Taking the reins of the Ol’ Reno Guy in early April at the recommendation of many faithful readers, EXECUTIVE EDITOR Throckmorton (“Text”) Writter frees the artistic genius of website owner Slim Dickens to soar on a day-to-day basis, while handling the down-to-earth challenges of paying royalties to staff writers and dealing with spoiled artists’ and contributors’ attorneys and agents, libel / slander / defamation-of-character litigation, abuse of copyright and plagiarism issues and staff-originated sexual harassment by senior editors and and unfair labor relations discussions
Writter’s associate Masters Degree in Animal Husbandry by correspondence from the University of Southern North Dakota positions him as absolutely, uniquely and totally inept at determining the “look” of the Ol’ Reno Guy, which like no other website in the 21st Century is created with only one column and relies on limited graphics, no changes in ink color (“ink” a term used in early-20th Century journalism), on a background scrounged, er, captured from other, more successful and creative websites, which are almost any of them.
Text recognizes that web browsers have a long way to go until Dickens can comprehend use of two fonts to make stuff on an amateur webpage more interesting and readable – this web’s Bookman Antigua is going to look pretty much like Times New Roman and Arabic as you read it on your browser. He does little for grammar or spelling, as Dickens creates his own language as he moves along, often in English. Attribution, which is to say from whom some passage was stolen, or who took a photograph, or who first published a fact, is important to Writter and he tries to incorporate it into the site. And by the same token, he refers those who steal from our website to our legal affairs director, pictured above right>
Our Ol’ Reno Guy PHOTOGRAPHER Lo Phat is a photojournalist of the Far Eastern culture blessed with the unique facility of being able to peek through keyholes with both eyes at once, a capability that rocketed him to the pinnacle of Hong Kong private eyes. He was befriended by Ol’ Reno Guy’s Slim Dickens, then on assignment in nearby Macau, and disguised as Chinese hookers, were riding in a rickshaw and Dickens’ cheomsung’s hem became entangled in the spokes and was torn off, his identity then revealed. He, with Phat, fled to the Pearl River and were swept out to sea, to be rescued days later by a tramp steamer and deposited in the SF waterfront, where they took the 30-Stockton bus to the Marina and Izzy’s, met Karl Breckenridge, and were both hired on the spot.
Phat has been the eyes of the Ol’ Reno Guy ever since. While he prefers his 4-by-5 Speed Graphic the highly advanced technology of the Ol’ Reno Guy site dictates a digital camera to take the photos you see in the website. He also stea, er, adapts graphics appearing on the internet, scans graphics that come into our spacious headquarters from readers, and Photoshops pictures sent in by our burgeoning reader base. If you have a photo that should appear here, Phat’s the one to send it to; send it as a jpeg to email@example.com , and be sure to let him know who “owns” the photo and any Phacts about it.
This scene, captured last Friday by Ol’ Reno Guy staff photographer Lo Phat outside the Coventry Motor Lodge on Lombard Street, catches the mood of five Cardinals who were denied a room by the Christian Scientist desk clerk as they head for the 30-Stockton Muni bus to seek other lodging.
“They said at the motel when we made reservations in February that they knew the Cardinals were coming to town,” lamented their leader, Enzo Maserati. “Holy Cow,” he added with some authority.
Unfortunately, the desk clerk did know it but there was some confusion; the St. Louis Cardinals came and did indeed clean the Giants’ clock, 3-of-4 in the Giants’ home opener.
Not a great weekend to be a Cardinal in Baghdad-by-the-Bay…
Our PUBLISHER, Slim Dickens, the seventh and illegitimate son of Charles Dickens, was born in 1941 in Santa Barbara and taken to Reno after WWII by Gypsies. He was educated at Harvard and the Sorbonne, and is fluent in four languages, none save for English now still in use anywhere in the world. A journalism major while at the University of Nevada, he wrote for the New York Times under the direction of the Sulzberg family and was associated with several wire services, attached to troops of the French Le Légion étrangère in the North African theaters of El Alamein and Tobruk, where he is pictured in a steamy village bistro with the Underwood Standard that accompanied him through Africa and his hasty departure from Dien Bien Phu in 1957
A student of clothing design, he is pictured with a scarf embodied in the dust cover of his third book Hat in the Cat, a 1946 commercial failure that writer Theodore Geisel revised some years later to Cat in the Hat, and now remains in print worldwide. Dickens, an eternal optimist but slow to deliver, plans his annual re-birth of the Blue Plate Special in 2013, this time as the Ol’ Reno Guy, embodying the time-honored BS that has made it a marginally-accepted local alternative to drawn-out NFL coaches’ challenges, excitable weathermen, school district news in printed in Spanish, optimism for the local college football team and the incisive restaurant reviews of new joints with hipster names and no parking by clever writers new to the local marketplace
In an effort to combat the boring nature of this site, our five-man editorial board is meeting on Sunday to eliminate uniformity and to try to infuse a little individualism into the Ol’ Reno Guy’s pages
OK, I’ve been fooling around learning what I can do and what I can’t on this website that does all the work for me, so this column’s presence is about to get put onto my e-mail as a signature to attract a little crowd – as of this writing if you got here it was by accident. I am posting a photo (booking) of my research assistant, who has been with me for many years – his name is Carmine Ghia, which many find curious. They would find Carmine himself to be even more curious, but he’s an excellent researcher, as he has the time, about two-to-five. Photos of more members of my staff will follow, all from the old Blue Place Special days.
Our website RESEARCHER is Carmine Ghia, who matriculated at Julliard Institute in New York City and honed his research craft while with the New England Journal of Medicine. He became a household word in music while backing up, on steel guitar, the many appearances of the great Irish tenor Mary O’Lanza at Lincoln Center and Tanglewood, and later, while under contract to Buster Brown Shoes, adapting Mussorgsky’s Concerto in O Positive to the popular Teddy Bear’s Picnic used on the company’s Saturday morning radio program Big John & Sparky: No School Today!, a radio forerunner of TV’s 60 Minutes
Ghia (whose name appeared in our first Blue Plate Special in 1971) may frequently be found unearthing little-known nor cared-for facts about our valley, at the Nevada Historical Society (where we send particular greetings to senior librarian Mike Maher), the Sparks Heritage Museum, Sundance Bookstore where he goes to borrow information from the works of other local writers, the Reno Gazette-Journal’s morgue, the local fire departments, and just getting on the phone taking chances that someone who answers may know something about something. Often that works. Or, if Carmine’s totally stuck, we just run it on the website and see who disputes the story – that works like a charm (kidding. sort of.)