My wife and I spent the last weekend in the area attending my favorite rural Nevada tradition: Goldfield Days.
There is something about this part community/mostly ghost town that draws me in every year. Maybe it’s the people, maybe it’s the history, maybe it is the small town America. It is probably a mixture of all three.
The Friday and Saturday night ghost walk, Saturday morning parade through the center of town, the annual land auction, car show, entertainment, and with this being an election year, campaigning politicians. An added attraction this year was the opening of the Goldfield Opera House, which is really a small concert venue located next door to Radio Goldfield.
This year at the land auction I jumped in and bought a sliver of undeveloped land for $1,500. And when I say sliver, I mean 25-feet across and 103.5-feet long, or 2,633 square feet. But it is now my sliver of land for which I have big plans. Currently covered by rocks, brush and wildlife – I spooked a deer that was resting in one of the bushes – there is a lot of work to do before I can park a camper or build a tiny house.
But first I’ll need to get it surveyed.
The idea of buying a parcel of land came to me from my wife, who works with someone in the City of Las Vegas who bought a parcel during the land auction 16 years ago. In my travels to the town I have met other people in Goldfield who had done the same thing. I guess I got land fever.
I am drawn to Goldfield because I believe the town is undergoing a quiet renaissance. Longtime residents are mixing with new money to buy land, build new spaces, renovate old ones, while promoting the town in new ways. A long-talked-about visitors center is being constructed on the main highway.
Now if someone would buy the Goldfield Hotel and renovate it, similar to what happened with the Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah, the town might really see a tourist boom.
After my land purchase, my wife and I attended the Jim Marsh Classic at the Tonopah Speedway. I’m not a big race car fan, nearly falling asleep at my only NASCAR event a couple of years ago. But on Saturday I had a great time, sitting next to a couple who drive up from Henderson, where I live, to attend the race every year. They commented they were disappointed with the crowd, which I would say was only 20 percent of capacity.
But those of us that were there enjoyed the races.
Last week I returned from taking a week’s vacation. I took my three children and my wife to Branson, Missouri to celebrate my dad’s 80th birthday. I met up with my dad, John Knightly, and my two sisters and their families for the four-day gathering, 17 people in all.
The reunion was a first for our family on two fronts: the first time we had my dad, his three children and nine grandchildren all together. It was also the first time I was able to take my three children – ages 23, 22 and 13 – on a trip like this. And it was a truly wonderful experience.
My sisters still live in Tennessee where I grew up, and my dad in southeast Kansas. Like many families, getting everyone together is no easy task for those that live close, let alone separated by a few thousand miles.
My dad, my two sisters and I hadn’t been together at one time in nearly 15 years.
Time has a sneaky way of slipping by, and if we are not careful we forget to take the time to tell the ones closest to us how much we care for and love them.
It was also good to turn off the laptop, step away from the news of the day, and recharge.
Arnold M. Knightly is the editor of the Times-Bonanza & Goldfield News