I had faith that Nevada Appeal readers could come up with some clever slogans for Carson City.
Notice I said "some."
Not all the responses I got to last week's column were, um ... charitable, shall we say.
If you didn't read the previous column, I wrote that Carson City's motto of "Proud of our past ... confident of our future" was fine as far as it went, but it lacked a certain cachet. Perhaps someone could improve upon it, I suggested, and offered a few lame thoughts of my own.
Here's what I got:
First on the phone was Frank, who left a message with three suggestions he was certain wouldn't get printed.
"Carson City: Home of the pompous, arrogant, condescending, yellow-billed pipsqueak."
"Carson City: Home of the legislative enema."
"Carson City: Official state waffle."
Frank apparently has some issues, and they appear to be mainly with the Legislature. Although his suggestions reflect a certain personal viewpoint, I don't really think they're fitting for our tourist brochures.
Here's one from Danny Nielsen: "How about 'Carson City: Our Newspaper Sucks'?"
Thanks for the vote of confidence, Danny.
This one came from Terry Williams: "Living in the past, no room for the future."
It's catchy and echoes the current city slogan but gives it that dark, pessimistic twist so popular in modern advertising. It makes you think, too. If the city's goal becomes to shut down growth and discourage tourism, then this one definitely becomes an option.
And then there was "Carson City: Gateway to the Bunny Ranch." While true, it may have only a limited audience.
Let's move on to some of the more positive suggestions, shall we? After all, as Ellen Nelson called in to report, Carson City is listed in two books in the library, "50 Best Places to Retire," and "100 Best Places to Retire," along with Reno and Las Vegas.
One I really liked was called in by a woman whose name I neglected to get. She suggested, "Carson City: The Center of it All."
That's what I frequently tell people about living here. If you like Reno, Virginia City, Lake Tahoe and Carson Valley, then the best place to start from is Carson City.
Here are four suggestions from William Jacobson, who wrote from Orange County:
"Fun'n Kit" (integrated with a tourist information package, history of Kit Carson, discount coupons, etc.)
"Hot Time/Cool Town" (integrated with tourist information, weather compared to Reno or Vegas, cool things to do, Carson Hot Springs, etc.)
"Cruise onto Carson" (integrated with tourist information on RV parks for land yachts, short distance/travel times to Bay Area, Truckee whitewater rafting, etc.)
"Carson City Digs" (integrated with information on hotels, mine tours, Carson City Mint, entertainment, etc.)
William obviously has given it some thought, and he hits a lot of the tourist attractions with his ideas.
Cherin, whose last name I didn't get, wrote: "I think the slogan for Carson City should be: 'The Biggest Little Capital in the World.' That fits Carson more than anything. Especially by the way Carson City is growing and it seems as if it is the smallest capital city. I don't really know that though. But that is a good slogan for Carson."
It's not the smallest capital city anymore, as myth-buster Guy Rocha cleared up a few years ago. That distinction goes to Montpelier, Vermont, at 8,035 people. But I agree with Cherin the slogan fits. The only drawback is that it sounds too much like Reno's.
Lee Smith offered up two ideas: "Queen of the Valley" and "Flower of the Desert." Both are appealing, though I'm not sure they would do enough to distinguish Carson City from other queens and flowers.
Frank Taylor hit the nail on the head with "Carson City - Where The Future Includes The Past." It's a more compact version of the current motto and would be a great way to promote the Virginia & Truckee Railroad and the museums. It also has a preservationist ring to it, which I favor.
Judy Carney also had a nice idea along the same lines with, "Historic Carson City, where the real West stayed."
Even better was her note, which some of the scalawags might want to consider:
"My family and I relocated to the Carson Valley two years ago from Huntington Beach, which is where my husband and kids have grown up. I have lived around the country in both big and small towns and cities.
"I must tell you that Northern Nevada is the best kept secret in the West. 'I Love Where I Live' is my new motto. My husband, after two years, came home from a road trip in Southern California, pulled in the driveway and said 'God, I love where I live.'
"It took him a while, but he and I are in love with all the history and beauty this place has to offer. Nevada is a people state, which is quite refreshing after all the California politics.
"So, whatever motto Carson City comes up with, people can't really know how great it is until they have lived in such an awesome place."
There you have it. Perhaps I was too preoccupied with what other people think of Carson City. We know why we like it and why we stay here.
Whatever motto works for you, use it.
Barry Smith is editor of the Nevada Appeal. Contact him at 881-1221 or firstname.lastname@example.org.