Weird Las Vegas and Nevada

Posted by Ryan Jerz on Wednesday October 24, 2007.

The cover of Weird Las Vegas and Nevada Author(s): Joe Oesterle & Tim Cridland
Publisher: Sterling
ISBN: 1402739400
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We all make decisions at one point or another in our lives that affect something down the road. A lot of the time, it’s a decision that we had no idea would have an impact. On December 31, 2005, I made a decision that I’ll look back on as a pretty cool one for some time.

The night before I was on a plane from Las Vegas to Reno. We had spent the holiday there and were returning home, as we do just about every year. As we approached Reno the captain gave a brief weather report: raining like a mofo (paraphrasing). We got home, having cabbed it in the rain. It continued raining through the night and the news was talking about how crazy the rain was. I turned to Christy and said that if it continued to rain all night I was going to wake up and get to the river early. It was about to get ugly. It did, and I did.

I brought my still camera and my video camera. It had been a long time since I used the video camera, though and I ran into some trouble. I did get this video out of it, but that required stills because the heads on my camera were dirty and the footage sucked. I shot some photos, doing my best to show what the high river was doing to downtown. I sent a few of them to Channel 4 and they put at least one on the air that I know of. With that, I figured my day was a success.

Water Movement from Under Virginia StreetThe photo of the bridge used in the book. The book version is actually a more colorful rendition, as I had time to correct it.A few months later I got a message through my Flick account asking if I would sell one of the photos. I’m always game for cash and recognition, so I agreed. It was for a book that a company was doing on Nevada, and they wanted the Virginia Street Bridge shot with the slower exposure to show water movement. Cool. The deal: $50 and a copy of the book when it was released.

Yesterday, I got the book. It was a really pleasant surprise to see it arrive in the mail, and I was giddy upon opening it. There it was, on page 17 (and maybe the smallest photo in the book, seriously) was the bridge. I flipped through the book to see what else it included. This is a great book for anyone’s collection on Nevada. The stories are interesting, well-done, and the quality of the book is superb. I showed it off around work today and we noticed that in the story on Lovelock a few people from here are quoted. The whole thing is fantastic. The title turned a few people off, but that’s just something we’ll have to live with. The series is called “Weird” so there isn’t much you can do about that. Plus, it is catchier than something like “unique.”

Remember it: Weird Las Vegas and Nevada: Your Alternative Travel Guide to Sin City and the Silver State. Anyone interested in some of the more interesting things Nevada has going for it should own this book. You might be able to tell every story in there yourself (although there can’t be too many people who know them), but to have it in a collection like this which can be displayed for any guest to see is awesome. Plus, if you act quickly, I’ll even autograph it for you.

Now that the book is out and I saw my shot in there, I can look back on my decision to go to the river as one that really worked out for me. It was fun to do regardless, but the book sitting on my shelf will be a reminder that modern technology and no fear in displaying what you can do might make for some pretty cool memories.

Ryan JerzRyan Jerz is an all-around good guy who wants people to eventually refer to him as "that dude who climbs mountains."

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