Bruno Selmi

It was midnight when we dragged our exhausted, dust covered bodies
back into town. There was a dozen of us unloading in the parking lot
of “Bruno’s Country Club” in the little desert town of Gerlach, Nevada.
The restaurant had been closed since 8 that evening and the nearest
anything was a two hour drive away. Then out from the bar comes this
truly ancient and grouchy man, Bruno himself. In his broken English
“What the hell yous doing out
there. Get in here.”

He ushered us all in and then he vanished through the connecting
door to the restaurant while say something about us being damn
fools (I’m paraphrasing Bruno’s language was much more grand,
expansive and colorful). A bit later out comes Bruno in his apron
with plates of sandwiches, potato salad and coffee for the crew.

Years before Bruno kept the bar open for just me till 4 in the
morning while waiting for word that one of our recovery teams
making out of the desert was safe. In those wee hours I got the
whole story of Bruno’s life growing up in Tuscany and exactly why
Italians are better at raising cattle. He wouldn’t hear of shutting
down until we got the news everyone was safe.

Too many stories.

Bruno passes away this week at the age of 94.

Since our first flight in the Black Rock desert in the early 80′s
Bruno has taken care my team.

Thank you Bruno.

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