Meeting the original Motifs |

Meeting the original Motifs

Kurt Hildebrand

Shawn “Wayne” Morgan said she met the original Motifs not long after she moved to Western Nevada.

The musical group is celebrating its 30th anniversary playing in this portion of the state.

“I remember when they came to Sharkey’s when they just started out,” Shawn said. “They are the sweetest bunch of musicians that you would ever meet.”

Shawn should know. Her family had one of the first music television shows.

Black Jack Wayne and the Wayne Family had the first country western music television show on Oakland Channel 2 when it first opened.

“We had the Garden of Alah in Niles, Calif.,” Shawn said. “It was a big building that we turned into a dance hall, bar and sandwich shop.”

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The family became television stars after television executives came out to the weekly dance and hired them.

“They hired us for the show an hour on Saturday afternoons,” she said.

Shawn, 70, is married to Charles Morgan. Her sister, Faye Palmer, is 72.

Johnny Cash was the Wayne Family’s first guest star.

Black Jack Wayne, Shawn’s brother, died last year in Fort Bragg, where he ran two party boats.

John the Bon, my Dayton contact, recalls serving Claude McLennan coffee as he sat in the Stage Saloon playing nickels.

John, who worked on the radio for 31 years, said one night Claude just kept hitting jackpots.

He was hitting on nickels and then he started hitting on quarters.

John hit a $4,000 jackpot.

“That one night I took home $220 in tokes from one customer,” John said.

Claude would only drink one or two cups of coffee while he was playing.

“He would just sit there with a grin on his face and play the machines,” John said. “He was just beautiful. I used to think that if I had a bunch of customers like this, I’d have it made.”

Claude owned the Highway 50 Wrecking Yard. He died June 13 in Reno.

Ann McCarthy’s oldest daughter, Sundae, is getting married at the Brewery Arts Center on Saturday.

A graduate of Carson High School and the University of Nevada, Reno, she is a second grade teacher at Virginia Palmer Elementary School.

“We’re having it in the ballroom, with family coming and it will be a small intimate wedding,” Joe McCarthy said. “It is a perfect location for it. We just had the memorial for Dorothy Paulsen and her artwork is still up.”

She is marrying Jay Eyer, of Reno, and works for the Reno Hilton.

Steve Veatch, former Nevada Appeal classified kid and formerly the Appeal Eagle, is attending college in Coos Bay, Ore.

He’s home for the summer from studying business administration and working at the Station Grill and his dad’s real estate firm.

Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton stopped by the Carson City Wal-Mart on Thursday. She was in Lake Tahoe for the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute at Harvey’s on Friday night.

Beverly at the Wal-Mart said the secretary’s staff called 45 minutes ahead of time to clear a register.

They must have called from the Appeal. Feature Editor Kelli Du Fresne, Capitol Bureau Reporter Geoff Dornan and I got to meet the secretary and talk to her about fire danger on Thursday.

Former Appeal editor and Nevada Division Forestry information officer Steve Frady has taken a job as the public information officer with the City of Reno.

Steve warned me about my future state employment.

“I hope you do better than some former Appeal employees,” he said, ominously.

“Should I be worried?” I asked.

“It’s just things work much slower at the state,” he said.

Sheila Gardner and Karl Horeis gave me a little send-off Friday, handing me a Danish with four burning candles, one for each year I worked the desk. They also got me a Diet Coke as a farewell gift.

Kurt Hildebrand is no longer managing editor of the Nevada Appeal. But you can still reach him at 881-1215 or