Noting the paucity of ads in the August 10 edition of the Best Bets Entertainment Guide, I was moved to recall some prominent local entertainment guides of the past.
The first one I remember was a pocket-sized edition put out by long-time artist Stew Walters. It was called Fun Dial and it contained a wealth of information on the rather meager entertainment of the era.
The second one was Reno This Week and it was twice the size of its predecessor. It was published by one of Reno’s premier disc-jockeys by the name of Ray Bohannon. Periodically I would glance through an edition and be most impressed by the two or three exotic photographs taken by one Richard Guy Walton. Also, I would always check a column from The Sports Man, which was written by Chet and Link Piazzo. All told, Reno This Week had sixteen pages and was chock full of the available live entertainment from the two major properties, the Mapes and Riverside Hotels plus the many lounges act at the smaller venues.
One day I chanced to meet Bohannon at the Reno Main Post Office downtown and He asked me to write an esoteric column for his publication. I did that for about six months and the next time I bumped into Bohannon, he said he had great news. He informed me that he had gotten a job with a Bay Area radio station and would be leaving town. When I asked him what would happen with his magazine, he said that he hoped I would take it over.
“For how much?” I asked him.
“No charge,” he replied. The next question was the most important one. When I inquired how much he owed the printer, he said, “Zero.”
I confirmed his last answer with Harry Frost of Reno Print, and he said that everything was paid to date. Although I had a full-time day job editing the Nevada Register, a weekly statewide Catholic newspaper, I figured I could do RTW on my free time at lunch and during free time at night and on weekends. Actually, the routine of getting the Guide out each week was a simple one. First, I would collect all of the pertinent information, take it to Reno Print and have it set in galleys, then by utilizing two large cardboards that had the pages outlined, clip and paste the galleys on a plastic overlay and take the finished product to Vern Lane at Nevada Engravers. He, in turn, would produce two thin aluminum plates that would go back to Reno Print so that the lithography process could produce the finished printing. I would collect the finished product late Friday and distribute on Saturday, which would usually give me time to sell a few more small ads. Crusty Bill Shipaugh was in charge of the enormous printing facility in Reno Print’s back room.
I continued putting out the publication when I switched from Newspaper work to PR and Advertising Agency endeavors. Finally, the little man died a merciful death when Reno newspapers started publishing their Entertainment Guides which had a far superior circulation to Reno This Week.