Desert Companion

The Better Truth

Andrew KiralyDo you remember, in the first weeks of the spring shutdown, all those silver linings we scrounged up from our strange new lives at home? Time to take up yoga, time to try our hand at sourdough, time to uplink with the fam beyond the standard endearments lobbed between twitching with our phones. Now we seem to be in a nameless new phase — comprising some mix of resignation and grudging adaptation — that suggests not so much that life goes on as it does that grim, resentful acceptance is a totally underrated lifehack. Okay, I’m projecting a little bit.

The bright minds we highlight in “Ones to Watch ” are certainly running on a higher octane than a certain defensively glum editor currently has in the tank. Here is creativity, innovation, and optimistic enterprise — playwrights connecting to their heritage through unexpected pathways, poets and musicians experimenting with new platforms out of creative necessity. And — look, another faint gleam of something resembling hope! — there’s still a stubborn pulse thrumming from our arts scene, too, as evidenced by our pando-friendly fall culture guide. Whether you’re stir-crazy or still locking down, we’ve got virtual events as well as socially distant art shows and live talks.

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Desert Companion is adapting, too. We’ve launched an email newsletter, Fifth Street, which features fresh stories, commentary, riffs, and unaccountable gusts of cavalier whimsy delivered to your inbox every week. Subscribe at for (okay, fine, I’ll close the circuit, yolo) a little silver lining from us.

Andrew Kiraly


Oh, Yeah, Also

1. Leave it to our intrepid food writer Greg Thilmont to find an amazing chicken salad sandwich on sourdough in a gas station deli in Ash Springs of all places. There are tons of hidden-gem eateries and dining spots dotting our regional map — peep this pastrami from the road to Pioche! Road trips are not only pandemic-safe, responsible fun, but they may just help you keep your sanity during these kee-razy times. Check out our roundup of road-trip-worthy diners and eateries at

2. New names for your dry hands: 1. Corrugated Witch-Mitts 2. Prehensile Sandpaper 3. Twice-Baked Phalanges 4. Clenched Jerky Nubbins
5. Crunch-Grab Supremes 6. Ghoul Hand Luke 7. Dubiously Sanitized Obsolete Handshake Units 8. Cool Ranch Metacarpals 9. Handruff-speckled Goblin Crisps 10. Here is the church/ Here is the steeple/ Open the door and see all the eyeless, desiccated zombies moaning for Eucerin

3. Got a good Vegas story to tell? Share it with StoryCorps. Since 2003, StoryCorps has been collecting and sharing the personal stories of Americans from all backgrounds. In response to the pandemic, StoryCorps has launched a Virtual Mobile Tour this year to allow participants to share stories safely. And, good news, Vegas is a stop on the virtual tour! From September 16-October 23, StoryCorps is scheduling interview sessions with prospective Vegas storytellers. Visit for more information.

If you’ve enjoyed this read, wait until you get your hands on a bunch of these reads from contemporary voices mining the good stuff from Las Vegas — all laid out in a gorgeous design experience. Subscribe. It comes to your house. For real!

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