Back in the Day

My mother’s CCR license number was 8. Mine was 273, in Nevada; 7133 in California. It was 1963 when she arrived to write here. She came to town on a borrowed hundred dollars. She wore a polka dot suit with navy gloves her first day on the job.
The room her grandfather had helped her rent was in a motel downtown. Most of the guests were transient men. She was the only woman, and she had to share a bathroom. She had to grow up fast.
The first morning she walked into what I always called, “The Howdy Partner” Hotel; you remember the sign. She only had enough for coffee and toast. An older gentleman walked by her and asked her if she was new in town. It was the taxicab guy, Charlie Frias. That’s a name before Google. When my mother went to pay her tab, the waitress told her Mr. Frias had covered it and would be covering her meals for a month.
That was the way it was in Old Vegas: Those that had shared. Years later, in the eighties, my parents ran into Charlie Frias one night at the Golden Steer. He was with Emil Polk, a real estate king and a real philanthropist himself. My mom bought their dinner to say thank you.
So if you are new to Vegas, if you are too young to know about back in the day, reach out and help someone out. It feels good to know what Old Vegas was about.

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