White Christmas interferes with quest for White House bling

The snow disrupted my plan to write a heart-warming story about Christmas in Searchlight since as a woosie Las Vegan I wasn’t about to drive there in this weather. I wanted to meet muralist Maria Volborth, who was one of four Nevada artists asked to create Christmas ornaments for one of the White House Christmas trees.  It would have been a lovely day trip, but to write about Christmas in Searchlight requires a trip to Searchlight.

Maria lives in Nelson, where late Wednesday, she said there was a foot of snow. She also owns the K-Million Gallery in Searchlight, which is filled with art and collectibles she describes as “wonderful junk.” I was really looking forward to it. Leaving Las Vegas, driving to the mining town I hadn't visited in years.

But alas, for now,  the closest I can get to it is by checking out her Web site.

And the closest I’m getting to see her ornament is checking out this photo she sent me of the ornament and the man who asked her to create it — Searchlight’s most famous resident, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The ornaments from each state are on the Web.

Maria was one of 350 people invited to the White House in early December to see their ornaments on the tree and she was thrilled about having the chance to meet first lady Laura Bush and shake her hand. But it was not destined. The crowd was too big. So while Mrs. Bush spoke to everyone, not everyone got to meet her.

Life’s full of disappointments and Maria won’t get another chance to meet the first lady. But happily Searchlight will still be there for me when the time is right.