WHAT IS THE END GAME? With Russian troops decimating most of the cities they attack in Ukraine, what is the possibility of Russia occupying those cities once the war is over? Certainly those cities will have to see massive rebuilding before they can offer adequate living quarters. In addition, it is doubtful that the four million Ukrainians who have fled the country will have anything to come back for.
Maybe Putin wants to create a vast wasteland between Russia and the NATO countries. Whatever the case, it seems that he is hell-bent on eradicating the whole nation and killing civilians ruthlessly. So far, the Ukrainians have put up a masterful fight against the invaders and have destroyed much of the military hardware of the Russians. The President of Ukraine continues to call for more aid and is asking the UN to expel Russia from its membership in that august body. At this writing, Biden is proposing even more sanctions and the EU is joining in.
POOR JOE. In an effort to combat his sinking poll numbers, President Biden invited former President Obama to the White House in order to celebrate the Affordable Care Act. In the television coverage of the social hour following the event, Obama was mobbed by an adoring crowd, including Vice President Harris, while Biden was left to wander alone, muttering to himself.
NCAA FINAL. The clash between Kansas and North Carolina for the NCAA Basketball Championship proved to be an exciting affair. Actually it was a game of two halves, with NC winning the first half by fifteen points and Kansas winning the second half by eighteen points thus giving the Jay Hawks a three point margin of victory. The late loss of North Carolina’s big man might have been the most contributing factor to the final score.
THE WAY IT WAS. A recent trip up the Geiger Grade took me to one of the most scenic attractions in all of northern Nevada–it was of course Virginia City. Nestled in the Virginia Range, about thirty miles southeast of Reno, Virginia City is actually the entity that spawned the city of Reno. In its early years, Reno served as a railhead, where passengers and merchandise could off-load for the exciting stagecoach ride to Virginia City, which during its heyday mining era was called, “The brightest settlement between Denver and San Francisco.”
It was here that three hundred million dollars in gold and silver was pulled out of the Earth in the years 1859 to 1878 –and in those days a million dollars was worth a million dollars! Called “the liveliest ghost town in the west” Virginia City is in a remarkable state of preservation. The old buildings, mostly brick, are still standing and still providing retail space to a host of merchants. A couple of the old saloons like “The Bucket of Blood” and the “Delta” give you a chance to “belly up to the bar” just as the customers did almost a century and a half ago.
Customers included the likes of Mark Twain and Julia Bulette. Uneven wooden sidewalks take you up and down both sides of the main drag and steep side streets let you meander through the other parts of the city that contain such venerable structures as Piper’s Opera House, where the top entertainment stars of that bygone era performed.
Tours through the old mines are available as well as motorized shuttle bus rides with a colorful spiel about the highlights of Virginia City. Souvenir shops abound as well as a handful of good restaurants. You can still view the Territorial Enterprise newspaper building where Mark Twain penned many of his famous pieces. The Catholic Church, St. Mary’s In The Mountains, is worth a visit as are the old restored school buildings and mansions that are open to the public. If you want to connect with the past—almost the way it was—and see the area that provided the fortunes that built San Francisco, then a trip to Virginia City should be on your agenda.