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Baseball, hotdogs, apple pie and Boulder City

It’s that time of the year again. As I noted in today’s front-page preview of the Damboree, you look up Americana and chances are you will see listed the Fourth of July festivities here in clean, green Boulder City.

While I have been back many times over the years to visit family over the Fourth of July, this will be my first time covering it as a journalist. While Mother Nature is not being very cooperative, with temps expected to hit nearly 110 degrees, I’m still very excited.

Some of my earlier memories of the Damboree include being in the parade as a player on one of the many Boulder City Parks and Recreation youth baseball teams, throwing candy and waving to the crowd. In the park afterward there were two must-haves … a hamburger and confetti eggs. You had to build up your strength in order to smash 12 eggs on the heads of your friends. These days, I’d probably pull a hamstring attempting to do so.

The Damboree of 1987 was a big one for my family. Back then the Elks Lodge oversaw the event and my dad, Keith, was Damboree chairman. He worked countless hours with vendors, sponsors and volunteers to ensure everything went off without a hitch.

Call it nepotism, but I was asked to read the Preamble to the Constitution while on stage at the park that year. The accompanying photo (sorry for the poor quality) is that of me on stage with a few political heavy-hitters. I’m not sure if it still holds this distinction, but for many years the Damboree was the largest Fourth of July parade in the state, bringing out politicians from the local, state and national level.

If I recall correctly, that year I shared the stage with Gov. Richard Bryan and U.S. Sens. Chic Hecht and Harry Reid.

Two things come to mind right away when I think of the Damboree. First, it’s a time of the year that you’re all but guaranteed to run into friends you haven’t seen since the previous Fourth of July. That or the Credit Union, which was affectionately nicknamed the Credit Reunion.

The other is, there’s always been this unwritten tradition that the Boulder City High School reunions fall over the Fourth of July. My class, 1987, has had six reunions since I graduated and they have all taken place around the 4th. I’m proud to say I have happily attended them all.

These days, the event is bigger than ever, drawing thousands of attendees who enjoy the parade, food, music and fireworks at a pair of parks. I’m so glad to see that the spirit of the day and event has not lessened. So, enjoy the day, be safe and be thankful you live in such a great community.

Ron Eland is editor of the Boulder City Review. He can be reached at reland@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523.

Alumni events, marriage and a real Nazi

Ron’s column from a few weeks ago inspired me to tell a story about a weird event from my past. Mine is not as exciting as his in that there is no wrestler named Silo Sam. But there is at least one Nazi. And, no, not the current “I disagree with your politics so you are a Nazi” version. An actual card-carrying member of the party.

Las Vegas Veterans’ Memorial to Boulder City?

Veterans’ memorials can be found all over the Silver State. They are well deserved. They honor individuals who served the nation, and also commemorate battles and events regarding the many military anniversaries in Nevada.

City manager bids fond farewell

I may be leaving Boulder City, but it was not an easy decision. From the first time I came in and met the staff and community leaders, I saw a city filled with people who truly care about where they live and work. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to work with some incredible people.

Is the grass always greener?

Many people in the past played a golf game to cement a business deal, didn’t they? They also played golf to socialize. Has Boulder City recognized lessening play on golf courses? Or, from another perspective, what happens when million-dollar homes are placed around our open space golf course with views of the McCullough Mountains? Do fewer people play golf on the Boulder Creek golf course?

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Shakespeare was the man when it came to comedy and tragedy. His ability to make people feel the intense emotions of the characters is still imitated today. The past few months have been filled with a bit of excited anticipation at City Hall as several longtime and high-level employees have found new roles in other acts. I’m here to borrow some Shakespearean lines, the first being from Ophelia, “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” (Hamlet)

Me, my brother and Silo Sam

Recently, I’ve been enjoying watching shows on A&E related to professional wrestling back in the earlier days, with profiles on wrestlers I grew up watching as well as classic rivalries.

Let’s talk about the ‘D Word’

OK, as a starting point, I must note that it’s weird to think that I might be writing something that would put me in agreement with the Language Police.

Make a new plan, Stan

A plan is a method for achieving a desirable objective. It’s a program of action, usually memorialized in writing. Plans start with goals and ideas. But ideas alone (even good ones) don’t constitute a plan.

Time to recognize unsung heroes

We have so many functions within the Boulder City Police Department, from school resource officers to road patrol to the detective bureau. The work that they do keeps Boulder City among the “Safest Cities in Nevada” (newhomesource.com, alarm.com) year after year. One unit is the backbone of our public safety response: Public Safety Dispatchers.

Honoring National Public Health Week

In my eight decades of this amazing life, I have worn a great many hats: son, brother, father, major (USAF), grandfather, council member, state representative, state senator.