Posts Tagged With: gambling

TOMBSTONE EPITOMIZED THE WILD WEST

The west was full of characters and many of them called Tombstone, Arizona home.  Town was full of grifters, drifters, drunks, gamblers, cowboys, ranchers, ladies of the night, gunfighters, miners, entrepreneurs, card sharks, Mexicans, Indians, Chinks,  money, horses, cattle, feuds, soldiers and Democrats.  A natural hotbed for hostilities and life was cheap. Men killed each other at the slightest perception of being wronged.

There are still gunfighters wandering around town, of a commercial type. There are enactments of the battle at the OK corral every day. Another gunfight at Helldorado’s 5th St. encampment, perhaps others.  Having visited here sometime in the 1960’s, the differences were noticeable. The whole town is now like a movie set. Instead of being surprised by a gunfight at the end of a dusty street, everything is fenced and regulated, you buy tickets to see the gunfights.

The gunfighters look like they belong on this street as part of the regular population.

The bars were full by afternoon and still might be a little wild.

Our bartender at the American Legion  in town, told us the population is aging, not increasing, and town couldn’t survive without tourists. And, it is a fascinating place to visit despite the commercialism. Do go. There is much to see and do and great history here to enjoy,

Many people in this cemetery died violently. Seymour Dye was only 35 years old, taking in a load of hay with his friend Harry Curry, when they were ambushed by Indians, shot, then tied and dragged 150 feet by the Indian’s horse.

Yes, five men legally hanged. The gang leader,  who didn’t participate in the robbery but was suspected of planning it,  was dragged out of  jail by an incensed mob of citizens from Bizbee, blindfolded and strung up on a telephone pole.

Violent, frontier justice. Four Bizbee citizens were killed during the robbery. This picture is from the museum. The coroner’s report said:  “I find  the victim died of emphysima (sic) caused by strangulation, self-inflicted or otherwise.”

Mrs. Stump died in childbirth when given an overdose of chloroform by her doctor.  This cemetery has more violent and awful deaths among its 250 known dead than any cemetery but a military cemetery. At my last visit, the graves had rickety wooden markers in the bare ground. It has been improved immensely with stone mounds, and verifications of most of those buried here. Popular and fascinating, especially when you visit the museum at the old County Courthouse and get the facts behind some of these quarrels.

This is Frank Leslie who killed at least three of those in the cemetery. He got his violent death in the end.

The gallows now sits behind the courthouse in the exercise yard.  It was built for the  five men from Heith’s gang and a set bleachers was built on the street to watch the hangings as entertainment. Nellie Cashman,  known as  the Angel of the Camp for her many good works, gave solace to the condemned men in jail. One confided he knew he would die, but he objected to the indignity of being a spectacle.  She quietly manged to get help and turned the bleachers into a pile of kindling the night before the hanging.

William Greene, a farmer who used water from a ditch quarreled with his neighbor Burton over the water. His little girls went swimming in the shallow waters during the hot summers.  Burton let water out of the dam to increase the flow and the water made a deep hole in the ditch. When the girls went swimming, two of them drowned. Greene killed Burton, but was exonerated for his vengeance by the courts.

Deaths on the streets are now visible on the spot where they happened by plaques around town.

There are a number of horse-drawn wagons and stages of different types around town offering one of a kind rides.

We were particularly pleased to see an authentic Butterfield Stage, one of the most uncomfortable rides in the world. A humorous description from a more “comfortable” stage ride (in the museum), the rider claims he wouldn’t have lived through it if the stage hadn’t come to places where the passengers had to get out and walk. It was their only salvation, getting off the hard seats and moving about.

It isn’t often that you have a chance to get  close and friendly with  great percherons.

And, never before have I encountered  a waiter packin’  a gun. We had good food at the Helldorado Chuck Wagon.

We didn’t get to see it all. We could have spent more time, so be prepared to stay a whole day when you visit or return for a second look. Fun town.

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OLD VEGAS FLASH AND RAZZMATAZZ

Vegas has finally outlived its early reputation for gaudy flashy signage. Those same gaudy flashy signs are now a cherished part of history. Someone with fore sight saw fit to save bunches of the old signs and they are now displayed on the old Las Vegas “strip”, Fremont Street. These signs have bulbs and neon. Some are still part of working businesses. All fun and flashy, trying to draw you in. The more flash the better. Others are part of a Neon Museum which we will visit this week, along with the Fremont Street light show some night this week.

This rather conservative neon sign was and early one. A nearby placque explains that the first lighted sign on the street was erected in 1929.

The Aladdin Casino didn’t survive, but its lamp is still on.

This sign is on Fitzgeralds Casino and the script tells you,  How To Get Out Of A Bad Hand. It kind of resembles a get out of jail free card.

I loved the name of this place. It’s a piano bar that plays everything, blues, a bit of soul, rock, pop, country.  The warning signs on the window suggest it can get pretty rowdy. But,  on Sundays they play classical music. If I were a night owl, this is where I’d hang out.

The new Vegas clubs are behemoths, resort style places. They don’t care for the old Vegas sizzle, let it-all-hang-out sexiness.  Y’all-come on in honey. But, if you are looking for that old fun razzmatazz, there is still some to be had here.

There’s still eye popping girls, girls, girls around town not too sophisticated to let you take a picture-for a tip, of course.

I liked the mix of the new and the old. This restaurant has a modern lighted sign, but its doors are right out of Arabian Nights.

The lure of easy riches prevails. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

And, a real 61 pound solid gold nugget on display at….where else?  The Golden Nugget Casino.

We are looking forward to seeing this big fellow lit up. Its hard not to lament the passing of the old Vegas. But, progress is progress.

Now you can zoom overhead on a zip-line above the old Vegas Strip.

Or sit on underwater lounges at the Golden Nugget and watch people sliding through glass tubes with sharks swimming about. Hey, not too shabby.

Or enjoy people watching from the deck at Mickie Finnz while you enjoy a cool brew or sandwich.

And, you can still look for that luck to bless you with untold riches. That’s what its all about. Ca-Chinka, ca-chinka, ca-chinka. $$$$$

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Fremont Street – Las Vegas, Nevada – Part 1

Jim says:

Yesterday Mary and I visited Fremont Street in Las Vegas, Nevada. This was the area of the original Las Vegas…before “The Strip” came along. The first neon sign was lit in 1929 and the first legal gambling establishment in 1931. Nearby there are many older (with some closed or abandoned) motels.

We visited during the daylight hours. Soon we will visit at night during the light show.

In 1994, construction started on a seven block area to turn it into a pedestrian way. Here’s what it looked like in 1952…

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(Photo from below Wikipedia link.)

Here’s what it looks like today…

Here are some daylight hours photos…

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To see the other 40 photos I took, click this link…
http://picasaweb.google.com/jimjrver/FremontStreet1#

Here’s a Wikipedia link about Fremont Street…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fremont_Street

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2011
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/panamaorbust

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SCENIC BYWAY, VERNAL, UTAH TO WENDOVER, NEVADA

Windy, hilly, and in places a very scenic high desert greeted us between Vernal and Wendover. The summit was 8020 feet through Aspen Grove Pass, above. Jim took a picture for me.

I took the first shift and drove 125 miles to Heber City. When Jim took over I couldn’t resist this beautiful country side.

Miles and miles of this red fall color. Haven’t a clue what plant is turning red and orange.

It was a hard drive, but the scenery made it worth it. Pressing to reach Reno by Sunday, we drove almost 300 miles yesterday and switched to faster Interstate Highway 80. Better road, but windier still. The speed limit  is an unbelievable 75 mph on highway 80.

We got our first glimpse of the great Salt Lake and the many salt flats. To see the famous Bonneville test area, you have to turn off the road about a 1/2 mile. We just kept right on truckin’.

In places, people write their names, or messages with stones on the salt. Of course, we saw a huge salt plant as well.

Jim recognized this strange device as an early data relay tower, now replaced by cell towers and satellites.
I drove a second shift but never even considered speeds like the truckers cruising right on by me. They are so heavy, they have better purchase in the wind. Signs warn you of high wind areas but they also have periodic wind socks along the way to give you a sense of the wind’s direction.

That orange blob in the middle of the photo is a wind sock.
We arrived in Wendover, wondering if Wendover was in Utah or Nevada?
The Nevada State line is in the middle of town designated by  a line  painted right on the street. But you don’t really need the line because Wendover is filled with casinos that begin partway through town. Half the casino parking is in Utah where gambling isn’t allowed.  Gave us a chuckle. It was hot and breezy and we ate cold quinoa soup and fruit salad for dinner and hit the sack early.

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