Years ago when there was nothing built between the Motel 6 and the Las Vegas Tropicana Casino Resort, nothing but sand.
My family, especially dad loved taking family vacations. Once we went to see our aunt and uncle in California. We stopped in Vegas, but there are only three things I remember about Las Vegas from that trip.
A motel with a swimming pool that a bug (a scorpion) get inside our room and scare my mom.
The sun was still up when my parents said it was night and I had to go to sleep.
Pulling on the arm of a coin machine, a police officer made us go away.
Time has passed, a few presidents, Vietnam, Gulf war, my marriage, kids graduating and a holiday or two. Now after all this, I would again be visiting Las Vegas, my knowledge of the town came from pictures of the Vegas Strip, MGM Grand and memory of a slot machine.
Living in Nashville, I flew to Orange County, California to meet up with some friends. We were all riding to Vegas together to celebrate one guys birthday.
The ride on the 15 from California is nice, especially going over the high desert. There is one section of the road where the signs tell you to turn off your air conditioner.
I thought it was joke, mostly because I was sitting in the back seat but the driver took it seriously. About a mile from the Nevada state line the road just drops from the high desert to the low desert all at once, then a short stint and we were in Nevada.
Our stop at the Buffalo Bill casino on state line was my first chance to play a slot machine legally.
It may have been because I was from Nashville but one machine called “Money Storm” caught my eye. It’s a machine that has a barefoot farmer, chickens and cows spinning on the wheels.
I put in five dollars and took it for a spin. The first spin hit on a bonus round, that bonus gave me over two hundred dollars.
I was in a big old barn, playing a country-style one arm bandit that loved me. For the first time in my life, I knew what true love felt like.
We continued on to Vegas. We stayed at the New York, New York casino resort. Saw Zumanity, a Cirque du Soleil show and had great food.
It was that first love that made me feel someday, Las Vegas would be my home.
We all know you never forget your first true love.