The annual chore of cleaning out the files revealed a couple of items of interest this year. The first one is a decades old membership list of Reno’s venerable G.O.D. Club. Many of the names are of departed members, with a few still with us.
The club was founded by Don Dondero and Bob Carroll after a conversation with Lee Frankovich about getting some old PR and Press figures to discuss unpublished stories of The Good Old Days.
Today, the club is under the direction of Bill Berrum and boasts hundreds of members. It meets on the third Friday of the week at the Reno Elks Club. Here’s a list of names from the December ‘91 roster. Jud Allen, Don Burke, Bob Carroll, Neal Cobb, Ty Cobb, Lee DeLauer, Don Dondero, Gene Evans, Lee Frankovich, Jim Herzig, George Kerr, Art Long, Rollan Melton, Betty Stoddard Muncie, Bob McGowan, Sherry Peterson, Beverly Pomeroy, Roy Powers, Guy Shipler, Click Slocum, Harry Spencer, Dick Stoddard, Don Terrell, Jim Thompson and Charley Welsh.
The club is open to the public and an annual payment will get you a monthly postcard listing the speaker. When most clubs are dying The GOD Club continues to grow.
MEMORABLE ANNIVERSARY. This past November marked the 41st anniversary of the most tragic fire in the history of Las Vegas. It was 1980 when a massive fire broke out at the MGM hotel casino in Las Vegas.
On that fateful day, a client and I were staying directly across the street from the MGM in a timeshare called the Jockey Club. Waking early we heard the sirens and went downstairs to the front entrance of our hotel. Looking across the strip we saw huge billows of black smoke. My client said, “Looks like that small building next to the MGM is on fire!” “Not so, “ said a bellman standing close by, “It’s the MGM itself!”
As the flames grew hotter and the smoke billows more intense, we could actually spot persons jumping from the building to their deaths. Later, we watched as many of the survivors, all wrapped in blankets, walked into our building to take up emergency residence.
The fire seemed to last the better part of the day and when we went to a high-rise office building near downtown for our business meeting, we had a clear view of the strip, the MGM and the lineup of helicopters that were posed in a row trying to pick up survivors off the roof. As a result of that conflagration the fire code for all high-rise buildings in the state was severely upgraded.
IT MIGHT HAVE HAPPENED THIS WAY. One day long ago, before recorded time, Mother Nature—feeling a bit bored with her earthly duties— approached the Head Man upstairs to ask a favor. Her request was that she be given a relatively small plot of land somewhere on earth where she might fashion the ultimate environment, while utilizing only those elements available on the planet.
The Head Man granted her wish and she set about to find a locale. After a painstaking survey, she selected a high mountain location on the North American continent. Using no more than a small glacier and a couple of minor earthquakes, faulting and volcanoes her first step was to scoop-out a basin among the towering peaks. Trapping the crystal clear water in the basin was step two.
Then she sprinkled the craggy landscape with towering evergreens, so that the slopes would appear verdant year round. In the Meadows near the lake’s edge she planted swaths of rich grass. Abundant and diverse varieties of mountain wildflowers were the next touch. Then the beaches; ranging from coarse granite sand to powderly pumice, were formed. For dramatic effect she scattered a number of huge boulders along the lakeside. Then she stocked the waters with a mixture of fish; and put deer, bear, small mammals and a host of birds in the surrounding woods.
She proudly showed it off to the head man upstairs and his only question was, “What will you call it?” With almost reverential awe she whispered… “TAHOE”.