weather icon Clear

Memorial honors shooting victims

Fluttering in the breeze at Veterans’ Memorial Park are poignant tributes to the 60 victims of the nation’s worst mass shooting.

The temporary memorial features weathergrams, small strips of brown paper, each bearing the name of someone who lost their life due to the 1 October shooting in Las Vegas along with a touching sentiment.

The victims’ names are featured on one side and the sentiment on the other, all hand lettered by professional calligrapher Mary Lou Johnson.

Johnson created the weathergrams as a calligraphy exercise through the Fabulous Las Vegas Scribes, a group dedicated to calligraphy and paper arts. When she was done, she was encouraged by Patty Craddock of the group to find a place to hang them.

Johnson contacted the city and was given a permit by the parks and recreation department to install the temporary memorial. The location, surrounding the upper pond at the park, 1650 Buchanan Blvd., was selected because it is a popular place for people to walk and would garner a lot of attention.

In fact, Johnson said so many people stopped her and Boulder City resident Karen Mulcahy to ask what they were doing when they were tying the weathergrams to the trees that it “took forever.”

Mulcahy, a friend and former co-worker of Craddock, was “volun-told” for the project, according to Johnson.

She said she was happy to help.

“Patty knew I was sitting around bored silly,” Mulcahy said.

Mulcahy, who is not a calligrapher, said she appreciates the beauty of the weathergrams and what they represent.

Johnson said weathergrams were developed in the early 1970s by Lloyd Reynolds, founder of the Portland Society for Calligraphy, and are based on an old Japanese tradition. They usually feature haikus.

“He developed the weathergrams a way for his calligraphy students to make beautiful things in a simple way to share their calligraphy with others.”

The biodegradable paper and hemp ties they are made with are intended to disintegrate and weather over time.

As is tradition, they were lettered with Sumi ink, although instead of a symbolic red “chop” at the end, Johnson drew a heart. She made the heart in vermillion ink but didn’t do the first letter in red because they featured names instead of poems.

Johnson said it took her about a day to complete all 60 of the weathergrams.

Johnson, who lives in San Luis Obispo, California, has moved to Boulder City for six months to help care for her grandson and found the Scribes when she was looking for other calligraphers and a way to keep up her skills.

“I hit the ground running,” she said.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Book ‘em: Library welcomes visitors

It’s National Library Week and its theme, “Welcome to Your Library,” hits home for the local community as the Boulder City Library recently reopened its facility to visitors.

King’s curriculum grows through garden program

King Elementary School is taking some of its lessons outside of the classroom thanks to a partnership with the Boulder City Community Gardens.

Elks aim to better community

For 75 years, members of Boulder City Elks, Lodge 1682, have been working to better the community.

Noisy air-conditioning unit shouldn’t be ignored

Many of us may have fired up our air conditioners for the first time this year this week. That cooled air reassures us that we’ll make it through another triple-digit summer. What’s troubling is if our air conditioner suddenly makes strange noises.

Overnight oatmeal packs power for pennies

When it comes to cheap eats it doesn’t get more frugal and fabulous than oatmeal. It’s a whole grain, packed with fiber and nutrients, the taste is compatible with endless variations and costs mere pennies per serving. Are you sold yet? How about this? You can literally make it while you sleep. Does that appeal to your inner multitasker? Yup. Mine, too.

Vegetables star in colorful tart

Spring has sprung and Easter is just around the corner. I was wandering the produce department and saw these beautiful multi-hued rainbow carrots. They reminded me of my favorite line from the Rankin/Bass Easter television special.

Traditional soup comforting year-round

Ah, matzo ball soup. The very words conjure soothing comfort to the soul. Rich savory chicken broth with tender pieces of chicken and pillowy, cloud-like dumplings made from matzo. Anytime I see it on the menu at a deli I order it, especially if I’m in need of revitalization. They don’t call it Jewish penicillin for nothing.

Nevada citizen a Revolutionary descendant

The National Sons of the American Revolution was formed in 1876 by John Austin Stevens, who envisioned a hereditary social group. In 1889, William Osborn McDowell formed a similar group and decided to expand it to be a mass movement of descendants of Revolutionary patriots as opposed to a more closed social club that Stevens had formed. Additionally, McDowell was instrumental in forming the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution in 1890. A chapter of that organization thrives in Nevada.

Get saucy to hide vegetables from picky eaters

Even the most enthusiastic vegetable lovers can have a hard time getting that five a day. But when you have kids who act like you’re trying to poison them with peas, it’s even harder. That said, I’m not above suggesting you sneak veggies into your children’s food. Welcome to this episode of “Crouching Mother, Hidden Veggies.”