teachers was seven-ish in the morning until noon and for Reed High students, administration and teachers, 1:00 p.m. ending at 5 p.m. 
Since a majority of the new Reed students were rezoned from Sparks High (we also metreedalum new friends from Wooster – the Hidden Valley area, and from Hug High – the North Sparks area) we were very familiar with the school. Both Sparks and Reed doubled up in lockers. We decorated in separate halls for big events and did our best to respect our unique situation. 
We chose our team name, school colors and elected our first-ever school officers – all within the walls of Sparks High School. In addition to students moving schools, many of the teachers, administrators and staff moving to Reed were from Sparks, Hug and Wooster High Schools.
On the first day of the second semester – the opening day at Reed – we drove or walked, for what seemed like miles, down Baring Boulevard.  The school was built down a long, wide street. There were no homes, no stores, nothing between McCarran Boulevard and the school. Reed was designed quite differently from the other high schools, with really wide hallways and bright colors.  We were overwhelmed those first few days and weeks. Fortunately, we began our first day at the new school with the friends we had already made while we were at our temporary home.
That year was 1974. We were Juniors. We were the top class as Juniors and Seniors. When we were freshmen, we were the first Freshman class to be moved up from Jr High  to High School- rather than the traditional three-year. Jr High School. That is the year Jr. Highs in Reno/Sparks became “Middle Schools.” So we were also the novelty to the upper class men. We were the first to dip our toes into that new direction in high school. So we were the novelty in high school. Actually, that first year, seniors had the option to not go to Reed and many took that option and stayed at their respective schools- Sparks, Hug and Wooster to graduate.
This year, in honor of our 40th Class Reunion – We are getting together on July 29th with the three classes behind us – the Classes of ’77, ’78 and ’79 – to celebrate with us. And on Saturday July 30th, we will join Sparks High Class of 1976, as we have always celebrated all of our reunions together and to celebrate our unique high school history, our friendships, and our 40th year of life after graduation.
Happy 41 Years to Edward C. Reed High School….from very unique beginnings to where you stand today! To all the faculty and the students of today and yesterday! A toast – and a little history to remember ….. To all of us in the first graduating class and to our friends for life – Sparks High School – Class of 1976. In our hearts the memories are a little dimmer, but it still just seems like well, last week now. 
Good words, Debbie – many thanks!

Some old recipes from a Washoe Medical Center Ladies Auxiliary ~ Bookmark this page as it will be updated for a while with more recipes

RenoAA

Enter a caption

RenoAlsoCooks It’s a book produced by Washoe Medical Center’s Women’s Auxiliary no later than 1959, for Gov. Charles Russell signed the dedication. It’s over 400 pages of handwritten recipes, from local men, and ladies whose first names were all Mrs.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Thursday day night 12/10, Mrs. Cavilia, who knows her Italian sauce, shares a secret above

RenoCooks15.jpg

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Muriel Kafoury checks in on this Tuesday Dec. 8th, with some Crab Creole – whoops, crab’s a little hard to come by at the moment with the ban on in the SF Bay. But save the recipe. And here we have a Household Hint, and some artwork!

RenoCooks14

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

On this gloomy first Sunday of December we see a recipe for which I have no idea what it is, but have selected it for the neat penmanship and also because the contributor, Mrs. Norman Biltz, violated 1960s convention and signed it with her own name, which was Esther. Should anyone know what it’s for, lemme know. It appears to be for leftover fish

RenoCooks13

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Saturday afternoon 12/5, good college hoops on the tube, cold outside, need some dessert for the stuff we’ve been cooking, here’s two from Leola MacDonald and Mrs. H. Lownes Jackson whose name I don’t know but she makes a mean dish of ice cream, load up on the brandy if you want

RenoCooks12

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

On this Friday, Dec. 4 I bring you with great pleasure two pecan recipes, not picon like we get at Louis’ or the Santa Fe, but nuts – these are from Cherry Luce and Hazel Herd. Go for it!

RenoCooks11

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Thursday, Dec. 3, happy to bring you Gov. Charles Russell’s favorite chicken dish, a recipe from his wife. I knew her, sort of, as a child knows an adult; her name was Marjorie, and she was Clark Guild Jr.’s sister, Judge Clark Guild Sr.’s daughter, born in Yerington and a great Nevadan. Here’s her recipe, try it: 

RenoCooks10

Enter a caption

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Wednesday late: Here’s a couple from Sen. Clifton Young’s wife, Loretta, and U of Nevada president Minard Stout’s wife Ruth (?)

RenoCooks9

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Tuesday night, Dec. 1: This is a humdinger, which appears to be very close to Danish aebel skivers, which take the basic pancake to the closest thing to heaven at breakfast – if you’ve been to Solvang, near Santa Barbara, you’ve probably tried them. Bookmark this one, you’ll like it (it’s from Mrs. Thomas Harvey, known to many as Maxine!)

RenoCooks8

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Monday night; here’s one for trout from Gilbert Vasserot. This was a specialty dish on the menu of his (with partner Joe Patrucco) Eugene’s Restaurant on South Virginia Street 

RenoCooks7

Here’s Gilbert! Gilbert!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Sunday afternoon, ‘Niners struggling, too cold to go outside much so here’s two more, from Mmes. McDonald (McDonald Carano) and Johnson (Chevrolet)   TOUCHDOWN ‘NINERS!!!

RenoCooks6

On Sunday Nov. 29, Here’s a couple, from Walt Tobin and Dr. (Bart) Hood

RenoCooks5

…………………………..

Added Saturday, The Ohio State beating Michigan, here’s a recipe from Harold Cafferata. Love his penmanship! And the recipe doesn’t look bad either…

RenoCooks2

RenoCooks3

I

OK, I GOT THE MESSAGE; I’LL UPDATE THIS SOON! KARL The old mom-and-pop groceries – we get mail…

Washoe_streetONE OF THE JOYS OF BEING A DRIVE-BY COLUMNIST IS READING SOME OF THE MAIL THAT THE COLUMNS PRODUCE, AND AS TIME PERMITS I LIKE TO GET PERMISSION OF THE SENDER AND POST IT – IT’S PRETTY COOL STUFF AND THE READERS HAVE GONE THROUGH A LOT OF WORK TO SEND IT, SO IT DESERVES TO BE SEEN AND ENJOYED! WHAT FOLLOWS ARE A FEW OF THE RESPONSES TO THE RECENT BOMBARDMENT OF GROCERY STORE MEMORIES, WITH A LOT OF INFORMATION THAT I’D OTHERWISE HAVE NO WAY OF LEARNING NOR PUBLISHING. E-MAILS COPY AND PASTE TO WORDPRESS IN A WEIRD WAY I DON’T COMPREHEND, SO IT’S A LITTLE MESSY…PERMISSION TO REPRINT HAS BEEN GAINED FOR ALL

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Sparks’ retired fire chief Don Young writes, 

“Karl, enjoyed your story on Sparks grocery stores. I worked for Kellison’s Market in 1949 or 50. I stocked groceries and delivered them in Milt Kellison’s new Ford pickup while he was flying a P-51 in the Korean theater. The manager was Elton Williams who went to Old Orchard later. The meat cutter was Marvin Edwards who later had his own meat market in Reno.”

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

My old post-war northwest Reno neighbor Pat Randall checks in:

“I enjoy reading your columns regarding Reno’s history when it was smaller than it is now. I remember many of the markets in your most recent offering. I hope you will include Quilici’s in your next column. As I recall , it was located on the southwest corner of Washington and 7th Streets and three blocks from where I grew up. There was a butcher shop in the rear and out front was a manually operated gas pump. The gas was pumped into a calibrated glass container on top and then gravity fed into the car’s gas tank. My brother worked the pump and worked the hose one summer in 1947 or ’48. The building was old even then and the wood floors creaked when walked on.  I moved from Reno in 1955 so I doubt that the place still exists; but I would like to visit it again thru your writing.  Thank you for your work.”

I told Pat that Quilici’s was included in the second column, which was submitted but not yet published. She responded with an account of our old neighborhood: 
“I lived at 1025 University Terrace, just west of Canal St. We moved there in Oct. 1941.  University Terrace was unpaved west of Vine St. and ours was the last house on it. The street ended at our house. Keystone was called Peavine Road and it was also dirt and it dead ended at 6th St. next to my grandmother’s house. When WWll ended construction of houses in the area resumed and now my old house appears to be in midtown. My family name is Randall and most of us were born in St. Mary’s. I knew a guy named Cal Dorothy who lived near the top of Ralston hill across from Whitaker Park His mother ran a beauty parlor there at one time’
What about the market? Will it be part of your next article?”
I assured her that Quilici’s was in the mill. And the beauty shop t the top of the Ralston Street hill that she mentioned? Here’s my response:
“The guy at the top of Ralston Street’s mother was named Shermerhorn and my dad bought that house (740) in 1946 right after the war. He turned her old beauty parlor room on the front of the house into his office (real estate and insurance). We lived there until 1948 when my dad bought the house at the end of University Terrace at the corner of Peavine Row, which was still dirt. (Its address was 1095). On Christmas Eve of 1949 we moved from that house to the top of the Peavine hill to the southwest corner of Sunnyside Drive and Peavine Row, the only house west of Peavine (I think the street was paved then to the top of the hill.)”
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Here’s a note from Fred Messman, whom I know from a speech I made at a service club in Sparks a year ago. Fred writes:
“My first job was as a bag boy at the Food Mart across from Deer Park on Prater Way in Sparks, started in 1962 while I was still in high school (Reno). I worked at that store, owned by Tom Kelleher until he sold it to Ron Gardner who called it Food King. (He ultimately opened another store on the corner of Wells Ave and Ryland, now a liquor store I think)
While I was working at the Food Mart on Prater a huge new store opened across the street to the east called “Safeway”, today it is PEP Boys auto parts.
I transferred to the new Food Mart they had on Kietzkie and Vassar which later sold to Washoe Markets who eventually consolidated and closed it running their last Washoe Market at 1251 South Virginia (now an antique store). I left for Vietnam in 1966 and when I returned Bob and John Games immediately hired me back where I eventually became assistant manager and then manager for that store until just before it closed. Our phone orders were a high priority and I made many trips delivering groceries in the early to mid 1970’s.
I have many great memories about the bakery and meat market at Washoe Market, truly a customer friendly and family store where we would order any item for you if we didn’t stock it. The butchers were celebrities behind the counter.
I eventually used my GI Bill to get a degree in wildlife management and became a game warden captain with the Nevada Dept of Wildlife and retired in 2009 after 28 years.
Please feel free to use any of the information above, edit it as you see fit.
I have been reading your articles for a long time, keep up the great work
Also, I have charge and payment receipts from my grandmother somewhere in the closet, did a cursory check and didn’t find them, from Akert’s and a couple other corner grocery stores, they lived on Keystone and I remember as a child walking to the store to pick up the day’s food, then they were able to buy a first-class Westinghouse electric refrigerator and a new wringer washing machine (early 1950’s).”
Didn’t have to edit a thing, Fred!
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
And I’m reminded by the daughter of my favorite third-grade teacher, who was Mrs. Conrad in 1949 at Mary S. Doten Elementary, whose daughter’s name is Carolyn Darney. Carolyn phones, because Carolyn will buy a computer and start e-mailing when pigs fly, that Brickie Hansen’s sister (Brickie owned Hansen’s Market, mentioned in the column) became the wife of Reno mayor Tank Smith. Where else would you get information like that, I ask???
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Next up, a Reno High guy named Rich Steurer:
“Hi Karl. I was reading with interest your column on old grocery stores
> the last 2 weeks and wondered why you didn’t mention the two I worked at
> as a student at Reno High.
> My dad worked downtown in the 50’s & 60’s, and was good friends with the
> butcher at Washoe Market. He asked my dad if I was interested in a part
> time job at the Washoe Market on 4th and Vine Streets cleaning up the
> butcher shop after school, which I was and worked there for a year or
> so. I then found a temporary job working odd jobs for friend of my
> dad’s which paid a little more than the $1 an hour. When that job ended
> the Washoe Market on So Virginia and Pueblo hired me there, again at $1
> hour. That saw me thru High School. Remember when they had sawdust all
> over the floors? Anyway, thanks for the memories, Rich.”
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Lynda Morris chimes in – Lynda is the daughter-in-law of the late Betty Morris, whom I mentioned in a column about schools two weeks ago (Betty was the popular Kindergarten teacher at Jessie Beck Elementary School, saddled with my two sons, among several thousand others. She was immensely popular, and I once nominated her (unsuccessfully) to have a new school named for her. Lynda writes,
“We certainly enjoy reading your column. The recent article, “What Goes Into an (Alma Mater’s) Name?” was especially interesting to me and my husband, Guy Morris. Guy’s mom, Betty Morris, was my much beloved mother-in-law, and we have always hoped that a school would be named after her. Guy and I both taught in the Washoe County School District for over 31 years, and yet we do not know the procedure for the naming of new schools. If you have any information or know how we can spearhead a movement to get a school named after Betty, we would appreciate that information. Guy worked as a school counselor at several middle schools in the district, retiring from Traner Middle School. I taught at Orvis Ring for one year, moved to Vaughn Middle School for five years, and then retired from Reno High School after 26 years as the head librarian. Two of our sons graduated from Reno High and we also find it annoying to see Huskie spelled Husky. Thank you for clarifying that in your article. Guy and I have only the best memories of growing up in Reno, attending local schools, and graduating from the University of Nevada where we were active in ATΩ and Kappa Alpha Theta.
“In your November 1, 2015 article about grocery stores, I saw the market listed that my father, Leonard R. Carpenter, owned in the 1950’s. (He came from Las Vegas on a football scholarship to attend UNR in the late 30’s) The Reno Public Market was a venture for him after he stepped down as the U.S. Marshal for the State of Nevada. He continued his employment with the U.S. Marshal’s Office as a deputy, but desired other employment and hoped it would be a family business for his dad and my mom to carry on. Although that did not work out, I have fond memories of the time I spent in that market during my childhood and especially when it flooded during the 50’s. Ironically, my brother-in-law is Bert Pincolini whose family owned Pinky’s. I believe much of the enjoyment we receive from reading your column comes from realizing how connected we are to this community. Thank you for your historical research and interesting writing and yes, God bless America!”
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Here now, Nancy Mull. Nancy refers to a Washoe Market on Wells Avenue that I’m trying to find. Thanks, Nancy!
Hi Karl,
I’ve been enjoying reading and reminiscing about the old little grocery stores in Reno.  My mother worked for Mr. Churchill at his store so it was a kick to see it mentioned.  As I recall, the store was narrow and had a wooden floor.  Very old-fashioned.  Fresh produce. 
She also worked at the California Market on North Virginia Street.  It was on the west side, close-ish to 4th Street, right downtown.  Southworth’s was a short distance south.  There was a butcher shop in the back and I may be wrong, but I think it was run or owned by a Jolly of Butcher Boy fame.  This was in the 50’s when a kid could wander around downtown safely.  We lived on West St. across from Central Junior High (maybe it was Reno High then), next door to the Jewish synagogue. 
Another grocery store she worked in was the Washoe Market on Wells Avenue. 
What a cool stroll down memory lane.  Thanks!
Nancy Mull
Here’s Nancy’s placement of the Washoe Market:
The Eagle Thrifty grocery store was across the street from the store where my mother worked.  It was in the building across the alley from what is now Lucke’s Saloon.
 
More e-mails may be added, if such arrive, if I get permission to use, and if they don’t rip me too badly for omitting a market. Which I did – sorry, it’s a space thing. 

A third verse of Home Means Nevada, and a good comment from Barrie Schuster following it

Nye

Our state song has a northern Nevada bias, which is not difficult to understand when it’s considered that most activity in the state took place in the state’s northern region, and the composer/lyricist of the song was from the north.

This did not set well in later postwar years with Las Vegas, hearing the song performed with its obvious northern Nevada references. Somewhere along the line someone wrote a third verse, with an obvious southern Nevada bias. Which is a good thing.

I learned of the third verse about a decade ago, and sent the lyrics to a counterpart of mine, a drive-by columnist in Las Vegas. He ran a story of the song and published the lyrics in his column. And it was offered to Las Vegas radio stations – the plea was, “who wrote this?” No one ever came forward.

It’s well-written. As our state approaches its 151st birthday on Saturday, I publish here the third verse, again, in the hopes that the lyricist who added the verse to Bertha Raffetto’s state song, may come forward or be revealed. In the meantime, I hope all northern Nevadans will refresh their memory of the original verses. Here’s the entire song:

Way out in the land of the setting sun, where the wind blows wild and free,
There’s a lovely spot, just the only one, that means home sweet home to me.
If you follow the old Kit Carson trail, until desert meets the hills,
Oh you certainly, will agree with me, it’s the place of a thousand thrills.

(to Chorus)

Whenever the sun at the close of day, colors all the western sky,
Oh my heart returns to the desert grey and the mountains tow’ring high.
Where the moon beams play in shadowed glen with the spotted fawn and doe,
All the live long night until morning light, is the loveliest place I know.

(to Chorus)

 AND HERE, IS THE MYSTERIOUS THIRD VERSE:

You may follow the modern freeway roads or the old Alejo trail.

at the Joshua tree where the sagebrush ends, to where men with a dream prevail;

From the mining sites to the neon lights turning desert night to day,

Where the Bighorn sheep graze the mountain steep, is the place where I long to stay.

 

(to Chorus)

Home means Nevada, home means the hills,
Home means the sage and the pine.
Out by the Truckee’s silvery rills, out where the sun always shines,
Here is the land which I love the best, fairer than all I can see.
Deep in the heart of the golden west, Home Means Nevada to me.

Words and Music of the first and second verses

and the chorus by Bertha Raffetto, 1932

The photo is of Nevada’s  first governor James W. Nye, seen here boarding the V&T in front of the Great Basin Brewery in Sparks, Nevada, on October 30, 1864 following his speech to the assembled students, parents and teachers of Elizabeth Lenz Elementary School in Reno on the day that Nevada was admitted to the Union, (sort of…)

Home Means Nevada © State of Nevada (donated by Bertha Raffetto); WordPress column © K F Breckenridge/Jas. W. Nye