It’s an honor that’s out of this world, bestowed on a man for whom the subject of UFOs is anything but alien.
Is that enough puns?
Probably not, but through the years KLAS-TV, Channel 8 investigative reporter George Knapp has heard just about all the smart remarks and half-wisecracks about his reportorial sub-specialty, the UFO phenomenon and the relative mysteries of Area 51.
Through the years Knapp has produced award-winning documentaries on the prospects of there being evidence of alien life in cold storage at the government’s super-secret hangar at the Nevada Test Site. He’s also written a lively book on a related topic and has lectured widely on the issue.
Knapp has been the object of friendly cackles from the news fraternity, but he has managed to shrug off his occasional critics. This weekend, his devotion to the UFO culture pays dividends when he serves as the grand marshal of the annual Nevada Day Parade in Carson City. For a reporter, it’s quite a coup.
With its theme "The Mysteries of Nevada — Area 51," the parade should be a kick. Knapp joins a long list of Silver State luminaries so honored on Nevada Day.
Meanwhile, I’m heading north to Beatty to catch its weekend celebration. Beatty Days is always a lot of fun, and the Saturday morning parade is a real treat for those who enjoy a small-town atmosphere with a distinctly Nevada flavor.
They tell me, if I mind my manners, they’ll let me sweep up after the burros.
While we’re on the subject, you’re not officially a Nevadan until you’ve taken the tour of Dr. Lonnie Hammargren’s amazing home. The former lieutenant governor’s 12th annual open house is set for 1 p.m. Sunday at 4318 Ridgecrest Drive near Flamingo and Sandhill.
Hammargren has his own wing in the pantheon of Nevada characters.
COACHMAN’S OPENING: It figures all-world local legal character "Bucky" Buchanan would have a hand in bringing back one of the great locals restaurants, the Coachman’s Inn Supper Club at 3240 South Eastern Ave. at Desert Inn Road. Buchanan, who has had his own TV reality show, teamed up with Chip Lightman to return the Coachman to its former glory.
The grand opening was Thursday night.
ABUSE PREVENTION: Sunrise Hospital plays host to a program by Prevent Child Abuse Nevada beginning at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday that cries out for local media coverage. Seminar topics include focus on prevention and treatment with local health and social service professionals present.
MIRABELLI’S MOMENT: Local baseball fans are rooting for Boston Red Sox backup catcher Doug Mirabelli to see some action during the World Series. Mirabelli, a Valley High graduate, spent the season as knuckleball pitcher Tim Wakefield’s personal catcher, but now that Wakefield is out with a sore shoulder it remains unclear whether Mirabelli will find his name in the box score.
GLAZED OVER: Dunkin’ Donuts is shouting about the record-setting performance of its first Las Vegas store, which opened this month and in the first week officially served more than 89,500 doughnuts while pouring 8,666 cups of coffee, the company reports.
And just wait until Metro’s finest discovers it’s located at 409 East Silverado Ranch Blvd.
HOMEWORK DUE: From lawyer Stan Hunterton comes this nugget about what the life of an attorney is like. Tom Hanks was being interviewed recently on "Inside the Actors Studio" and at one point was asked, "If you weren’t an actor, what would you least want to be?" He answered, "a lawyer." Then Hanks added, "When you are a lawyer, your whole life is homework."
ON THE BOULEVARD: The Local Authors Book Fair is set for 1 p.m. Saturday at the Clark County Library at 1401 E. Flamingo Road. That is not to be confused with the upcoming Vegas Valley Book Festival and the recently concluded Antiquarian Book Fair. For a valley that gets no love about the education of its residents, that’s a lot of book festivals in a very short time. … The High Heels Poker Tour (all-female players except for a recent guest appearance by Dennis Rodman) hasn’t cemented its Las Vegas plans. Surely some resort will wise up and pick up the tournament.
Have an item for the Bard of the Boulevard? E-mail comments and contributions to Smith@reviewjournal.com or call (702) 383-0295.JOHN L. SMITHMORE COLUMNSDiscuss this column in the eForums!