On a recent Friday morning, I awoke to a putrid smell and a bathtub full of sewage backup; it was not my best morning. As my wife so aptly put it, “After 83 years of faithful service at a thankless job, our sewer mainline was now only good for flushing one thing … money.”
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Worrying could be a full-time job. You worry about yourself, the kids, relatives, your job — an endless list. There’s no energy left to get involved with city issues, much less volunteer your time. How can you do everything? Why should you?
A Royal Air Force officer yelled, “What have you bloody Americans done to the English language?” It was the late ’80s and I was working with my allied counterparts at SHAPE, Belgium, three stories below ground level inside a blast-hardened bunker. The TV was constantly tuned to CNN because of our real-world mission. A commentator had butchered a word and my British counterpart was expressing his frustration.
Less than a month ago I was at the opening of The Tap enjoying a bouquet of independent music. As I sat on the patio, I watched droves of people arrive at the parking lot’s entrance smiling and pointing at the temporary stage. Boulder City’s skyline had temporarily been lit up by waving searchlights, and the city’s usually quiet 1950s charm changed its tune as Bad Moon Booking showcased a hodgepodge of musical talent.
Having lived in Houston for 30 years before my move to Nevada in 2011, I am happy that my local friends now know what a real monsoon looks like, but not too happy about the circumstances because I still have tons of friends and family back there.
At our last City Council meeting, we had a large turnout with strong public participation on an important project, a unique characteristic of our city’s political process that I both admire and applaud. Most of the public input was respectful, civil and genuine, another aspect of our local government that we should surely be proud of.
I will admit, it was with some reluctance that I approached the home on a very hot Saturday morning in Boulder City where I had told a friend I would assist with a move. It’s not that I am unwilling to help, but there is always the fear that you will be the only one to show up, and the extent of their moving vehicles will be a 1985 Toyota Corolla. So, I was exceedingly happy to see three trucks pull up as I neared the door, each filled with three or four young men, all of whom had biceps that would impress Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Boulder City has found its way into the middle of what has been dubbed “a premier postmodern Western.” Dealing with reincarnation, mysticism, visions, purgatory and the Wild West, writer Jim Jarmusch brought together actors Johnny Depp, Billy Bob Thornton, Robert Mitchum, Crispin Glover and Iggy Pop for a black and white film titled “Dead Man.”
There are two projects that are potentially coming to Boulder City.
When veterans and active-duty military personnel need help, it’s very common for other veterans and service people to step up to lend their collective hands. Providing assistance to their fellow brothers and sisters is ingrained in the hearts and minds of America’s military culture.
What makes you so excited that you want to get up and do something? While that’s a matter of individual choice, let’s look at just two examples.
A few weeks ago my framily (friends who are practically family), Monica Maltese and Gabriel Carvajal, came through Boulder City on a cross-country adventure. They started out on the East Coast and were San Diego bound.
Two months ago, on foreign soil nonetheless, former President Barrack Obama gave a speech wherein he claimed, “the future does not belong to strong men.” He also stated that we were nations of immigrants and implied that compassion and caring were incompatible with being strong.
Without any bidders on the land that we were desperate to sell, we were stuck. Luckily, StoryBook Homes came in and gave us an offer.
Preserving the past. It’s vital in a city like ours. After all, we’re the town that built Hoover Dam. But over a lifetime, I’ve learned some important lessons about historic preservation (both do’s and don’ts) that I think are worth sharing.
As your Throwback Thursday columnist, I have a dark secret to share. I’m an enthusiastic silent-film fan who, in an attempt to find a tie between Boulder City and my favorite silent-film star, Charlie Chaplin, accidentally discovered an amazing link to Hollywood history right off Arizona Street. Actor, radio host and writer Will Rogers not only came to Boulder City, but he stayed at the Boulder Dam Hotel.
Several years ago, I was working on a story about the creation of the first schools in Boulder City and in our local library came across the incredible oral histories collected and transcribed by former Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum Director Dennis McBride.
This month we all received utility rate increases that were voted on by the City Council back in May. The only nay vote at the time was City Councilman Cam Walker.
Boulder City is currently the home of a veteran whose name is “Fearless.” When someone’s name is “Fearless” it could either be a satirical reference, or it could mean that it’s someone who is in reality a very tough individual. In the case of Fearless Fredy King, it’s the latter definition.
Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson are forever cemented in Hoover Dam’s history. The four legendary singers, along with National Academy of Songwriters Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Jimmy Webb, all played a big role in the song “The Highwayman.”
I’ve been sharing this link to the Hoover Dam Gateway plan ( http://www.bcnv.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_04192017-386 ) on Facebook. It points to the April 19 Planning Commission agenda packet. To read the plan, you must go to page 113, since it is not a single document.
As a senior member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and representative of more than 300,000 veterans living in Nevada, I am always working to address the problems that continue to plague one of our country’s largest government agencies: the Department of Veterans Affairs.
On June 29, 1999, tragedy struck Boulder City. Bill Andrews, the town’s attorney, died after being struck by a vehicle on U.S. Highway 95.
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