Pine Nuts: Party like it’s 1870 |

Pine Nuts: Party like it’s 1870

McAvoy Layne
Pine Nuts
McAvoy Layne

When I was a little kid I read a Donald Duck comic book and was fascinated when I saw Uncle Scrooge McDuck had a coin with his likeness on it. I thought, “I’d like to have a coin like that someday.” Well, it only took 70 years, but it looks like it actually might happen …

On Feb. 4, at the Nevada governor’s mansion, there will be a toast made to the sesquicentennial of our Carson City Mint, and a guy in a white suit will make a motion to mint a collectible Mark Twain medallion to “Mark” the occasion.

Fact is, I’ve been lobbying for such a medallion for several years, though it wasn’t until yesterday that I remembered who was behind the scheme all along … Uncle Scrooge McDuck.

Actually, when I think about it, Sam Clemens wrote to his brother in 1866, “I have had the call to literature, of a low order — humorous … to excite the laughter of God’s creatures.” And 150 years later, 2016, America minted her first coin for literature, the Mark Twain Commemorative Coin — the only thing our 114th congress could get together on.

I carry that regal coin around with me on a chain as a watch fob, and pull it out whenever I have an opportunity to show it off. Sam would be so proud of that coin.

Ironically, engraved upon that Mark Twain coin is, “In God We Trust,” which was authorized by Congress for use on coins away back in 1864. Sam would not have approved, for he maintained, “There never was a nation that put its whole trust in God. I think it would better read, ‘Within certain judicious limitations we put our trust in God.’ And if there isn’t enough room on the coin, why, enlarge the coin.”

It’s going to be an all-day affair, so get a good night’s rest. I’ll post the invitation here …

On Feb. 4, 2020, the Nevada State Museum opens its doors for free to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Carson City Mint producing its first coins. At 10 a.m. we will open the historic front doors for visitors and have a “First Strike” Ceremony at Coin Press No. 1. Then at 11 a.m. we will gather inside a heated tent in the parking lot for comments from local dignitaries and a keynote address from David J. Ryder, director of the U.S. Mint. At noon, Coin Press No. 1 will start minting the new Sesquicentennial Medallion. There will also be food available in the concourse. At 1 p.m. we will be serving cake made by the Carson High School Culinary CTE class. Minting will continue until 4 p.m. There will be short tours of the Mint building available from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Happy hour beverages and hors d’oeuvres will be served 5-7 p.m. at the Governor’s Mansion Special Event Hall in Carson City. The ticket is $100 per person and includes a 30 mm, .999 fine silver medallion struck on Coin Press No. 1, commemorating the Mint’s 150th anniversary. All proceeds support the Nevada State Museum. Space is limited and tickets are non-refundable. To purchase tickets, please contact Sandra Silva at the Nevada State Museum at 775-687-4810 ext. 224 or

Now, should you attend the Happy Hour Celebration please throw your support behind the guy in the white suit lobbying for the Mark Twain Commemorative Medallion, and don’t be shy about shouting out, “Bully for Mark Twain!”

Then get down and party like it’s 1870. Heck, I’ll even show you how to do the Possum Trot Schottische, which originated in Tennessee, but was popular in Nevada for one night only …

Learn more about McAvoy Layne at

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