Bruno

All things outside of Burning Man.
Post Reply
User avatar
goathead
Posts: 5315
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 5:02 pm
Burning Since: 1999
Location: Where I live is not far from home.

Bruno

Post by goathead » Sun May 14, 2017 1:17 am

Good friend, not even sure how many years I have known him. He was a friend of my dad.

Anyway he pasted away today. I am cruising though FB, reading about people remembering him and I come across a couple of posts by a couple of burners saying he is a racist, white supremacist, and so on.

hmmmm

How many meals did you have with Bruno, breakfasts, dinners, drinks for you to reach this fucking conclusion.

I will give you the point Bruno could be a prick if he decided he didn't like you.
Yell and scream at you in mixed English, Spanish, and Italian.
I did have the pleasure of trying to translate for him a couple of times.
He was short tempered, even more so when thousands of dirty hippies came to town every summer.
Demanding shit that well, we don't have in Gerlach.
He wasn't a democrat, and he did have his own set of views on politics.

I have seen him interact with so many people over the years,
The old black man who was an owner/operator that used to haul for USG was in for breakfast every week, and eat breakfast and him and Bruno would visit every week.
The various Hispanic farm/ranch workers in the area.
Saw a few of his employees who for one reason or another could not work anymore, Keep their places, Bruno made sure they had a place to stay, and didn't go hungry.

So anyway Badger, you can go fuck yourself.

User avatar
some seeing eye
Posts: 2779
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:06 pm
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: Woo
Location: The Oregon

Re: Bruno

Post by some seeing eye » Sun May 14, 2017 5:24 am

Bruno Selmi, owner of Bruno's in Gerlach, dies at 94

Jenny Kane , jkane@rgj.com Published 5:44 p.m. PT May 13, 2017 | Updated 11 hours ago


Editor's note: This story will be updated pending further information. If you would like to share your memories of Bruno, photos of him or your own visit to Bruno’s Country Club, please email reporter Jenny Kane at jkane@rgj.com.

Giovanni "Bruno" Selmi, master ravioli chef and head honcho of Bruno's Country Club, died on Saturday at 94.

A legend in Northern Nevada thanks to his "world famous" stuffed pasta and his sharp-tongued, Italian wit, Bruno was a beloved figurehead in the town of Gerlach, a community which he is largely credited with building on the back of his diner, bar, motel and gas station.

"It’s like the end of an era. He’s been like a grandfather to so many," said Lacey Holle, manager of Bruno's Country Club.

The establishment, which has been in business since the early 1950s, has not closed its doors for more than a day since 1983, when the original building burned to the ground in a fire. The bar, which has a slogan of "Where the pavement ends and the West begins," has a sign reading "This space reserved for Bruno" out front. The local watering hole remained open on Saturday.

Bruno was 23 when he arrived in the United States from Lucca, Italy, in November 1946. He spoke little English when he showed up at his brother's ranch in Dayton, though he knew his way around the kitchen, so that's exactly where his brother put him.

"My first check was $77. I never got broke since," Selmi told the Reno Gazette-Journal in 2013.

Several miles down the road, in the small company town of Empire, a few fellow Italians started working in the nearby cement plant. Like Bruno, none of them knew much English. By day, he would work in Empire and, by night, he would tend bar and deal 21 at the local bar-casino in Empire where he met his wife, Frances, a singer at the bar.


For Bruno and Frances, it was just the beginning. Bruno was offered the chance to lease the local bar-casino in Empire, but the opportunity to open his own joint in 1950 in Gerlach looked more prosperous. He bought an operation originally known as the Longhorn Bar for $6,500 and remodeled it.

He was told that Bruno's Club wasn't a complete name, so he made it Bruno's Country Club because it was out in the country, his daughter Skeekie Courtney told the Reno Gazette-Journal in 2013. When it burned down in the 1980s, the town helped him rebuild a larger version.


Bruno Selmi, called the patriarch of Gerlach, Nev., because he owned a lot of it including a bar and casino called Bruno's Country Club and the only motel in town, is patted, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 1997, by Lena Lucchesi, who lived in Gerlach for more than 60 years. Selmi came to visit her more than a half-century ago, asked Lena's husband for a job and never left. ( (Photo: Susan Ragan/AP file photo)

While Bruno was known to take quarreling or whining employees outside and show them his name written on the building as a silent display of his upper hand in the small town, he also would do anything for those who he took under his wing.

He welcomed pretty much everyone – Burners, truckers, hunters, ranchers and alike – into his business, though Holle said he would quickly let you know if he didn’t like you.

“My favorite thing about him was his attitude. If you didn’t like it here, he’d tell you to go across the street. He liked saying, 'What's over there? Nothing,’” said Holler, who knew Bruno for 10 years.

During the 1990s, he catered to the caravan of bohemians who passed through his town to get to Burning Man, held deep in the belly of the Black Rock Desert.

"He did not like the Burners initially. You would come off the playa -- this was before RVs -- and they would feel gross and they’d wash off their arms and everything in the bathroom. He just thought we were dirty hippies," said Burning Man CEO Marian Goodell.

During the early 1990s, when Burning Man first started taking cash for tickets, the organization didn't have anywhere to keep the money, so they handed off the money to Bruno. Burning Man founder Larry Harvey told Goodell on Saturday that Bruno was Burning Man's "first bank."

"He was old school Italian in every way, he liked the ladies, he believed in good food and he always made sure that everyone had a cocktail. He was an old school businessman. What Bruno said, we didn’t mess with him. He was the Don of the town," Goodell said.

One time when Goodell went to Bruno's (she always liked his Prospector Sandwich made with green chiles) for a dose of his Picon Punch, a Basque cocktail that Bruno told Goodell was her official drink, she was offered a free drink after she already had one too many, she recalled.

"I tried to say no, but he would say, "If someone buys you drink, you drink drink,'" she said.

Bruno Selmi pours a drink at his bar in 2013. He died on May 13, 2017. (Photo: Liz Margerum/RGJ file photo)

In recent years, Bruno played a lesser role in his business, passing off much of the responsibility to his daughter, Skeekie Courtney. His wife, Frances Selmi, died in 2003, and his own health had been suffering as of late, according to Holle.

Several of his properties have been sold off. The Burning Man organization paid Bruno $170,000 for seven lots in Gerlach that organizers will use for summer residences during event preparations. Last year, a portion of the motel also suffered a fire.

No memorial service has yet been announced, though Holle said one was likely in the near future.

"He was just good people," Holle said.
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion

User avatar
ygmir
Posts: 29160
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:36 pm
Burning Since: 2017
Camp Name: qqqq
Location: nevada county

Re: Bruno

Post by ygmir » Sun May 14, 2017 6:28 am

goathead wrote:Good friend, not even sure how many years I have known him. He was a friend of my dad.

Anyway he pasted away today. I am cruising though FB, reading about people remembering him and I come across a couple of posts by a couple of burners saying he is a racist, white supremacist, and so on.

hmmmm

How many meals did you have with Bruno, breakfasts, dinners, drinks for you to reach this fucking conclusion.

I will give you the point Bruno could be a prick if he decided he didn't like you.
Yell and scream at you in mixed English, Spanish, and Italian.
I did have the pleasure of trying to translate for him a couple of times.
He was short tempered, even more so when thousands of dirty hippies came to town every summer.
Demanding shit that well, we don't have in Gerlach.
He wasn't a democrat, and he did have his own set of views on politics.

I have seen him interact with so many people over the years,
The old black man who was an owner/operator that used to haul for USG was in for breakfast every week, and eat breakfast and him and Bruno would visit every week.
The various Hispanic farm/ranch workers in the area.
Saw a few of his employees who for one reason or another could not work anymore, Keep their places, Bruno made sure they had a place to stay, and didn't go hungry.

So anyway Badger, you can go fuck yourself.
I didn't know him, GH, but if you liked him, I stand with you.
YGMIR

Unabashed Nordic
Pagan

Thecatman
Posts: 3044
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:47 pm
Burning Since: 2002
Camp Name: alone
Location: Carson City. About 125 miles south of BRC

Re: Bruno

Post by Thecatman » Sun May 14, 2017 7:45 am

Just read about it in this morning rgj.

Hope the place doesn't go to shit.
My cats are cuter than your grandkids!

"Government is not the solution to our problems, government is the problem." Ronald Reagan

User avatar
Simon of the Playa
Posts: 18502
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:25 pm
Burning Since: 1996
Camp Name: La Guilde des Hashischins
Location: Rochester, Nevada.

Re: Bruno

Post by Simon of the Playa » Sun May 14, 2017 12:11 pm

when the history of this thing in the desert is written, bruno and his raviolis will be remembered fondly.


i like my Saints to be Sinners, that shows they've learned a little from their mistakes.

i saw that as well and thought it to be of ill will to speak of the recently passed in such a manner.

i can be rude, and obnoxious, and even mean sometimes, but there are certain lines one should not cross as it is dishonorable, at best.

i liked bruno, because bruno was bruno.
Frida Be You & Me

User avatar
Corvus
Posts: 86
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:22 pm
Burning Since: 2009
Camp Name: Poly Paradise
Location: Mesa, Arizona

Re: Bruno

Post by Corvus » Mon May 15, 2017 4:32 am

I tried the ravioli once. I went in ravenous because I was given to understand it was a generous portion. I got only five -- five really big ones; I ground to a halt about half-way through the last one.

User avatar
Token
Posts: 4002
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 2:55 pm
Burning Since: 2001
Location: Gold Country, CA

Re: Bruno

Post by Token » Mon May 15, 2017 8:41 am

Goathead, if you were to dedicate a brew batch to Bruno, what would it be?

User avatar
goathead
Posts: 5315
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 5:02 pm
Burning Since: 1999
Location: Where I live is not far from home.

Re: Bruno

Post by goathead » Mon May 15, 2017 1:23 pm

I would have to learn how to brew wine, he enjoyed a glass of red wine with dinner.

Wines I don't know that much about

Thecatman
Posts: 3044
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:47 pm
Burning Since: 2002
Camp Name: alone
Location: Carson City. About 125 miles south of BRC

Re: Bruno

Post by Thecatman » Tue May 16, 2017 7:02 pm

[quote="Corvus"]I tried the ravioli once. I went in ravenous because I was given to understand it was a generous portion. I got only five -- five really big ones; I ground to a halt about half-way through the last one.[/img]

Yeah! Every time we've had the ravioli there we'd bring half of it home. We each get a plate. I'd take mine for lunch at work. Usually warmed up on the defrosters of a truck.
My cats are cuter than your grandkids!

"Government is not the solution to our problems, government is the problem." Ronald Reagan

User avatar
Chowski
Posts: 293
Joined: Fri May 18, 2012 2:35 pm
Burning Since: 2009

Re: Bruno

Post by Chowski » Thu May 18, 2017 1:39 pm

So what you are saying, OP, when you say that Bruno "wasn't a democrat" is that he was a fierce and independent individual-brand ideologue whose moocher lifestyle choice was made possible by the Democratic party's efforts in supplying him paved roads, educated employees and customers, a military to protect his nation, police and fire to protect his financial interests, the BLM to protect the land near his home, and on , and on , and on. And yet, he decided that he and he alone in his fierce-brand independence (tm) built everything he owned with no help from the big evil gubment. Isn't it always these non-contributing "independent" types who get everything we give them, yet shake their (white) fists at the air screeching to get the big gubment off their lawn!!!!

I didn't know Bruno, I only went into his place once. I don't give a shit what he thought about "hippies". But I know this - I paid for the road that drove through his shithole town, and I paid for the government agency that maintains the BLM as a space ALL OF US get to use. I'm sorry you have lost a friend, but goddamn it's tiring listening to these angry old (always white) men bitch about how oppressed they are by evil demoncrats and big gubment! He didn't own road and he didn't own the Black Rock Desert. it is all of ours, because we (who actually have jobs that make enough to pay taxes) support it as a collective.

P.S. Nobody ever calls me a racist. I wonder what it is that Bruno did throughout his life that would cause anyone to confuse him for a racist?

User avatar
Captain Goddammit
Posts: 8092
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 9:34 am
Burning Since: 2000
Camp Name: First Camp
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Bruno

Post by Captain Goddammit » Thu May 18, 2017 4:48 pm

I think it meant he wasn't a democrat.
"The Democrats" did not build this country and provide everything. The Americans did.
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."

User avatar
Dr. Pyro
Posts: 4616
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 8:11 am
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: Barbie Death Camp & Wine Bistro
Location: Newcastle, CA
Contact:

Re: Bruno

Post by Dr. Pyro » Thu May 18, 2017 4:59 pm

There is a reason there are no Democrats on Mount Rushmore.

User avatar
lucky420
Posts: 8246
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:47 am
Burning Since: 2021
Camp Name: Dye with Dignity
Location: Reno, NV

Re: Bruno

Post by lucky420 » Thu May 18, 2017 5:01 pm

Dr. Pyro wrote:There is a reason there are no Democrats on Mount Rushmore.
Yeah to bad the Grand Old Party isn't anymore
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

User avatar
Kinetik V
Posts: 1650
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:43 am
Burning Since: 2002
Camp Name: Sanctuary West
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: Bruno

Post by Kinetik V » Thu May 18, 2017 5:45 pm

Ignoring Chowski's stupid rant....all I know is Bruno's Raviolis sure made that long drive across Jungo Road worth it. He will be missed.
Kinetic V
~~~~~~
I bring order to chaos. And I bring chaos to those who deserve it, wherever that may be.

User avatar
goathead
Posts: 5315
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 5:02 pm
Burning Since: 1999
Location: Where I live is not far from home.

Re: Bruno

Post by goathead » Fri May 19, 2017 4:40 am

He probably drug them outside and asked them what the sign on the building said, in very broken mix of English, Italian, maybe a little Spanish thrown in. Then told them to get the fuck out.

User avatar
Corvus
Posts: 86
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:22 pm
Burning Since: 2009
Camp Name: Poly Paradise
Location: Mesa, Arizona

Re: Bruno

Post by Corvus » Fri May 19, 2017 4:58 am

Captain Goddammit wrote:"The Democrats" did not build this country and provide everything. The Americans did.
Well said (not that I favor the current administration or gang in charge of Congress. At all.).

User avatar
ygmir
Posts: 29160
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:36 pm
Burning Since: 2017
Camp Name: qqqq
Location: nevada county

Re: Bruno

Post by ygmir » Fri May 19, 2017 6:48 am

Captain Goddammit wrote:I think it meant he wasn't a democrat.
"The Democrats" did not build this country and provide everything. The Americans did.
very well said Cap'n!

~~not ignoring, since I obviously read it, but "meh" to Chowski for that rant and disrespect.~~
YGMIR

Unabashed Nordic
Pagan

Post Reply

Return to “Open Discussion”