Annual melodrama tickets close to sold out |

Annual melodrama tickets close to sold out

by Ellen Caywood

If you haven’t gotten your melodrama tickets before now, you may be out of luck. At the beginning of the week, there were only 20 tickets left. By now those may be gone as well. The remaining tickets were for the Sunday afternoon matinee with the hot dog lunch provided by Elks lodge No. 2670. Call the Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center as soon as it opens at 10 a.m. this morning. We hope you get to those last few tickets in time.

We who are involved with the annual melodrama forget that some of you may not know what melodrama is all about. A typical melodrama has a hero, heroine and a villain. The heroine is always “so helpless and alone” and we all sigh when she appears on stage. The hero always shows up just in time to save her from the dastardly deeds of the villain and we all cheer when he shows up. The villain is the bad guy, the one who kidnaps the heroine or steals her ranch or her livestock. When he comes on stage we boo and hiss.

Now throw in some of the history of Carson Valley and some local things we can poke fun at, and you have our melodramas. We have had characters like Choo Choo Trayne as the station master of the V&T Railroad, Seth Poole as the villain and Esmeralda Street as the heroine. We have tackled problems like land for a shopping mall and we have taken a humorous look at the history of the Hotel Minden. Then because so many of us are transplants in this Valley, we do poke fun at that other state where so many of us lived before moving here.

Add to all that a cast and crew that have been together for a while, some good writing and a lot of quick wit and you have one very special evening. Our own Sue Smith, who passed away during last year’s performances, brought us the melodrama format and her husband John Smith was our playwright for the first productions. Now Dave Thomas has taken over the writing and directing, but our irrepressible cast still comes up with the ad libs. Bring Kleenex because you will laugh until you cry.

March may seem far away, but it will be here before we know it. The Thursday, March 8, lecture will be in keeping with the theme of Women In History. Bob Ellison will discuss “The Search for Laura Dittenreider” who was one of the first white women in Nevada. The lecture will start at 7 p.m. Admission is free for DCHS members, $3 for non-members.

The reception for Women in History is scheduled for Saturday, March 24, from 2 to 4 p.m. This year we are honoring Native American women, including Dat-so-la-lee, Sue Coleman, Sarah Winnemucca, Clara Frank and Susie Dick. Dianna Borges will be doing her Chautauqua presentation of Sarah Winnemucca. Admission for this event is free and the public is invited.

Saturday, April 21, is the date for our Second Hand Rose Fashion Show and Sale. Soon we will start requesting gently used clothing and accessories.

We’ll let you know when the Gardnerville museum will be accepting donations. Ladies, this is your chance to pick up some new-to-you clothing at thrift store prices. This is another event that sells out quickly, so mark your calendars.

All monies donated to DCHS are 100 percent tax deductible and go to keep our doors open. We are self-funded, receiving no money from state or local entities, and are here solely to preserve the history of this wonderful Valley and to make sure you have the opportunity to enjoy it. If you have any questions about anything mentioned here, please call the Douglas County Historical Society at 782-2555 or visit our website at

Contact Ellen Caywood by email at or at 790-1565.