Today’s Las Vegas is absolutely nothing like it was in the 1950s; I’m glad I got the experience of spending time here when I was young. The weather is spectacular but mostly I’ve been indoors with my sister and my laptop and oblivious of the tourist side of the town. (Dannie, have you been here in later years?) My friend Dannie's mom lived here and after Ray and I were married, we often came to Vegas.
When I visit during the past eight years it is because Virginia moved here after living mostly in L.A. throughout her life. Two of her children live here but her husband passed away just a few months after the move. Now she is 83 and very frail physically but she always had a zany sense of humor, and that hasn’t changed. She no longer drives because of vision and concentration problems so today she chose to go to Target and the grocery store with me which totally wore her out. Sigh! Virginia is the next sister in age to me—11 years older and when we were young, we actually shared a bed, to her great disgust. Her eldest son is 10 years younger than I am and her youngest is one year older than my eldest. The photo below is when she was in her early 20s.
Our lives have always been deeply entwined. Because my folks had me (accidentally) when they were over 40, I spent a lot of summer time at Virginia’s home growing up. I was like her oldest kid. There were sidewalks where she lived and I skated endlessly and I had a summer set of friends in Inglewood where she lived. The year prior to my marriage, I lived again with Virginia, Sal and their family after I left college. My brother-in-law actually gave me away at my wedding.
So, there’s a lot of poignancy as the years wind down and we both slow down. As I type, she works in her Word Search puzzle book and we’re watching “Dancing With the Stars.”
Tomorrow my sis and I will visit some of her friends and then my nephew will show me the Wynn Hotel, which I haven’t seen yet. My sis has declined tomorrow night when my nephew and I catch the late show Ka (Cirque de Soleil) at the MGM Grand. My sister will NOT go into a hotel or casino and minces no words or grimaces when she calls her town “Sin City.”
Some of the big hotels here are going under and Folies Bergere closed permanently this past weekend. The unemployment rate is very high and whole huge blocks of new homes are in foreclosure. Yes, I am very glad I got to spend time here when it was a fledgling town.