Scout wants to paint ‘D’ hill, gets OK from commission |

Scout wants to paint ‘D’ hill, gets OK from commission

by Sheila Gardner

Ben Dykes’ Eagle Scout project is safe, if Douglas County Commissioners have anything to say about it.

The 15-year-old Gardnerville boy wrote to board Chairman Jacques Etchegoyhen that he wanted to paint the “D” on the hill above David Walley’s Resort to earn Boy Scouting’s highest award.

“I want to paint the ‘D’ on the hill that stands for Douglas. I’ve noticed in the past five years that it has become very faded and I plan to take 15 or 20 guys up there to help me. I plan to do this sometime in April,” Dykes said in his letter.

– Vandalism? Dykes told the board that he became concerned after reading a Jan. 5 letter to the editor in the Reno Gazette-Journal from Gardnerville resident Les Bower who compared the “D” to vandalism.

“This seems to have come to us from California, and I for one wish it had stayed there. There is nothing I enjoy more than our wonderful pristine views every time I drive about this area of our home state, and nothing that disgusts me more than suddenly rounding a curve and seeing these ugly white smudges on these natural wonders we live in,” Bowers wrote.

In his letter, Bower said he was happy when earlier plans to paint the Douglas “D” fell through.

Dykes asked the commissioners to discuss his Eagle Scout project Thursday and let him know what to do.

“I didn’t know when I started working on the project that there were people against the repainting of the ‘D,’ the youth wrote.

“If you decide the author has a valid point and would not like to see the ‘D’ repainted, I will terminate my project as soon as I receive word and look for another project. If decide the ‘D’ needs repainting, I will continue working on it as I have been,” Dykes said in his letter.

The teen-ager’s letter was read Thursday by County Commissioner Steve Weissinger.

The board gave the Eagle Scout-to-be unanimous support.

“Paint the ‘D,’ said Commissioner Don Miner.

– Nothing California about it. In addition to endorsing Dykes’ project, Commissioner Kelly Kite offered a history lesson to letter writer Bower, correcting the Gardnerville man’s mistaken assumption that the painted hillside was a tradition imported from California.

“The gentleman is wrong,” Kite said. “Painting the letters on the hillsides identified the area for airplane pilots. In the Midwest, the communities’ names were painted on water towers.”

Dayton, Carson City, Virginia City and Reno all have letters painted on their hillsides.

“I’m kind of embarrassed by our faded ‘D,” Kite said. “I hope he (Dykes) paints it very, very white.”

“It’s a safety issue,” Miner said.

Back to Front Page