Well howdy again everyone,
The 5th annual Memorial Daze Chili Cook-off!!!!!!!!!
Where does one begin?? How bout at the end--great! How bout the middle--great!! How bout the beginning--great!!! What else can we say but fantastic success.
Let's start out with the following that was sent out May 25th.
Sheriff Stone news flash from Esmeralda County Nevada.
the population of the tiny hamlet of gold point is now around 50 and growing each hour. it is expected to reach a population of a typical gold rush town before the weekend is over.
main street is being extended right before your eyes. the rush to get here first and stake out good ground has to be seen to be believed.
the crowd is gathering at the local saloon and all ready exchanging big tales of by gone days.
it's hard to say whether sheriff stone and his deputies can handle the hordes. at this time sheriff stone is expecting more of his deputies to show up tonight and tomorrow and judge red dog lil will be ready to hold court if the need arises. it's doubtful whether the little jail can hold many joyful souls.
more news will be forthcoming.
Yes, there is news. Let's start.
This year the first to hit town was Jeff & Penney Hicks. They arrived on Tuesday to set up camp. Then some of their friends and a few others showed up on Wednesday.
On Thursday Gold Point really started to see a population explosion. Probably 50 or so were scattered throughout the town and desert.
By Friday night you could hardly see the desert any more because of the trailers and campers everywhere. The population must have tripled from the day before.
It's impossible to have an accurate count for the weekend but we're guessing somewhere maybe around 400 or so must have been here either staying for the weekend or at least showing up for a few hours.
The amount of new people to this years event was incredible. I guess that Tourism Grant for advertising really did work. We had an increase over last year of somewhere between 40 to 50 per cent. We thank the good people of the Commission on Tourism.
The Gold Point Volunteer Fire Department received almost 50% more than last year. Now we can start saving up for that new fire house some day.
With the grant we were able to do 100 radio spots in Bishop on KIBS and 100 spots in Pahrump on KNYE. The niffty nickel put us on the front page and we had weekly ads in the Tonopah and Pahrump Valley Times throughout the month of May.
The largest increase of new people seemed to have come from Pahrump. This is a guess only by those we talked to. Las Vegas had a large increase in new people if only by the Trail Blazers Hiking Club. This year there was 25 of them here. They promised a larger amount next year.
We saw a big increase from all communities local and distant. Tonopah, Fish Lake Valley, Goldfield, Silver Peak, Gabbs, Bishop and the rest of the Owens Valley all showed up to have a good time for 3 days.
Before we get into details I want to say thank you to this years crowd. It was by far the largest and most good natured I've ever seen. It seemed like everyone already knew each other. They braved the cold wind on Saturday and they all got along so well. There was no problems to speak of in the Saloon or out.
There is a lot to say so bear with me if I bounce around.
We started work on this project clear back in January. The first thing we worked on was of course the poster. Beleive it or don't it took a couple of months of weekends to all agree and finalize the final poster. With Cindy on the computer and Red Dog, Dan, Bob, Pat, Ruth, Walt and myself throwing out enough ideas to make any one go mad it finally came together by the end of March. Then off to Community Printing in Bishop.
Red Dog and I then took our vacation that you read about and we relaxed the month of April. (Red Dog went back to work right after vacation was over, no rest for the wicked).
The beginning of May is when we started getting all the posters up in local and distant business windows and started handing out the flyers to any body and every body.
We started collecting donations around the middle of May from the generous people of Tonopah, Goldfield, Bishop, Beatty, Fish Lake Valley, Gold Point and other locations. Donations to the raffle kept coming in even during the first days of the party. The final total of items given away at the raffle was an incredible 288 items. Plus the Henry Rifle grand prize. We drew numbers almost every hour starting Saturday and all day Sunday to find those 288 lucky winners. We went through over 5000 tickets. If you do the math you'd figure out that every ticket had a 1 in 17 chance of winning something. Pretty good, huh??
Poor Red Dog spent hours and hours logging in and tagging each and every one of those items. Then she set up the House of Rude with those prizes the way she wanted to make it easier to find and give away.
Her and Pam just about lived in the House of Rude all day Saturday and Sunday from around breakfast time through dinner selling raffle tickets and meal tickets and handing out the prizes. I don't think they got much of a break at all each day. They worked together real good so nobody dared bother them--NOBODY!!
It has been suggested (by Sheriff Stone) for next year to move the raffle items out of the House of Rude and into Middle Gate (the middle cabin). This should speed up the selling of tickets and meal tickets. I know a lot of people were real troopers to wait in line and we thank them. It will also speed up the collecting of the winning tickets.
Cindy was in charge of getting the winning tickets picked and posting the winning numbers. We had her pulling as many as 50 tickets one at a time per session.
Cindy was also in charge of making sure the games and bed races went off throughout the weekend. She had previously pre-bagged in little baggies almost 20 lbs of assorted hard candy for the winners and contestants young and old. She also had painted a bunch of old railroad spikes gold and silver to hand out.
Commisioner Kirby handled the Horseshoe Tournament.
We had brothel bed races for the kids and old kids on Saturday.
To do this you had to have a soiled dove (female) lay on the old cast iron bed and have 4 johns (male) push them down the street about 150 feet to the finish line. This is always fun to watch. Their were a few scrapes and cuts but everyone survived to do it again next year.
We went through 60 small pies and both Saturday and Sunday in the pie eating contest. If wasn't how many you could eat but how fast. The small kids had to eat one chocolate fudge pie with a whipped cream topping. The middle age group had to eat two and the adult class had to eat 3. What a mess!!! Lots of fun to watch.
We didn't have a chance to do the hot dog eating contest. With everything else goin on we just ran out of time. We'll try again next year.
On Sunday Joe & Lisa from Tonopah, owners of M & K Enterprises, brought out watermelons and apples for more contests.
Before going into the contest we would like to thank Joe & Lisa for bringing out 10 porta potties and DONATING the use of 4 of them at no charge. These are two very kind and generous people. They even gave out those new Indian dollar coins to some of the winners in addition to the watermelons and apples.
We went through a few watermelons that day. Boy, you think the pie eating was a mess. We had a flash flood of watermelon juice running down the street. We had two divisions. Young and not so young. The youngins had to eat a 1/4 piece down to the rind and the not so young had to eat a 1/2 slice.
In the apple eating contest you had to eat everything but the seeds. Some how I found when they had finished I had applesauce every where. This was fun.
All the games were a big hit and drew lot of lookers.
The gunfights went on throughout the weekend. We had the Desert Drifters from Pahrump and their guests against the High Desert Drifters (us) and our guests. It's hard to count how many times each of them died with their boots on and got back up just to do it again an hour later. I'm sure they all had a fun time falling down on the rocky dirt streets.
What next?? I know, how about the musicians??
Gold Rush started out Friday night as always with their down home Country music. This year that had a lot of listeners Friday night as compared to last year. This was I think their 4th year entertaining the masses at Gold Point. Saturday and Sunday nights they took turn in the Saloon with the Art Jones Band from Hawthorne, Nevada. They play classic rock. This was their 3rd year? Art Jones and Gold Rush take turns until way after midnight both Saturday and Sunday nights.
Each morning on Saturday and Sunday we have more music. Stuck in Reverse from Las Vegas was back for their 3rd year and started us off at 8 a.m. Saturday with some great Bluegrass. This year they had a lot of new music to enjoy. They kept going each day until around 6. On Saturday they had to play their last set in the Saloon because the darn wind was just too much. That's professionalism for you.
Trading off with Stuck in Reverse was Maria from Pahrump and her karaoke system. Maria, alias Canta Lopez, has entertained us here in Gold Point before a couple of times for tips. This is her first paying gig in Gold Point. She has a wonderful voice to listen to. She sings all kinds of music. A lot of people thought that Stuck in Reverse and Maria were a good combo during the day.
We hope that all four of these bands will be back for next years 6th annual chili cook-off.
Now let's talk about the Dutch Oven Stew Contest, ok??
This year we had 7 entries as compared to last years 4. Judging was a little hard this year because nobody burned anything. LOL. We had a lot of people tasting the stews this year also as compared to the previous year. Seems that this may start to take off as a good contest. I promised the contestants that next year we would increase the size of the trophies also.
The winners this year were as follows:
People's Choice #1--Bart Hicks and Danny Garner with B-D Stinger stew
2--Joseph Hendrick with Joe's stew
4--Spike and Patty Maynard
5--Kevin Hall with Tastes of Truckee
3--Spike and Patty Maynard
4--Bart Hicks and Danny Garner
The top three got trophies and cash or prizes and the 4 and 5 places received medallions.
How bout we stay in the contest mode and jump right into the chili cook-off??
Wow!!! What a turn out of tasters. We sold all 250 badges and then some this year to set another record for the weekend. There had to be easily over 300 people in Gold Point for the Flag Ceremony and the Chili cook-off tasting. We'll talk about the
Flag Ceremony little later. We had 16 entries this year from all over the state and California.
The street in front of the saloon was elbow to elbow with tasters going from one chili to the next and back again deciding who should get their vote for the best chili. It took about 2 hours for them to finally cast the last of the peoples votes before we could open the ballot box and start counting. FYI--in the two days of tasting we had gone through over 4500 tasting cups. Can't wait till next year. But I will be ready with maybe 7000 cups or more.
Meanwhile inside the Saloon the 8 judges were as follows:
Retired Contractor Gus Lund
& his wife Julie Lund from Sacramento
Commisioner Nancy Boland of the Silver Peak District
Goldfield Fire Chief Mike Anderson
Insurance Agent Kari Ayers
Andria Moss & Greg Nett-these two gave us the idea of a chili cook-off 5 years ago on a cold January day in the Saloon
John Lundgren a friend of a friend.
They were sequestered in the back of the Saloon around the pool table where a sheet of plywood made a table for them. Here they tasted and talked for about 100 minutes before coming up with the top 8 chilies. They weren't disturbed by anyone. They were continually cleansing their tongues with water and beer.
At 3:30 it was time to open the envelopes. The winners are
6-Rosemary (my sister) O'Gorman
3-Carl Brownfield and Bob Stevens
5-Yours truly the Famous Sheriff Stone
Top three in each category received trophies and cash or prizes. 4th thru 8th received medallions.
Let's move on to the great food served out of McStones Cook Shack.
In the three days of breakfast we served 165 lbs of bacon and sausage, 30 lbs of Krustez pancake mix made with beer (700 pan cakes), 76 dozen (912) eggs, 135 lbs of potatoes with 65 lbs of red and green bell peppers and 40 lbs of chopped onions. Hundreds and hundreds of cup of coffee and orange juice.
You should have seen the mountain of bacon on the grill. John and Heidi kerplunked 30 lbs of bacon on the grill Sunday morning to get going. It was about 10 inches high and about 2 feet in diameter. I know this because the grill is 3 feet square. It took them 45 minutes to cook that mountain down to a mole hill. Then they started on the lil smokies.
We had other helpers who's names escape me at this time, because the whole weekend is still a little blurry, help cut up bell peppers. Pat took the other 3 foot grill to fry up the potatoes. His stack was front to back and side to side and about 5 inches high with potatoes, peppers and onions. He did this twice!!
Now it was time for Sheriff Stone to start cooking scrambled eggs and beer cakes. We had Gus and Julie keeping me supplied with scrambled eggs and beer cake batter for almost an hour. I would scramble up a pitcher of eggs then flip over to flip about 2 dozen hot cakes. Back and forth for an hour. At McStones we don't have fast food we have good food served quickly!! Just ask any one.
After each meal we had volunteers who came and help wash dishes. There was a lot of unknown people who helped out a lot during the weekend. They deserve just as much credit as the people whose names I do mention. This party without the help of a lot of people couldn't be done. In fact Red Dog just the other night was figuring up the volunteer hours for the final report to the Commission on Tourism and came up with 800 hours. We know it's higher because of some of the smaller jobs that were done. Even the County of Esmeralda helped out with such important items such as donating a large dumpster for the trash. Which I say thanks to all the guests who camped and filled it and left their campsites clean as a whistle.
Lunch was only served on Saturday. We had Gus, Julie, Barbie and Sharon and I don't know who all helping. I was handling all the games with Cindy during this time so I'm kind of cloudy who was there. They went thru lbs and lbs of Sheriff Stone Fries and almost all the hamburger patties. Another record this year. We don't serve lunch on Sunday because that's the day everyone should be tasting chili.
Now the dinner stats.
We have to thank all the people who braved the cold wind Saturday to set an all time high for dinners served on Saturday night. Ron and Pat cooked up 39 marinated beef tri-tips to serve 190 dinners in one hour. This is about 50 more than previous record. I think I cooked up about 100 lbs of fries.
On Sunday they barbie qued 168 new york steaks, another record, supplied by our Sysco supplier from Tonopah Merlin Olsen. A total of about 180 lbs of charcoal was used throughout the weekend. With another 100 lbs of fries. In addition to this we opened 14 number 10 cans of corn, 13 cans of green beans and 20 cans of baked beans.
We also served 240 assorted cupcakes both Saturday and Sunday that Pam and Julie spent 6 hours on Friday baking and frosting. Next year I will have two more cupcake pans for them to cook even more.
For the record the only bad weather day was Saturday. It was cold and windy. By Sunday mornings wake up call it was down to 38. Then it only got better. Sunday couldn't have been a more perfect day for weather. Mild temperature all day with a hint of breeze to keep cool.
In the Saloon pardner Walt was busier than a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. They went thru about 41 cases of soda, 12 cases of water, 64 cases of beer and about 70 large bottles of assorted booze. 9 bottles of Jack Daniels as an example. We went thru about 2000 glasses serving the parched throats of those partiers. Both Saturday and Sunday nights people jammed into the 110 foot long Saloon from one end to the other. They were drinking and dancing up a storm. Walt was lucky to get to bed by sun up. Which is when I was getting up. He then got up around noon the next day and did it again.
Oops! Just remembered. I almost forgot to tell you who won the Henry 44 magnum Big Boy Rifle. Drum roll please- - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - -it was Bob "Sparky" Titus of Bishop. He and his wife Carrie gave up mule days to come out and have the kind of fun he will never forget.
Oh yeah, the Flag Ceremony. No, I didn't forget. I just thought I'd save the best for last. This year we had more flags for everyone to hold on to. It was a good thing because this year we had hundreds of people here for it. We still had people who couldn't hold on to the flags.
We started out with the Battle Hymm of the Republic. During the music we started opening up the flags. First a 3 x 5, then a 4 x 6, then a 5 x 8, 10 x 14 and finally the big 20 x 30 opened up at the end of the street in front of the old Gold Point Post Office. Proud Americans standing side by side holding the stars and stripes. Others standing on the side lines.
I talked about the meaning of this weekend. How people of different ages have different meanings.
I asked a young child holding one of the flags what it meant to him. The reply was a vacation with mom and dad.
I asked a student holding one of the other flags. The reply was no school for three days.
I asked a middle age working class man. It was time off from work and a time to remember was the reply.
Then I asked a Veteran. His name was George. He had a lot to say through his tears. It was a time to remember his fellow comrades he served with. Some who did not come back.
Memorial Day Weekend has different meanings to different people until they reach the age at which they realize that because of the sacrifices of the men and women of all branches of the United States Military Services they can come to a place like Gold Point and gather as free citizens.
I then focused everyone's attention to our Ragged Old Flag on top of the Post Office Flag Pole. There was just enough wind to keep it extended. Then it was time for Johnny Cash's song That Ragged Old Flag.
It was now time to lower and retire that proud flag and raise up Bob Rude's flag. He was a veteran of WWII who was a resident of Gold Point. His flag is flown once a year for Memorial Day.
Those who carried Bob's flag over to raise it and lower the Ragged Old Flag were--Ron-Marine
After raising and lowering to half mast Bob's flag we play Taps followed by the bag pipe version of Amazing grace to honor those men and women who had sacrificed their all. May they not be forgotten and may they rest in peace.
After raising the flag to the top we played the National Anthem by LeAnn Rimes.
Before folding the flags our friend Phil (Death Valley Phil) took his annual Flag Ceremony photo. We then folded the flags to the sound of Moe Bandy singing Americana.
Well I think I've covered most of everything Red Dog, Pat and I can think of. I hope I haven't forgotten anything or anybody too important. There was so much good times going on all the time I just can't remember it all or put it all down in words. You'll just have to come out and see for your self next year.
Happy Trails and Sunsets,
Sheriff Stone &/or Red Dog Lil