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‘Far’ or ‘West’: Which is worse?
by Harry Spencer
Nov 27, 2009 | 975 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Just when you thought the furor over the slogan for the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority was over, it rose again like a phoenix from the ashes.

This time, however, the new slogan was unanimously passed by the RSCVA board with little or no opposing comment. The new moniker, “Far from Expected,” which also features the “Reno Tahoe USA” logo, once again left the city of Sparks stranded high and dry. Last Tuesday, fellow columnist David Farside did a strong job in chiding Sparks reps at the RSCVA for not standing up for the Rail City’s inclusion.

In one of his comments, Farside may have hit the nail on the head when he noted that there is a bit of a negative in the new slogan if you examine it carefully. It could mean that the Reno/Tahoe experience was far better than the visitor had thought it was going to be; or, on the other hand, it could also be taken to mean that the Reno/Tahoe experience was far “less” or even far “worse” than had been expected.

Nonetheless, the area is not stuck with the new moniker and, like its predecessor, “America’s Adventure Place,” has gained only lukewarm response from the score of marketing experts who used it to promote the area. The one thing it has done is inspire a raft of letters to the editor of the local press, all accompanied with suggested slogans that, in many cases, seem superior to the final choice.

As mentioned in this space some time back, the best slogan ever developed for the RSCVA was “Reno, Reno,” but that was in a time period when the RSCVA had unequivocally decided to bar all mention of Lake Tahoe from its marketing plans. Going back to when “Adventure Place” was adopted, I got a call from an Incline Village marketing friend who suggested a slogan that I thought had a lot of merit: “Your days are Tahoe, your nights are Reno.” I presume it is still available.

WAC Champion

By the time you read this, the official football champion of the Western Athletic Conference will have been decided by the result of last night’s game between the University of Nevada, Reno and Boise State. At press time, the Broncos were listed as 13 1/2-point favorites. Many in Reno were taking the points and general consensus was that the eventual winner would be the team with the fewest turnovers.

Were they right?

Celebrity Corner

While a lot of old movies on TV these days feature individual stars with Nevada connections, there are rare instances of films that feature two such performers. Hardly ever, though, do you catch a 50-year-old flick that stars three performers with Washoe County connections. Such was the case last week, however, when “The Bridges at Toko Ri” aired. The lead was played by superstar William Holden and his leading lady was Grace Kelly, who I don’t believe ever visited this area. The other two featured players in “Bridges” who had strong Reno and Pyramid Lake ties were Mickey Rooney and Earl Holliman.

“Bridges” was a Technicolor flick based on the role Navy carrier aircraft played in the Korean War during bomber duty. Holden, of course, was the heroic pilot and Kelly was his wife, while Rooney and Holliman were a pair of helicopter airmen.

Holden spent quite a bit of time in Reno in 1947 when he was the star of the movie “Apartment for Peggy.” Most of the location shooting here was done on the UNR campus and many of us scored pretty handsomely doing extra work. In one scene, my roommate, Pete Pridgen, and I were to walk across the tram at the south end of Manzanita Lake in front of a long line of other students and the camera picked us up on the west end of the tram. When the scene was all set to go, we heard a familiar voice behind us say, “Whatever you guys do, don’t look at the camera!” Turning around, we saw it was Holden and during the three or four takes of the scene we got to visit extensively with him. He was a likable person, smaller than he appeared on screen, but brimming over with charm and charisma. His co-stars, Jeanne Crain and Edmund Gwenn, were also very approachable and interesting when I got the chance to interview them for The Sagebrush, the campus newspaper.

Rooney, of course, was a regular performer here at the Mapes Skyroom and was even featured in the floor show during the 1960 Winter Olympics. As mentioned in this space not too long ago, Holiman was one of the featured players in “Sixty Saddles for Gobi,” the Richard Widmark starrer that was shot primarily at Pyramid Lake.

Harry Spencer is a freelance writer in Reno. His column about the past and present of northern Nevada appears weekly in the Tribune.

Editor’s note: Harry Spencer’s column is sometimes a mix of reporting and opinion. Opinions expressed in his column are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Tribune.
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