Coffee and a short stak

"Anyone can transform a community, a country, or even the world with something as “small” as an idea"

Scott Mortimore is a local creative director who’s part of a team dedicated to celebrating the stories of the Biggest Little City.

Scott M

There’s a menehune in our midst, a leprechaun-ish sprite that resides in one of those deep dark tunnels that empty into the Truckee River near Arlington Avenue. I’ve never actually seen him or her or it, but after years of walking this downtown stretch of river in search of a morning coffee, my belief in this phantom is firm.


Rocks. Every morning there’s a fresh spire of deftly balanced rocks along the Truckee. Sometimes they’re stacked on its banks, other times they’re teetering three feet high on a boulder in the middle of the river. They’re so delicate that I’m afraid I may tip them over by simply staring too long. It’s my daily dose of Stonehenge, only on a far smaller and less mystical level.

There may be some city code prohibiting this kind of mischief but I think there’s an even stronger desire to see it flourish — a sense of pleasure that stirs one to pause, wonder, maybe even smile. It’s a little thing that starts my day in a big way, one of those moments that make my city the biggest little city.

Anyone can transform a community, a country, or even the world with something as “small” as an idea. Unfortunately, the development of the consumer-based society has uprooted us from the core concepts of what it means to be a citizen. We are not just a product of our surroundings but a crucial facet to its composition, as our living environment is a mirror reflection of how we view ourselves. The ideas and imagination of The Biggest Little Citizen can allow small ideas to become big ideas; consumers to return to their moral and social obligations; and reflection to become a statement, not a result.

What’s your little story?

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