A Meeting of Two... Philomaths - January 10, 2009

As many of you webloggers know, Rusty Goe is a softy when it comes to accumulating knowledge, especially regarding his passions. One of those passions, of course, is all history related to the life and times of the Carson City Mint. Just last April, Rusty presented a lecture at the Carson City Historical Society on the different types of entertainment available to Carsonites back when the Carson City Mint was operating. Little did he know, that his studies on the topic would lead him down a different path nearly nine months later. Read on for more...

As previously mentioned, on April 24, 2008, Rusty presented a lecture at the Carson City Historical Society on “Favorite Forms of Entertainment & Recreation During the Carson Mint’s Glory Years (1875-1885).” Some of the known activities he spoke about were things like operas and other theatrical events, elaborate parties and balls, joining prestigious social clubs, gambling, a wide array of outdoor sporting events, and even attending circuses whenever when they traveled into town.

One type of live entertainment that was particularly enjoyed by Carsonites was the minstrel show. Minstrel acts were performed by whites (and sometimes African Americans) in blackface, as they portrayed stereotypical blacks by exaggerating certain characteristics of Negroes, such as being ignorant or lazy, and speaking with over-emphasized Ebonics.

Although this is only one form of entertainment for that era, some people continue to devote their lives to the study of these shows, especially in terms of their historical relevance to the time period. One such person is Alex Albright, a professor of English at East Carolina University in North Carolina.

Now, here in Reno, we would’ve known nothing about this particular expert on minstrelsy, but it turned out that Mr. Albright was making a trip to our area to lecture on the subject at the Nevada Historical Society. Having seen the article in the Reno Gazette-Journal, Rusty couldn’t pass up the opportunity to attend this man’s presentation. After all, Rusty is a Philomath (a person who loves learning)!

 Southgate Coins owner Rusty Goe meets Professor Alex Albright and his family

After the lecture, Rusty and Mr. Albright spoke enthusiastically about Northern Nevada history, and Rusty invited Mr. Albright and his family to visit him at our store.

To make a long story short, Crystal, Cara, and me (Maya) were privileged to be introduced to Mr. Albright when he, his wife Elizabeth, and their son Silas walked into our store on Friday night (January 9, 2009). Rusty and the professor talked for awhile on all things related to their overlapping passions, and we girls were able to show Elizabeth and Silas just a little bit about coins.

After everything was said and done, Rusty, as well as the Southgate girls, were very pleased to have met Mr. Alex Albright, and we were all glad to have broadened our historical and theatrical knowledge concerning minstrelsy.

Sometimes you just have to wonder how small the world is when two people from different sides of the country are brought together by overlapping interests, all of it taking place right here in the biggest little coin shop in the world.

We would like to express our gratitude toward Mr. Albright and his family for making our lives just a little more enjoyable this past Friday evening.

-Maya