Reno, Nevada novelist, Johnny Gunn, is retired from a long career in journalism. He has worked in print, broadcast, and Internet, including a stint as publisher and editor of the Virginia City Legend. These days, Gunn spends most of his time writing novel length fiction, concentrating on the western genre. Or, you can find him down by the Truckee River with a fly rod in hand.
“it’s been a wonderful life. I was born in Santa Cruz, California, on the north shore of fabled Monterey Bay. When I was fourteen, that would have been 1953, we moved to Guam and I went through my high school years living in a tropical paradise. I learned to scuba dive from a WWII Navy Frogman, learned to fly from a WWII combat pilot (by dad), but I knew how to fish long before I moved to Guam.
“I spent time on the Island of Truk, which during WWII was a huge Japanese naval base, and dived in the lagoon. Massive U.S. air strikes sunk thousands of tons of Japanese naval craft, and it was more than exciting to dive on those wrecks. In the Palau Islands, near Koror, I also dived on Japanese aircraft that had been shot down into the lagoons.
“My own service time consisted of my defending you from Puerto Rico during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Seems as though I couldn’t get away from tropical paradise. The diving was good but the fishing was splendid.
“I’ve been living in Nevada since 1963, following my service time with the army. You’d have to hunt hard and long to find a spot in the Silver State that I haven’t visited, and you’ll find many of those spots in my stories. I’ve caught ten and eleven pound trout at Pyramid Lake and caught ten inch brook trout that were fully mature and would take you arm right out of the socket with their strikes.
“Besides Virginia City, home of the fabled Comstock Lode, I’ve lived in Manhattan, Nevada. There were 120 of us at the time. I spent some time in Silver Peak, another very small community, and our home now is in an area called Cold Springs. There’s a casino here called Border Town. The state line separating Nevada and California runs right through it. We can ride our horse a few hundred yards and be in California, right along the eastern flank of the Sierra Nevada.
“We have a small hobby farm and raise a considerable amount of our own food. Cold Springs is about twenty miles north of Reno. We raise chickens for meat and eggs, and large New Zealand White rabbits for their meat. We raise the standard New Zealand which are large, but there are also Giant New Zealand rabbits. We haven’t gotten into them. The goat provides milk and young ones for their meat.
“My lovely wife says the little hobby farm keeps me out of trouble, and then snickers and says, maybe not. If you’re in our area, stop in, I always need help cleaning corrals.”