The weather was perfect and the barbecue set Saturday at the Dayton Country Club, where some of the many friends of Senator Lawrence "Jake" Jacobsen came to honor and celebrate this veteran legislator.
To hear Jacobsen talk, you'd think the feeling was completely mutual.
"Forty years is a long time, but it's been a joy and a privilege," he said. "I grew up here, then had the opportunity to represent these people, as a senior member of the legislature and a couple of times, sat as governor. One of the greatest pluses, is all the fine people I've met."
A Minden native, Jacobsen was elected to the Assembly for the first time in 1963. He moved to the Senate in 1979 until the present. During that time, he was legislative commission member 13 times, Interim Finance Committee member, speaker pro tem, speaker of the Assembly and Assembly minority floor leader. In 1981, he was Senate minority floor leader and later, president pro tem of the Senate.
The man who has served longer in Nevada's Legislature than anyone else in history said he wasn't sure he deserved all this attention. Others disagreed.
"He has real integrity," said Bud Southard, a member of the Republican Central Committee. "He has the courage to commit to a bill and once he's done that, he sees it through, honorably."
"He's a friend of every veteran in the state of Nevada," said Ray Alcorn, retired Navy Vietnam veteran and ex-prisoner-of-war. "He's sponsored, supported and pushed more bills for veterans in the Senate than anyone. If anyone can call him friend, it's the veterans."
"He's the most down-to-earth man I've ever known," said Lela Uptergrove, employee of Senator Bill Raggio, R-Reno. "I worked across the hall from him and he always had a smile on his face. He greeted everyone and was always so kind, a prince of a man."
Jacobsen will not be seeking another term, but he gave no real indication that he planned on settling down.
"I'll still be doing the same old things, working with the fire department and veterans groups," he said. "As long as you're willing, there's always someone there to ask."