Mark Raymond: Carson City knows how to have a good time

Admittedly my experience with entertainment is a bit limited. My sojourn across much of the United States as an itinerant newspaperman is a far cry from the lurid life featured in news racks at grocery checkout counters.

I was reasonably certain I would like it here when I suggested to my wife it was time to move back to some sunshine (it was still raining last week in Oregon). The events of this past weekend brought to mind Brigham Young's honored, if prosaic comment: "This is the place."

Saturday, it was The Place.

It seems most of Carson City was at the Gourmet Food Truck event at Casino Fandango, or at the Legends of the West event on Carson Street, or at the baseball games at Governors Field. As the evening cooled, people were walking the neighborhoods or enjoying the company of friends around a backyard grill.

The last time I stood in line for food from a truck was long ago in Fort Polk, La., when sausage and egg biscuits were astonishingly good after early morning calisthenics with a full pack and an M-16. If your last memory of a food truck is similar, you'll find that the Internet is not the only change in the past 40 years. Fancy meals on fancy wheels have also come a long way, as evidenced by Saturday's huge crowds.

Downtown was rocking, too. At one end of Carson Street, motorcycle officers competed in an obstacle course competition. I'd seen videos of similar events last year when I mistakenly thought it was time to buy another motorcycle. Turns out I could have a wife or a motorcycle but not both. The motorcycle would get very expensive.

Anyway, these officers are extremely good. Slow-speed maneuvers on a bike as large and heavy as a big Harley-Davidson would have been tough to do on my old dirt bike, and I wouldn't have come close to those maneuvers on my old street bike.

Farther south on Carson Street, some very nice older cars lined the street. I'm a car guy and had a great time, but it would be nice to see a larger turnout of vehicles.

The band, Baker Street, was an important highlight of the downtown event. Great covers of '60s, '70s and '80s music, with some blues thrown in. This is not your average cover band - nice harmonies, strong instrumental ability and plenty of energy.

Sitting in the shade with a cold beverage, cool cars and great music made for a really nice day.

There are more fun days ahead. Upcoming in just the next week are Carson City's first Rib Cook Off, steam locomotive train rides, a chili cook-off, monster trucks, the Firecracker Fun Run and the RSVP Fair.

Thanks and congratulations to the contributors and organizers of the RSVP Fireworks. Combined, they are putting up a lot of money for Carson City's Fourth of July spectacle.

It is a major improvement over the little Michigan farm town in which I was raised, where the highlight one Fourth of July was an amazing display of aerial sparklers. Well, some 20 people and their children watching from across the road while I shot sparklers into the air over the tomato field may say something about how little it took to entertain us.

I'll miss this weekend's events, as I make a return trip to Roseburg, Ore. While there, I'll introduce former Nevada Appeal publisher Jeff Ackerman to my old staff and community. Jeff will be replacing me as publisher of The News-Review. I'll also be packing up what is left of my household in anticipation of moving from a rental into my new home here in Carson City.

I'm going to like it here - a lot.

See you around town.

• Mark Raymond joined the Nevada Appeal as publisher this year after 11 years as a publisher in Oregon and more years than he likes to count as publisher for newspapers in Michigan, Ohio, New York, Iowa and Wyoming.


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