Good-bye. Reflections after four years in Carson City |

Good-bye. Reflections after four years in Carson City

by Karl Horeis

This is my last entertainment column before I depart for a six-month stay in Antarctica – the ice-covered continent on the bottom of the world. I took over this column more than four years and 220 columns ago.

During my first months in Carson City, I found myself both turned off by – and strangely attracted to – its unrefined, frontier feel. People like Bert Sperling and Peter Sander of “Cities Ranked & Rated” deride the capital of Nevada as “an ugly mix of urban sprawl and second-rate casinos.” I praise it for being full of honest, real people.

Yes, we have a lot of strip malls and traffic, but we also have a populace that came together after the attacks of 9-11 and put a huge U.S. flag on C Hill.

We have a lot of casinos, yes, and probably too many people sit in them smoking and throwing away their savings. But for years the owners of the Carson Nugget Casino have given free Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners to all who ask. And where, other than casinos, can you still get a breakfast special for less than $2?

I’ll never forget the support I’ve received in Carson City from people like Don and Elaine Quilici, who, while I was living in the St. Charles Hotel last year, had me over regularly for dinner and Manhattans. (Don is doing great after his two heart attacks on Aug. 19, by the way. “I was one lucky tadpole,” he said last week. )

And as a boy who grew up in the damp Pacific Northwest, let me tell you, 260 mostly sunny days a year is a dream come true. It seems like I wake up to blue skies and singing birds every morning. White clouds drift over mountains from the shimmering waters of Lake Tahoe.

I’m going to miss this “ugly mix of urban sprawl and second-rate casinos.”

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As always, we’ve got a couple of decidedly Nevada-style entertainment options this week.

Fallon’s Hearts O’ Gold cantaloupe festival runs Friday through Monday at the Churchill County Fairgrounds. This unique event features cantaloupe-eating contests, cantaloupe bowling, alcoholic cantaloupe drinks and non-cantaloupe activities like a motocross jumping and a mud volleyball tourney.

Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for ages 3 to 12. Call (800) 874-0903.

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It may not qualify as “entertainment,” but I thought you should know the Douglas Animal Welfare Group will offer microchips for pets on Saturday. These rice-grain sized chips will help locate your animal if it is lost. I’m thinking about having one inserted in my neck before I leave for Antarctica.

Go to the Carson Valley Petco on Topsy Lane between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. The cost is $30. Call 267-7325.

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During a going-away party on Sunday, I was honored to have Mayor Ray Masayko and the Carson Feetwarmers ragtime band show up. The band set up next to the little pond behind the trailer where I rent a room.

Over the years, I’ve been impressed by the heart of upright bass player Monte Fast, who runs the Friends in Service Helping shelters, dining hall and thrift store. His band mate, banjo player Chris Bayer, has inspired me with his dedication to the Court Appointed Special Advocates and his original musicals and contradances at the Brewery Arts Center.

Mayor Ray had told me he was going to attend, but after he discovered I’m a registered Green Party member, I thought he would change his mind. He was true to his word. Name another capital city where you can expect the mayor to attend a party behind your trailer!

Thank you, guys. See you in six months.

Contact Karl at or 881-1219.