National Geographic : 2004 Oct
ELKO, NEVADA Reno and Las Vegas caught on, was the locus of big-name entertainment and the part-time home of honorary mayor Bing Crosby, who occasion ally showed up at a Catholic Mass, much to the delight of the congrega tion, which silenced itself in favor of his singing. Try to recall Crosby's voice, possibly just as silky and clear as the Nevada sky this afternoon as it segued into horizon just beyond 1-80 to the north, past the Elko High School football field where the team was practicing, anticipating another game against the Green Wave, their closest rivals, 250 miles away in Fal lon. Try to stare down the school mascot, a Native American in a war bon net, painted on the neat red bricks of the outside gym wall. Remark on the students of many races wearing their Indian jerseys with no appar ent cultural qualms. Find out that the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Sho shone has not only given its sanction for the school to keep Indians as the mascot, it's also endorsed the school's marching band, "Pride of Nevada, the Band of Indians," as an organization that casts the Te-Moak people in a positive light. Observe the blank looks when you ask a group of high school kids if they ever venture onto the three Native American colonies, the urban equivalent of reservations, inside Elko city limits. Realize that they think of the colonies as a good place to purchase fire works. Try to memorize their smooth, young faces. Lament your lost youth. Recall your unrequited desire to become a cowgirl. Believe it when 89801EV D Elko POPULATION: *Carson City 16,280 ESTABLISHED: 1868 ELEVATION: 5,140 feet COST OF A SADDLE IN 1970: $300 COSTTODAY: $2,500 NUMBER OF BASQUE RESTAURANTS: 4 NUMBER OF BUILDINGS HEATED WITH GEOTHER MAL ENERGY: 37 BUCKLE DOWN Dan "Pook" Hoots's saucer-size belt buckle commemorates his bronc-riding victory in the 2001 Payette County Hodeo, an amateur event in Idaho. "I'd like to be a professional rider someday," the 21-year-old Elko resident says. Until then, he'll keep working as a cowboy, crisscrossing the West on weekends in pursuit of his goal.