Teri Vance: A new view of the capital

My mom’s friends, Kathy Neff and Nikki McQueary, came up to visit her this week. They were friends while raising their children in Ruby Valley, but my mom has since moved to Dayton and Nikki to Las Vegas.

They get together as often as they can, and this time, they came here.

On Friday, they came into Carson City to take a look around. The weather was perfect for a walk through historic downtown, crunching leaves in the sunshine as we followed the Blue Line Tour.

We took in the Governor’s Mansion and other homes of note in the west side and stopped to check out the Nevada Artist Association’s Gallery and Artisan’s Store in the Brewery Arts Center.

Afterwards, they went to the Nevada Museum of Art and said they thoroughly enjoyed it.

Really, it was a lovely day in Carson City. Not one I’m used to.

Normally, when I’m visiting the capital’s landmarks and sites of interest, it’s because I’m covering it for some reason. This time, I saw it as a normal person would.

And I was impressed. We live in a nice town with some exceptionally talented artists.

More than that, I realized how fortunate I am to spend an afternoon with my mom and her friends, the women who shaped my view of what women could and should be. I’m lucky to have grown up around women who are strong and kind and funny and who remain curious and adventurous.

I’m not sure if it’s Nevada that helped shape these women or these women who helped shape Nevada. Probably both. And either way, I’m happy to live here with people like them.

•••

Willow Bill Goulardt is getting ready to create his annual display of willow reindeer, created by area school children, along Highway 395. He will be hosting a party to wrap the reindeer in Christmas lights 3:30-6 p.m. Nov 23 at Fremont Elementary School.

Reindeer made this year will be used to decorate the state Capitol, legislative lawn, Nevada State Museum and downtown offices.

At 9 a.m. Nov. 28, he will be looking for volunteers to help display the reindeer throughout Carson City.

He will be distributing them to Washoe Valley on Sunday and Gardnerville on Nov. 21, and will be looking for trucks and trailers to help haul them.

“For many years, it was just me doing it,” he said. “Now the community is coming out to help. People want to be a part of the nation’s largest art project.”

Throughout the 18 years he’s worked on the project, he said, 40,000 students have participated.

“If you want to be an elf, come out and put up a few reindeer to make your community a brighter place,” he said.

To volunteer, call Willow Bill at (775) 842-3594.

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