The mysterious D.H.S. and the writer’s ‘Hear Today’ column |

The mysterious D.H.S. and the writer’s ‘Hear Today’ column

Trent Dolan
Special the Appeal

Carson City wasn’t much in 1933. There were 1,800 persons living here ” much of whom worked for the government, if they worked at all. It was the depression and times were tough.

From all impressions, the Nevada Appeal was thriving. The news coverage is wide, the ads are big and the writing, spirited. There are even photographs. But in December 1933, there is little coverage of Christmas activities. Most of the news has to do with which men are being hired by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) on which jobs and where.

But what had to be one of the more popular features was “Hear Today” written by someone simple known as D.H.S. The feature focused on daily life in Carson often doing it in a colorful way.

“Twice a day, every day, Sheriff Joe Stern herds his charges across the street from the court house, down the walk in front of the court house, down the walk in front of the Capital grounds, and into Chung Hi’s restaurant next to the Appeal. This happens at nine o’clock in the morning and at three o’clock in the afternoon, and I get so that I depend upon the prisoners to order my day.

When they come by in the morning I ought to be looking over the exchanges; if I haven’t got that far yet, I am behind schedule. In the afternoon all the copy ought to be out; when it isn’t, the paper is going to be late.” ” D.H.S. “Hear Today” Nevada Appeal column

D.H.S., of the Appeal, writes:

“Routine report on the progress of the repeal in Reno:

Excitement: None.

Expressions of ribald enthusiasm: Three people walking abreast on Center Street seemed to be having a reasonably good time.

Sleeping in gutters: Not represented.

Alteration from pre-repeal days: The bar at the Bank gambling establishment has quite a few people lined up at it, most of them drinking beer.

Apparent occupation of most of the people in Reno at 10 o’clock at night: Most of them heading home to go to bed and sleep.

Summed up impression of repeal in Reno: Very gentlemanly and somewhat dull.”

And another:

“These liquor displays in store windows are extremely handsome, of course, but their chief value, I find, is in their novelty. They are really about the only existing outward sign that there has been a change in the law of the land – in Nevada, at any rate.

There’s a lot of news in the Appeal from other places. United Press and the exchange feed news from around the world, including the Lindberg’s hop from Africa to Brazil. Of course, there is an article on what is going to be done with the thousands upon thousands of gallons of illegal liquor that has been manufactured in White Pine County, noted as being the nation’s best whiskey, for illegal consumption.

There’s news of the WPA not funding the cleanup of the old dump near the cemetery. The dump still exists, although now behind a fence, near the Nevada Power building on Long Street. Work will progress on grading Carson City streets soon. In 1933, most of the streets in Carson were dirt. Carloads of pork will arrive this week for distribution to those on the needy rolls.

Of concern on the editorial pages are how men are being hired for the WPA projects. Most of the men are those recently laid off that had been working and look good, while those that have been unemployed for an extended period of time and look poorly are being passed over.

Much as it goes against my grain to admit it, I guess Christmas is on its way. All signs point to it. We’ve had lighted Christmas trees in the yards of several Carson residences for the past few days; there is snow upon the ground today; and the evergreen tree in front of the court house was strung with colored lights which will be turned on tonight. This sort of puts Ormsby County’s official sanction upon Christmas, and I guess we won’t be able to blind our eyes to the truth any longer.” ” D.H.S.

And this final article:

“Definite State of Future Policy:

From this date onward, the Appeal will take no notice of any jaunts, trips, excursions, shopping parties, journeys, or visits on the part of any Carson resident or residents to the metropolis of Reno.

We all regret the necessity for taking so arbitrary and high-handed a position, but twice in the past week I have timidly and tentatively inserted an item in the Talk of the Town section to the effect that So-and-So spend yesterday in Reno shopping, or transacting business or visiting friends; and both times I have been wrathfully approached by someone else who went to Reno on the same day, wanting to know why “So-and-So” rates his name in the paper and I don’t.

Now, it would be obviously impossible for me to gather and publish a complete daily list of Carson residents who went to Reno. Not only would I go into an early decline, but the paper wouldn’t hold all the type, and people in other sections of the state would get the idea that Carson people were terrible gadabouts.

A hurried conference of Appeal forces was called, and it was decided that hereafter the whole of Carson might pack up and go to Reno every day, and this newspaper would go blissfully on its way, completely unaware of the fact. Of course, if you go to Dayton, or Genoa, that’s a different matter.”

Nope, I don’t know who D.H.S. Is, but hope to find out soon.

– Trent Dolan is the son of Bill Dolan, who wrote a column for the Nevada Appeal from 1947 until his death in 2006.