Return of the native

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

I’m torn. Do I write about a conversation I had with a young guy about the rights native-born Nevadans have over us transplants or about the back-to-school issue? I know, I’ll do both.

The native thing was a little odd, truth be told, but it’s still bugging me. During Hot August Nights, some guy in Albertson’s made a point to the checker about being a native Nevadan and how, during special events, the rights of foreigners outweigh the rights of natives. I was standing there, what the heck was I supposed to do? Keep my mouth shut?

Anyway, I made some comment along the lines of “Don’t you mean locals?” and he looked me up and down and said, “I was born here,” and then he left. I was so taken aback, I didn’t even have the chance to tell him he’s a moron. What the hell is that supposed to mean? I’ve been here since ’84; that’s at least three years before he started wearing his saggy-bottomed diapers. And do you know what? I’ve heard a similar attitude from people older than me who were born here. Look, everyone, I chose to be here. My son’s a native. But if you ask me, it was the laws that were here before I came that allowed Reno to become what it is becoming, and it’d be pretty tough to blame those laws on us transplants.

Along other lines, this is our second year running a back-to-school issue and the Join the Pack supplement on the same week. I really dig it. For one, I like putting Join the Pack together because it allows me to work with people who’ve never been published before. That’s pretty cool. Yes, they’re inexperienced, and, yes, many accepted story assignments and then flaked, but it’s opportunities like this that will change a person’s life path. I also like it because it gives the newspaper the chance to tell a wide variety of stories along a related topic. Finally, since it essentially doubles my workload for the week, I also like it when it’s over.