On June 14th, Judge Herndon ruled in favor of the Spring Mountain Docents. Our contract with the Nevada Parks Department is valid until 2019. Attorney Hong argued successfully that firing the docents would do irreparable harm to the volunteers. Like much in America life the battle of the Spring Mountain Docents was won in the courts.
On my first day back at Spring Mountain, I worked with two older conservative white people. The husband was knowledgable about economics and politics. For example, he knew the role that Darpa plays in advancing American technology. Darpa is agency in the Defense Department that funds cutting edge research. Darpa supported the research that created the internet. His wife was less knowledgable and worked from a gut feeling that somehow Obama would destroy America and Romney would redeem our country. I don’t think presidents have as dramatic effect on our daily life as partisans would have us believe.
I plan to vote for Obama even though in many ways his politics are more a continuation of the Bush-era than radical break from that period.
Spring Mountain Ranch is the second oldest historic sites in the Southern Nevada. The original stone cottage dates from the 1870s. There are remains of an old Mormon fort that predates the Spring Mountain homestead. And of course, there are Paiute Indian petroglyphs that are centuries old.
Both myself and the old white couple are history buffs. We both read an excellent biography of Old Bill Williams written in the 1930s. Old Bill Williams camped at what is now The Spring Mountain Ranch in the 1840s. In those days old Bill made his living from stealing horses from the Mexicans. I joked Las Vegas had a criminal connection right from the beginning of its history. The old lady said there was nothing wrong with stealing horses from the Mexicans.
Old Bill Williams was a legendary mountain man. He roamed the frontier from 1815 to 1849 . In 1815 he married an Osage woman and became a member of the tribe. In 1849 he was killed by Ute Indians after he retrieved scientific equipment abandoned in the Southern Rockies. The equipment was left in the mountain during the disastrous 4th expedition of John Fremont. About a third of the people who started on the adventure died in the mountains of starvation and cold.
Old Bill Williams was a pirate of the desert. But in the spirit of reconciliation of Red America and Blue America, I reinterpreted Old Bill Williams role in history, I declared to the old couple that Old Bill Williams was not a pirate, but a privateer.