I took a writing class from Michon Mackedon during my second semester at Western Nevada Community College, as we called it back then. Maybe English 102, I’m not sure, but she was teaching us about “place,” a sense of our place in the world. She had us read several pieces, I don’t even remember now which ones — maybe My Antonia’ and others from an anthology of short stories.
I hadn’t ever stopped to consider this idea — Place. I suppose that why they send us to college. To consider new ideas. Or old ideas as new to us.
What a thought, however. Where you are and what it means to you. How it shapes who you are — who you become. This idea of place has stayed with me over the years. As it probably does to all of us Fallon kids who were raise here our whole life, waiting for the day we can leave and go out into the big world to seek our dreams and make our fortunes. And then end up back here — victims of the terrestrial magnet that is the Lahontan Valley.
My SloanieBelle and I were talking about this a couple days ago. It’s getting close to the opening of her senior year in high school. Greenwave, Class of ’21. We were discussing that old adage — “it’s such a great place to raise kids.” I was disagreeing. I have a 17-year-old going-on-senior, bear with me. She was making the case for wanting to come back here and raise her kids.
“There are so many things, going up to Rattlesnake and watching the sun go down, the ballpark and watching your friends play softball, the pool, the people, it’s what makes you,” she said.
You almost want to cry because you remember all those same things too. All those summers that made you.
And there really is nothing like a summer in Fallon. Driving through the valley at sunset when you can smell the water in the canals and the newly cut alfalfa. Coming into town from Schurz, when you pop up over the hill at Top Gun and the whole valley is laid out in front of you. That same scene from Grimes Point. Home. It’s what makes you. Us.
It seems like a good time for us to remember who we really are outside the insanity of what’s going on right now in this country. I feel like we’re so much better than this. I feel like we’re special. That for some reason our isolation — we’re a geographical oddity, we’re 30-miles from anywhere — (forgive the paraphrased movie line) protects us, or should, from all that angst out there.
It feels like we should be more patient with each other. Less critical. Less mean. Things are hard right now, and everyone is feeling it. I get some of the meanest comments on the website and emails from people that you could imagine. It’s part of the job, I get it. But I’ve been doing this paper for a year-and-a-half and no one ever wrote me anything mean before this past month.
I miss the old Fallon. Where we got cool events at the city — concerts in the park and picnics after the parade. When we got to see the Mayor cheering on our kids at sporting events, and when we could actually see who we were approaching at the grocery store, without the silly disguises.
When I worked for Shirley Walker in my youth when she ran the economic development office, she would often say, “honey, it’s a great ride if you don’t weaken.”
We can’t weaken now Fallon, buck up, we can get through this – we are surrounded by the people who love us, we are joined by new people we can love. This is our place and hopefully this paper is bringing you some comfort. We are digging to find happy, good news wherever we can. Please keep sending us ideas and good, supportive comments. Have a great weekend.
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I agree with you about an increase in mean, aggressive people in Northern Nevada recently. I grew up in South Reno 50 years ago and came to Fallon about 10 years ago, after almost 25 years in Sparks. This part of Northern Nevada was always a close-knit, friendly place with a good sense of community. It just seems like there are a lot of unhappy people here now who complain a lot and are unpleasant to be around. I miss the old Nevada, too. It was a great place to live.