Six contestants vied for the title of best liar in Lyon last weekend and, believe it or not, a candidate for sheriff took first place.
Charlie Duke, playing a character called Jeremiah B. Lyon who was more than 180 years old and remembers fondly the saloons of Pizen Switch, won the first prize of $400 and a Moonlite Bunnyranch bathrobe, which one assumes he won't wear on the campaign trail. Duke was decked out in head-to-toe costume with long hair and a long white beard for the First Occasional Lyon County Liar's Contest.
Judy Remington of Reno, who told of the Yerington willowswitch rat, whose bodily functions she said cause the sulfur smell from the town's vents, won the $200 second prize.
Third place and $100 went to Mary Harris of Virginia City, who spun a yarn about a tuxedo that spent several generations in her husband's family.
The other candidates were Kathy Givens of Silver Springs, who told a wild tale about teaching herding dogs to swim; Charlie Lawson of Stagecoach, who claimed no politician ever lies; and Hale Bennett, who told a story about a friend named Phred who ended up with two black eyes courtesy of a church woman.
Judges for the event came from the most respected walks of life possible: a journalist, a lawyer, a judge, a politician and a madame. They were Laura Tennant, Eric Johnson, Bill Rogers, Chet Hillyard and Madame Suzette from the Moonlite Bunnyranch.
The emcee was Ted Bolzle of Lyon County Animal Services and the proceeds will benefit the Lyon County Spay and Neuter Clinic.
Organizer Tom Blomquist said Nevada State Historian Guy Rocha and actor McAvoy Lane were essential in offering research and assistance for the project and the emblem featuring a bull and a shovel, taken from the original Lyon County emblem.
The idea for the contest came from the Sazarac Lying Club, a group of Old West fibbers in Austin, Lander County which told their tales in a saloon on Main Street in the 1870s.
Ten students from Nevada high schools, including one from Carson City and one from Virginia City, will compete in the state finals of Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Program on April 22 at the Governor's Mansion.
Alicia Freeman, a Carson High School junior, and Molly McGregor, a sophomore at Virginia City High School, will be among those participating in the contest, which consists of memorizing and performing three poems.
The winner receives $1,000 and a trip to the national finals in Washington D.C. for a chance at a $20,000 scholarship. In Nevada, the program is sponsored by the Nevada Arts Council, Nevada Alliance for the Arts, National Endowment and The Poetry Foundation.