IT'S BEEN a good many years since Jack Bell used to come out of winter hibernation up in Verdi and visit the
newspaper offices in Reno. He was strictly a rugged character. He had followed the gold rush to the Yukon, he had taken part
in the deadly battles underground in the Cripple Creek labor wars, and he had served in France in the First World War.
And he always carried - and could use - a long barreled, single-action Colt .45, although he kept it out of sight, as all guncarriers did before the present
TV six-gun mania. Finally, he was the best fly fisherman in this part of the country.
But Bell's winter pilgrimage to Reno had nothing to do with any of these things. He wanted the papers to publish his annual request:
Feed the birds.
Nevada winters are rough on the birds. Snow and ice cover feeding grounds, and some of their shelters. It's mighty thin pickings
these days for the feathered flocks around Reno. Whether it is an elaborate feeding station, or just some bread crumbs or grain scattered in a
sheltered or snow-free area, it will be a help.
Jack Bell has been dead these many years, but his message is still alive, and one that should be remembered these wintry days.