GOOD-BYE NORMA JEAN

Simply the Most Beautiful Actress of All Time

Simply the Most Beautiful Actress of All Time

August 4, 1962 Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her home. An apparent suicide, but was it? We may never know if it was murder or suicide. If it was suicide was it on purpose or accident? Another question we will never get an answer to. The purpose of this post is not to answer these questions or debate them. The purpose is to honor an I believe was the most beautiful woman that Hollywood ever produced. Over 50 years have passed since that day in August and Marilyn is still an American Icon. The American Film Institute ranks her as the 6th greatest actress of all time and her movie “Some Like It Hot” is listed as the funniest movie of all time. She defined an era and she is still the standard that all actresses’ are measured against and frankly fail. She was smart (yes very smart) she was funny, a good dramatic actress as well. Let’s not forget her unmatched beauty. She defined what sexy is and still does today.

She also suffered from mental illness and she never got the proper treatment for her. Her story is a sad one, she was used and abused by the system and in the end she was alone. I just completed a great book about her called “The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe” by J Randy Taraborrelli and it was great and I highly recommend it.

So what I am asking is that everyone on Tuesday to take a minute and raise a glass to a wonderful woman who is truly an American Icon.

Good bye Norma Jean.

Where have all the Gentleman Gone?

It seems like a silly question, but in fact it is the very reason I started this blog. I look around today and see all the chaos going in the world such as the Greek crisis, terrorists attacks, a man hacking up a woman in broad day light with a machete and lets not forget Men claiming to be women and a white woman claiming to a black women. Is it me or has the world just simply gone crazy?

I am not going to debate the politics of the world that is not what I am trying to accomplish here. I am not smart enough to fix the problems of the world so I am not going to even try. It just I look at things today and it brings a tear to my eye. All the things that my parents have taught me seem to be all backwards now. Where did we go wrong? Or is the way things are today better?

I am not sure what is right or wrong all I know is the way I was taught. When you watch old movies all the men were gentlemen and all the women were ladies. They dressed like gentlemen; they acted like gentlemen, because they were gentlemen.

What changed over the past 50 years why are men no longer gentlemen? I pondered this question and he is my theory.

First the change in the home, I think this has been the most dramatic change. Over 50% of marriages end in divorce and as a result there isn’t a man in the house helping with the raising of children. Yes divorced Dad’s for the most part try and do their best, but they are not there everyday to instruct their sons those tasks are left to the mother. While a mother is the greatest person alive they are not the fathers and every boy needs a father.

Secondly, out society as diminished the women for decades. What do I mean by this; women have been portrayed as sex objects for years. Movies, TV shows, and advertising portray women as sex objects and don’t think for a moment it doesn’t sell products because it does. Women don’t help this image shows like Real Housewives of wherever portray women as greedy gold digging bitches. Then there is Kim Kardashian and the whole clan. Here is a woman that is admired by millions and has earned millions. How did she get famous by doing a sex movie is this a real good way to prove to your daughters on how to make it.

Third people feel entitled to everything, from always being happy to getting everything handed to them. I am not sure if giving a trophy to every kid is responsible or not but I am sure it doesn’t help. Disappointment is part of life and we need people to learn how to deal with it and making everything better doesn’t help.

Fourth the general lack of respect for people and older people. When I was a kid I addressed all adults as Mr. Mrs. Or Miss and their last name. Never would I address an adult by their first name. My father would have smacked me. Yes there was the occasion that you would address a close friend to your parents as either uncle or aunt. We all have aunts and uncles that are really not our aunts or uncles. There is lack of respect in all walks of life, at work the boss is no longer respected, police officers are no longer respected, and teachers are no longer respected. It is a dam shame and some needs to make it stop.

Fifth we are just too dam casual. I walk the streets and I am amazed how men dress. They look like slobs, their clothes suck, and they don’t comb their hair. I don’t know if they even shower everyday. General George Patton once said, “They don’t look like soldiers, they don’t dress like soldiers, they don’t act like soldiers, why do you expect them to fight like soldiers”. So I say to all you men out there: YOU DON’T SPEAK LIKE GENTLEMAN, YOU DON’T DRESS LIKE GENTLEMAN, YOU DON’T GROOM YOURSELF LIKE A GENTLEMAN, HOW DO YOU EXPECT TO ACT LIKE A GENTLEMAN

Sixth, the art of conversation, people don’t talk to people anymore. Now we send emails and text messages and post on Facebook, Twitter and whatever other social media is out there. Please people put the smart phone down and talk to people.

There are probably more things contributing to the downfall of the gentlemen, but I think this is a good start. So how do we fix this problem, because it is not going to be easy, but the fix does depend on you?

First look to your father or grandfather as role models. If they are not good role models find one. Find a gentleman, whether it’s an old actor like Cary Grant or Fred Astaire or a mentor at work. Find someone who you respect and learn from him.

Secondly treat every woman you meet, as you would treat your mother. Be respectful to her, stand up when she stands up, open a door for her, let her in the elevator and off the elevator first.   Don’t use foul language in front of her. She is a lady and she should be treated as suck.

Third lose your sense of entitlement. You have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that’s it. You don’t have a right to be happy or to get everything you want. If you want something earn it don’t look for handouts from someone else. Take responsibility for you actions.

Fourth show people respect! Treat people how you want to be treated. I don’t care if it the bus boy at a restaurant or the CEO of your company. Treat everyone you meet with RESPECT. You will be amazed how people will react to you.

Fifth – Groom yourself, manicures pedicures comb your hair and for god’s sake wear decent clothes. Casual attire has its place in the world, but not in the business world. I don’t care what people say when you put on a suit and you are dressed people treat you differently and show you more respect. You feel better about yourself and if you buy clothes that fit you properly they are very comfortable.

Lastly, let’s start by putting down our smart phones and talk to people. When you sit to eat a meal or go to a bar for a cocktail have a no phone zone. Too many times I see a group of people together and nobody is talking to each other.   If your friend can’t make it too bad they should of come. Frank Sinatra had a toast he used to make “To All Our Friends who couldn’t be here – FUCK’EM”

Again I don’t know if this will solve all of our problems, but it’s a start. They recently asked Tony Bennett how come you were a suit and tie everyday? “He said to be different”. So men out their Let’s Be Different. Let’s get dressed up and treat people with respect just to be different and just maybe we can change the course of this crazy world we live in.

What today is all about

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

WHAT IS MY FAVORITE CIGAR

Almost everyday someone asks me “what is your favorite cigar” or “are Cubans really the best” so I thought I would talk about cigars today. Cigars are on of my life’s greatest pleasures. I could go on for hours why cigars are so wonderful, but that is a discussion for another day. A while back I wrote about the 45 minute vacation and you should read it if you want some insight as to why cigars are so awesome. However today I am going to discuss cigars. To pick one cigar, as your favorite is very difficult, it’s like trying to pick one Sinatra song. It really can’t be done. So here are some guidelines as to purchasing the right cigar for the right time. I am going to start out with very broad definitions and try and put the lingo into laymen’s terms:

TYPE: There are basically two types of cigars:

1 – The Maduro – The Maduro cigar is a bold full body cigar, they are usually dark and very strong. If you are not an experienced cigar smoker I would not recommend a Maduro. I will smoke them on occasion, but not very often

2 – The Natural – A Natural can be light to medium body, they are usual lighter than a Maduro. I prefer Natural cigars.

SIZE: The flavor of a cigar is as much determined by the size, as it is the darkness of the tobacco used. You can have a cigar made with the same tobacco and the size will give you a variety of strength and flavor. The Ring Gauge is the thickness of the cigar. When you see ring size it means the circumference of the cigar measured in centimeters. For example a 50-ring gauge is 50cm circumference. A simple rule the thicker the cigar the stronger the cigar. The same holds true for length the longer the stronger. There are names for the sizes of cigars as follows:

1 – Corona – Typically 4” to 5” long with a ring gauge of about 42: A corona will take about 25 to 35 minutes to smoke. It’s a perfect cigar to smoke when you don’t have a long time to smoke or if you are smoking right before a meal. My two favorite corona’s are:

a: Montecristo #4 – Monty #4 is one of the best smokes you will ever have period. It is from Cuba so you need to be careful that you are getting the real thing.

b: Epoca “Breva” – Epoca is Nat Sherman’s original brand reborn. It’s a great cigar they are a blend of Nicaraguan (Cuba’s biggest rival) and Dominican grown seed tobaccos.

2 – Rubusto – Typically 4” to 5” long with a ring gauge of about 50 or 52 – rubusto’s are stronger than a corona, but take about the same time to smoke. I do not smoke rubusto’s so I am not comfortable recommending a Rubusto because I don’t smoke them.

3 – Toro – Typically 6” long with a ring gauge of about 50 or 54 – The Toro is one of my favorite cigars to smoke. It is about a 45 minute to an hour smoke. My favorite is the Padron Anniversary 1964 Natural (“Imperial”). It may be one of the best smokes.

4 – Torpedo – Typically 5 ½’ to 6” long with a ring gauge of 52 – My favorite size to smoke is the Torpedo. The Torpedo has a tapered end and when it is cut it should be cut on an angle, which will release more flavor as you smoke. I don’t know why this works but it does. My favorite Torpedo’s are (shown in order of preference):

a: Padron Anniversary 1964 Natural Torpedo. Other than two specialty cigars this is my favorite cigar. In my view it is a perfect smoke. By the way the two specialty smokes are Padron 1026 Serie 80 Anniversary Natural Perfecto and Padron Family Reserve Natural Torpedo. I am sure you notice a trend here. Yes In MY OPINION (I will discuss opinions later) Padron are the best and they are from Nicaragua,

b: Vegas Robina Unicos from Cuba, which is just a wonderful cigar. It is the favorite smoke of The Great Maury Cartine.

c: The Montecristo #2, most people will claim this is the greatest cigar you can buy. Cuba’s finest! In my view there is not a big difference with any of these cigars. They are special and should be shared with someone who is special

5 – Churchill – Typically 7” long with a ring gauge of 50 – 60. Like Rubusto’s I do not like Churchill’s they are too big, take too long to smoke and give me a headache. Therefore you are on your own selecting one of these monsters.

There are more sizes than described above, but this is a good start.

OCCASION: Whether you are on the golf course, celebrating with a friend or just relaxing in your backyard you need to smoke the right cigar for the right occasion.

1 – The Celebration Smoke – It doesn’t matter what you are celebrating could be the birth of a child, graduation, or just spending time with a Pally. Here is when you bring out your best smokes. Friday I shared a Monte #2 with my Pally Don. While anytime I spend with Don is special and we never take it for granted the fact that we were sharing this marvelous cigar just made that time better.

2 – the time alone cigar – time alone is a precious commodity and it should be enjoyed with a cigar. You should choose any cigar you want it’s your time spending how you like it.

3 – The Golf Smoke – You are on a golf course, which is an awesome thing, which should be treasured, however if you leave a $35 cigar half smoked on your golf cart and drive away and lose it you will be pissed. I am not saying smoke a crap cigar, life is too short for that. However there are some less expensive cigars to smoke on the golf course. Here is a list of a few:

a: Avo Classic

b: Arturo Fuente -858’s

c: Flor de Las Antillas

 

The most important thing about cigars is to enjoy them. Every person has there own personal taste. Your personal taste is the most important so smoke what you like and enjoy and if people tell you what you enjoy is not good tell them to F*&^ Off.

Lastly, people who may or not have your taste so they really don’t mean all that much and they should be used as a guide not as the bible do Cigar Ratings. The most important thing is to smoke and enjoy.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DINO

Today is Dean Martin’s 98th Birthday. Pretty much everyone knows Dean so there is really not much more I could add about him that most people don’t know. We all know he was a huge singer, movie star, stage star, radio star, and yes TV Star. His variety show in the 60’s and 70’s was one of the top shows on TV.   We all know that he drank Ice Tea on stage and not bourbon. Something else most people know he was a savvy businessman. He sold out of the CalNeva Casino just before the Casino commission shut it down. He also was smart enough to get stock based compensation from NBC as part of his comp for his show. In fact when NBC sold to RCA, Dean Martin was the largest individual stockholder of NBC. We all know Dean was Frank Sinatra’s best friend. This is all nothing new.

What you don’t know is that I cannot remember a time in my life that I did not know and listen to Dean Martin. Yes I have memories of “Before Frank” not many but I do. If you have ever read this Blog you know that Frank Sinatra is my undisputed favorite, hell I even named my religion after him. But today it’s about my second favorite Mr. Dean Martin. My father loved Dean Martin and listened to him all the time. Unlike today when I drove with my Dad, we had to listen to his music not mine. I remember listening to the 8 – Track with the matchbook slipped inside so it would play. Songs like “King of the Road”, “Lay some Happiness on Me” which was my favorite as a kid and now my favorite is “Lil Ole Wine Drinking Me”.   I love most of his music including his standards such as “That’s Amore” and “Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime” which was his biggest hit. When that song hit number one and he knocked the Beatles out of the top slot, rumor has it he wrote Elvis and Frank that he was tired of waiting for them to knock them off.

Dean and his music, comedy (he was very funny) and movies are so interwoven into my life that I really couldn’t imagine him not being around.

Dean died on Christmas Day 1995; it’s hard for me to believe it almost 20 years. Thank God for musical recordings, videos and yes You Tube. Because of them we can all enjoy the talents of the Great Dean Martin.

So I ask you at some point today to raise a glass of Bourbon or Scotch and toast to one of the Greatest Entertainer there ever was.   And remember HE WAS JUST TRYING TO HAVE A LITTLE FUN FOLKS!

IT’S SUMMER TIME (FINALLY)

Last weekend we celebrated Memorial Day weekend (the unofficial start of summer) and after this long cold winter we are relieved.   Before I start with my Babbling I just want to thank all those who served in our Military for their service.

Last week the weather got quite warm and I thought it was funny how people were complaining about the heat. Funny they were the same people complaining about the cold. Oh well some people just like complaining.

For me Memorial Day means I can break out my summer suits! In particular my seersuckers, summer hats, and yes my two-toned shoes. I didn’t waste any time to wear mine, Tuesday in fact, the first business day of the summer. As the week went on I started noticing some trends that I really don’t like so I thought I would share them with you:

  1. Suits (or sports jackets with loosened ties). I know it’s hot, but really you can’t keep the tie tight? I was on several rooftops these week, (1) because of the weather and (2) my firm was hosting its annual conference. Several people complained to me and told me to loosen my tie and asked them why and the said “the Heat its too hot to wear a tie.” Really the only thing a loose tie does is make you look like a slob it doesn’t cool you off. It you tie is making you hot you probably have a shirt on that don’t fit you, so buy a bigger shirt.
  2. This brings me to my other pet peeve, a suit or sports jacket with no tie and a collared shirt. What is the purpose of this, it looks sloppy unless you button the top button (then you might as well wear a tie). This has been a new trend over the past several years and frankly I hate it. Tony Bennett was asked why he always wears a suit and tie. His answer “TO BE DIFFERENT”.   So what should you do? Simple if you don’t want to wear a tie then wear a mock silk tee shirt. The mock tee is simple neat and you will be noticed for being a little different. The cost less than a dress shirt and if you are not wearing a tie is looks a lot better and it is acceptable business casual attire. In addition it is a lot cooler in the heat of summer.
  3. Short Slacks, this one I will never get. Slacks (not pants, pants are for kids and slacks are for men) should have a break above the shoe. Either a half break or full break. THEY SHOULD NOT STOP AN INCH OR TWO ABOVE THE SHOE! Pee Wee Herman is not someone you should dress like.   I know what you are going to say “If I don’t wear them like this you can’t see my socks”. Well socks are supposed to be seen and that gets me to number 4.
  4. Stupid colorful socks! Where did this come from I will never know and yes I hate it. Colorful socks have their place and that place is when you wear a seersucker suit or a real light summer suit. They should not be worn everyday and I cannot wait until they are out of style. In a post several months ago I mentioned how I went to a Hugo Boss store and they had more styles of socks then ties. This is just stupid. I know I know it’s the style and to that I say three things (1) Parachute Pants, (2) Bell Bottoms, (3) giant shoulder pads.
  5. Lastly another trend I don’t like is brown or tan shoes with a blue suit. To me it just looks silly. Wear black shoes with Blue it looks better.

As I have stated many times these are my opinions. So you can ask yourself “what the hell do I know” Well if any of you have been out with me will know that everyday I have several strangers approach me to compliment the way I dress and tell me they like my style. So maybe you don’t agree with me and think I am an ass. Maybe that true, but I challenge you to following:

Dress the way you want for one month and see how many times strangers approach you and compliment you on the way you look then dress the way I say to on this Blog for a month. I will bet anyone out there that my way will get you more compliments. Sorry guys it’s not the cost of the clothes it’s the way you style them.

FOUR DOWN ONE TO GO

Four down and one to go

I just got back from my annual nine-day trip to Las Vegas. I know 9 days is too long. Not for me, as in the words of Dean Martin “I love Vegas, when I leave I shed a tear. Well I shed many tears on this trip. This trip like the many before, I saw a different Vegas when I got there and a much different Vegas when I left.

Back in 1960, Frank Sinatra made Ocean’s 11, the first of the “Rat Pack” (and the best) movies. Sorry folks George Clooney is NOT Danny Ocean that is Frank’s role. The movie takes place in Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve. Danny Ocean and his pals rob the FIVE MOST GLAMAROUS CASINO’S ON THE LAS VEGAS STRIP, which were:

  • Flamingo
  • Sands
  • Desert Inn
  • Riviera
  • Sahara

Over the years as Vegas has changed these five glorious casinos faded from glory. It is very difficult to stay relevant in Vegas, the only casino to do it for 50 years is Caesars Palace and god bless them for it. Over the years I watched the Sands be imploded and the Venetian be built in its place. Not one spot in that hotel do they mention that this was the spot the Summit was performed (the Summit for those who don’t know was what Frank called the performances be him, Dean, Sammy, Joey, and Peter) and I say shame on them.

Then it was Steve Wynn’s turn to blow up the Dessert Inn and build the Wynn and Encore. Now the Wynn is a magnificent property, but why not call it “Steve Wynn’s Dessert Inn” as Wilbur Clarke once called it “Wilbur Clarke’s Dessert Inn”.

Then in May 2011, I got to say goodbye to my favorite casino of all time THE SAHARA. To me the Sahara was more than a casino it was my west coast home. Never before did I feel more comfortable in a casino then I did at the Sahara. That day in May as I walked the strip to play my last time at the Sahara I began to shed some tears. I though of the countless nights playing black jack with my brother and my wife and the fun we had. I thought of all the meals at Caravan Café and the House of Lords Steakhouse. I won that day only $200 bucks, but as I left that crowed hotel, I turned as I got into the cab and said “THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES OLD GIRL”. Today the SLS stands where my Sahara did and I can say that the SLS may be the WORST casino I ever went to and look forward to the day they go bankrupt and they will.

Once the Sahara closed, I moved to the next best Casino I know the Riviera or THE RIV. The Riviera was a great casino, it was there I met Coline a dealer at the Riv for over 50 years. On Sunday May 3rd, I played black jack for the last time at the Riv, because on May 4th at noon they closed their doors for good. On Monday the 4th my good friend Dan showed up around 10am to the Riv, all the tables games were closed so we sat at the bar with about 100 or so other folks just to enjoy one last drink at the bar. They were serving us Jack Daniels for $1.50 a shot. We laughed and cried with everyone. At about 5 minutes to noon the announcement came “THE RIVIERA WILL BE CLOSING IN 5 MINUTES”. We sat in our bar stools and finished our drinks. Five minutes later the tragic announcement ‘THE RIVIERA IS OFFICALLY CLOSED, PLEASE MAKE YOUR WAY TO THE NEAREST EXIT”. We sat for a few minutes until Security told us to leave. As we walked towards the front door snapping as many pictures as we could. Security stopped us and said to go out the back. We noticed that all the doors were changed shut. As we walked out side they were setting the posts for the temp fence to seal the place off. It was a sad scene, as we got into the cab I turned and said “THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES OLD GIRL”.

Four down and one to go! The Flamingo the oldest of the Grand Casino’s and the only one left.   Caesars own the Flamingo, which is a big help. The Flamingo was part of a big plan to blow up everything from Bally’s to Harrah’s and destroy the Flamingo and build a Center City type complex. That was the plan in 2007, but 2008 the money dried up and plans were changes. Imperial Palace and Bill’s Gaming House were destroyed and the Flamingo was saved. From the looks of it the Flamingo should be around for a long time, but things change fast in Las Vegas so you never can be so sure.

Today the three oldest casino’s on the Las Vegas Strip are The Flamingo 1947, Tropicana 1957, Caesars Palace 1966. All three are vintage Vegas at its best, I would suggest that if you plan a trip to Las Vegas stop by these three Icons, because you never know when the wrecking ball is coming.

IMG_1162 IMG_1148 IMG_1194 IMG_1168 IMG_1183 IMG_1186

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR. SINATRA

On this day in 1915 (99 years ago) on 215 Monroe Street Hoboken, NJ Francis Albert Sinatra was born. Later today at one of Franks favorite restaurant Patsy’s there will be a celebration of Franks life. I have never had the privilege to see Frank in concert and I never met him, but I will be there today listening to people that were blessed to call him Pally tell stories of the greatest entertainer that ever lived.

When I tell people that I am going to Frank Sinatra’s birthday party some people laugh, some don’t believe it is a real thing, and others remind me that he died in 1998. Some of my friends just think it just an excuse to have a party, but what they don’t get is Frank Sinatra is much much more than the greatest entertainer that ever lived.

I am not going to talk about Frank’s career in show business today, there is nothing to say he was the best and nobody will ever come close. I am not going to talk about Frank’s style because we all know he invented style. I am going to talk about the man I admire.

Back in the 30, 40s, and 50s, many artists changed their names, you may or may not know that Dean Martin and Tony Bennett changed their names because there real names were too ethic. Yes Italians were discriminated against. When people told Frank that he needs to change his name because it was too ethnic, he had some choice words for them and they weren’t Happy Birthday.

Well before it was politically correct to be tolerant of other people and religion, Frank was fighting for racial and religious tolerance. In 1945, long before the civil rights movement of the 1960s, Frank starred in “The House I Live In” In the movie Frank Sinatra takes a smoke break during a recording session and sees a large group of boys chasing a Jewish boy and intervenes. His message to them is that all Americans are one and all religions are to be respected equally.

In the 1950s he told the management of the Sands Hotel, that if Sammy doesn’t stay at the Hotel then he won’t and he will perform elsewhere.

Frank wasn’t perfect none of us are, but he lived by his rules and he stuck to those rules even if it wasn’t the popular thing to do. Many times he put his career at risk to stand by a friend or do what he thought was right.

So today when I hear all the stories, I will say to myself Thank God for Frank Sinatra, because the world is a better place because he was born 99 years ago today.

Happy Birthday Frank!