Happy birthday, Silver State
October 27, 2011
Today, we take a day off to celebrate the birth of our state. On Saturday, there’s a big parade and all kinds of singular to Nevada events, like single jack drilling and a beard contest.
Halloween is the true birthday of the Silver State, and if you listen to the reports on the news that seems sadly appropriate.
Our state is at the top of some pretty bad lists and at the bottom of most good ones. And if the people who made those lists didn’t have one ax to grind or another, we might be concerned.
But as we are, we take the news that we have the worst graduation and highest cancer rates in the nation with a perverse sort of pride.
We know folks get cancer here, maybe because we still consider smoking something people should be allowed to do if they want. We know we’re not the smartest folks in the country, but we’re smart enough to know that the approximately 400 students who receive a Douglas diploma every year account for way more than half the class.
There are some drawbacks to living in Nevada. There aren’t a lot of social services. We expect people to do for themselves more than other places. But we wouldn’t trade Nevada for any other place we know.
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We know that if you ask a Nevadan for help, chances are you’ll be helped.
That’s because beneath the rough exterior of this state we call home there’s a heart of pure silver.
That’s why we sign this love letter to our state with a stanza of the state song, written in 1932 by Bertha Rafetto.
“Here is the land which I love the best,
Fairer than all I can see.
Deep in the heart of the golden west
Home means Nevada to me.”