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Susan Sleggs

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

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LasVegas

Day 19 – Rt 66 trip

My headline picture today is part of the skyline of Las Vegas, Nevada, from the 21st floor of the Mirage Hotel. The city sits in a big bowl at 2000 feet above sea level. You can see the mountains in the background. It is the gambling capital of the US. Yes, there are other cities, and towns in a lot of states with legal  gambling, but this is the biggest. The saying goes, for visitors, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, because it is also known as Sin City (prostitution is legal and trucks with big billboards on them advertise, the girls come to you, though of course not everyone partakes of that activity.) When you look at a map of the city, there is a casino/hotel next door to another all down the “The Strip.” The best way to view them is to walk, but they are so massive, walking would be about a five mile distance.

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Above is the Mirage. Our sleeping quarters for two nights. The beds were the best since Rolla, Missouri. We walked across the street for breakfast at Denny’s because the prices were reasonable and the service was just as good.

The picture below is one side of the outside of the Mirage. Every spot is decorated in a big way, is beautiful and expensive to build. Meals are double what I’m used to paying and drink prices are triple. A number of the hotels are built in a Y shape so most every room has a window with a view.

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The next two pictures are the atrium inside the Mirage.

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Below is the outside of a shopping mall next to the Mirage.

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Below is just some of the decoration inside the mall. Massive and impressive. We went into one store to look at a beaded purse. It was $2555.00. Not in my price range. I thought back to the articles made by Native Americans we saw in Santa Fe and regretted not buying some hand made items from them.

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It was 87 degrees and we had a very late breakfast so The Blue Hawaiian below was my lunch. It did have fruit. Bob had a beer and we sat on the open deck in the shade to drink them. The food and drink female servers wear halter top short dresses as their “uniform.” I hope they are wash and wear.

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Bob was feeling lazy today so he went to the room for some quiet time and I went to the craps table. We had set a  limit of $200 for me to gamble with. I played for two hours, sometimes the only one on the table, which I like, and got back to the room with $260 after tipping the crew of four it takes to run the table. I’ll leave it to you to Google what a craps table looks like. I hadn’t played the dice game in a while and the guys working taught me some more of the nuances. I quit so we could go to dinner and the Rat Pack Is Back show. Below is one of the tickets. Our dinner of Chicken Marsala was very good.

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The Rat Pack actors. As you can see the guy playing Frank Sinatra could be his double and had a fantastic voice. “Dean” sounded like he should, but as you can see, didn’t quite look right. The guy playing Sammy Davis Jr, needs to be replaced for both looks and voice. Just  my opinion. They did a lot of bawdy jokes and sang the songs we all know and love. The band was great.

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Because I was still ahead money wise, I went back to the craps table when we got back to The Mirage. Bob stayed with me a while then went to have a beer and watch some sports at the bar. The table was busy, and the numbers were going against me, so I left with a $100 in my pocket. No sense giving it all to them.

It’s nice to be able to say I’ve fulfilled a bucket list of playing craps in Vegas, but now it’s done. The city is too big and too commercial to draw us back again

Below is a tip for couples who travel. You know you get to the hotel room with two suitcases and there is only one luggage rack. We have been utilizing the ironing board for a luggage rack and on occasion when the desk and chair don’t fit my body, I use the board as a desk. I can lower it to just the right height. This picture was taken over a week ago, now the cases are fuller. Good thing we can leave things in the car to get them home.

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NOTE: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY WONDERFUL HUBBY, AND OUR BONUS DAUGHTER.

Day 18 – Rt. 66 trip

When we got to the car this morning we found our low tire light on. This happened a few days ago, we got air and it hadn’t happened since. We probably have a nail or something that is causing a slow leak when the tire is in just the right position. So, we went in to the town of Williams to find an air pump and discovered there were many Rt. 66 attractions we missed by not venturing away from the hotel. We are still learning we don’t quite have this touring thing down pat, but we sure will be able to give other travelers advice.

The next few pictures are scenery between Williams and Oatman, AZ. There was some spectacular sights I didn’t photo because we were on a road with switchbacks and no guardrails. It actually made me sick to my stomach and I was doing my best to not look. Bob thought it was great, the curves and the scenery.

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We also were treated to three Burma Shave signs.

If Daisies are your favorite flower

Keep pushin’ up your miles per hour          Burma Shave

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These signs cost money so roost awhile

Just don’t do anything funny        Burma Shave

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Cattle crossing means go slow

That old bull is some cows beau           Burma Shave

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We spent most of the day on Rt. 66 so we could get to the the town of Oatman. As I said above, the last six miles of the drive almost had me in tears, but the destination will be one of our top three talked about by the time we get home. The story goes, when the mines in the area were shut down by the government, the burros that were used in them were left to fend for themselves. Their descendants now freely roam the town. They all have names and when we asked where they sleep, the answer was where ever they want to.

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I have been on the search for some big cacti. I found some.

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Three of the many burros.

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If it’s an animal, I have to pet it. This one wasn’t too interested since I didn’t have any sweets or food to offer.

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The town had good old fashioned boardwalks rather than sidewalks. We were lucky to get a parking place in the town center.

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This sign was outside Patty’s Place where we had lunch. The wording isn’t quite right, but who cares. The sentiment sure fits.

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The ice cream bar decorations inside Patty’s. I love the old cash registers.

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Patty’s lunch menu. My chili dog was ample and Bob’s BLT salad was good sized too.

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This guy looked over the hallway to the restrooms. He is supposed to deter people from taking the signs off the walls.

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Below is the men’s bathroom wall. No I didn’t barge in to see, the door was open and I thought this some good memorabilia. Of course the mustache caught my attention right away. Not too many people said anything about’s handlebars today, everyone was too interested in the burros.

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The town is shoved right up against some cliff walls. The scenery is beautiful but I’m not sure I would like living where there are no trees.

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The burros spent a lot of time in front of one particular store. The lady who runs the store was constantly yelling at them like they were her children. They tried to walk in inside to get carrots. She told us they will try to take ice cream cones out of your hands and will steel whole bags of candy. One of them took a bite out of my shopping bag and it din’t have any food in it. They run along the board walk and also get into squabbles. Quite the free entertainment. The town looks after their well-being.

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We  left Oatman and Rt. 66 to head north to Las Vegas which was still two hours away. Once again we were driving through arid country and mountains. When we got to Laughlin, AZ, we stopped at a Walmart for some necessities and it was 102 degree.

We passed the largest solar farm I have ever seen. It sure is a good place for it. I’m sure there is plenty of animal and bug life in the arid fields, but very few people to complain the don’t want the “farm” in their back yard.

Our GPS took us around the back side of Vegas to find the Mirage Hotel which was nice of “the lady.” Problem was, we were driving right into the setting sun. At least it wasn’t rush hour. I don’t know how Bob kept the car in the right lane it was so hard to see. Then we went into the wrong parking garage, walked to our hotel to check in, than had to go back and find the car which turned out to not be as hard as we thought it might be. The outcome, the Mirage got us for Valet parking, one person to unload the car, and another person to deliver out stuff to our room. We can’t use the fridge in the room without paying to open it because it is actually a mini bar. There is no coffee maker and our usual drinks were double the normal price we pay at home. I know, we are in Vegas, probably the first and last time for me.

From a Policeman

It’s worth the read. This was written by a police officer that just got off of “work”. Remember as you head into work today… #BMCC  –  WBEE, Rochester, NY

J Van Dyke

I am home after an 18.5 hour shift. And yes, I am safe. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the calls, texts, Facebook messages… even from people I almost never talk to, or haven’t talked to in years. It’s always a huge comfort to know people care. If I haven’t responded, please know that I am fielding a lot of these calls from family and friends, and doing the best I can. I’m super exhausted so bear with me… a little about the incident…

The first 7 hours went pretty much like every other shift goes. Then while I’m sitting there eating my much-anticipated Chipotle on my lunch break, radio broadcast… active shooter at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. For the next 11 hours, we all experienced a number of things. Stress and anxiety were among the most common emotions. Listening to the radio while we were headed towards the Mandalay Bay, listening to the stress in my partners’ voices, listening to them shouting about how many victims they saw, the fact that shots were still being fired. The chaos of not knowing where the shots were coming from, or who was shooting them. The fact that it was a fully automatic weapon, machine-gun style…. Whoever this was, he outguns us. Hearing gun shots on the radio while my partners were asking for help, knowing you are still miles away, is nothing that any cop wants to ever experience. On arrival we moved in on foot, still not knowing where the shots were coming from. Learning vague details from numerous panicked 911 callers… some of them saying there were multiple shooters in the Tropicana Hotel, New York New York Hotel, Mirage Hotel, Paris Hotel… the ongoing radio traffic about more victims being found, more shots being fired… Even that didn’t compete with the faces of people running away. The citizens and tourists we all swore to protect, running for their lives, hoping that we could give them a miracle. And of course the frustration we get when people question you… “Why do I have to leave?” “But my hotel is that way.” “Why are you yelling at me to put my hands up? That’s not very nice.” “Why are you pointing rifles at me? That’s scary.” The herding dogs get frustrated with the sheep who don’t want to listen. That’s why the Sheepdog has to bite the sheep, growl at the sheep, essentially scare the sheep into submission, for their own good. Because some just don’t know how to save themselves. Some don’t know or understand the magnitude of what is unfolding. Now the most deadly active shooter incident in modern American history, and I try to save your life and rush you to safety, and the Sheepdogs, herding the sheep to safety, are criticized for their “aggression.” But all those negatives are forgotten when you find a crying, terrified family sheltered in place inside a bathroom stall. When you get to guide a horrified mother and her crying child to safety.

But even that… even that does not compare to the most powerful, and to me one of the most important aspects of this whole thing. The bravery and courage of first responders that only we get to witness and fully understand. The fact that one of my coworkers was on vacation tonight, heard what was happening, and suited up at home and came with us to fight the wolf. In my 12-man unit, only 9 of us were “on duty” – the other 3 came from home when they heard what was unfolding. At the end of the day, we fight side by side, and we go in together. Unfortunately, we don’t always all make it out, and today, an LVMPD police officer who was off duty attending the concert, was among those who tragically did not make it out of the festival alive. Today I will honor that Officer, along with the more than 50 people who died. Today I will think of their families and friends, who now have to learn how to go on without their loved one. And today I will ask you, for one day, to put your politics aside. Forget about Donald Trump. Forget about the NFL. Forget about whether you should stand or kneel. Forget about our differences in opinion when it comes to policing in America, and how cops treat their communities. Let’s come together as a UNITED nation, and honor the victims and their families. Let’s come together as a UNITED nation and honor the first responders who worked incredibly long and stressful shifts, without food, water, or even bathroom breaks. If you wonder how cops view the communities they police, consider the fact that so many of them came in today, off duty, to help. Not because it’s a job, but because it’s their calling. It’s who they are.

The sheep don’t always want the sheepdog around, because he reminds them there is evil in the world. But, still, the sheepdog is willing to fight in defense of the sheep, and at a moment’s notice, he is willing to lay down his own life for the sheep he loves. It is simply who he is.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AND SACRIFICE….SUSAN

 

 

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