My good friends keep dropping off on me.
One of the finest and brightest was Garth Richards – a great man by my standards. I appreciate men and women who are strong, who help the people around them flourish and who are not afraid of a fight if the cause is worthy. That pretty much described Garth, who died peacefully at home one day shy of his 86th birthday.
When I moved to Carson City 30 years ago, I heard of this guy who owned a golf course and several housing developments. Some people said great things about Garth, others not so much. I didn’t go out looking for Garth – he found me. One day I parked my blue Suburban, unlocked, at the local grocery store while I ran in for a few items. When I returned, Garth was sitting in my passenger seat. We talked about ways to make Carson City a more vibrant place.
I had a grand vision of bringing an educational theme park to our town, featuring the history of the wild west as it ran through Carson City, Virginia City and Lake Tahoe. Parents from around the country would bring their children to this learning center with Disneyland-like rides and authentic representations of the Pony Express, the gold rush, cattle ranches and the railroads that connected the East and West as we became the United States of America.
Garth said he would be my financial partner in the project. He said, “Let’s get ‘er done before I get too old. What are we waiting for?”
It hasn’t happened… yet. Garth stayed a strong supporter of our dream, always showing up unexpectedly in my car with a revised plan. Today, I think he’s still cheering us on with a can-do smile on his face.
Carson City, not to mention our country, needs more Garth Richards.