********************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.
Well, to my surprise, this was an exciting and visually amazing experience.
The store is surrounded with these huge statues of different sports.
And then, in the middle of the store.... A 65ft. Ferris Wheel. Can you believe it?
We all headed in different directions. I headed for this part of the store.
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.
We ate lunch and drove over to the University of Nevada Reno. This is a beautiful campus.
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.
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.
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.
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.