Nevada Gov. Sandoval welcomes Mark Twain to official residence |

Nevada Gov. Sandoval welcomes Mark Twain to official residence

Last night, I had the honor of becoming the Wild Humorist of the Pacific Slope at the governor’s mansion and I’ve never had so much fun in a white suit. I’ll record “Samuel’s” opening remarks here in this fine family journal in case you were turned away or decided to skip.

I want to thank Gov. Brian Sandoval and his family for having us into the mansion this evening. I owe him one. Last year, the governor asked me to help greet folks on the traditional day they open up the mansion to the public for tours. So there I was on the front steps, welcoming everybody and wondering where the governor was, and I asked an aide, “Where’s the governor?”

The aide said: “Oh, he went to the UNR football game.”

So I owed him one. I bided my time and finally got my chance. It came during Sheep Dip, which for those who have not had the pleasure is an annual roast of Nevada celebrities and politicians at the Nugget. Well, I was all mic’d-up in the white suit, making my way through the audience toward the stage with the spotlights on me when the governor stuck out his hand as I was passing his table. I stopped, shook his hand, pulled him close and said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch the name.” When the laughter died down, he said, “Sandoval.”

“Sandoval … Sandoval … a very presidential sounding name.” By my count, we were even to that point in time.

Then last summer Gov. Sandoval hosted the Western States Governor’s Conference, and he thought it would be a great Nevada day if we were to take a bus ride down the east shore of Lake Tahoe for a Native American ceremony at Cave Rock. So off we went. I was sitting in the front seat with Ben Rupert when we arrived at Cave Rock State Park, where the gatekeeper told us, “Go away, we’re too crowded today!”

The driver said, “We’ve got the governor onboard.”

The gatekeeper took a look at me in the front seat and said, “That’s not the governor, that’s Mark Twain!” The driver then motioned him onboard, whereupon the governor gave him a wave. Now, the governor is the man who signs this fellow’s paycheck, right? Funny how his tune changed, “Welcome to Cave Rock State Park!”

Rupert and his family, by the way, presented a noble Native American ceremony there in the shadow of Cave Rock.

After 90 minutes of spreading the gospel of the Moralist of the Main, I said goodnight.

“In closing, I want to thank Myron Freeman, Bob Nylan, & Mary Covington for nurturing the Frances Humphreys Lecture Series, and Gov. Sandoval and his family for welcoming us into the mansion. I might like to add, having Gov. Sandoval in Nevada politics is like having an attar of roses in a glue factory. Thank you all for coming … I hear they are serving adult beverages at Adele’s.”

Learn more about McAvoy Layne at

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