Incidental Events: Viva Las Vegas!
Every event-incident we can remember means something to us. Maybe it made a big difference or just a crink in time, fact is when we look back on it everything is a daily series of events that is called Life. But if there is one thing that stands out, it means that particular moment meant something, made a difference in some way. Maybe you stepped in the wrong place at the wrong time. You will remember to try to prevent it again. Maybe it ends up affecting your life. Maybe it just makes you smile. The fact is if you write down all of the 'events' you can remember you will see it's really Life! Some things are choice, some are not, but how we use that information can make a difference!
My father had moved his second family to Las Vegas. He was a wandering type of person but had chosen to marry a woman who was as strict about everything as anyone can imagine. So somehow Vegas was the logical destination. While home he could follow the rules, but when he left the house he was in... Las Vegas. It is a town that escapes the imagination, anything goes, and was perfect for him. He worked as the chief maintenance director of a couple of the big Hotels in town which meant he made decisions all the way from what wallpaper was in the bathrooms to how everything in the hotel was built and maintained. Everyone held him in high esteem simply because his service was 100% necessary in the entire hotel! He had found his perfect job and perfect city.
On my 27th birthday I found myself on a long road trip with my Mother and Grandmother to Los Angeles to visit family. It was fun. I went out with my cousin the second night there. We had fun, went dancing, drank too much but it was almost like when we were kids when we lived life like brother and sister, what one didn't think of, the other did!
But a few fuzzy hours after we got home Mom woke me up and said: "Get dressed, we are driving to Las Vegas." To say I did not feel good would be an understatement but turning down a trip to Vegas was not going to happen! Little did I know I was the one doing the driving! I had never driven in Los Angeles but luckily Mom was a good co-pilot and Gram was quiet as a mouse in the back seat so before we knew it we were up in the desert on our way to "Sin City." My father had reserved a motel room for us and called to say he and his family were taking me out for my birthday that evening and would meet me at a hotel bar at a certain time! (Mom and Gram had their own events lined up).
I tell you, I was so excited! I dressed to the 'T'... fancy pant suit, hair poofed up, tons of make-up, I was at my best! It was my first trip to Vegas! I had seen movies about it but now I was there! Yes, a small-town Oregon kid sitting in a beautiful fancy bar in Vegas knowing not a lot about real life but by the same token employed as a bartender in a very nice small-town Oregon club. I may have had little experience, but I had a lot of information! So I sashayed into the bar looking here, looking there, did not see my father, so sat down on an empty stool at the bar and ordered a drink.
The man next to me says: "Hello, there".
I said: "Hello", and smiled. Gosh a nice looking man making a move on me! Is this a fun day or what!? He started making small talk, asked where I was from. I said: "Oregon".. he looked surprised.
"Covered Wagons and Indians, Oregon?!"
I said: "Yes! I drove here to meet my Father and his family for my Birthday". Smile... blink...
"Oh", he smirked, "How nice!"
I gave him another look and realized he thought I was a paid-lady making up a story to pave the way to a reasonably charged fun night. I wanted to start laughing but was enjoying the challenge! Everything I told him was the truth but it sounded like a story even to me! It did not take long before it became apparent he had decided to join the 'game'!
"Gosh", he said, " if your 'Daddy' does not show up maybe we should go have dinner?"
I smiled and winked and said: "Sounds good to me."
We kept chatting, he kept leaning closer to me. Then, just as it had come to the point of touching my knee and putting on that 'I gotcha look', there was suddenly a huge pair of hands on my shoulders attached to a very tall, well built, strong man behind me.... along with a short woman and three teenagers. All staring at the man without a smile. To this day I wish there would have been a way to capture the look on the man's face. It was priceless. His face turned pale, his jaw fell open.
"Sir", I smiled, "meet my Daddy..." And to the man's credit, he quickly changed gears! I think he could tell my father was a man of status so when my father said sternly he would allow the 'man' to buy all of us a drink, the man came through with experienced charm, then, very professionally, looked at his watch and stated gently that he 'had a meeting to get to', and bid us all a very well-done farewell. I tell ya, life sends us moments that could never be repeated and shows the true nature of those around us, including our own! And I have no doubt 'the man' often told the Vegas story of the surprising Oregon Girl with a very TALL Daddy....
What did this incident bring? A fun, fond, life time memory of my 27th year. .. In this life there is always room for fun moments!
And maybe you can also count the moment when all of us were standing in the lobby of another hotel later that night when we saw the comedian Redd Foxx leaning on the counter.
I said: "Hi! We are going out, come with us!"..
He grinned and said "Gosh that sounds good!"
I said: " We are good, lets go!"
As he was walking toward us with a big grin on his face a loud horn went off just outside the large glass door of the hotel. A beautiful lady in a beautiful convertible was HONKing that horn and yelling: "Get out here!! NOW!" Mr. Foxx stopped, stared at the floor and looked totally disappointed.
"Well," he said, "I guess I better get home..but it sounded like fun!".
I said: "Maybe next time, sir... have a nice night." He grinned, nodded, and slowly walked out the door to the waiting car.
I learned even the rich and famous have wives taking them home after work! I guess none of us are really all that different, huh?
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