Double Down posts from February 2013

Feb 24, 2013 | Posted by Bobbie Ann Howell

Okay, so in my first blog I may have confused essay and blog. I do, however, like the idea of “ramblings” quite a bit and this has given me a little freedom to meander. Meandering, it is comforting to know, has been going on for eons – people moving about and crossing over the paths of others, looking for new horizons, places, people, and resources – going on a “walk about” as Rachel, my office mate, now has me saying. I think of all the great quests found in literature and history, meandering in the real world and within our minds. Ideas mull around inside our thoughts looking for a place to land.

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Feb 17, 2013 | Posted by Karen Wikander

Mark Maynard signing books at Sundance Books and Music in Reno, Nevada. Photograph courtesy of Scott Goodin

“The elder statesmen Bill Harrah and Harvey Gross had been dead for many years. The Mapes had been demolished and paved over. The big players, card counters, cheats, crime bosses, and small-time operators had all left town. The once glowing hotel towers, glass-walled ramparts that stood guarding the casinos hidden in their bowels, had been converted into artist lofts and condominiums. Many of these now sat empty, awaiting the next come-out roll in the never-ending craps game that used Virginia Street as its green felt table.”...

Feb 15, 2013 | Posted by Karen Wikander

"To Reno, the biggest little city in the world, American cradle of liberty."
"To Reno, beautiful emblem of the great divide."

Two toasts to Reno from George Cukor's 1939 film, The Women, as a train filled with women from New York head west to Nevada, the divorce capital of the twentieth century. The ONE has a great article on this Reno phenomenon, written by historian and anthropologist Mella Harmon.  As she explains, "journalists and gossip columnists called it the 'Great Divide,' a destination for divorce seekers who wanted to take 'the cure,' get 'Reno-vated,' and according to legend, throw their wedding rings into the Truckee River from the Virginia Street 'Bridge of Sighs.'"

Read Harmon's article, "...

Feb 8, 2013 | Posted by Rachel Hopkin

Nevada Humanities's newest member of staff, Rachel Hopkin, on a visit to the Valley of Fire State Park.

As this is only my second blog for Nevada Humanities, I feel I should introduce myself before going any further: I’m Rachel Hopkin, I’m a folklorist and a radio producer by training, and I’m Nevada Humanities’ newest member of staff, having only joined the organization just a few months back.

Since taking up the role of Program Manager here, I’ve been repeatedly asked to explain what exactly Nevada Humanities is and what we do, so I thought I’d use this post to address that question.

Nevada Humanities is...

Feb 8, 2013 | Posted by Bobbie Ann Howell

"Nevada Vista, North Ely." Photo by Bobbie Ann Howell.

Oh what the heck is a blog? What do I know about blogging? Do I have anything to say that will be of use or interest? These are the questions I have been thinking about as I launch into the blog o’ sphere.

National Cowboy Poetry Gathering – On the road in Nevada

A very fine week was spent recently traveling to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, just a bit north of my daily stomping grounds in the Las Vegas valley. I always feel lucky when I can once again make this trip. I have always loved traveling in the west and especially...

Feb 7, 2013 | Posted by Christina Barr

It's always exciting to attend the programs Nevada Humanities supports with partnerships and grants, and the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering - held in Elko each year - is no exception. Nevada Humanities has been supporting the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering since 1984, when the first Gathering was being planned. The Gathering has grown enormously since then, and we're proud to have been part of the group that helped plant the seed.

This year I had the pleasure of joining cowboy poet and rancher Randy Rieman in welcoming attendees to a special Nevada Humanities funded session on Evidence Based Horsemanship. Neurobiologist Dr. Stephen Peters and horse trainer and clinician Martin Black introduced us all to a deeper understanding of the relationship between the science of...

Feb 6, 2013 | Posted by Rachel Hopkin

Last week, I attended the Cowboy Poetry Gathering for the first time. It’s an annual event that takes place each year in Elko, Nevada, and as an Englishwoman who has only been living in the state for a few months, I can say that its plethora of poetry, prose and musical performances, panel discussions, exhibits and workshops, all provided a splendid means of getting acquainted with traditional Western culture. Among the highlights was having the chance to chat with two of the finest cowboy poets around – Paul Zarzyski and Wally McRae.

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