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Vegas better through lens of nostalgia

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Julias TidbitsUnbelievable week and weekend. Most of it was extraordinary but was preplanned by other people. I told you I was going to Las Vegas last week and I did. The trip was awesome, but the prices of everything was astronomical. However, it did not slow anyone down from spending.

I felt guilty letting my children spend money on me, but after two days of having fun, I soon forget they were treating me like royalty because you only turn 80 years old once in your lifetime. Thank God every birthday is only once, right?

I thought the weather was perfect there, but then I was only outside in between rides to the casinos. When I arrived at the airport, a Limousine was waiting for me to go to the Aria (an MGM establishment) to start my birthday celebration. Las Vegas in the daytime is still flat and looks like West Texas.

That was a little weird as people were staring to see if a celebrity disembarked from a long stretch limousine, and it was just a little old lady from Trinity. Many years ago, I stopped wondering who was in a passing by limousine when I realized most of the time, it was a bunch of partiers being sensibly safe. It was too soon to party, so just a couple of kids treating their mother who didn’t come to party.

The two shows we attended were fabulous. The food was good but expensive, and the gambling paid off for some of us. Las Vegas is a great place to vacation, to eat, drink and gamble, but not for families with small children for sightseeing in my opinion.

My observation is that Vegas survives mainly today by having become a Convention Center City and a training ground for Corporate America. It was also obvious that the nighttime attire advertised the other services Vegas provided. The dress code that we abided by years ago is gone forever. You used to be able to tell the haves and the have-nots by their attire, but today, silver, gold, sequins, black, cotton, or silk are all accompanied by tennis shoes. American people are all fatter than other nationalities, but I did meet some skinny Texans.

Texans are funny people and clannish. I started winning on the Wheel of Fortune slot machines, and I soon had a crowd everywhere I played the machines. I won a lot of spins on the quarter machines, but to the Texans you would have thought it was millions. I had my own cheering squad. We really had a wonderful time and met some wonderful people.

Years ago you went to Vegas to see the shows, play the slots, and see celebrities. Those days are gone and walking place to place is not plausible. Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, and other retail shops are on the main streets, and taxis are the main source of transportation. Vegas today to me is just another tourist attraction to make money, but I still longed for the glamour of yesteryear, while remembering days of yore.

I remember when the Hoover Dam was first opened for tourism. You could stop on the bridge, take pictures, and walk around. Not today, you can’t even see the Dam without paying or taking a tour of the facility with other visitors.

In the old days, entertainment was everywhere, all sorts of activities were performed on the streets, and amenities were free. You just had to get to Vegas, pay for a room, (you were supplied with lots of coupons for the cheap food buffets), and win enough to get home. You always dreamed of hitting a jackpot, but few people ever accomplished that goal. Mainly the high rollers paid for the everyday visitors like me who traveled to Vegas for the weekend.

The high rollers were able to gamble in private rooms away from the riffraff and economically challenged tourists, and the casino owners were paid handsomely for their accommodations, and they prospered greatly from the gambler’s losses.

Even though progress is nostalgic and sad sometimes, I am already planning for my children to take me to Vegas on my eighty-fifth birthday. Vegas is exciting, and fun. There is lots to do for everyone, like kayaking, hiking, gambling in so many casinos, restaurants, shows, sightseeing, tours, helicopter rides, and shopping. Who knows, maybe next time in Vegas, I will see “Elvis” if he hasn’t already left the building.

Now, back to reality. Feed the dogs, make the beds, wash the clothes, cook, and watch more winter re-runs. We still have our “Lover’s Day” coming up and a few more events that will hopefully make the rest of the winter days go by quickly and make us appreciate sunshine more.

•Jan. 28, Trinity County Crime Stoppers Gala at the Trinity Community Center at 5:30 p.m. to honor our law agencies and officers.

•Feb. 5, Donna, and Tom Hester’s Fundraiser at the Trinity Fire House Station from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

•Feb. 10, Lovelady “Love Fest” in Lovelady, Texas at 8 a.m.

•Feb. 10, Boys and Girls Club of Trinity Valentine Dinner and Dance at the Trinity Community Center at 5:30 p.m.

•Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day (Tuesday).

•Feb. 14, Martin Senior Citizen Center “Sweetheart Dinner”, serving from 4 to 5:30 p.m., located at 400 Walker St.

•Feb. 22, Presidents Holiday.

•The American History Trivia Challenge I told you about last week seems very trivial after Vegas, but I promised to challenge your memory, so here goes.

Who is the only person, to date, to have graduated from West Point Military Academy without a single demerit?

a. Ulysses S. Grant

b. Robert E. Lee

c. Colin Powell

d. George Washington

What Book did Robert E. Lee order all Confederate soldiers to carry because he believed it symbolized their course?

a. the Summa Theologica

b. Les Miserables

c. Candide

d. The Grapes of Wrath

What City is host to the All-American Soap Box Derby?

a. Seattle, Washington

b. Bridgewater, Massachusetts

c. Flint, Michigan

d. Akron, Ohio

How much did the price of beef rise because of inflation during the American Revolution?

a. 50%

b. 1000%

c. 33,000%

d. 75,000%

Where was the Battle of Bunker Hill fought?

a. Bunker Hill

b. Pete’s Hill

c. Breed’s Hill

d. It was never fought.

Where is the original copy of the Declaration of Independence?

a. The Museum of Natural History

b. National Archives Building

c. Chapel Hill, NC

d. Gettysburg, PA

On what was the Declaration of Independence written?

a. Wax paper

b. Thomas Jefferson’s wallpaper

c. Chinese paper

d. Hemp paper

On what did Congress forget to vote, causing a controversy in the Midwest United States?

a. Ohio being admitted to the Union.

b. Women’s suffrage

c. The “Lazy” Bill

d. The Highway Bill

On what day did most people sign the Declaration of Independence?

a. July 4

b. Aug. 2

c. Nov. 13

d. Jan. 29

Whose wife was helped by George Washington to flee from enemy troops?

a. Thomas Jefferson

b. Benjamin Franklin

c. Paul Revere

d. Benedict Arnold

If you cannot wait until next week for the answers, you can get a free box of shredded wheat at the Martin Senior Citizen Center at 400 Walker St. any day during the week, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. or you can Google the answers.

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