April 15, 2013

Bobbie Ann Howell

What can we say about the week of April 15, 2013?  This week must have brought back to many of us the days of September 11, with the questions of why, how, what on earth could have been the motive to take the lives of people who were just going about their everyday business.  In the case of the Boston bombing, to walk into a group of family and friends and take their lives, injure entire families, and knowing by doing such an act, ending their own lives as well.  These are questions I have been hearing all week as we talk with each other and watch the non-stop news, and think about the people across the globe who also have been living in situations of chaos and violence.

This week I have been traveling from Las Vegas to Reno by car with Patty Dominguez from the Metro Arts Council, a friend who indulges my need to explore and take photographs.  We began our trip by way of the Rural Round-Up in Pahrump, heading up to the Nevada Arts Council’s Art @ the Heart Convening a gathering of arts and cultural organizations in Reno. The Rural Round-Up is an annual meeting of businesses and communities from across rural Nevada focused on tourism. The Nevada Commission on Tourism produces the round up and it is a good place to connect with people from across the state that are interested in telling the Nevada story and finding ways to share it with the world.  

Nevada Humanities works with people across the state so I took this opportunity to do visit some of our rural communities on the way.  To be able to spend a day in Pahrump, Amargosa, Betty, Tonopah, Mina, Hawthorne, Yerington, Smith Valley, Carson City and Reno.  Traveling across Nevada this week reminded me of driving back to Las Vegas on September 12, 2001 with Christina Barr, the vastness of our landscape in contrast with the turmoil we were all experiencing. We both worked for the Nevada Arts Council at that time and we will always share that day and all the changes that followed.

In the quiet stillness of the Amargosa Valley and its star filled sky we ended up staying up late watching more breaking news.   In our travels this week we have met and talked with people all along the way, such as a man and his wife visiting from Europe, while standing in the ruins of the ghost town of Rhyolite and expressed their grief.  What can we say to the families of Boston whose lives have been changed and the losses suffered?  All I can say for sure is we share your grief, and all across Nevada communities with their flags at half staff say we hold you in our thoughts and hope again for peace.

Suggested Readings:

ONE Community and Society