Summer Guide 2003

I ain’t no writer

Photo by David Robert

So when the editor of this here paper comes to me and says, “Jim Bob, we want you to write this year’s summer guide,” I says, “But I don’t do much of that there writing stuff.” “That’s OK,” he tells me, “Just tell people what you like to do during summer. Mention a few of the things you like to do. Where do you go? What do you enjoy doing with that family of yours?”

“But I ain’t no writer,” I told him. “Why should folks want to read what I have to say?” “Just be yourself,” he tells me. “You’re perfect.”

Well, I don’t know exactly what he meant by that, but anyways, I got to thinking about summer, about the color-filled flowers growing all around my trailer, about drinking with the guys on the porch and taking the kids on special trips to the Sparks Marina. And I’m thinking summer’s a great time to find me a fine-looking woman, and after all, since Jennie Mae ran off, the kids need a momma. I saw one such lovely angel last year. She was all tan, with long, long brown hair, and when I saw her dainty little toes with their teeny nails all painted violet, I knew something then and there. Maybe you could call it love, but I never actually did go talk at that lovely angel. Now, where did I see that girl? Maybe it was at the Sparks Hometown Farmers’ Market. I love setting out there on Victorian Avenue on Thursday nights, drinking Bud Light, eating big French-fried onion rings and sampling some of those fine Fallon melons. But I’m thinking that this little bit of talking is getting off the main subject which is summer and what it means to me. <div align="right"> —JIM BOB </div>

Outta-town vacation
Once a year—usually on a day when the smell of road apples from the neighbor’s horses gets so strong I just can’t stand it—I take the kids on a special vacation. I call it the family-blowout-get-hammered vacation extravaganza. I drink a little whiskey, and the kids get high on sugar. Both these little treats can be found in Virginia City. Virginia City has all kinds of cool stuff: great bars, tasty grub, fine-lookin’ cowgirls and a darn creepy cemetery. The Bucket of Blood Saloon, 1 South “C” St., (775) 847-0322, has the best whiskey in town, and Red’s Old Fashioned Candies, 68 South “C” St., (775) 847-0404, has the sweetest treats. I turn the kids loose with $4 each, let the smell of fudge lure them to the candy and head over to the watering hole. One time, I was walkin’ around the V.C. graveyard, and I ran into a guy dressed in funny clothes. Not funny ha ha but funny like he was from the olden days. He told me about how he got shot in the Bucket of Blood Saloon over some gal—it’s always about a woman—and how I needed to seek revenge on his behalf. I said, “Sure thing, buddy,” and high-tailed it out of there. I try to avoid the cemetery these days—at least when I’ve been sipping the Old Grandad. <div align="right">—Jim Bob</div>

Less carcasses, more veggies
Since I’ve been trying to eat more fruits and veggies and less meat, I’ve found farmers’ markets to be mighty valuable resources. Well, Sparks Hometowne Farmers’ Market at Victorian Square has an array of meat-free produce (the market begins June 12, call 353-2291). They operate every Thursday night from about 4 to 9 p.m., and this year it’s gonna be better than ever ’cause they’re adding karaoke to their list of bonus things to do. The Rib Cook-Off is another fine event in Sparks that shouldn’t be missed, neither. There’s also another market that’ll be pretty good this year: the Fernley Farmers’ Market and Art in the Park, (775) 425-5486. I go out to Fernley pretty often ’cause my mom has a crackerbox shack out there, and I like to dump the kids off sometimes. If it’s a Wednesday evening, we’ll stop by the market. Music, fresh frutas (that’s Spanish for fruit) and art. <div align="right">—Jim Bob</div>

Sparks Marina

Photo by David Robert

Pyramid Lake power
I don’t care what nobody says, there’s only one lake in northern Nevada for me. What’s up at Tahoe that you can’t find at Pyramid for half the money? Pyramid Lake is my home away from home all summer. You can pretty much count on being able to put the Jet Ski or ski boat on Pyramid, but them snobs up Tahoe kinda frown on the simpler pleasures in life, and sometimes the waves make Tahoe downright dangerous. Privacy is the best thing about Pyramid, and if me and my latest filly want to get some alone-time in, we can send the kids out looking for lizards or horny toads or even chasin’ dragonflies. I personally like to hang out at Pelican Point (if you see me, be sure and say hi, I’m the guy with the green-striped RV and the bibbed swimming trunks), but there’s miles of unpopulated beachfront property, and as long as you buy the permit, nobody’s going to say boo. Tahoe may have a nude beach or two, but cruising along Pyramid Lake’s shoreline, I’ve seen more boobies than you’d see in one of those Friday night, drive-in, double-feature slasher flicks. <div align="right">—Jim Bob</div>