As a child and young adult I’ve made the trip to Reno, Navada or Lake Tahoe many times. We had family in Reno and my Uncle has been living in Lake Tahoe since I was an adult. Reno was also my familly’s Christmas destination, and each Christmas we would see snow. Every summer I would drive my ’73 Dodge Dart to witness “hot august nights” a parade of old cars. The thrift stores were really great in the early ’90’s.
Our friend Eddie drove us up the 431 to an observation point, to look at Washoe Lake and the beautiful desert. On the way we passed this crumbled building that left a huge impression on me. I just feel like it stands as a metaphor for neglect and decay of America.
This used to be a restaurant/night club and Eddie used to play his trumpet there in the ’50’s. I was thinking that maybe the roof needed repairs but money was tight and a heavy snow fall caved the roof in. But there were so many rusting antiques around the building, so I feel like the only action the owner of this building is capable of is of accumilation. No energy was lost on reparation or maintaining infrastruture. Procrastination may have been the problem. Or maybe noone came there anymore, interests change, now people prefer to go to glittery strip clubs, sports bars or stay at home in front of cable t.v.
There is a real problem with the derelection of our heritage. It is so tradgic and depressing to see the rot, right before one’s eyes. I wish I could have been there to whisper « make do and mend » to the owner of this building, to « be happy with what you have » instead of searching to have more. Maybe to sell a little to finance repairs. But I know it is so much easier to find a new object to add to the collection than to let go or repair. The high cost of maintaning, added to no value for history and you have this slovenly road side attraction.
V.C. Is in a pretty good state of preservation, nostalgia is high here for the gold rush days. My french friend wanted to live there. I’m sure he was attracted to the idea of isolation, solitude, and romaniticism of America’s past.
Someone is doing nice signpainting in V.C.
Neon in Reno
last visit two years ago I had a feeing we should doccument all the great motel neon in Reno, I was sadly with reason, about a dozen have been bulldozed down since then.
I found out that a developement company bought up a lot of old motels and then abandoned them. Others are attracting bad elements, like prostitutes and junkies. There were some citizens that called for restoring the motels and making them kitsch vintage rentals. I also found out that there is one man trying to save all the neon, Will Durnam. He wants to open a museum. Read about it here.
Nature, beauty, simplicity not much has changed. Thank God!
A little video I made: