The Nevada Hall of Fame
When it first occurred to me that Nevada has no Hall of Fame I envisioned a big sign on the outside of a large empty building.
|Please use this form
to nominate a candidate for
The Nevada Hall of Fame
I have since refined that conception to include virtual exhibits on the individuals who have achieved fame here, or at least deserved to.
They needn’t have been born here, lived here all their lives or even spent much time here at all, only that they deserved to be famous and had a strong Nevada connection.
Introducing the First Six:
Editor’s Choice —
by Eric Cachinero
Have you ever traversed the narrow slot canyons of Cathedral Gorge? Gazed upon Lake Tahoe’s most iconic bonsai tree? Hiked among the vibrant red sandstone in the Valley of Fire? Gazed across the seemingly infinite flatness of the Black Rock Desert?
Do you want an excuse to?
Let the 2019 Silver State Scavenger Hunt begin! This year’s hunt is the perfect opportunity to get out and explore some of Nevada’s most breathtaking natural wonders.
by Jay Jones
Ever dream about stargazing by train? The Great Basin Star Train takes you to a dark place in north-central Nevada to see what our ancestors saw before light pollution wiped out most Americans’ views of the night sky.
The ride starts at 7:30 p.m. in the tiny town of Ely, about four hours north of Las Vegas, one of the brightest cities in the world. Rangers from nearby Great Basin National Park board the Nevada Northern Railway Museum’s historic train to serve as astronomy guides.
Nevada’s “new” Brothel Industry won’t lie
in the shadow of Dennis Hof
by Jeremy Lemur
Will 2020 be the year of the sex worker? As a movement to decriminalize prostitution gains unprecedented traction in New York and Washington D.C., and Democratic hopefuls such as Kamala Harris and Tulsi Gabbard speak openly about their support of sex workers, the 2020 presidential election may be the first to include the decriminalization of prostitution as a talking point. Just this month, Democratic lawmakers in New York State introduced a highly publicized bill that seeks to make it legal to engage in the consensual sale of sex. If more states follow New York’s lead, sex worker rights will certainly become a key issue during the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries.
With Nevada’s unique status as the only state in the union that has successfully legalized prostitution in the form of regulated brothels, Nevadans can expect the eyes of the nation to be on them as pundits look to a bona fide, time-tested example of legalized prostitution in America.
5 Years Ago in the NevadaGram
Land Sailors on Smith Creek Playa
The World Championship Land Sailing Competition was held last month at Smith Creek Playa west of Austin alongside old US 50 (now Nevada 722). It had been held in recent years at Ivanpah in the Mojave Desert of southeastern California, but perhaps that had not been deemed remote enough by the organizers.
Surely Smith Creek Playa — a dry lake bed more than 70 miles east of Fallon and more than 30 miles west of Austin — is remote enough.
This is terrain traversed at a gallop by Pony Express riders in 1860 and not much changed since then, except by the slow increase in traffic along the old trail prompted by silver discoveries in the nearby mountains. Horses and wagons gave over to flivvers, which gradually became automobiles, more and more of them whizzing past the dry lake bed on the Lincoln Highway.
When US 50 was realigned a generation ago to avoid the steep climb to Carroll Summit, the broad oval patch of level white ground in the valley reverted to a prehistoric quiet.
Overheard at the Martin Hotel in Winnemucca “You must live a balanced life, Laura. Learn some and think some, and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.”
10 Years Ago in the NevadaGram
Visiting Joe Conforte in Rio De Janeiro
I’m a long way from Tuscarora, about 200 feet in the air and 5,000 miles from the nearest sagebrush.
To my right, thickly jungled mountainsides lunge up into a sky clabbered with slow-moving clouds; to my left, the Atlantic Ocean heaves itself ceaselessly against a broad sandy beach the color of honey. A couple of two-man teams are playing volleyball with only their feet and their heads. Below, a busy boulevard channels an iron tide of traffic — complete with police sirens — to and from the center of the city.
I’m visiting Joe Conforte, the once upon a time proprietor of the Mustang Ranch, the most famous whorehouse in all America, maybe the world. He was born into poverty in a small fishing village in Sicily, now he lives like a king in his penthouse apartment in Rio de Janeiro. I’m here for a week, and it turns out that living like a king is actually quite pleasant.
There’s the view of course, and the spacious apartment — I’m in the guestroom upstairs, with the Jacuzzi, the patio and the pool. There’s the cook, the maid and the driver, and the squadron of personal assistants. There’s Joe’s daughter Annabella. She’s 14 now, a bright, cheerful girl who speaks Portuguese as her native language, and is learning English at school. She was born in Rio and has lived here all her life. She is the apple of Joe’s eye, and also his ace in the hole: except in extraordinary circumstances Brazilian law forbids extradition of anyone who has a Brazilian citizen as a dependent.
And there’s Joe. He’s 83 now, a slightly softer version of the flamboyant guy who’d step out of the limo at Harrah’s in Reno with a beautiful girl on each arm, drawing every eye. He is retired, living on the income from his real estate investments (he says he spends $25,000 a month to maintain his lifestyle), most of them in Rio. He has nothing to do with prostitution here, and he has given up political control of Storey County.
* An unsubstantiated report asserts that Joe has died in Rio De Janeiro
Canadians are good tippers!
In last month’s NevadaGram I mentioned Canadians and tipping, which inspired a sharp rebuke from Winnemucca: “For your information not all of us Canadians are lousy tippers!”
Naturally I was appalled at the idea I’d somehow contributed to unfair national stereotyping, so I hurried up to Canada to find out the truth. For three days I interviewed barmaids and waitresses in the pleasing city of Victoria BC.
“Oh no,” they assured me, “Canadians are good tippers, just like you guys. The poor tippers are the Australians and the English. They’re awful. But it’s not because they are cheap, it’s because in Australia and England they pay servers a living wage, and tips aren’t expected there.”
While I was conducting this important research it occurred to me that in the USA there are probably half a million Mexican restaurants and not a single Canadian restaurant. It turns out there aren’t any in Canada either. In a small city like Victoria you can find food from everywhere around the world — even Tibet — but if you want blubber and beans you’re out of luck.
Parting Shot —
Boys’ Race at the Eureka 4th of July celebration