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   Reach out your hand
If your cup is empty
   If your cup is full
may it be again
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   That was not made
By the hands of men

Robert Hunter & Jerry Garcia (1942-1995)

I hope you understand I just had to go back to the island.
Leon Russell, 1942-2016

Mother Dolores: Our village loses its patron saint
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno / Expanded from the 5-30-2018 Sparks Tribune / Updated 5-31, 6-1 and 6-7-2018 / Expansions in blue


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The program premiers were available to every television set in the region because of a high-mileage media hybrid.

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Thus began an ongoing series of sane public interest programs which generate both entertaining heat and more than a little light.

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With all due respect to Smokey Robinson, herein trickle down the tears of clown.


Dolores Feemster died last Friday, a day after her 89th birthday. Her last words to me the previous afternoon were "I love you, Andy."

She expressed similar sentiment to her BFF Lucille Adin and others. She said that often but that day I think she knew she was running out of time although certainly not love.

For someone whose name meant "sorrow" in Latin, Italian and Spanish, she brought joy to the world.

Dolores Monica Mendocino Feemster was everybody's mom and grandma.

She birthed 12 children. Her descendants grew so numerous that they had two reunions every summer, one for the African-American branch, the other for the Pacific Islander branch.

Her kids, grandkids and great-grands are scattered worldwide. Her youngest, author Gary, vowed he would leave the country if Bush got re-elected. He moved to Brazil but returned to take care of mom.

Without the Feemster family, the Reno-Sparks NAACP would not soon celebrate its 75th anniversary. Ironically, an earlier matriarch, Helen Tyler Stewart White — as pale as her name — first involved Dolores in the cause of civil rights. Mrs. White's family carries forward alongside Mrs. Feemster's.

Dolores was born into the apartheid Reno of 1929 in a house on Morrill Avenue. She would live most of her life just a few blocks away. Her small home on the corner of 10th and Sutro became a neighborhood community center. To this day, the most coveted political sign location in the county is Dolores' fence.

Her home was always open to anyone, the door seldom locked. Neighborhood foundlings needing a place to crash were welcome at Mother Dolores' place. A who's-who of UNR athletic superstars, all the way up to Colin Kaepernick himself, hung out at Dolores' house.

Dolores disliked two terms. "Saint" embarrassed her. The daughter of an African-American mother (Beery) and Italian-American father (Mendocino) taught all who would listen to avoid "mixed race."

There is actually no such thing as "race," a social construct to categorize and ostracize. I always marveled that someone who grew up in segregated Depression era and post-WW2 Nevada could emerge so unscathed. There were no vindictive viscera in her entire being.

I once told Dolores about the racism imbued in me by my Italian forbears and how it could always be found under the surface of otherwise friendly faces. I thought she was going to cry at the thought that people had not always been truthful with her.

She emerged largely unscarred by the old Reno in large part perhaps because she was blessed with a disarming and affable personality. You wanted her as your friend from the moment you saw her.

Dolores attended St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary where Sisters John and Hyacinth treated her well, although one teacher called her "magpie." She skipped the third grade.

She attended Reno High for one semester but encountered a flamingly racist teacher who could not abide "a nigger, a wop and a Catholic." The school principal told her not to be so sensitive. Dolores' parents transferred her to Manogue.

Dolores did her time working in casinos and then became a counselor at Hug High. Whenever any student got into trouble, the reaction was always "call Dolores," even years after her retirement.

She once told me how she handled problems with emotional teens. "The louder they got, the softer I got. The louder, the lower. Pretty soon, they sat down and we started talking."

She never stopped giving good advice. A few years ago, she admonished me for my short temper. I'm working on it.

Dolores became president of the Reno-Sparks NAACP, served on numerous organizations and won countless awards. Her house stored boxes full of plaques and trophies but the walls were reserved for family photos.

I attended her last hurrah north of Sparks at Manor Care on Mothers' Day, 12 days before she departed. I contributed one last laugh before I kissed her goodbye.

I had been sneezing and said I was going to see my allergist the following week.

"Dr. Lokshin?" inquired fellow patient and NAACP VP Don Gallimore.

"Without him, I'd be dead," I replied.

"What did you say?" Dolores giggled.

"I said I'd be dead."

"Oh, I thought you said you'd be gay."

I related that story to Dr. Boris' amusement.

We are casting about for a venue that can seat 2,000 for a memorial service next month.

Send your memories and I'll post them at

Requiescata in pace.
Andrew Barbano is a 49-year Nevadan, executive producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration, first vice-president and political action chair of the Reno-Sparks NAACP, labor/consumer/civil rights advocate, member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO and editor of and BallotBoxing.US and and As always, his opinions are strictly his own. Check local listings for other Nevada cable systems. E-mail Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Sparks Tribune since 1988 and received its 8th Nevada Press Association award and 5th first-place at the 30 Sept. 2017 NPA annual convention in Carson City. (That trophy and about six bucks will get you a Latte Mocha Cotsafracas Chingade at just about any Starbux worldwide, guaranteed.)

Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)


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Metastasizical Statisticals

Trump FCC chair investigated for Sinclair ties / 2-15-2018

Ready for Trump TV? Inside Sinclair Broadcasting’s Plot to Take Over Your Local News
Its mix of terrorism alerts, right-wing commentary and “classic propaganda” could soon reach 3/4 of the US.
By Andy Kroll/Mother Jones Oct.-Nov. 2017

How Sinclair Broadcasting puts a partisan tilt on trusted local news
By William Brangham/ PBS NewsHour 10-10-2017

Top-down Democrats haven't learned
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 8-10-2017

More Faux than Fox? Corporate octopus Sinclair moves to dominate Nevada and U.S. television
By Dennis Myers / Reno News & Review 8-3-2017

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  This is important. We've got a lot of work to do.


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"Media is the plural of mediocre."
— Jimmy Breslin (1928-2017)

Last year's dark foreshadowings unfortunately became reality. I thus suggest inoculation by signing onto the HushHush! list at BallotBoxing.US/ It's cheap as well as enlightening entertainment. Thank you kindly for your support.

Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)


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Smoking Guns—>
Grandma, gold standards, forearms and tin ears
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno / Expanded from the 5-23-2018 Sparks Tribune
Beer & music and rent & pillage
Barbwire by Andrea Luigi Barbáno / Expanded from the 5-16-2018 Sparks Tribune
Stormy weather: Poll dancing for fun & prophet
Barbwire by Andres Luis Barbáno / Expanded from the 5-9-2018 Sparks Tribune
Flint, Nevada: Dirty deeds done dirt cheap
Barbwire by Andres Luis Barbáno / Expanded from the 5-2-2018 Sparks Tribune

$75 dead or alive: Still crazy after all these years
A mass murderer becomes famous on TV a century later

How come nobody noticed 'til now?
Barbwire by Andrew Barbáno
/ Expanded from the 2-21-2018 Sparks Tribune

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory owners Max Blank and Isaac Harris. Is not Mr. Harris eerily familiar to television junkies?

From the Emmy-winning opening slate of the blockbuster "Cheers" television series. Combined with its "Frasier" spinoff, it lasted 20 years.
The "shirtwaist kings" immigrated from Russia and made a fortune manufacturing "Gibson Girl"-style blouses. (Photo, "The American Experience"/PBS)
The Emmy-winning opening slate of the "Cheers" television series before the "slate" of creators is superimposed. Looks like Mr. Harris' dead ringer (at left) is having a bloody good time.

"Who ya gonna believe, me or your own eyes?" Chico Marx disguised as Groucho Marx in "Duck Soup" (1933)
Back to the story of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist holocaust

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Copyright © 1982-2018 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 49-year Nevadan, editor of and; and former chair of the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee. He is the executive producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration and serves as first vice-president and political action chair of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail

Barbwire by Barbano moved to Nevada's Daily Sparks Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988, and has originated in them parts ever since.
Whom to blame: How a hall-of-famer's hunch birthed the Barbwire in August of 1987
Tempus fugit.

Betty J. Barbano
2-7-1941 / 12-27-2005

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