The latest addition to the Beatty VFW Memory Garden is a patriotic mural by Las Vegas artist Polo Parra.
The mural features a representation of the U.S. flag painted on the Auxiliary building’s wall. In front of that stands a ten-foot-tall painted plywood representation of a pair of boots, helmet, and gun memorial to a fallen soldier. Even the air-conditioning unit, hidden between the two elements, is painted in patriotic fashion.
Parra, the son of Beatty Auxiliary President Sherry Parra, executed the mural entirely with artist-quality spray paint. He has done large-scale work for a number of venues and for events such as the Life is Beautiful festival in Las Vegas, sometimes creating artwork in front of an audience. He is also a licensed tattoo artist.
The memory garden is dedicated to Dick Gardner, a founding member of John Strozzi VFW Post 12108.
He also served as chairman of the Beatty Town Advisory Board for several years before being elected to the Nye County Board of Commissioners, unfortunately passing suddenly before being able to take office.
A statement by the Beatty VFW Auxiliary reads, “This Memory Garden is a special place for family, our community and visitors to reflect, recognize, respect and honor all fallen comrades and all veterans worldwide.”
The Beatty Town Advisory Board has voted to supply two benches for the memorial garden, which is rimmed by young evergreen trees. Raised beds to be planted with flowers are also being installed.
The project has received financial support from US Ecology, the Stagecoach Hotel and Casino, and Valley Electric Association, and the VFW Auxiliary is still actively seeking more donations, which can be turned in at the Post or mailed to them at P.O. Box 128, Beatty, NV 89003.
Richard Stephens is a freelance reporter living in Beatty.