weather icon Clear

Is this heaven?

One of this columnist’s favorite movies of all time is “Field of Dreams.” And one of my favorite lines from the movie: “Is this heaven? No, it’s Iowa.”

Although it sounds sappy and contrived, I asked myself the same question when first visiting our eventual home town: Is this heaven? No, it’s Boulder City.

My wife, Kathy, and I had planned for nearly five years to eventually move to, and retire in, Las Vegas. While we were winding down our careers in the Los Angeles area of California, Kathy had diligently been shopping for houses online. Her best girlfriend lives in Vegas so she combined a visit to her home armed with three or four houses to check out. None quite fit the bill.

Fast-forward to 2019 and her Realtor suggested a visit to both Henderson and Boulder City. Boulder whaaat? Kathy set up three different homes in Boulder City to check out and had me come along for the ride. Guys, you’ll know exactly what I mean. When your better half says we’re going somewhere, it’s best to reply with a preapproved answer: “Yes, dear.”

We played follow-the-leader with our Realtor, heading to the first house on our list. I think she purposely took us to a place toward the bottom of the likability scale as it was an immediate, “Ah, no.” The second place, not much of an improvement. But, as if a nine-planet alignment had just taken place, number three was the house we bought and eventually turned into our home. Walking in the front door had that uncanny vibe — the feeling that we need look no further. It was perfect.

While looking at the backyard, I had my first of many “life at the movies” moments. It was eerily quiet. Other than a smattering of birds in nearby trees, we heard absolutely nothing. No cars, no choppers overhead. No neighbors screaming at each other while cranking death metal rock ‘n’ roll music. No sirens, no gunshots. Keep in mind, we were coming from LA where those same cacophonic sounds became ambient noise.

I thought to myself, OK, it’s really, really quiet. That’s a good thing. I would find out that Boulder City is so serene, our first night sleeping in our new home proved too calm for this soon to be ex-city slicker. I fluffed, then firmly planted my head into my pillow only to several moments later hear my own pulse in my ears. What the …? So I could sleep, I turned on the air-conditioning system’s fan. With its mechanical drone, like an expensive white-noise generator, I slept like a baby.

We then visited a local store. The employee that waited on us seemed almost over-the-top nice. Then at a Boulder City restaurant, the host was gregarious and welcoming, the waiter sweet and helpful. Even the busboy was outgoing, funny and engaging. What’s with this place? Is there something in the air, the water? Are Kool-Aid doses distributed to every inhabitant with mandatory dosage instructions?

We would soon realize Boulder City is like none other we’ve ever visited, much less called home. It is a uniquely blessed place where simple, old-fashioned values carry the day. The golden rule is widely practiced where its inhabitants treat others as they, themselves, wish to be treated.

In the two years we’ve called Boulder City our home, we’ve encountered a couple of surly exceptions — but they are truly outliers. Boulder City is an amazing diamond in the rough — a jewel of a small town reminiscent of a Norman Rockwell painting visualizing America of the ’50s and ’60s. We feel wonderfully blessed this is our home.

Although the only true constant in life is change, we hope and pray God’s gift to Nevadans remains the same come what may.

The opinions expressed above belong solely to the author and do not represent the views of the Boulder City Review. They have been edited solely for grammar, spelling and style, and have not been checked for accuracy of the viewpoints.

Ron Russ is a Los Angeles transplant, living in and loving Boulder City since 2020. His career in commercial broadcasting spanned more than four decades, including a brief stint as the announcer for Fox’s short-lived “The Chevy Chase Show.” In another lifetime Ron performed stand-up comedy in Los Angeles. He can be reached at russbcr@outlook.com.

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.