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Smokey Wants to Visit All 50 States

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Where in the World is Smokey?

Smokey Gets Thirsty in Nevada

Aimee Ruzicka graduated from UT Knoxville in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in history and in 1974 with a master’s degree in library science. A retired law librarian, she now lives in Nesquehoning, Pa., in the southern Poconos.

While traveling around Lake Tahoe in March 2009, Aimee and her husband, Richard, wandered into a town named Genoa. Genoa is the oldest town in Nevada, with the first settlers arriving in 1851. It was the setting for the movie “Misery,” with Kathy Bates and James Caan. During the movie shoot, the town’s population more than doubled, from 225 to over 500. Aimee is standing in front of the Genoa Bar and Saloon, Nevada’s oldest “thirst parlor.” It is heated with a wood-burning stove and in the winter local patrons often arrive with firewood to barter for a drink. Past imbibers include Mark Twain, Ulysses S. Grant, Teddy Roosevelt, Carol Lombard, Clark Gable, Lauren Bacall, Richard Boone, Ron Howard, Red Skelton, Cliff Robertson, John Wayne, Johnny Cash, Clint Eastwood and every single Nevada governor. When Raquel Welch visited she was asked to leave her bra (there were many already hanging here and there.) She agreed but insisted that all the other bras be taken down, and they were. You can still see her black leopard print bra hanging on the antlers of one of the mounted deer heads.

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