Who Does She Think She Is?

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Loving Las Vegas, Part 1

Posted by Joni in General

I thought this would be a good time to blog about my significant other, Robert. We’ve been together since 1980. That’s a long time. And, okay, so now you know how old we both are. (He’s got ten years on me, though!) This is a long story and I’ll tell it in several installments. Just so you keep reading, m’kay?!

He decided in May 1986 that he wanted to go back to Alice, Texas by himself for awhile. The reason? “To find myself,” he said. I had to let him. What else could I do? Well, I heard from him about a week later. He’d driven, in his rickety, tomato red Dodge Tradesman 2000 van, to Las Vegas. He called me from the Stardust, collect, around seven o’clock one workday morning. I was relieved he was okay and it made sense to me then why I hadn’t heard from him at all until that time.

Another week or so went by and by that time, we’d had several telephone conversations. It was during one of them that he then told me I needed to send the title to his van to him c/o General Delivery, Las Vegas, Nevada. He needed some cash, the van had broken down (the fact that it made it that far, to me, was a miracle) and he was going to sell it for whatever he could get. I promised to send the title to him the next day, and did. Turns out he was at least able to get several hundred dollars for the hulking piece of junk. So he still had his head above water. Had he found himself? He didn’t say and I never asked.

A few more weeks went by, with Robert still in Las Vegas, still updating me with telephone calls several nights each week. He was now living in a motel with a couple of guys he’d met on the Strip. They were chipping in for the room; food or drink wasn’t an issue back then; the buffets were cheap and the drinks flowed as long as you were sitting at a gaming table.

But it wasn’t long until his luck ran out. He called me on a Sunday evening in early July and expressed a desire to return home and asked me to wire him $100 to tide him over. I agreed to wire him the money and he promised to call me the next evening. Well, Monday evening came and went and I got no telephone call. I called the Stardust a few times and had him paged, to no avail. More disturbing than that, however, was the fact that the $100 I’d wired to him remained unclaimed. He’d never gone to pick it up.

(To be continued)

[musica!] Listening to: Big Time – Chuck Loeb – In A Heartbeat (07:33)

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