Thursday, December 31, 2009

Nevada Magazine introduces Writers’ Contest

In addition to its popular Great Nevada Picture Hunt photo contest, Nevada Magazine is holding its first Writers’ Contest in 2010. Submissions — writers are required to keep their stories at 1,500 words or less — must be received by Monday, August 2 at 5 p.m. (PST). The winning entries will be published in the November/December 2010 issue.

“We ask that interested writers visit our Web site,, to review submission rules carefully,” says editor Matthew B. Brown. “We look forward to reading everyone’s work. Nevada is a big state, and we know there are some hidden journalistic gems out there waiting to be uncovered.”

Questions should be referred to Brown at or 775-687-0602.

The magazine’s latest issue, January/February 2010, features the 50th anniversary of the VIII Olympic Winter Games at Squaw Valley and the Reno Rodeo Cattle Drive. Also included is a story about Cirque du Soleil’s new Las Vegas show, “Viva ELVIS,” and The King’s Ransom Museum, Imperial Palace’s tribute to The King.

In addition, the issue covers Las Vegas’ Club Tattoo, turquoise mining, steakhouses, a history story about legendary Carson Valley mail carrier “Snowshoe” Thompson, and the magazine’s Tour Around Nevada continues in historic Austin. To vote for the rural Nevada town you’d like covered, click here. A new “Nevada Wide Web” page gives readers insight into the magazine’s social media endeavors, including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube.

For more information on the Great Nevada Picture Hunt, contact art director Tony deRonnebeck at or 775-687-0606. Nevada Magazine is sold on newsstands around the state and in national bookstores. For a Web Special subscription rate, visit

Cover photo: Eddy Ancinas

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Chance Meeting on the Loneliest Road in America


My wife and I have spent the majority of this year participating in a Harley-Davidson Owners Group (HOG) ABC's of Touring game, collecting points for visiting various states, Canadian provinces, cities, counties, various H-D sites, and state HOG rallies. One of our planned rides was from our home in Enid, Oklahoma to the Oregon state HOG rally. Our planned rides are on mostly scenic highways rather than the interstate system. During our travel research we found the Highway 50 Survival Guide, and we included it on our route to Welches, Oregon.

While cruising west on U.S. Highway 50 (the Loneliest Road in America) from Ely to Eureka we were approximately 30 miles east of Eureka when we passed four to five bikers headed east. As is the biker custom, we waved to the passing bikers as we passed each other. About three to four miles later I noticed a single biker pulling up next to me in my rear view mirror.

Thinking the biker was planning to pass me, I waited for the bike to pass. Rather than passing me, the biker pulled up next to me and stayed right on my left shoulder. Looking over to see why the biker had not passed, there is this guy with a huge grin on his face. After a second I recognized a working friend (Terry Johnson) from the Oneok Hydrocarbon plant located in Medford, Oklahoma.

We pulled off the road and talked with Terry for 15 to 20 minutes laughing the whole time. Terry, in a roundabout way, was returning from the Sturgis, South Dakota bike rally. He related that when we passed each other he recognized the color of my bike and with the trike right behind he told his friends that he knew who we were. The friends must have thought he was nuts but he turned around to track us down to say hello. What are the odds of something like that happening?

Terry and his group had left the Sturgis rally and were riding home. Almost 1,500 miles from home we ran into each other on the loneliest section of roadway in America. Can you imagine? The chance meeting has left my wife and me talking and smiling about the chance meeting since. Although Nevada Highway 50 is advertised as the loneliest highway in America it does not mean you can not be surprised and end up meeting a hometown friend while traveling across it. It could happen to you. It happened to my wife and me.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rocking and Rolling with Nevada's Cows


When it comes to entertaining yourself and family in Nevada, I'm sure the first thing that comes to mind is attending shows in Las Vegas or visiting ghost towns. While those are worthwhile, I propose a different type of entertainment, although it is not the kind you can buy tickets to, or actually plan to visit with a map and book in hand.

I am talking about camping with range cows. Really. If you happen to camp near them, they will gather to watch the phenomenon that is you, and if you display non-aggression, or talk to them, soon they will come over for a closer look. Sometimes too close.

My husband, Roy, and I chose to camp in the mountains above Austin in our Suburban one June day. With grasses and sagebrush around us, and mountain views in the distance, we congratulated ourselves on picking such a beautiful spot. Roy placed the cooler outside, then we wandered around enjoying nature. A herd of 30 cows, 10 calves, and 2 bulls were nearby; they walked on their own trail back and forth and stood staring at us in small groups.

I was a tad nervous at the sight of those bulls, those animals are BIG, but Roy assured me they would not bother us.

In the evening the wind kicked up, the air cooled down, and as twilight progressed, we finally climbed into the Suburban, lying down in the back to read and listen to the radio.

Suddenly, our rest was disturbed when a cow face loomed in the window. We sat up to see a most astonishing sight. All of the herd, every single cow, was grouped around the cooler, taking turns licking the rim with their long cow tongues, exploring it thoroughly, like some sort of festive ritual, pushing each other out of the way to get at the cooler first. It was hilarious. And rather disgusting. Fortunately, the lid was shut tight, and let's not think too hard about cow saliva all over our food storage...icky.

When they finally had enough of that, most of them moved off, and we had relaxed once more, when the Surburban began rocking back and forth. It felt like an earthquake, but it was not; the all-black Big Bull was scratching his neck on the bumper, and seemed to be quite enjoying himself. He was so huge, his back was a good eight inches over the top of the vehicle. Roy rolled down the window and said “You can't do that, Mr. Bull! Mr. Bull, get out of here!” But Mr. Bull totally ignored Roy. What nerve!

He kept right on scratching, and we kept right on rocking. I guessed a bull would weigh a ton, and I wondered if we would be rolled over.

Soon a younger bull was in the act, and the bigger bull had to let him know who was boss. Thus, both began a low growling and roaring, as they paced around each other, bellowing, grunting and continuing to rock the truck. It was both funny and nerve-wracking; we were certainly trapped inside until they finally left as dark descended.

I guarantee you will never be bored when you rock 'n' roll with Nevada's range cows.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Broadway Comes to Reno

For the last 15 years, The Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts has brought some of Broadway's most loved musicals to Reno. Last Friday, November 6, the 15th season of the Pioneer Center's Broadway Comes to Reno opened with a three day, five show performance of the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic, "Cats." To celebrate my mother's birthday, my brother, sister, and I took her to the opening performance of the play she had not seen in more than 20 years.

Not your typical point-to-point storyline, "Cats" is based on the 1939 collection of whimsical poems, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, by T.S. Eliot. Through the loose story, the audience is introduced to various Jellicle Cats and their individual quirks and eccentricities. Characters include the incorrigible Run Tum Tugger, wise Old Deuteronomy, the trouble making Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer, and of course, the most clever and cunning, Mr. Mistoffelees.

Exceptional dancing and singing defined the performance, and tasteful special effects were a nice surprise. The standout performance was, with little surprise, the ubiquitous "Memory" by the outcast, former glamour cat, Grizabella.

While Sunday, November 8 was the last day of "Cats" in Reno, Pioneer's Broadway season features five more musicals: "The Wedding Singer," January 15-17; "Avenue Q," February 26-28; "The Drowsy Chaperone," March 26-28; "Stomp," April 16-18; and "The Wizard of Oz, May 14-16.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Lynx and the Lasagna


After an arduous cross-country winter trek from Ohio, we arrived at our new home in rural northeastern Nevada on Christmas Eve. My husband and son began unpacking the car while our Labrador happily bounced around their feet.

As we approached the house, we discovered that the kitchen door had blown open during a snowstorm. There was a snowdrift across the kitchen floor, with paw prints in it. The prints were smaller than a bear’s, so I wasn't too worried. We shoveled out the snow and proceeded to unpack.

Our furniture had arrived earlier, and the Christmas tree was in a stand, ready for us to decorate. So, I decided the next order of business was a hot meal.

I was in the kitchen preparing lasagna for dinner when there was a commotion in the living room. The Christmas tree had tipped over, crashing against the wall, and the dog was trying to hide under the couch. Then it occurred to me that the paw prints led into the house but not OUT again. A lynx had been hiding behind the Christmas tree! She climbed up the tree and leaped up onto the crossbeam of the vaulted ceiling. She tried climbing higher toward the ceiling, then changed her mind (much to my relief because the top beam leads to the loft bedroom!). She dropped back down to the crossbeam and sat there, looking at me standing in the kitchen with my casserole dish. I was pretty sure she was eyeing the lasagna.

I was torn between admiring her beauty, as I had never seen a lynx up close, and wondering how to get her out! Here was a wild CAT that could eat my DOG. That would be a twist!

The solution was simple. I opened the kitchen door. She leaped down, ran past me and out the door (which I closed quickly). Apparently, lynx don’t like lasagna.

Welcome to the Wild West, right? But that wasn't the end of the story. Later, I noticed a musky odor under our son’s bed. I knelt down and saw what I thought was a large amount of fur, as though the big cat had laid down and shed some of her fur. I asked my husband to move the bed so I could sweep it up. It wasn't fur. It was the remains of a large bird. So, our houseguest had already enjoyed a Christmas dinner.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Nevada Magazine Goes Green

Nevada Magazine’s November/December 2009 issue covers the future of green energy in Nevada, as well as the green building and living trends in the Silver State.

With a climate as conducive to harnessing geothermal, solar, and wind power as any on Earth, Nevada is positioning itself as a leader in the green movement. Companies such as Ormat Technologies (geothermal), Sempra Generation (solar), and Nevada Wind Company are either expanding or planning to incorporate in the state.

Other stories in the issue support the green theme, including how to eat green and reduce your carbon footprint—which in turn promotes healthy eating habits. Other stories focus on green building and LEED certification, including Incline Village’s Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences, Reno’s Patagonia outlet, and Las Vegas’ Springs Preserve and CityCenter, the new mega resort which opens in December.

Nevada Magazine’s Tour Around Nevada continues in Laughlin, the sixth town recognized in the campaign in which people vote for their favorite rural towns. The top vote getter for a particular two-month period (Nevada Magazine is published every two months) is recognized in a later issue. The stories provide a snapshot of each town’s attractions and history. To vote for your favorite Nevada town (Carson City, Las Vegas, and Reno are excluded), e-mail and include the town and “Tour Around NV” in the subject line.

In other news, the 2010 Nevada Historical Calendar (see image below), produced by Nevada Magazine, is available for purchase. The price is $12.99 plus $3.99 shipping and handling. To order, visit or contact publisher Janet M. Geary at 775-687-0603 or There is also a link on the homepage that allows customers to order a combination one-year subscription to the magazine and 2010 calendar for $22.95.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Reno Aces World Series Dinner

Matt Williams, who grew up in Carson City and was a three-sport (baseball, basketball, and football) star at the high school in the early 1980s, had a few surprises for a crowd of about 600 Reno Aces season ticketholders who turned out to see him speak at the Silver Legacy on October 28. The attendees were treated to dinner and a viewing of the World Series opener between the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees. Of course, there were a few of us media hounds in attendance as well.

Williams, a former Major League Baseball player best known in Northern Nevada for his seasons spent in a San Francisco Giants uniform (1987-1996), answered questions from the crowd after he gave a short introduction speech.

The toughest pitcher he ever faced? No, it wasn't Pedro Martinez or Roger Clemens, two of the dominant hurlers during Williams' prime — it was Mark Portugal. "You know those Bugs Bunny cartoons where the pitcher throws the ball and it's 'Strike one,' 'Strike two,' 'Strike three' all on the same pitch," Williams said. "That was what it was like facing Mark Portugal. His fastball was only 82 (mph), and he had a devastating change-up." Portugal and Williams weren't always in opposing dugouts; they were Giants teammates in 1994 and '95.

That may have not been the most shocking answer, however. When a man asked, "Which one of your teammates had the best work ethic?", the last thing I expected to come out of Williams' mouth was "Manny Ramirez." The two were Cleveland Indians teammates for only one season in 1997, but Ramirez made quite the impression on Williams with his intense batting-practice sessions, mostly focused on learning how to hit a slider. The mercurial Ramirez has taken heat in recent years for his sometimes lackadaisical attitude.

Williams is a part-owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the team he won a World Series with as a player in 2001. The D'backs are the parent organization to the Triple-A Aces, which made Reno their home starting with the 2009 season.

For a 2010 Reno Aces home schedule, click here. For more information, visit the Aces official Web site.

Monday, September 14, 2009

2009 Nevada Press Association awards

In September, Nevada Magazine had the distinct honor of winning numerous awards from the Nevada Press Association, the formal trade organization for the state newspaper industry. This was the first year the NPA included magazines in its annual awards competition.

We received first-place awards in the following categories: General Excellence, Best Page One Design, Best Feature Photo, Best Multiple Feature Photos, Best Large-Space Ad, Best Multi-Color Ad, Best In-House Advertising Promotion, and Advertising General Excellence.

It was very rewarding for us to be recognized by our peers. “Excellent in every area. Diverse and informative stories, beautiful photography, impeccable design, wonderful variety of advertising. Has it all!” read the NPA judges’ comments in reference to the General Excellence designation. On September 12, most of our staff traveled to Winnemucca for the awards dinner.

The NPA awards were a nice follow-up to a few other prestigious accolades we’ve received recently. In 2008, we were honored with two Gold awards — Most Improved Magazine and Photographic Series — in the 28th annual International Regional Magazine Association contest. Earlier that year, won a Grand Award in the 20th annual APEX competition and earned the top spot in the Magazine Affiliated Online Journalism division of the National Headliner Awards, one of the oldest and largest annual contests recognizing journalistic merit in the communications industry.