Double Down - A Blog

Aug 18, 2014 | Posted by Daniel Enrique Pérez

In their heyday, Tuscarora and Jarbidge had populations of approximately 4000 and 1500, respectively. Today, they each have less than 100 year-round residents. Whereas they at one time had enough residents to sustain schools and other vital services, they are now at risk of becoming ghost towns. And if it were not for the commitment and love that locals indefatigably demonstrate for these unincorporated communities in Elko County, Nevada, they would surely become specters of an era long past. Instead, they remain full of life and unique opportunities for engaging with others and nature.

I had the privilege of visiting these two areas for the first time in early August of this year. Tuscarora is approximately 50 miles northwest of Elko while Jarbidge sits 100 miles northeast;...

Aug 14, 2014 | Posted by Denny Hope

(Guest blogger Denny Hope was born and raised in Reno, and attended North Valleys High School. Currently attending TMCC, Denny is pursuing degrees in English and Communications.)

I can’t remember the first time I saw Robin Williams on screen. He was present in various movies of my childhood: Hook (1991); Aladdin (1992); Mrs. Doubtfire (1993); Jumanji (1995); Jack (1996); Flubber (1997). I can recall that by the time the latter was released I not only knew who Robin Williams was, but I knew that he was special.

I was 5.

I don’t know how I came to recognize an actor as ‘great’ before I could spell the word recognize……or actor…..or great, but it happened. Maybe my parents pointed at the screen and told me...

Aug 10, 2014 | Posted by Rachel Hopkin

This is my last blog as a Nevada Humanities staff member.  Friday was my final day with the organisation and on Saturday I started the 2000 mile plus drive from Las Vegas to Columbus, OH, where I’m due to embark on a PhD in Folklore in a couple of weeks.

Working for Nevada Humanities has been a privilege, as has being in Nevada.  I’ve lost count of the number of different places I’ve lived in as an adult but the Silver State definitely ranks among my favourites.

As a way of marking my moving on, I thought I’d make a list of the top five things I’m going to miss about living here.

In no particular order:

  1. THE SPRING MOUNTAIN RANGE:  Red Rock Canyon, Blue Diamond Hills, Lovell Canyon, Mount Charleston; these beautiful places - all so close to hand to my...
Aug 6, 2014 | Posted by Rachel Hopkin

Who would own an independent bookstore in this day and age?

Christine Kelly, that’s who. 

Christine is the owner of Sundance Books and Music in downtown Reno, the silver state’s largest independent bookstore. I was privileged to spend some time with this wonderful woman as she’s the focus of the latest edition of Nevada’s Hidden Stories (an occasional series that sheds light on the unique people, places, and communities that make Nevada the place we call home). 

To find out more about Christine’s journey to her role at the helm of Sundance, take a listen here:

...

Jul 22, 2014 | Posted by Nancy Cummings

My mother, Ruthe Deskin, a third generation Nevadan was born in Yerington, Nevada, once known as Pizen Switch. Through the years, she was fondly referred to by others as “the girl from Pizen Switch.” 

During her school years in Yerington, she served as the editor of the high school newspaper, and captain of the championship girls’ basketball team. Her best friend Mugs (Marjorie Guild Russell) nicknamed her Cutie which stuck throughout high school.

When she graduated from high school, her father moved the family into Reno as he was determined to have his children attend college.           

She graduated from UNR in 1937 with a degree...

Jun 11, 2014 | Posted by Rachel Hopkin

Photograph courtesy of Max Chapman, Reno Historical

I’ve long been interested in old buildings and historic preservation, and so after moving to Nevada, I was delighted to join the board of Preserve Nevada.  It’s a statewide organization, based at UNLV, which is dedicated to the preservation of Nevada’s cultural, historical, and archeological heritage.

Every other year, Preserve Nevada puts out a list of significant places that it deems to be of concern in some way in terms of historic preservation.  Usually there are just 11 names on that list and normally, they are all considered “endangered”.  However this year, to mark Nevada’s sesquicentennial, the board came up with 150 places which fell into three...

May 28, 2014 | Posted by Karen Wikander

I was 22 the first time I heard Maya Angelou speak.

I had never read her books or poetry. This was pre-YouTube and Google so I had never searched for her online. Her name was familiar, but in the limited experience my 22 years on this Earth had afforded me, her significance had escaped me. In retrospect, given that I was an English major, this dearth of knowledge is disappointing. (I am chastising my younger self)

A friend of mine – one with more wisdom than I clearly had – recognized an incredible opportunity when Dr. Angelou came to Reno to speak at the University and had secured us tickets. I went because, why not? I had already been accepted into graduate school in England and was floating through those last few months of Uni, eager to participate in things before I...

May 21, 2014 | Posted by Nancy Cummings

[Nancy Cummings with George Woods, the New York Times Children’s Book Editor as dinner guests of the Lippincott Publishing Company at the 1973 ALA Conference in Las Vegas.]

This piece was written because after 41 years, the American Library Association is finally coming back to Las Vegas for its annual conference June, 2014.  It was considered a controversial site for years because of its “sin city” image and the ALA Administration steered clear of it as a location for future conferences.  That is no longer the case and Las Vegas is hosting the conference once again.  Here is a recollection of my experiences at the first ALA Las Vegas Conference.

Remembrances of Things Past:  American Library Association Conference—Las Vegas—1973

...
May 8, 2014 | Posted by Rachel Hopkin

In celebration of Nevada's 150th birthday and Historic Preservation month, Nevada Humanities, in partnership with Vegas Valley Food Tours and the City of Las Vegas, has created the Vintage Vegas Food Tour.

On Saturday May 10th and Saturday May 24th, from 4:00 p.m – 7:00 p.m, we are offering a tour that explores Las Vegas restaurants which have withstood the test of time. Experience magnificent steakhouses, mom and pop ethnic eateries, and old-fashioned food shops that have been in the city for over 25 years. Between tastings, you will hear stories of the history and culture of Las Vegas from knowledgeable and entertaining guides, as you stroll through this downtown neighborhood.

By way of a “taster” (please excuse the pun), here are some short audio slideshows that offer...

Apr 22, 2014 | Posted by Rachel Hopkin
Following on from Nevada Humanities' piece about the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering that aired on Reno Public Radio (KUNR) in February, we are delighted to now have new partnership in place with the network to bring to listeners Nevada's Hidden Stories - an occasional series which will focus on the unique people, places, and communities that make Nevada the place we call home.  
 
The latest edition of Nevada's Hidden Stories features writer, photographer, and Nevada resident, CJ Hadley, who was recently presented with a prestigious Wrangler Award for Outstanding Poetry Book from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma.  The award honored the latest book from Range Magazine, which Hadley founded, edits, and...

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