I was raised in Nevada and enjoyed the wild horses, Helldorado, the mountains, and the stars we often slept under on a bed in our backyard. We came east so that my dad could work for the U.S. Senate. He is retired. I, however, work for the government as the Historian of Bills. I love my work, but miss Nevada. I visit home when I can, and since I grew up with Helldorado and rode or marched in many parades — I was delighted when the Helldorado celebrations returned. I love Nevada. I love riding in the desert and hearing the coyotes howl. When I retire, I am coming home to Nevada. I call myself a displaced Nevada cowgirl. We had our boat on Lake Mead and spent hours fishing and swimming, and yes…I almost drowned. Luckily, my brother Lance came to my rescue. I find it sad to see the water level so low, but I also found it interesting walking about the now exposed bones of the homes that were buried when Lake Mead was born. I thought neon was fun and frankly miss it; at least it remains alive and glittering downtown. I miss the ‘west’ in the hotels. I would love to see a cowboy themed hotel. I like to visit our ‘ghost towns’ and the old mines. I want the west and the cowboy way remembered. I was a Cherry Blossom Princess in the Washington, D.C. celebration, many years ago, I had the honor to represent Nevada. My dad wrote a column for the Review Journal and my mom worked at the Showboat and other hotels. She enjoyed Keno, and I always play a game or two in her memory when I visit home. Dean Martin danced with a little girl celebrating her birthday, I shared horse stories with Wayne Newton, and I have a record Joey Bishop signed and gave me when he thought country music was fun. I have a ring from Elvis Presley and will always be grateful to Ann Margret and her kind words when I lost my brother in Vietnam. Nevada is about the desert’s beauty, the glitter of neon, Area 51, and the joy of performances by singers, comedians, and magic shows. In the old days if your car broke down, the first car that came along stopped to help. The modern Nevada doesn’t have the warmth it once did…the dinner shows are gone…and rubbing elbows with the stars isn’t as simple as it once was — but Nevada still means home to me. I cherish the old memories and welcome the new ones. Nevada is special. One of a kind!