RIP Bruce Van Dyke, pilot of the airwaves
Thanks for the memories. The piece on Bruce VanDyke (RN&R, Oct. 1) was nice: short and sweet and nice, some of the things that Van Dyke was typically not, if you knew him. He certainly wasn’t short, his general demeanor and criticism was rarely sweet and nice wasn’t a word I would have used to describe him.
He was very tall and often a little full of himself; being nice if you were a Rockstar DJ would have ruined the act. We both worked in radio when Reno had about nine stations, late seventies, early eighties, when rock stars were tall and thin with lots of hair and screamed many of their songs: women loved them.
I guess I kind of wanted to be him because I was the guy down the hall who sold the radio advertising and wrote the commercial spots; I did get to go to lots of radio remotes, you know, car dealerships, new store openings and fast-food startups. The only problem was I was all dressed up in a giant duck costume…quack, quack, while he had the mike and the girls.
A few years later, we had both grown up some and I discovered things are not often what they appear: I was not a duck and he was not a Rockstar. He was very bright and very nice. But never short. Bye, Bruce…see you on the other side.
Patrick Luna, Reno
A ‘tunesmith and a wordsmith’
I still remember interviewing Bruce for a piece in the RGJ about the “X” and its amazing resiliency. He was just so great. We talked Reno radio, the “X” and its birth, why the station kept coming back against incredible odds, and why so much of the station’s success was the pride that the people who worked there took in its existence. Bruce made a very clear point that to be a good DJ a person had to take pride in being a “tunesmith” as well as a “wordsmith.” No one in our area was a better “tunesmith” and “wordsmith” than Bruce. His Reno News & Review, column, which you write about so well, Jimmy (RN&R, Oct 1), was an extension of this wonderful intersection of music, thought and words that Bruce inhabited so well. I remember he called me after my story in the RGJ appeared. He thanked me for it, and said that anytime I wanted to come down their studios again and hang out, I was welcome. Come to find out, all of Reno had the same standing invitation with this uncommonly talented man.
John Trent, Reno (via RN&R.com)
Bruce Van Dyke was Reno.
Iconic, A tad wacky, wonderful and totally full of the Sierras. My bucket list wish would have been to follow him around in his Northern Nevada treks, to see for myself what he so beautifully described. I have collected a ton of his RN&R articles because they were, to me, so Spot On.
The news of his passing was and will always be devastating.
God Speed, and when you catch up with Hunter S. Thompson? I expect Tales From Beyond The Neon Babylon!
With great Love + Respect.
Leslie Maxwell, Reno (via RN&R.com)
Burning Man fizzles
It’s fitting that your story about Burning Man (RN&R, Aug. 1) was illustrated by a sculpture of a glass shark. Now that the event has hit attendance of 80,000 and ticket prices are in the stratosphere, the annual “Hippie Heaven on Earth” has “jumped the shark.” What began as a pretty cool arts festival has deteriorated into a overblown campout for Bay Area tech bros and assorted hangers on who freely pass COVID around (RN&R, Sept. 14). Northern Nevada makes money off the coconut water crowd and that’s the only upside for Reno. But it’s time that Burning Man gets doused. It’s run its course.
Ken Waters, Reno
Thanks to Dolan Auto Group
This fall we are extraordinarily thankful for Dolan Auto Group who has committed to buying all of the turkeys for Catholic Charities’ Thanksgiving food baskets. Local residents interested in holding a food drive to help complete these baskets may contact Monique Jacobs at email@example.com. Anyone who would like to contribute financially please note “Thanksgiving” in the comments of your online gift.
Catholic Charities, Reno
Libertarians on the ballot
This cycle, the Libertarian Party of Nevada ran a 40-year record number of candidates – but we also ranked and rated our opposition. We prepared a voter’s guide for our membership (and for anyone who cares about shrinking the size and scope of government) with our opinions of the other candidates in these races. Here is the guide: https://lpnevadavoterguide.com/
Katie Banuelos, The Libertarian Party of Nevada
Marchant is a danger to democracy
One of the most dangerous political candidates in the country is running for office in Nevada. If elected, he will have power—too much power—over our elections. His name is Jim Marchant (RN&R, Aug. 11), the Republican nominee for secretary of state. His chief issue is “election integrity,” which is troubling because the last thing he wants is integrity in our elections.
Marchant believes Donald Trump was the “legit” winner of the 2020 election—never mind there is no evidence whatsoever to substantiate this claim. To make matters worse, he supported sending an alternate slate of Trump electors to Congress over the will of Nevada voters and said he would do it again. He also said that he would not have certified Biden’s victory if he had been Nevada’s secretary of state in 2020.
This is an ominous sign of what is to come. If Marchant is our secretary of state in 2024 and a Democrat wins, the odds are high that Marchant will not certify the results, resulting in a constitutional crisis. He’s been an election denier since he lost his race for Nevada’s 4th congressional seat to Rep. Steven Horsford in 2020. He claimed he was the “victim of election fraud.” In reality, he was just the loser.
He thinks elections have been rigged for more than a decade and the winners “have been installed by the deep state cabal.” Apparently, the only time elections are rigged is when Marchant and his preferred candidates lose. He is so conspiratorial about elections that he even questioned the legitimacy of the primary he won in June. He said he was “not really confident in the result” and that there “could have been anomalies.” He is the leader of the America First Secretary of State Coalition, which exists—in his words—to work
The secretary of state is our last line of defense of our democracy. If this person undermines our elections, we will cease to have a functioning democracy. We can’t let that happen.
Hyla Winters, Las Vegas.