Nevada Blows my Mind
The rich history of this state continues to surprise and educate me. We have a number of note-worthy elements in our past, but it’s unlikely any can compete with our atomic history. It’s been 66 years since we embarked on this crucial and controversial journey in our country’s evolution, but the relevance of those early days of the 20th century hasn’t faded at all. America was enamored with the Atomic Era, and while we no longer test full-scale nuclear weapons, the vision of those mushroom clouds is seared into many of our memories.
A New Year of Adventures
Another year is upon us, and as I sit here in the tail end of 2016 writing this note, I’m flabbergasted to be saying, Happy New Year, 2017! It’s not as if it snuck up on me; I’ve been working on story ideas for the coming year for months and I own a calendar. We are saying farewell to our ghost town series and our Tour Around Nevada stories for a while (never say never!), but we’ve got some exciting things ahead of us.
Out with the Old
For Nevada Magazine, 2016 was a year of old. Old newspapers, old highways, old Nevada legends, old photographs, and old settlements made their way on to many of the 480 pages we published this year, momentarily reminding us that the Silver State’s precious past must not be forgotten. Among the historical stories were those of ghost towns, and this issue marks the end of that odyssey.
When I set off to visit as many of Nevada’s ghost towns as I could in one year, I realized it would be a colossal project, but didn’t fully grasp its scope.
Take a Picture…It Last Longer
How did it get to be time for another Great Nevada Picture Hunt issue? I remember writing my editor’s note for last year’s issue like it was yesterday. So much has changed in the ensuing year, yet I find myself scrolling through a plethora of photos once again, and I have the most comforting feeling of déjà vu.
I like change. I’ve always liked rearranging my furniture, visiting new places, and finding something unexpected around a familiar corner. Looking through this year’s spectacular submissions, I see photos of places I know and photos of places I’ve never been—they all feel like home, but with a twist.
Get the Message?
The only traffic jam I can abide these days is the type pictured above. It’s the sort of thing anyone who regularly travels our back roads will surely understand, and while I have an advantage in how often I see such sights, they are readily available to anyone in Nevada. The message behind such an encounter is obvious: slow down.
While driving on a back road to Cave Lake in eastern Nevada, these gentle beasts in the middle of the road were just one sighting on our latest road trip. Rabbits galore, myriad deer, ample antelope…the state is teeming with wildlife as we enjoy rich green hills and valleys thanks to an abundantly wet spring. Each time we see an animal, it’s as if time stops; we slow the car or pull over to watch them bound out of view. We’re in their space, and it’s such a privilege when they share a glimpse of their day.
Turn the Page
To everything, turn, turn, turn
There is a season, turn, turn, turn — Pete Seeger
While there is likely snow on some of our tallest peaks and most remote canyons, there are also blossoms, new grass, green hills, and water flowing in much of the state. The cycle of renewal continues and it’s always a welcome sight after winter.Some consider March the onset of spring, while others believe May is when we truly shake off the frigid coat of winter. Regardless, one thing is for sure: Nevada has welcomed a new season.
A Nevada State of Mind
March and April have been pretty big months for Nevada. A few facts from our Historical Calendar:
March 1: Nevada is the first state to ratify the 15th Amendment in 1869
March 2: Nevada separates from the Utah Territory in 1861
March 19: Gambling and the six-week divorce legalized in 1931
April 2: UNLV beats Duke for the NCAA basketball championship in 1990
April 7: First Helldorado Days held in Las Vegas in 1934
April 12: Future editor Megg Mueller is born in Reno in 1966
OK, I made that last one up. It’s not on our historical calendar. Yet. And while it’s not particularly newsworthy it has made me think about my almost-half decade in Nevada. I’ve seen so many changes, and now as I write stories my research shows me even more.
Happy Birthday To Us
The Department of Highways inaugurated the publishing of an officially sponsored bulletin titled Nevada Highways and Parks. This bulletin, of 16 pages, 7 inches by 10 inches in size, is produced bimonthly and given free distribution. The Department has set a high standard for this publication in the selection of textural matter, as well as photographs for reproduction, to portray the many natural advantages, as well as cultural features found in the State.—Report of the Department of Highways
One Excellent Adventure
This year marks my first full year as managing editor, and if you’re a regular reader you can probably guess what I’m going to say next; I love my job. I’ve had other jobs I loved before, however. My first attempt at a job was when I was 13 and I went to work at a bakery frosting doughnuts. The job lasted exactly one night; apparently licking your fingers after every maple bar was not a good thing. My next job was when I was 14 and it lasted three years. I did get busted once for licking my fingers after making an ice cream cone; a compassionate customer handed me a dollar as she told me I shouldn’t do that. I was embarrassed and irritated at the time, but I never forgot you could be kind while teaching a lesson. And I never licked my fingers again.
Gorgeous Photo Overload May Happily Occur
Years ago, in another life, I was guiding some out-of-town guests through the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History. I’d had a few visitors that summer, and each time, we went to the National Mall in D.C. to see the massive collection that is the Smithsonian Institution. Wandering through a hall, I flicked my wrist in the direction of one item, and casually said, “that’s George Washington’s sword” as I continued walking. It only took me a few steps to realize that I was clearly on amazing-artifact overload. I rerouted my party, stopped in front of this incredible item, and we gave it due time.
Home Sweet Home!
This time last year, I was writing my first Editor’s Note for JA14 (The Long Road Home). That’s how we refer to our issues: JA14 = July/August 2014. The fact that I can write JA14 without hesitating shows how much I’ve learned this year. From acronyms to style guides, it’s been a heck of a ride on my long road home.
I wrote about Eric, our associate editor, and all his contributions last issue. This issue, Carrie Roussel and Danny Miller each wrote a story. Danny is our senior graphic designer and a wild and crazy mountain biker, so when I suggested he take his turn at the keyboard, he jumped on his saddle and down the trail he went (read that story on page 62). Carrie is our circulation manager; chances are if you’re a subscriber you’ve talked to this incredible woman. She’s also a big fan of country music, so when the topic of Yerington’s music festival—Night in the Country—came up, she threw her hat in the ring for a chance to write about one of her favorite weekends with her family (see page 36).
“Just a little bit further…”
It’s April and it’s snowing. Welcome to springtime in Nevada. But in my head, it’s not spring because we are knee-deep in our May/June issue. So while spring teases at adventures to come, it’s the gift of summer and glorious weather that has my focus.
Then and Now. Now and Then
Spring is in the air! Truth be told, it has been for a while now as we experienced a fairly mild winter here in northern Nevada. With the impending arrival of warmer weather, longer days, fresh blooms, and my allergies, I find my mind is having a hard time landing on any one subject for too long. I’m holding onto my winter activities like skiing and crocheting, knowing they’ll be gone soon, but I’m also planning for bike season and fishing excursions.
‘Auld Lang Syne,’ Take Two
When I think of 2015, I must admit I think of “Back to the Future.” I can’t believe it was 30 years ago that, at the end of the movie, Doc Brown’s DeLorean took off for a magical world of time travel and hoverboards. The second film is the one set mostly in 2015, but the very idea of the world, 30 years into the future, was forever imprinted on me.
Why I Love Nevada Magazine
I certainly didn’t think I would be writing on why I love Nevada when I first moved here! I was just a child and my father moved us to Las Vegas because of the construction boom. It was in the 50s when Las Vegas was just beginning to grow with homes and hotels being built everywhere.
‘You’re not from around here, are you…’
There are two worlds: the world of the tourist and the world of everyone else. Often they’re side by side. But the tourist doesn’t actually see how people live. —Paul Theroux, travel writer
No offense to Mr. Theroux, but I disagree. Sure, a tourist can choose to skim the surface of travel, never becoming immersed in foreign surroundings, opting for the surest route instead of the one leading who knows where.
The Long Road Home
I don’t really believe in luck; I’m more of a “put good in, get good out” kind of girl. But then I got the call. I was the managing editor of Nevada Magazine.
To say this is my dream job is completely inadequate. Born and raised in Reno, I was one of those kids who couldn’t wait to get out of my hometown for “greener pastures.” In my youthful zeal I swore I’d never come back, despite the wise smiles of friends who wished me well but predicted my return. I moved to the Washington D.C. area for just over a decade, had a wonderful job and life, raised my Reno-born kids, and still believed I’d never come back. That thought turned out to last only a couple years, and then, each return visit to see my family tugged a little harder at me. Watching the sun set over the Sierra Nevada mountains, swimming in the crystal blue Lake Tahoe waters, watching the pelicans fly toward Pyramid Lake’s Anaho Island … well, you can take the girl out of Nevada, my friends, but … you know the rest.
Take a Bow, Mr. Brown
I know that everyone is used to seeing Matthew B. Brown’s musings in this space; however, it is with heavy hearts that we at Nevada Magazine have said goodbye to Matt, as he has taken a new position with the City of Reno.
When I came to the magazine in 2008, Matt and I talked about the vision we both had for the future of the magazine and realized we were very much on the same page. At that time, the magazine had strayed from its roots and had become a lifestyle publication. The focus on the great history and traditions of our state had nearly been lost, and both of us felt it was high time to turn that around.
Embrace the Ides of March
It is written in William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, “Beware the Ides of March.” History buffs know that this is in reference to Caesar’s assassination on March 15, 44 B.C. Thankfully, in Nevada, the Ides of March have a much happier connotation, as there are two monumental anniversaries in the state’s history that fall around the notorious date.
The first is Nevada’s creation as a territory on March 2, 1861 by the United States Congress. Nevada Territory was a federal territory, a part of the Union, and consisted of nine original counties. President Abraham Lincoln appointed Governor James Warren Nye to lead and guide the territory in its pre-statehood days.
What Do You Love About Nevada?
That’s a subject we could do an entire magazine on—and we will, in fact. But we need your help first.
Right off the top, happy 150th birthday, Nevada! Our six 2014 issues will be a special dedication to our state’s rich history and the people and things that make it so great today. We have some exciting things planned for our upcoming issues, including a “150 Things We Love About Nevada” special edition in November/December 2014.
That’s why we’re asking for your participation. Simply put, we want to know why you love Nevada. Send us an e-mail (preferred), write us a letter, or give us a call and tell us why the Silver State is special to you. You don’t have to be a resident—the only stipulation is that you have to love Nevada.