Alamo Stage Play
Alamo, Nevada - 1920's

Alamo is the main town in Pahranagat Valley in southern Nevada. About 110 miles north of Las Vegas, the place was, for a time, home to rustlers and horse thieves in the early 1900s. Some say its name was in honor of the famous Texas battle for independence. It's more likely named for the predominate trees in the area, poplar/cottonwood. Alamo is Spanish for poplar. The major economic factors are ranching and Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge. The place also has the first restroom after the long, long Lund to Hiko drive.

Floyd R. Lamb told me this tale over lunch in Las Vegas back in the early1970's. Lamb was a state senator who served 26 years (1957-1983) in the Nevada State Legislature. He represented Lincoln County and then Clark County District No. 3. when statewide political power was shifted to Clark County.

Acting companies brought entertainment to rural communities back in the 1920's. They showed up in town with a few professionals then filled the minor and no speaking parts with locals. They practiced a day or two and then presented the featured play, a plan that usually worked well.

On the night of the play in Alamo, the school auditorium was filled. Most everyone in town and from surrounding ranches and farms were there. All anticipated seeing their neighbors and friends who had been recruited to help put the show on.

Lamb's uncle was, as always, seated in the front row. His bottle of booze was between his knees for a quick and handy swig during the entertainment.

From the opening of the curtain, it was an excellent production. Uncle and the audience were mesmerized with the action on stage. An Alamo resident, a woman, played the part of a maid. Her job was to walk onto the stage with a tray of drinks. The star of the play, turned and shot her. She fell to the floor.

Uncle's bottle fell to the concrete floor and shattered. Very distraught, he was instantly standing at the front of the stage, pounding on the floor.

He screamed, "My God! You've killed the only whore in town!"


   Longtime Nevada Senator Floyd R. Lamb, interview early 1970's.
   Political History of Nevada - 1996, issued by Dean Heller, Secretary of State. 
   Nevada Map Atlas, 16th edition, 2005, Nevada Department of Transportation.
   Nevada Place Names, A Geographical Dictionary, Helen S. Carlson, 1974, University of Nevada Press.
 ©Copyright 2007 by Howard Hickson

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