I took my wife to Vegas this weekend for her brithday. Every so often I set aside my to do list for a few moments to let Melinda know how much I appreciate her. I know, it’s not often enough. So, when it comes to her birthday, I try to focus all my energy into some unique demonstration of my love and affection. But that’s another story for a different blog.

Today I wanted to tell you writers about the other way I struck it rich in Vegas. The town is so full of stories and characters just waiting for the right person to come along and collect, the odds are you will stumble upon a wealth of creative impulse if you are willing to risk paying a little attention.

There sitting across the old-school-still-serving-a-gambler’s-special restaurant were three characters, right out of your next book:
One, the ancient relic of a gold prospector come to celebrate the memory of his big strike,
The second an aged symbol of the 60’s gambler still wearing the Sinatra hat “the Chairman of the Board” had thrown into the audience after a show,
and the third a slick suited, manicured, pit boss with a large diamond stick pin holding his white tie in place against his black shirt.
Ah, I can’t wait to imagine the stories these three are going to tell me.

Quite literally on the other side of the strip was nouveau Vegas. Hundreds of petite and not so petite girls and women revealing as much as they possibly could in an attempt to rub, shall we say, elbows with Saudi (or otherwise endowed) Prince Charming while, shall we say, dancing to the throbbing beat of e-music at Club Hookup. As someone who came of age in the early 60s, I simply marvel at what has become socially acceptable, even in Vegas.
This trip I also witnessed the downside of “trolling”. When I left for the airport at 7:00am on Sunday there in the Mirage casino, slumped over a row of nickel slot machines were four young ladies, still in their little black dresses, looking anything but crisp and desperately waiting for the topless pool to open so they could sleep it off.

On the way to the airport, I learned about the mob-like Vegas cab business controlled by 9 men. Somehow, these capo di tutti cabi are still able to take 50% of all the fares and incentivize their drivers to direct riders to their various other enterprises, IF the driver needs to make more money.

That’s how I saw it. Your eyes may focus on something else, but you really need to look at Vegas as an enormous virtual library of tales quite ready for you to check them out.