Alamo is a place to call home


Matt Hufman

Kristy Lamb, left, and Stevie Horrocks stand outside of the Windmill Ridge inn and restaurant in September 2013.

I ask the waitress at Windmill Ridge, a comfortable little country-style inn and restaurant, how she ended up here, and she tells of moving from Las Vegas a few years ago with a now ex-husband. But, the small green valley has become home.

She extols the area’s virtues, but she says if you really want to know about Alamo, ask the other waitress. When the other waitress comes by, we exchange pleasantries and I ask, “Did you grow up here?”

A look of surprise crosses her face.

“Yeah,” she said, “I’m a Lamb.”

Aha. I might as well have asked Wayne “Mr. Las Vegas” Newton if he knew anything about Sin City.

Kristy Lamb, 33, comes from a pioneering family that helped settle the Pahranagat Valley, and yes, it’s the same family that is well known in Las Vegas. The Vegas Lambs include Floyd, the politician who has a park named after him, and Ralph, the sheriff, who had a TV show based on his life. Kristy's grandfather, Glenn, was a captain in Las Vegas’ fire department.

Kristy grew up in Alamo but moved away as a young adult “to find a husband I wasn’t related to.”

“See, we’re all cousins out here,” she said with a smile. “I’m related to almost every single person in town.”

So, she says, she moved because she didn’t want a family tree “without a fork in it.” She went to Utah and has lived a life, and now she has children and a couple of ex-husbands.

But she returned to her roots. She made a promise to her grandfather on his deathbed that she would take care of his land after he passed, and she has done so. Kristy and her family live on a few acres, and there’s room for a horse, some animals and a garden.

She talks about Alamo and the Pahranagat Valley with a real sense of pride. She notes the agriculture – there’s fresh milk, farm-fresh eggs, fruits and vegetables to be had. People still barter and trade. More than that, it’s a tight-knit town – that’s the term that keeps coming back – even if you’re not related.

“The community, for the most part, tries to help each other out,” she said. “If the community likes you, they’ll do everything they can to help you.”

The bottom line: Alamo, Nevada, is home.

“I’m proud of my state,” she said. “It’s a desert; I’m a desert rat. I love my blue mountains.”

Around the corner in the main building of Windmill Ridge, Stevie Horrocks works the front desk. The 20-year-old isn’t a born native of Alamo, but this is home and she hopes it will remain so.

“I want to stay here,” Horrocks. “It’s a close-knit community.”

That’s not something you hear from every young adult in a small town, but Horrocks doesn’t seem swayed by the lure of a big city. She was born in Las Vegas but her family lived in Caliente. They moved here when she was 7, and Alamo is where she grew up. She says one day when she’s married, she “definitely wants to raise kids here.”

She’s an assistant softball coach at the high school, where she played. She’s proud of the number of sports championships the school has won and notes that, because of the small class sizes, students can get help they won’t necessarily find in the city. She’s working at the hotel for now, but she hopes one day to get her degree and teach.

Asked what people from Las Vegas should know about Alamo, she said, “Sometimes you just forget what it’s like” away from the city.

She said it might sound a bit odd or corny, but out where there’s less traffic and fewer people and a greater sense of nature, there’s a “deeper connection to God.”

And in the quiet of a still night, with a full moon overhead, it makes complete sense.

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