Appeal’s 140th anniversary celebration was a memorable occasion
May 20, 2005
My weekly column was never intended to be a forum for boastful banter. It still isn’t. But it does embody my thoughts – thoughts that are pulled like so many volumes from a library which finds its bibliography in what I say and do.
It is also my easel for my painting of real life – life as I see it. It’s my clay for sculpture. My wooden planks to build. My seeds to plant. My fields of grain to harvest. What I feel. What I believe.
This past Monday night issued me license to boast.
Monday night, the Nevada Appeal was blessed by the presence of nearly 400 people at our 140th anniversary and celebration of our landmark new redesign of the newspaper. We are Nevada’s oldest daily paid newspaper.
At the party, there was the velvety soft jazz of the George Hanepen Quartet; wine-tasting from Tahoe Ridge Winery and Washoe Wine Company; abundant bounty by Red’s 395 Grille. There was also a cake that seemed the size of Nevada, in the shape of Nevada and flagging our nameplate, created with sugar-mountain mastery by Sweet Sensations. Property tours directed by our own employees abounded, and didn’t let up until past 7:30.
It was, by far, a prideful moment.
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Gov. Kenny Guinn, who had a commitment elsewhere, stopped by for 30 minutes. Does that say something? I don’t think my feeling for a man of his stature can be equaled in years to come. I was truly humbled. Very honored. People said of him being there for us, “How cool is that?”
Through the night, I heard so many people: readers, as well as business, civic and state leaders, praising the event. During this week past, in person and on the phone, more than a few people complimented us on the party.
The morning after, Dana Whaley, general manager of Carson Toyota, left me a message, thanking us for the invitation to a party that was “a first class act.” Calling me with that message was a class act on Dana’s part.
That night, as I greeted people at the door to our sprawling second-floor meeting room – all 10,000 square feet of it – with my wife, Jennifer, and daughter, Leah, I felt complete. It was so good. I was so happy. I had reason to be. So did all of the employees at the Nevada Appeal. They too had a very good reason to be happy, to be proud, to feel honored and honorable.
In fact, every reader present should have felt the same. Why? Because we were celebrating the reason we are still in business. The readers. The advertisers. They are the reasons our newspaper has outlived all other newspapers in the entire state of Nevada. It was their birthday celebration too. It is their redesign too. It was their reason to be happy too.
That honorable feeling continued ….
Among others who were present were Sheriff Kenny Furlong; Judge John Tatro, Kathy Tatro (of Coldwell Banker/Best Sellers); Governor Guinn’s Communications Director Greg Bortolin; U.S. Representative Jim Gibbons’ wife and congressional candidate Dawn Gibbons; State Assemblywoman Bonnie Parnell; Yolanda Garcia, regional representative for U.S. Sen. Harry Reid; Carson-Tahoe Hospital Chief Operating Officer Kevin Stansbury; attorney Bob Crowell; Bob Fredlund of Coldwell Banker/Best Sellers; Irwin Bank’s Greg Nixon and Bill Fergus; City Supervisors Robin Williamson, Richard Staub and Pete Livermore; Steve Christian of Carson Dodge-Chrysler; Helaine Jesse from WNCC; Jennifer Russell of Capital Entertainment, and many many more.
But you know who outnumbered the local luminaries? Our everyday readers. The people who hold safety in numbers as our single most essential audience. The everyday person. People who are just as smart, just as intelligent, just as successful in their own chosen professions, but without the titles that make people’s eyebrows form mountain peaks and mouths drop to touch the floor.
It was an event that I’ll not forget. Not soon. Not ever.
My administrative assistant, Nicole Wegener, deserves most of the credit for her flawless organization of the evening’s festivities. She went above and beyond. Far beyond. Many thanks to all of the tour guides, door greeters, furniture movers, table setters — a list much too lengthy to mention here. My gratitude to Carol Clifford and Chic DiFrancia for their booth of newspapers past.
The food, the music, the wine, the crowd. They all married magically. It was a “good” feeling.
Above all, thanks to all of our readers and advertisers, and to all Nevada Appeal employees for making this, and so many other things, possible. Seeing the outpouring of volunteers from this newspaper shrouded me with warmth, ignited me with pride. Our employees are much treasured. This was one of those purely magical moments that I’ll take with me beyond retirement. Not many can say that, so I am dearly … so very dearly thankful.
n John DiMambro is publisher of the Nevada Appeal. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.