Sunday, October 5, 2008

Candy Dance

My friend Sami's family has a beautiful home in South Lake Tahoe that I am fortunate enough to have an open invitation to go to any time Sami goes up. Her father Gary, sister Melissa (Melis), and Melis's boyfriend Lalo all live there So when we go up for the weekend, we stay in an extra bedroom and always have the best time.

Last weekend, Danny and I went with Sami, Sami's boyfriend Kenny, and Sami's mom (who is also a friend of mine) Debi. The purpose of this trip was not just to get away, but to go to Genoa, NV for the annual Candy Dance. No, it's not a place you go to and see Candy Dance. I still don't fully understand why it's called the Candy Dance. But there is a street in Genoa called Candy Dance.

Genoa is a very small town that seems to be in a time warp. There's a town hall, a couple antiques shops, a bar, a realtor, a candy store, a fire department...I think that's about it. But what's so cool is that these buildings are so incredibly old. Everything looks like it's come out of an old western movie. I'll get back to that in a minute.

The purpose of the Candy Dance is it's a craft fair. There are booths as far as the eye can see full of jams, homemade jewelry, sweatshirts sewn into something your 5th grade teacher or great aunt would wear, and of course all the food you can imagine.

There's lots of cool things and Genoa and the Candy Dance. The first cool thing was once we parked and walked to meet the rest of our group, we happened upon a gun fight. Nothing really to say about it, just that it was cool and cheesy and you should have been there.

However, my absolute most favorite thing about Genoa is The Genoa Bar. No, I'm not an alcoholic. I did not spend the majority of my day there. But the bar is the oldest bar in all of Nevada. Established in 1853 to be exact. And from the looks of it, not much has changed. It's rich in history, intriguing, and just a cool place over all.

I could be wrong, but I don't think the floor boards in The Genoa Bar have been replaced. They creak, the kinda cave in, and they're very very old wood. Sami's uncle Rick grabbed me a brochure so I intend to give you some history from that.

Here's some excerpts. Oh any by the way, it is written as though the bar wrote it itself:

The top of my bar is original from the front to mid-way where you'll see a line across it. The medallions on the ceiling above the lights are original as is the one red oil lamp which is lit every New Year's Eve. The electric lamps are also original to the bar and were oil but were converted to electricity at the turn of the century....

The Diamond Dust Mirror on the back of the bar came from Glasgow, Scotland, in the late 1840's. It was shipped around the "horn" to San Francisco, then brought here by covered wagon. Originally, there were two mirrors, but one was sold to a movie company in the 1930's during the great depression.. The mirror has only been out of the saloon three times in history, the last time in 1910 when it was saved from the great Genoa Fire which destroyed most of the town....

Many famous people have visited over the years. Among them, Mark Twain when he first reported for the Territorial Enterprise which opened in Genoa before moving to Virgina City. Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt enjoyed "cool ones", perhaps right where you're standing. Carol Lombard and Clark Gable came here to play high stakes poker games with the local cattle barons. Among the other famous and infamous, Lauren Bacall, Ronnie Howard, Red Skelton, Cliff Robertson and all of our Nevada Governors have come through my doors.....

A number of movies have been filmed here including "The Shootist" with John Wayne, "Carley Varrick" with Walter Mathau ad Joe Don Baker, "Honky Tonk Man" with Clint Eastwood, "Misery" with James Caan, Kathy Bates, Rob Reiner and Richard Farnsworth, and most recently (last summer) "Till the River Runs Dry" starring Ann-Margaret....

Musicians seem to gravitate here. I've welcomed Willie Nelson, Charlie Daniels, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Slim Pickens, John Denver, and Captain and Tennille to name a few.

Click here for more information about The Genoa Bar.

Click here for more information about The Candy Dance.


Danielle and Mason said...

I bet that bar is haunted!!