Reno, Nevada

Reno bleeds talent. It is a desert incubator and a neon bacteria colony for genius. It's a city of makers. The kids I grew up with all turned out extraordinary. They went on to be artists, actors, directors, musicians, doctors, lovers, writers, comedians, poets, teachers and world-travelers. We grew up in the desert in the heart of nothing. Sagebrush and nothing. In other cities, kids drink themselves to death. In Reno, they built until their fingers bled. They built when no one watched. Then they built some more.

Reno bleeds talent. It can't hold on to its geniuses. They slip into the world leaving their distinctive fingerprints on everything they touch. And though they leave, it stays lit for them.  Reno is a desert lighthouse. 

Every few years a new breed of kids would topple the old men who'd gone soft. It's a town of young lions and rad times. From the time I could pick up a guitar, I never saw a venue with a decent PA. No one has ever heard the vocalist at a Reno show. Ever. So every kid learned to play the ass off their guitar. They didn't need microphones to sing. This city has a bass drum heart. 

These kids could paint. We looked at comic books and watched The Simpsons, but somewhere in between my friends learned how to blow the doors off museums. They put their pencils to page and wrote epics without words. 

The women of Reno. Don't even get me started. These women of dazzling wit and charming intellect are smarter and more stylish than I'll ever be. Plus they all straighten their hair. 

Get your maps out and circle that four letter word near the state capital. I may not get mail delivered there, but it's my home. And when people ask where I'm from, when I think about what made me the kind of man I've become, and when someone asks where the "Biggest Little City in the World" is, I answer with poise and ferver: Reno Fucking Nevada. 


  1. Love this. And the fact that you're writing again!

  2. I talk about Reno as if it's my lover! Before I left, I was so ready to get the hell out of there. Now that I'm in a city with amazing food, diversity, and culture coming out it's ears, I miss my small hometown. You're right! Reno is full of talent and it is a great city...but only after we leave.

  3. @Sharleen. Reno is our wife. Though we find dirty mistresses elsewhere, she's always waiting for us to come home.