"People from a planet without flowers
would think we must be mad with joy the whole time
to have such things about us."
~Iris Murdoch, A Fairly Honourable Defeat

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It was a cold and windy day...

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April 28, 2011
We are in Reno, Nevada again.
One week ago the Prospector, myself and our son woke up to a beautiful but very cold Thursday morning. We drove out to Sparks to see a sporting goods store called SHEELS in the Legends outlet shopping center.
Now, mind you, if my sister had been with me, we would not have cruised through a sporting goods store when there were so many other CLOTHING stores to peruse. I was kind of out-numbered. So I caved to the male outdoor/hunting/fishing/camping mentality and decided to just take some pictures and bear with another sport store.
Well, to my surprise, this was an exciting and visually amazing experience.
The store is surrounded with these huge statues of different sports.
 There are 8 of these bronze sculptures.
When you walk into the store, you walk under a 16,000 gallon aquarium filled with fish that would make any fisherman drool.

And then, in the middle of the store.... A 65ft. Ferris Wheel. Can you believe it?
That's our son, in the bottom middle of the picture. . glassy eyed and in awe.
It's quite something to see a Ferris Wheel inside a store.
 We all headed in different directions.  I headed for this part of the store.
Then wandered around, finding other amazing displays that you don't usually find inside a store.
This is kind of like the Disneyland of the Sports world. That's a full sized plane suspended from the upstairs ceiling.
There was one of the best shoe sections for women I have every seen. The prices were high but they were the best brands and the selection was amazing. I didn't have time to buy any shoes or go on the Ferris Wheel. That's my excuse anyway.
I did eventually buy a hat, for myself, and a small 3X5 pole tent for my grandchildren when they go camping this summer. They can play in it and keep their toys in it. It's little. Only one child could sleep in it. But it's cute and easy to set up.
A hour and a half later we met at our prearranged time, paid for a few items and left the store.
As we walked to our car, the wind started picking up and we could see clouds moving in from the west.
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We ate lunch and drove over to the University of Nevada Reno. This is a beautiful campus.
There are a lot of brick buildings and a large park area in the middle.
The wind was getting stronger and the trees were moving shadows on the concrete paths. We walked across the quad to the Mackay Mines Building.
Inside this building is the W.M. Keck Earth Science and Mineral Engineering Museum. This museum holds the most amazing collection of minerals, rocks, fossils and historic mining artifacts that you can imagine. If you like ROCKS you need to see this place.
It's filled with amazing things from the earth. It's a collection of some of the most beautiful specimens I've ever seen. Like quartz..
And copper...
and prehistoric bones.

You have to be a ROCKHOUND to appreciate all of this. It's a geologist's paradise.
We also went downstairs and looked at the Mackay Silver Collection. This was a remarkable set of silver that belonged to Mr. and Mrs. John Mackay, the namesakes of the school. John Mackay (1834-1902) commissioned  Tiffany and Co. of New York to design and produce a silver service for his wife. The result was 1,250 pieces of sterling silver dinner and dessert service for twenty four people.
Can you imagine? Just a little sit down dinner for your friends and relatives.
Staggering!! I guess that when you've got it, you flaunt it.
After being dazzled by all of this, we left the building.
We heard the wind outside. We knew it was getting stronger. Walking back across the "quad" to the car, we kept watching the trees hoping that a big branch wouldn't fall across our path. The students seemed not to notice anything. They were laying on the lawn studying, eating, relaxing and enjoying the sunshine. Maybe strong wind is a common occurrence here.
We drove back to the hotel and rested up for an evening of gambling and a good dinner. I did not have any better luck than the night before. I went to bed early. I'd rather spend my money on pup tents for my grandchildren than give it to the casinos. But just once it would be nice to win something. Oh well.
This is the mentally of the game..... "One of these days I will hit a jackpot on a progressive slot machine and win a million dollars." But, I watched the sad people who walk the streets of Reno looking for a nickle dropped in the gutter.  Over the years I've seen them take the coin into the casino and put it into a slot, hoping for a win. Now that you can't use coins anymore, they probably look for dollar bills blowing in the wind. Or they ask, politely, if you can spare a couple of dollars to help them out. It's sad. the police are always picking up someone for something.
You hear the sirens all night long. I know it's a city, but the siren sound seems sadder here.
I feel the addiction of wanting those "7"s to all come up in a row. I feel the pull of the CASINO. I understand the anger when I walk away from a slot machine or roulette table that just took all my money and gave me nothing in return. I can see how addiction starts.
I believe I'm in little danger of this obsession, but I certainly see the pull that these brightly lit places exert. It's a sad commentary on how money controls our lives and how we believe that money will change our lives for the better. It's a 24/7 chance. It's false hope in a neon, noisy world.
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The next morning we woke up to a light dusting of snow. It changes Reno.... makes it more beautiful. Snow covers the sadness and fills in the seedy parts. Like any big city, the alleys and empty buildings look better covered in white.
The snow disappeared by noon but it remained on the mountains around us.

It was Friday. This is the day that we visited the Automobile Museum.
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My dad lived here in Reno for about a year in the 1930's. He went to the University and majored in Architecture. He didn't stay and ,later,  joined the Navy . I often wonder how his life would have been different if he had stayed in school and become an Architect. He loved homes and I'm sure that he would have had some great ideas on how to build them. Sadly, he never returned to school. Funny how live is.




 




7 comments:

Suz said...

Oh I just love your blabbing
just like a girlfriend...me too..I'd rather send my coins on the grandkids....We got them a little tent too....they live in Laguna Beach..boo hoo...for me
I love that store...not the hunting parts(ick!)
but the ferriswheel part and the GIFT SHOP
and did you say SHOES
Oh and a nice dinner out...
I LOVED your writing here girl...may I borrow your line.."Snow covers the sadness and fills in the seedy parts" wow I just loved that..may steal it...may show up in one of my short stories..Ever think of writing? I think you are one...
well I'm off to cook dinner...hot dogs..hee hee
family recipe
shannus@aol.com

Laura~peach~ said...

cool stuff love all the pics...

Madeline's Album said...

I thoroughly enjoy joining you on this trip. It was just like I was there with you. Your pictures are wonderful. What a wonderful store with a Ferris wheel and the other great displays. Thank you for sharing this post with us. Have a blessed evening. Madeline

jojo said...

incredible!

Pauline said...

Wow! What an outing. I've never seen a place like that shopping centre. A Ferris Wheel in the middle - I can't quite imagine that. And that little plane is life sized? That silver service blows me away - would love to see that! Thanks for a terrific post.

Chef E said...

Now that's it! When they said "If you got it flaunt it" that is what they meant *wink*

My dad went to school to be an engineer and also joined the Navy before he finished...my mom always dreamed of getting past the sixth grade...hmmm

I LOVE museums, of any kind, especially those kind!

LV said...

Reno is one my very favorite places to visit. Wish I was there with you. I felt like I was after taking the tour on your post.