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The art of cruising in Boulder City

Just about everybody remembers their first car. It was that first real sense of independence while feeling like something between still wanting to watch the occasional Saturday morning cartoon and being an adult.

My first car, as I grew up here in Boulder City, was a 1975 Toyota Corolla. At that time the car was just 10 years old. It was yellow on the outside with black interior. In terms of music …an AM radio, because I was cool like that.

I guess I should back up a bit. When I was 4 or 5 and had my first dentist appointment, my parents told me that when I turned 16, if I still had no cavities, they’d get me a car. Jump ahead a decade and the moment of truth was upon us. Clean bill of health. No cavities. And I might add, I didn’t have my first one until I was 43.

A year or two before I turned 16, I believe my aunt, who was the original owner, got a new car and my grandparents then were given the Corolla. They were then nice enough to give it my parents and then me.

It may not have been flashy but it was mine and that’s what mattered.

Back in the 80s and 90s, cruising, like in many small towns, was one of the most popular things to do in Boulder City on a Friday or Saturday night. We all did it. And, we all did what was referred to as the Lap or the Loop. The route consisted of driving through downtown, taking a left on Buchanan, left on Adams, left on Utah and you guessed it, a left on Arizona, with slight variation. And, if you chose to not feel like a NASCAR driver, with lefts only, you reversed the course. After all, if you’re all driving the same direction, how are you going to see others in order to pull over and talk?

Being that it was fairly bright yellow, you couldn’t miss my car. We’d pile in and hit the course with the inevitable stop at Arnie’s Arco, which is where the new 7-11 sits. After digging through your console, glove box or under the seats, you came up with 26 cents, enough to get your fountain drink of choice. Not being the sharpest tool in the shed, I went for the combo Coke, Dr. Pepper, orange, root beer, Sprite and whatever else I had room for in the cup.

Being that my birthday is in January, I turned 16 sooner than many of my classmates. So, I was often the designated taxi back then and I was fine with that. Throughout high school I was happy to give rides to friends as well as after sporting events. I recall after several track meets piling six or seven of us into my “taxi” and when exiting, it looked like a clown car but we were all in blue and gold (Insert the obligatory “Go Eagles”).

While we didn’t have fancy cars and technology like many teens have today, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We had fun, face-to-face conversations, AM radios and above all …26-cent sodas.

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.