Remembering Marcus

Below are memories of Marc Rector that were given to his family ahead of the memorial service that was held on Saturday, April 1st, 2023 at The Cheese School of San Francisco.

Johannes Jacob Richter — later known as John Jacob Rector — left Siegen, Westphalia (now Germany) with his wife and first born child in 1713 to become an indentured worker in the first colonial iron mine in North America. He was a metalworker in Siegen, as were his forefathers, many of whom lived in “Truppbach,” a town across the river from Siegen that translates to “army town.” For generations he and his fore bearers worked to support the local feudal lords fighting for territory and religion in Northern Europe.

Later that century, Mary Tiffin Rector brought her children to the Ohio Territory, one of whom was named “John Rector”. One of Mary’s grandsons, Marcus Clay Rector, joined the Union Army during the Civil War. He likely faced many of his cousins who fought in the Virginia CSA cavalry and militias. His son, Marcus Clay Jr., was the formidable grandfather of my John Marcus Rector that Marc remembered visiting, along with grandma Libbie, in West Jefferson, for large family get togethers: Marcus and Libbie had nine children themselves.

Our patronymic family has a long relationship with the military, through at least seven centuries, including the US Navy which gave John Marcus Rector the opportunity to be the first in his family to graduate from a university. It also gave him the opportunity to leave Ohio and see the world, for which he was always grateful. He always spoke fondly of his time as a communications officer on two destroyers, one in the Pacific and one in the Atlantic. This indirectly lead to my own first European tour, inside my Mom who was pregnant with me when she joined a group of Navy wives following their husbands around Europe in the spring of 1964. Thank you Mom and Dad! I still remember my first taste of live baby eels fried tableside in Spain…true story, ask Carol about that sometime.


Marcus, he drew a line around our hearts

and drew us to his home.

He shared his thoughts like hors d’oevres

to feed his passion to be known.

His ghost shall be good at craps.

His cheers scared the cats from his lap.

He sang, when the feeling found him,

and he laughed in every language.

He was the wine and football man

and because of that, still is.

No beauty ever dissappears.

He didn’t die, he lived

entirely on his own terms.

Marcus, our Bacchus,

he took his time, which took his turn;

he was so easy to remember,

like some song you can’t unlearn.

–Brian, after the stylings of cowboy poet Charles J. Quarto, frequent collaborator with Jerry Jeff Walker



I have always felt lucky with the family I was dealt. Even though I knew no father in my life, I had a special Mom and 3 big brothers who thought the world of me, and treated me accordingly. KUDOS to Marc, Wendell (Toby), and Tom.

A strong memory of my childhood was that Martha cried all the way to the airport driving Marc to his first Navy deployment, and then she cried for DAYS after he left. It was not much fun for me, I tell you.

Marc always had a strong presence in my world. Though we couldn’t be together too often, when we were it was quality. From summers in Roanoke, to visits in Boston, San Francisco, and Reno, I experienced a grand whirl of wonderful conversations, fantastic food and a deep connection with the entire family.

We know how to enjoy being together with Marc at the helm. My respect for Marc and all that he accomplished in his splendid lie, knows no bounds. His love of architecture, food, music, and entertaining is legendary in my mind!

So glasses up, a toast to my biggest brother Marc, whose memories will live in all of us.

–your baby sister Amy
Rectors in Scottsdale, AZ c.1979(?)

I mentally noted this last December on the shortest night of the year, Marcus would remind us with a photo.

Of course when Marc and Carol left SF, both John and I were very sad, we had nowhere to go to watch the Super Bowl.  Your super bowl party was the best!  If you loved the game your comrades were there, and for people like me no interest at all in football, there were very interesting people to talk with, not about football.

Segueing into Marc’s bookstore.  Great staff that would come to the super bowl party as well.

I absolutely loved his bookstore, can’t remember the name.  I would bring friends and out of towners, just to browse because he had much more than tech books for architects and engineers.  Huge number of cookbooks, (duh),  And Tchotchke’s all around, great for little gifts.  That’s where I discovered Taxi Wallets!


Growing up, my parents were probably on average 10 years older than my peers’ parents. Those 10 years made a huge difference because my parents were children of immigrants and children of the Depression. Parents who socialized and listened to contemporary music seemed like another species to me. Marc introduced me to Joe Jackson. And the whole food thing at your house was another revelation. What I recall, and what impressed me, was the sense of adventure present in your household. Marc worked in Israel. Marc and Carol cooked elaborate meals. They allowed (did they know?) you to host an epic cast party and when my Police record got ruined, Marc stood in line to buy tickets so we could go to the Police concert which was amazing. Marc and Carol moved to San Francisco and both had impressive careers. They continued to explore, and cook elaborate meals. Marc ran a bookstore. They participated in culture, and lived to the fullest. They relocated to Reno. They continued to take risks and live with gusto.

I treasure my time with the Rector family and thank you for including me, and for continuing to inspire me to seize the day and eat something delicious…Your dad was colorful and not afraid.


I have  many wonderful memories of Marc , but the very special ones are those associated with the work at Faneuil Hall Marketplace.  Marc was most often seen walking around with Ben and Jane Thompson.  Marc was always taking notes with Ben and Jane talking away. I never knew how he could keep up with them since they did not seem to have any order to what they were doing or saying, but it was Marc’s special talent that he could not only write down their conversations, but then he could translate them into architecture. It was as an amazing feat, and if not for Marc, I do not think the project would have ever happened.  

Since I was such a novice and knew practically nothing about this process, the art, the science, Marc became my mentor and teacher.  It was my job to publicize and work with the press and to make The Rouse Company, the developer, look like the best new thing since sliced bread.  I had been given the job  to make the project a BIG hit…I was given  6 months to do so.  If it had not been for Marc, I could not have done it.  He was able to explain anything and everything in a manner that was at once coherent and yet entertaining at the same time.  What a great guy!

–Carol T.
panoramic photo of Quincy Marketplace by LGagnon shared under

The day we moved in to 44 Harrison a sharp looking car came zooming down toward the dead end, and pulled into the driveway next to ours.  That was my soon-to-be good friend Marc introducing himself.  Here are some of the descriptors that come to mind when I think of our friendship over the next 10 years.  He cut a sharp figure.  Was self-assured (opinionated?), jovial, outgoing and as you have already read, gastronomically adventurous.  His reactions to plays and calls during televised sports events were unrestrained and clearly audible down the whole block.

Two stories; the first demonstrates all the above characteristics.  The second shows another side altogether. 

The town of Newton Highlands determined to have a 5k road race as part of a village festival and residents were charged with putting together special teams with a name which would be emblazoned on the participants’ specially ordered T shirts.  Marc and I each had an idea that we thought was first rate, and our discussion began as a teasing interplay and moved to a testy exchange to a full -fledged argument.  Marc: “It can ONLY be The Harrison Street Harriers!”  Katy: “That’s so obvious; how much more subtle and witty would be The Harrison Street Harbingers?”  I’m chagrined to report now, so many years later, that I prevailed. My debating skills got a good workout.

The second story: very shortly after my marriage ended I put the kids to bed and went out to sit on the front porch feeling stunned, numb, scared; all of the above.  Marc came over and sat down next to me.  He didn’t put his arm about me or even say a word.  Just sat there for about a half hour, somehow knowing that the silent presence of another human being (didn’t hurt that it was male) was enormously comforting.


Living next to Marc from age 4 to about 14 was an education for me in Living Large.  Marc was louder, more openly expressive, happier, sometimes angrier (and did I mention louder?) than anyone I had met before.  His was a magnetic personality –- I felt like I was always watching in wonder to see what Marc would do next!  It was at Marc and Carol’s that I first experienced guacamole (yuck), lobsters (terrifying) magnums of champagne (as large as me!), and many other delicacies that I was sadly too young to fully appreciate.  I found Marc intimidating as a kid – but as I’ve grown older I have come to admire so much the intensity of his emotions and his ability to offer and enjoy good food, beautiful things, and most of all good company.


I remember hearing Joe Jackson for the first time during a dinner party when kids and adults mingled together.  And now whenever I hear Sunday Papers I think of the Rector’s living room.

I too remember being amazed when Marc grilled (LIVE) lobsters and had to cut them in half before cooking!

And finally Marc was the one who introduced me to college football.  I remember asking how the betting was going and waiting to hear which last placed player had to eat the plain spaghetti at the end of the season.


“of a woman with whom I’ve lived most of my life (and that’s a long time!), otherwise I think I’m getting along just fine. As you know, I enjoy cooking and I haven’t succumbed to the prepared food syndrome. And work takes up most of my waking hours and I like the work and the people very much.

Living in a foreign country is also new. And this is, very much, a foreign country. I’ve lived here long enough that the excitement and stimulation of simply living here have worn off, but Jerusalem is still exciting and stimulating. As I learn more about the city — and I have expanded my territory by buying a bicycle and learning to ride the buses — I find that there is more to know. There are still many things I want to do in the exploratory sense. (But that’s still true of Boston, as well.)

So how did I feel? Happy to be going back to a place of richness and history and to a work situation where I am looked upon to lead and make hard problems easier. Sad to be leaving Carol and Eric and Alison and Brian; all of whom I love deeply and like and enjoy being with. Stimulated by the work and the country and its people — all of them — Jews and Arabs and those few goyem like me. Apprehensive because it is all new and untried in a large sense — the work and the living.

Thus far it is good and I look forward to it remaining so, but I look forward to the day when someone I can hug and say hello to and laugh with comes back into my life, even for a brief period.

You mention your cooking. I think the tendency to do big pots of things and special things is more because of Carol than Eric’s capacity. I experienced the same thing. Carol gets there first and does it so well, why bother on the day-to-day stuff. You kind of have to make an appointment to cook dinner…

…I don’t miss being there to rake leaves. I love the tree and its presence and all of its colors from the bright light green of early spring to the deep green of summer and the yellow orange of fall to the brown black starkness interspersed with the white frosting of winter — but I guess one must pay with the raking of its leaves…

I’m glad you get to visit NC and Reynolds. And I’m very glad he got to know you. Eric has this way of keeping you his own secret. I know I waited so long to finally meet this Alison person. And finally it was worth the wait. I’m sure Reynolds feels the same, perhaps in a different way. The undertones of his book (life) imply that one must wholly dedicate onesself to the art of writing at the expense of all else. And who can argue with his personal accomplishments. But each must determine his own balance of art and life and well being.

I like reyonlds and his art very much. I will always treasure an evening — a long evening reaching into the morning — of conversation with him the first time I visited Eric there, alone. When I visited again with Carol, it was cordial, but very different.

There are so many things. I want to learn and know more about your parents and family. I have immensely enjoyed each encounter, but it’s always been whoosh whoosh

And I worry about 48 Harrison without a Christmas tree. Will you and E be there?

And I’ve reached the end of this page! Love/Marc

–read by Alison at the Memorial

A Letter From Frank

Frank, age 86, and Wilda, age 82, in Tempe, AZ 2006

In or about 1996 Brian gave Marc Rector the basic genealogy of the Rector clan in the US going back all the way to “1666 in Truppich, Germany 2 kilometers east of Siegen.” Brian had stumbled onto the “Rector Records” book and other documents and copied out our line. Given that both his parents had died, this inspired Marc to write to his Rector uncles and aunts for additional information:

Son Brian has been bugging me again about the RECTOR genealogy…Seems he found a book on RECTOR in the New York Public Library a while back and wants to know more…me too.

The following is the Genealogy in a direct line, taken from a much broader genealogy that Frank sent me a few years ago. That one ended with MARCUS CLAY being the son of MARCUS in the mid 19th Century. I have continued it to the best of my knowledge…Many gaps need filled and specifics filled in…PLEASE FILL IN AND RETURN THE COPY TO ME.

There followed is the first outline of our Hilltop lineage that we’ve now added to and compiled in The Begats.

I’ve recently come upon the folder in which Marc stored this information. I have found (so far) responses from Frank Hodgson Rector, as well as Jane Rector Breiding. Jane glossed the MARCUS CLAY outline that Marc had sent her, including the addition of sister Margaret who died tragically (as you will read below) at age 1 1/2. Frank, however, wrote a four page single-spaced letter describing his knowledge of the family background. It was so informative, and colorful, I thought it would be good to add it to this archive:

Wednesday, September 13, 1995
from Frank and Wilda Rector
[Frank is uncle of Marc, brother of Marc’s father Wendell]

Dear Marc–

Will do my best — I am not much for “rattling bones” so my knowledge is sparse.

Starting with Marcus Rector Sr. the family was living in Rectortown, VA1 (small un-incorporated) and moved to Pickaway County Ohio — farmers — Grandmother Frances [van Keuren] lived in Big Plain [Ohio, 15 miles southwest of Columbus] after Grandpa Marcus died. For years I was told he fell from a haymow in a scuffle with a tramp, breaking his neck. Found out later that he liked schnapps and kept it in the haymow — fell out a bit drunk! Two of Dad’s brothers, John and Alva, were also tipplers!

US Navy Hellcats on Espiritu Santo island in February 1944

How do I know about Rectortown? Not on a map. I was on the island of Efate in the new Hebrides Island [now Vanuatu] late in 1942. A call came to X-Ray that a relative was at the dispensary. When I got there he was a 6’2″ 220 pound Black man. Both of us got a bang out of that. Talking to him I found out about Rectortown (a crossroads). He was from near there and said that he was most likely a decendant of slaves that had belonged to great grandfather Rittenour R!2

As to mother’s family, it is even more sketchy. Mother [Elizabeth “Libby” Hodgson] said he came over from London, England (Mildred found Hodgsons in a graveyard there on a trip). He heard about the Civil War [in the US] and came to fight on the Union side. Being a foreigner, he could only be a courier between armies and had several horses shot out from under him — but not wounded himself. He went to Ohio, married, and also was a farmer. None of the Rectors (my family) knew either grandfather, but Grandma Hodgson also lived in Big Plain.

Big Plain Methodist Church, built in 1883

Dad [Marcus Clay Rector Jr.] and Mom met at the church and were married there. My sister Margaret (born after Mildred) died [at age 1 1/2] from taking medicine that she climbed up on a cupboard to get. With party lines tied up and no one would get off Dad rode a horse into Big Plain to get a doctor who arrived too late to save her.

Dad started out as a farmer, then a blacksmith (he was too lenient on collecting for work), barber, and then carpenter. When I was born he was working on a bridge in Columbus. He left home on the Interurban Street Car (ran down the middle of Main St. West Jefferson) at 4am and returned 8:30pm or 9 that night 6 days a week. He said he only saw his kids in bed and then on Sunday.

There is not much I know about the Rector clan — so there it is.

Some Notes:

1: Spenser Rector was the last in our line to be born in Fauquier Co., VA. He died at age 28 IN Fauquier Co. in 1793 with at least three children by his wife Mary Tiffen. His son Henry Clay Rector, Sr. marriage in 1812 to Elizabeth Hotsenpillar is recorded in the Pickaway/Ross Co. OH records. There is LOTS more about this in another post, but it’s clear that after Henry Rector married in OH, his line stays in OH until most of the children of Marcus Jr. move away to other parts of the US.

2: John Retenhour Rector was the son of Henry and Elizabeth (above), born in 1813 a year after their marriage. He married Arminta Wiggins in Ross Co., OH, and was the father of Marcus Clay Sr. Given that it’s clear from census materials that he lived and owned (substantial!) property in Ohio, a “free state” before the Civil War, it is unlikely that he also owned slaves. That said, I have established that many of the Virginia Rectors owned slaves, so it is very likely that this Rector that Frank met during World War 2 was a descendent of slaves that were once owned by Rectors in that area.

John Marcus Rector

[this obituary has also been printed in the Reno Gazette-Journal, on Friday, November 11th, 2022]

John Marcus Rector died peacefully in his home in Reno on Sunday, November 6th; he was 84. He is survived by his wife Carol of 62 years, brother Tom, sister Amy, sons Eric and Brian and their families. He was generally known as “Marcus” or “Marc” to his friends and colleagues. His nearest brother, Wendell, passed away in 2018.

Born on his grandparents’ farm in Logan, OH, Marc was the first son of Martha and Wendell Rector. He grew up in Columbus, attended West High School, and then Ohio State University on a Navy ROTC scholarship. He served on the USS Tulare and USS Henley as a communications officer. Upon leaving the US Navy he pursued his professional career as an architect in Roanoke, VA, Cambridge, MA, and Jerusalem, Israel.

His seminal work was as project architect for Faneuil Hall Marketplace (FHM) in downtown Boston for Benjamin Thompson and Associates (BTA). This was one of the first, and one of the most influential, of many “festival marketplaces” that revitalized urban centers around the US, and then around the world. In 2009 FHM won the American Institute of Architecture 25 Year Award for “buildings that set a precedent.”

Marc worked on other similar projects — South Street Seaport in New York, Harborplace in Baltimore, and the San Antonio River Walk — before beginning work on the Ordway Theater for the Performing Arts in St. Paul, MN, his last project at BTA.

In 1987 architect Moshe Safdie asked Marc to help move forward a massive project in Jerusalem, Israel called “Mamilla.” He then split time between the Boston area and Jerusalem until the project was put on hold during first Gulf War in 1991.

In 1992 Marc and Carol moved to San Francisco, and Marc opened and operated the Builders Booksource store in Ghiradelli Square. He was also an enthusiastic volunteer for the San Francisco International Film Festival, Foodwise, and Slow Food. Besides his architectural work he was a passionate foodie who wrote a cookbook for friends and family at age 50, then published a food blog — — from age 65 until recently. He loved to dance and to sing karaoke at the drop of a hat.

In 2012 they retired to the Sierra Canyon planned community in Reno, NV where Marc participated in the architectural review committee as well as neighborhood classes and numerous social events. He loved his family, Ohio State, Boston, San Francisco, Reno, and the many friends he met along the way. Marc simply loved life.

Reno Artown Murals

Last July — that would be 2014 — a hubbub took over several pages in the RGJ. Circus Circus is promoting a contest to paint murals on the Virginia Street side of their Casino in a 24 hour Marathon. First, a competition was held to select 8 artists to paint 14 feet high by 30 feet long murals in each of 7 structural bays of the building. Circus Circus is providing the artists a $750 stipend for paint and other materials. On Saturday at 10am, brushes are be put down, the murals judged and the winner awarded a $2,000 First Prize. $1,000 goes for Second and $500 for Third and your mural will be on prominent display for one year along with the others.

Recently, my senses perked with the announcement in the RGJ for the 2015 contest. I clipped the RGJ and dusted off my camera. There’s a story here for RectorSite.

standby for new murals


blah blah

we all predict there will be enough paint and talent

I got to Virginia Street just at the right time on Saturday afternoon. Deadline past, Judging just completed but the street still closed for cleanup and tidy-up.

here we are, looking north on virginia street; left to right as you face circus circus

… and the first mural encountered just happens to be the winner of the SECOND PRIZE: Owl Be Waiting by Bryce Chisholm,

Yellow Bird by David Cherry, Reno NV

Tom by Stephane Cellier, Virginia City NV

FIRST PRIZE: Ascension by Anthony Padilla, Sacramento CA

Untitled by Asa Kennedy and Derek Miller…            the dry grass to the right and the pedestrians to the left seem to fit right in to this composition

Evolition of Man by Danielle Rumbaugh

Nice job… and they’ll be up all year, go take a look for yourself.



Wendell and Carol and Eric visit Carol and Marcus and Brian June 2015

They drove from Las Vegas to Reno after their “Germany Reunion” in Las Vegas. That occurs every three years with more than 200 folks attending. Who knew? I thought it was like 20 or so of the people they worked with at their school in Wurzburg. No. It’s everybody ever at that school, students and faculty alike.

Never mind, it gets them on their way here. Driving on Sunday they arrived a bit after 4:30 — good time and set about chatting us up as we waited for Eric to pick up Brian from the airport, returning from Kyiv. Brian’s plane due to leave Seattle (from Kyiv via Amsterdam) but delayed. So we had a chance to sit on the back terrace and catch up on the past many years… EZ… who changes.

So… B and E arrived, I threw lamb chops on the Big Green Egg, we opened a few bottles of wine and commenced the evening. Rosemary potatoes accompanied the chops, along with two versions of Eric’s Gazpacho. YUM.

Monday, after breakfasting and chilling, we set off on a tour over Somersett Parkway to McCarran Boulevard and down past and to the University of Nevada campus. We parked and walked around the Green, noted the Excellent mining engineering buildings forming  the green; eased down through town to point out how UNR will ultimately connect with the downtown and arrived early for our reservation at Campo for lunch. Eric joined us.

After, Eric returned to Sparks and we continued touring with Reno Provisions and RENO ENVY where we treated W&C with happy anniversary tee shirts. We drove through Midtown and down South Virginia pointing out the worthy sites.The Peppermill is undergoing extensive remodeling and thrusting forth a new face. Wonder what it will be?

We joined West McCarran and drove around its hilly grandeur to reach I-80 and our way home. It seems like a very short encounter, but we experienced a lot of Reno and unless we ventured to Lake Tahoe or Pyramid Lake or all those other places outside Reno, we’ve had a good visit and it’s nearly time to go to the Aces game.

It was a cloudy, balmy evening at the Ballpark, and not only that, but Dollar Hot Dog Night and Dollar Ribs Night. Who could ask for more. Eric and Brian got seats in our section — and eventually in our row — and we settled back to enjoy the game. It was a pretty good game and ended up 7-2, aces winning before 4,080 lucky fans.

After the ardous effort of posing with us, Archie and the girls chilled out between innings.

the two old guys kept score…

and it was — all in all — a fine evening at the ballpark.

Buckeye Watch

January 7, 2015
The Ohio State Buckeyes will play the Oregon Ducks at ATT Stadium in Arlington TX on Monday, January 12. And the Reno-Tahoe Buckeye Alumni are doing a watching party at the El Dorado.
Be there!

I went to the El Dorado during the week and checked out the Brew Brothers where the watch party will be held. It’s a big room with a long bar and about 30 TVs (C counted). No super-big TVs but you can see at least 3 from anywhere you sit. I asked the bartender about the watch party. “It’ll be mobbed,” he said. “Come early for a good seat.”

I dreamed that if we left at 3:00 for the 5:30 kickoff, we’d be first to snare a seat. That turned out to be true — even though we left at 3:15. We had a long wait, but the ESPN pre-game show was on, so not too boring. And Buckeyes began arriving in groups, shouting “OH,” to which we would respond, “IO.” It was too dark to read the magazines I brought.

“Our TV’s.” Governor wearing white collar in front of us.

We settled at a high table facing three screens; two regular and the center one bigger. We were just behind a table set for 14. Turned out to be Governor Brian Sandoval’s table, he got his law degree at Ohio State and challenged his classmates to join him and root on the Buckeyes. Brian reminded us that Nevada is a small, rather laid back state. Imagine Jerry Brown sitting there? Probably not.

Oregon won the toss (heads) and took the ball, as is their wont… drove for a TD. 7-0.

The Buckeyes scored once, then again with impressive runs by Ezekiel Elliott and chunk yardage passes by Cardall Jones.

Oregon came back to 20-21 in the Third Quarter owing to Jones’ *Jameis Winston impression,* but that was it. When the Bucks turned it over on their own 30 and stopped the Ducks on the 1 foot line on downs, then took the ball and drove 99 yards for their own TD, I said to all, “This game is OVER.”

Indeed. Final score of 42 – 20.

It was a good experience in that sports bar; lots of OH and IOing and high fiveing and carrying on. And Buckeyes are a friendly bunch, many came over to talk. There was plenty of time for that during long commercial breaks. Not tooooo bad, as the commercials were expensive and for the most part new and well produced.

Buffalo Wings

Hog Wings for next time.

Food was good and the menu very interesting. For two, not more expensive than the Buffet (if you don’t stay five hours). Beer was good. We will be back in that place.

But the event was the thing: First EVER, UNDISPUTED CHAMPION of College Football, or so the shirt says. I like the sound of that.

my new shirt

Carol, Governor Sandoval, Brian

Sports Illustrated prediction, result applied

A win for the Governor

Do Sammy Proud


Harrah’s Reno August 18, 2014

about BROADWAY SHOWSTOPPERS (Harrah’s website)

Greg Thompson, who has produced more shows in the fabled Sammy’s Showroom at Harrah’s Reno than any other producer, will return this summer with an updated version to his long running hit show “Broadway Showstoppers”. Thompson, who calls the Sammy’s Showroom, “the best showroom in the business,” has produced over 600 shows throughout the world over his 40 year career. “Broadway Showstoppers” has won the “Show of the Year” in Atlantic City, Biloxi, Reno and Lake Tahoe and was inducted into the “Broadway Round Table Hall of Fame”.
“Broadway Showstoppers” was first produced in 1978 and has played throughout the country for more than 35 years. The show was the first of many shows Thompson produced for Harrah’s Reno beginning in 1991 and “Showstoppers” was brought back to Harrah’s in 1998 and again in 2005. Each time Thompson gives the show a new twist by adding current Broadway hits to the mix of classic Broadway blockbusters. “We will still pay tribute to the classic musicals from the Golden Age of Broadway like “West Side Story”, “Guys & Dolls”, “Grease”, “Chicago” and “Cabaret”, said Thompson, “but we will also be performing the hits from the hottest shows on Broadway today. The hits from Mamma Mia, Motown, Carole King’s “Beautiful”, “Jersey Boys”, “Rock of Ages”, Million Dollar Quartet and more!”

MY TAKE: Wow! Whatta show. The curtain rose to a grizzled fifty-something stage manager chomping a (fake) cigar and admonishing actors lounging at the back of the stage to get their act together. He proceeded to turn to us and tell stories about why they weren’t ready for the show — it’s Monday… we’re closed Monday — he came down the steps at the front of the stage to kibbutz with the audience and warm us up. Soon, two women in tight black dresses were at a dressing rack — rear stage left — fiddling with tidying their costumes. The stage manager was talking of great shows of the past — Sammy is Sammy Davis Jr. who played this room many times — and the Broadway shows that had passed through here. CABARET, for one — he broke into the “Welcome” song in German and was joined by the two women. They sang and danced their way through selected Cabaret numbers and the stage manager noted a well known Broadway story of Romeo and Juliet, set to music by Leonard Bernstein and two men wearing black jackets with JETS in white letters across the back joined the women.

“When you’re a JET
you’re a JET all the way
from you’re first cigarette
to you’re last dying day…”

Now, we have five actors, all with Broadway voices, Broadway dance moves and Broadway looks performing Broadway Showstoppers. And we’re in the FRONT ROW.

I was agonizing over what to do for Carol’s Birthday on Thursday when the Arts section appears in the RGJ. That’s it! ! ! Broadway Showstoppers. I got tickets for Monday August 18 in the VIP section of Sammy’s Showroom at Harrah’s Reno. Planned to do the buffet around 6:30, then the show at 8. Well, anytime you go to a show, or dinner or whatever at a Casino, the first thing to do is get a “locals” card (for out of towners, its called a players card. Good for a discount on the Buffet, at least… and in this case, complementary Showroom tickets. “Show it to the Box Office, they’ll refund your money spent on line and give you new tickets.” What did I know?

Harrah’s Carvings Buffet is pretty good. Good food, good variety, not noisy, a guy promptly serving drinks and picking up dirty dishes and the place is very clean with a clientele a cut above your bargain buffet. And restrooms are easy to find, commodious and clean.

When we gave our show tickets to the Maitre’d at the showroom, he took us to seats in the middle of the General Admission section. I looked surprised and mentioned that I bought VIP tickets on line, but when my “locals” card allowed me comp tickets, I traded them in, I thought for equal tickets. He allowed as how they weren’t packed and maybe he could do something for me and escorted us down through the VIP section to the FRONT ROW CENTER.

Carol — front and center — about 20 minutes before the show… the room eventually filled up.

I know he didn’t expect it, but I gave him ten bucks.

Great show and Great Evening. Everybody at Harrah’s seems enthusiastic about their interaction with customers. And not only that, they gave us a “locals” parking pass to their garage which happens to be right next to Aces Ballpark.

Harrah’s is a grand Discovery.

Meet the Players Dinner

Reno Aces
Harrah’s Nevada Ballroom

Brian got the Aces road jersey because it says R E N O across the front in very large letters. That way, when he’s traveling, there won’t be any doubt about where he’s from.

What a perfect shirt to wear to the Aces Meet the Players dinner.

Eric and Alison got me and Brian two 12-game partial season tickets to the Aces for our birthdays last year. We liked that, so we re-upped for 2014. As partial season ticket holders we get many season ticket holder perks; one of them being this Meet the Players dinner.

It’s an intimate affair for 800 with fine food and drink in the Nevada Ballroom of Harrah’s Casino Resort.

the front of the Nevada ballroom from our table — there are 3 rows of tables behind me

the rear of the Nevada ballroom from our table

my plate — Brian’s was similar — good stuff, including greens, roast beef, a wonderful pasta salad, mushroom ravioli, chicken cutlet, redskin potatoes… and that’s a Dos Equis draft

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nose job

Removal of skin cancer on my nose by Mohs Micrographic Surgery.
Dr Kevin Kiene January 9, 2014
Skin Cancer and Dermatology Institute.

Tamera Van Dyke, my regular dermatologist discovered a possible skin cancer on the bridge of my nose in late October. It tested positive, so she made an appointment with Dr. Kiene to have it removed by Mohs surgery.

Carol and I arrived at 640 Moana Lane a little before the appointed 9:45 (I should have a companion for company and in case I need a ride home). I was ushered into an examining/operating room at 10:15 and situated in a “dentist type” chair. The nurse gave me a name tag and marked my nose in the suspected area (don’t want wrong guy or wrong body part). She numbed my nose. She laid out the tools and adjusted my chair so I was lying flat, pretty high.

After a few minutes the doc came in with the nurse (or a nurse, I couldn’t see, they’re behind my head out of my peripheral vision — again, like at the dentist) and a male resident. It didn’t take long for him to make a cut and take what he needed. He noticed my Red Sox World Series tee shirt, so we talked a little baseball while he was working. “We’ll examine this tissue and see if we got everything,” he said. The nurse bandaged my nose and took me to fetch Carol from the main waiting room. We were then guided to a small waiting room stocked with drinks, snacks magazines and books. Four other males (a cheek, a nose and two ears) were in the room, two with companions. The instructions said to allow at least three hours for my procedure and it was around 11, so we had the better part of that time to go.

james gandolfini’s caddy

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Hot August Nights

Reno’s Hot August Nights — a 10 day homage to cars, especially vintage and classic — will be televised on the SPEED channel, for those of you who get lots of TV channels. Featured will be the 3 nights of the Auction. Check it out.

This first part was sent in an email to various folks… I repeat that here and add stuff from the auction. Good times. According to the RGJ, “…about 5600 cars were registered for the week-long celebration… Already, 3400 vehicles have been registered for next year’s event.”

Meanwhile, Carol and I, Brian and Natasza went to some events at the Nugget last (Wednesday) evening. Here are a few pictures:

Brian and Natasza and a Dodge built before either of them.

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