By Sherman Frederick/Battle Born Media

After cautiously living the COVID life for the last year and a half, my wife and I ventured out for a road trip to experience a real, live, in-person, honest-to-goodness music festival. It was held in Kingston, N.M., a spent 1880’s mining town just outside the Gila National Forest.

The closest “big” city would be Silver City. The event is called Pickamania. This year the outdoor event was limited to 150 people, which was nice for those who took the risk to plan ahead and score a ticket. No masks (unless you so desired, which few did), but plenty of social distancing.

We stayed at the Black Range Lodge, the grounds of which were the site of the festival. Regional musicians took the stage for three days and treated us not only to some fine music, but also to a reminder of what life can be like after the pandemic. The stage sits amid apple trees, which were weighted down with fruit. You could partake of festival food, which included cheese burgers, veggie burgers and slices of homemade apple pie.

On a side trip, we ventured down the road a bit to the farmer’s market in Hillsboro.Across the street we came upon an antique store. Amid pack-mule saddles and other mining gear, we found this treasure. It’s Big Brother & Holding Company album, the lead singer of which was none other than Janis Joplin.

All I’m sayin’ is that COVID livin’ ain’t really livin’. It’s time to get back to the way it used to be. The best way to do that is to get vaccinated. Let’s do it.

(Postscript: Google Pickamania and check it out. Maybe next year we’ll see you there!)


Now comes the news that the U.S. drone attack the Pentagon said killed two high-ranking ISIS terrorists in Afghanistan actually killed an innocent aid worker and seven children. I thought it was suspicious when President Biden highlighted the drone attack during the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, but refused to name the two terrorists supposedly killed. Last week in a Senate hearing Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was asked who we killed — two terrorists or one aid worker? He said he didn’t know. A day later, our government admitted we killed zero terrorists and seven children.

Jumpin’ Jayzus Palomino, dear readers, this is one more in a series of FUBAR operations committed by this Administration. Heads gotta roll.


Last week the former Nevada U.S. Sen. Dean Heller announced he’ll run for governor. He says he’ll run as a Republican. He’ll have to prove that, if you ask me.


— To relax, I turn off the TV news and put on a serial killer documentary.

— I accidentally drank a bottle of disappearing ink. I’m in the ER waiting to be seen.

— I bought flashlight batteries from a girl at the beach because she sells c-cells by the seashore.

— Etiquette question: Is this placement of the cat (in lieu of the salad plate) correct? Or should the cat be placed above the plate, alongside the dessert spoon and cake fork?

Thanks for reading your hometown newspaper. Until next week, be kind, laugh a little and always question authority.

(Sherman Frederick is a longtime Nevada journalist and co-founder of Battle Born Media, a company dedicated to serving rural Nevada communities. You can reach him by email at