by Alan Snel
They’re businessmen in small Nevada towns. Both are known for their down-to-earth personalities. And they’re even musicians – one plays bass guitar, the other is a drummer.
And just recently, their paths crossed.
Jared Fisher, of Blue Diamond, was bicycling 1,400 miles around the state of Nevada to listen to Nevadans on a bicycle tour to launch his campaign for governor this month, while Kelly Garni owns a combination art gallery-coffeehouse-restaurant in the small town of Pioche in Lincoln County about two hours north of Las Vegas.
Their worlds collided when Fisher strolled into Garni’s Ghost Town Art & Coffee Shop in Pioche and Fisher, the 47-year-old bike shop owner, and Garni, the former bass player and a founding member of the band, Quiet Riot, began chatting and sharing thoughts on Nevada.
“He’s doing it the right way. Going around the state by bicycle and meeting people one-on-one,” Garni said. “He came off as very sincere.”
Fisher finished his bicycle journey from Blue Diamond and Las Vegas to Elko and Carson City and Reno last Saturday. The moderate Republican, who considers himself an outdoors-oriented Teddy Roosevelt Republican, is often mistaken for a Democrat by friends who like Fisher’s renewable energy, solar power and ecotourism priorities and ideas.
Garni played bass for Quiet Riot when he was a teen-ager in southern California and now considers Pioche and Nevada his home.
He said Pioche is grappling with growth issues, trying to strike a balance between its rural roots in Lincoln County and the scenic setting that attracts more tourists. There’s also a popular bicycle ride in Lincoln County every fall that attracts hundreds of cyclists to the area.
Garni began the business in the former 1865-era blacksmith shop as an art gallery to feature his 3-D art that he has displayed on the walls. He told Bicycle Stories that his art supplies are literally things he finds in Nevada.
Then, the art gallery also began serving coffee before it added a café to the operation.