You can see that the showgirls and dancers wore clothes back in those days!
I was in the chorus with The Merriel Abbott Dancers at The Last Frontier Hotel during the Fall of 1953. We opened and closed the show. Xavier Cugat and Abbe Lane were headliners. What a great place it was. We stayed at The Desert Spa, which was an off-shoot of The Desert Inn, right across the street from The Frontier.
Seven hotels on The Strip. Facing North: El Rancho and Last Frontier on the left, and The Sahara, Flamingo, Desert Inn, Sands, Thunderbird on the right. The strip was a two lane highway! You know, today, it's a ten lane highway! Chuck Wagon cost a dollar for "all you can eat," and an entire show could be seen for the price of a drink. Big name stars were everywhere. It was a blast. The Mary Kaye Trio played in the lounge, but most of us weren't allowed in there or in the casino because we were underage. Our youngest was only 15! We went horse back riding during the day out on ranches. There were bramble bushes blowing and rolling down the highway late at night, and sounds of rattlers very close by in the empty land between hotels. I loved the desert and the feeling of wide open spaces.
I never noticed any rough characters when I was there, just a lot of Hollywood stars, like Jimmy Durante, Shelley Winters, Janet Leigh, Sinatra, the Ritz Brothers, Hank Henry from The Silver Slipper next door... like that... everyone was family back then. We all hung out together and did silly stupid fun things... to be so young and experience that... nothing like it.
I went back to Las Vegas in 1978 which was my 25th Anniversary of having first worked there, and I got a job as a Keno Runner at The Tropicana just for fun. I can tell you there were definitely mob people running things then, they seemed to be everywhere. I loved the outfits the men wore, those black silk shirts with the white satin ties. And those low, graveley voices that sounded like they had eaten cement.
The comedian on our show was Bobby Sargent, and when I went back in 1978, his picture was on the elevator wall at the Hilton. Really surprised me! He was still around.
When we had to leave on the train to go back, I didn't want to go. I cried and cried, wanting so much to stay. But I was under age, and had not much say in my life. By the time we were back in Chicago, I seemed to forget all about it, as other issues took over.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Seems like winter brings many northerners down here, a lot of Canadians,
and people who feel that endless summer is not such a bad idea...
Apparently, they want to get away from the cold and experience 80 degree temps.
Well, this is what it looks like folks, in case you were wondering. Sure,
I know it's a tough life to take. I've been here 28 years, and am wanting
so much to feel some cold weather on my skin, look off into the distance
and see mountains. To feel like I'm out west with sturdy people of strong
character, who love life. Florida makes me feel lethargic and lacking any
ambition whatsoever! Hard to believe, even Paradise gets old after awhile.
By the way, not to mislead... the above is not my house, oh no...
it's the house of a friend and it's for sale for $750,000... not
anything I could afford! It's just very representative of the life
so many people lead here in the sub-tropics... swimming pools, always.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
KATIE STAM, MISS INDIANA, THE NEW MISS AMERICA 2009
THE WINNER HEARS THE NEWS
KATIE STAM IN JEANS AND BIKINI
FINALIST JACKIE GEIST JUMPS FOR JOY
MISS GEORGIA, CHASITY HARDMAN, FIRST RUNNER UP
MISS INDIANA, THE WINNER
MISS CALIFORNIA, JACKIE GEIST AND MISS ARKANSAS, ASHLON BATSON
MISS KANSAS, EMILY DEAVER, AND MISS FLORIDA, SIERRA MINOTT
Saturday, January 24, 2009
TWENTY FAVORITE ACTRESSES... these are mine...
Aren't they all just too lovely for words?
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I was having mixed feelings about mentioning my glee that Bush and Cheney are gone.
I wanted to "stay positive" as my friend Parker likes to say.
And I did, for about one day. Then I found some youtube videos and,
I'm sorry to say, I just HAVE TO share them with you!!
It's every man/woman for himself/herself now, so straighten up!
David Letterman speaks his mind.
A Mommy teaches her little girl to speak on the subject.
Giving George The Boot!
Will there really be change? Some Americans are doubtful...
Showing both sides of a picture isn't always popular.
Monday, January 19, 2009
TODAY, 53 YEARS AFTER ROSA PARKS MADE HISTORY, ANOTHER MAN MAKES HISTORY.
HE WAS BORN SIX YEARS AFTER ROSA PARKS WAS ARRESTED. A VERY BRAVE WOMAN.
Rosa Parks riding in the front of a bus. Montgomery, Alabama
Rosa Parks mugshot 1955
Rosa Parks fingerprinted 1955
Rosa Parks 1995 a legend
A scene in the south, circa 1950.
Rosa Parks Civil Rights Pioneer
THE ROSA PARKS STORY IN BRIEF...
In 1954, I boarded a bus in Miami Beach. I sat in the back of the bus, as I had always done in Chicago, where I lived. The bus sat there for 15 minutes. Everyone was staring at me. I said, "Why isn't the bus moving?" The bus driver said, "The back of the bus is for colored folks. Move to the front of the bus." There were about five people on the entire bus.
In 1955, Rosa Parks changed all that. Today, if there is a heaven, I'm sure she is smiling.
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