Burro finds new home

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

StinkE, one of the most colorful characters on the Comstock, is about to add a sidekick to his strolls up and down Virginia City's C Street.

Burnadeen, a burro adopted from the Bureau of Land Management facility in Palomino Valley, is being groomed for her April 2 debut in the once-booming mining town.

StinkE, also known as Carson City's Danny Beason, is known in Virginia City for his red long-johns, full gray beard, crusty cowboy hat and round spectacles - and providing photo ops for tourists.

This season, Burnadeen will accompany StinkE and offer burro rides in addition to photo ops.

"I named her after my wife Bernice, so every time I look at my ass, I can think of my wife," said StinkE.

In the background, Mrs. StinkE chimed in, "I'm so honored!"

Bernice Beason explained that the other famous donkey in Virginia City - Ginny - belonged to "Sweetwater John," who retired several years ago.

"Everybody wants the burro to come back," she said.

StinkE praised the small donkey, calling her "very good-natured." He takes her on walks to Fuji Park from the ranch where she is stabled to "get her used to people and traffic."

Soon, she will make her home in the stables of Virginia City's stamp mill.

StinkE emphasized that Burnadeen is still a wild animal and occasionally sticks her head under his arm when nervous. And he hopes to have a real saddle for her soon, because she's too small for the horse saddles at the ranch.

StinkE says he sometimes rides her bareback to condition her to riders, but if she gets spooked, he's likely to lose his balance.

"When she goes left, I stay there," he said, laughing, adding that he has the bruises to prove it.

Burnadeen's story has a sad chapter, though.

One of the wranglers at Palomino Valley said Burnadeen was in a small band of wild burros when a car struck and killed two of them on Highway 50 East outside of Dayton.

"They rescued her and she's very loved now," he said, "but once in a while she gets a little stubborn so I have to pat her on the butt, same as with my wife."

StinkE, 59, assumed his persona about eight years ago when he was with Virginia City's street shootout show featuring strolling cowboys and bawdy red-light ladies.

"They ran an ad looking for actors, and they asked me if I could act. I told them I'd never acted, but I sure could B.S.," StinkE said. "They hired me on the spot."

One afternoon during a break from the shows, he said he wanted an old-timey photo taken with his wife.

"When I put these (red long-johns) on, it took me 30 minutes to cross the street because so many people stopped me for pictures. I told my wife right then, 'Baby, I got somethin' here,'" he said.

Photos with StinkE and Burnadeen will be free. Burro rides will cost $5.


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