Main Street Moments

Staff Reports

Fall is in the air and the annual question has arisen once again. Will it be hot or cold for Candy Dance weekend? Either way it promises to be as bustling and enjoyable as always.

The Candy Dance was started by Lillian Virgin Finnegan who had taken a cruise on the Mississippi during which there was a dance where candy was passed out to the passengers. When Genoa needed street lights, she had the idea to do the same, selling the candy to raise money to pay for the lights. It was much later (1970s) that the craft fair was added.

Billie Jean Rightmire and the Douglas County Historical Society exhibit committee have put together a Candy Dance exhibit upstairs in the Genoa Court House Museum. The display features posters from early Candy Dances as well as photos, banners, pins and collectibles available at the annual event. This exhibit is on loan and will be taken down when the museum closes is doors for the season on Oct. 7.

But the Genoa Court House Museum will be open both Saturday, Sept. 29, and Sunday, Sept. 30, for this year's 87th Candy Dance. The museum's front lawn will feature three local artists whose work is also available in the museum gift shop.

William Broderson will be showing his hand-crafted and inlaid wood bowls, vases and vessels. He is a retired soil scientist who lives right here in Carson Valley. He learned his artistic use of wood from his grandfather who was a woodshop teacher, professional cabinet maker and artist.

One of William's special techniques is the unusual use of inlay such as semi-precious stones, different wood and color highlights with texturing to make his work unique. He uses quality woods such as big leaf maple, black myrtle, yew and exotic woods such as ebony and American holly.

Brenda Frank, also known as Da-Bo-O, will be displaying her unusual pine needle baskets, dream catchers and earrings. She is married to John Frank, a member of the Washoe Tribe of Nevada & California and was taught her art by John's sister, Larena Burns. Basket weaving, both willow and pine needle, is a tradition among tribal members.

Brenda uses local Ponderosa needles, which she gathers in the Genoa area, as well as Virginia Pine and Montezuma Pine needles from the east. She also includes beads and feathers in some of her designs. Da-Bo-O means "white" in Washoe.

Francis Rider will be showing his unique clay vases. He has lived and worked in South Lake Tahoe since 1978 where he has taught classes in art at Lake Tahoe Community College.

Francis uses a combination of techniques including throwing, hand building, carving and altering shapes to create his one-of-a-kind art. In addition, he enjoys sculpting with discarded materials such as natural wood and stone.

While you are taking in all the sights, stop by the Genoa Courthouse Museum and say hello to these three local artists.

If you have any questions about anything mentioned here, please call the Douglas County Historical Society at the Carson Valley Museum in Gardnerville at 782-2555 or the Genoa Court House Museum at 782-4325. Visit the Web site at And, if you have the time, both museums are always looking for interested volunteers.

-- Contact Ellen Caywood by e-mail at or at 790-1565.


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