Monday, March 28, 2011

A tiny story involving my father and gambling

The other morning on our walk, Kathy told me a story which triggered a childhood memory involving my dad and a pocketful of quarters.

On one of our many, many, many trips across the Nevada desert--we used to get our teeth fixed for free by a dentist practicing in the Bay area who played football with my dad in college--we stopped at a coffee shop/casino somewhere in Winnemucca. For whatever reasons, my mom stayed in the car while my brother and I followed our dad inside who handed us a bunch of quarters and told us to hit the slots for a few minutes while he picked up some lunch for the family.

That's how things were if you were a kid in the mid-sixties. You didn't wear seat belts, and you played the slots even though you were only nine and your brother was only seven. DUDE! EXCELLENT TIMES! And also LUCK BE A LADY!

Anyway. It didn't take long for one of the Casino Suits to buttonhole my dad (in my mind's eye I can see him standing there with a bag of sandwiches in his hand and a look of profound surprise on his face) to tell him he'd better get those damn kids out of the casino. Which he did. Pronto.

Oh, there are no words to express how much I love my dad and all the happy memories for which he is responsible.


Lisa B. said...

THAT is a fantastic story, and it is SO TRUE. That whole seatbelt was like, look, seatbelts are fine if you got em, but if you ain't, no problem, and while yr at it, roll down the window and hang your head out so it's not so damn hot, already.

Also, I'm pretty sure I played the slots as a child as well. Also, does anyone my age remember Fizzies? That you could put in water and make a tasty fruity drink, like Alka Seltzer but funner? I'm pretty sure that stuff was bad for you.

Louise Plummer said...

I don't see that playing the slots is any different than those creepy video parlors I used to take my boys to with a load of quarters.

I want to date your father.

My dad once took us bowling after midnight, because it was cheaper. The best thing ever.

Denver said...

Now you triggered a memory in my mind.
Another small town stay so my Dad and Sister could climb a mountain. Mom and I bided our time in the small hotel in Nevada by playing black jack for nickels (the suits couldn't stop a kid from gambling if she was behind closed doors) while we waited for my Dad and Sister to return time kept ticking by. A few dollars richer I noticed a very worried Mom wasn't even able to count to twenty-one. Heading down stairs to the smoked filled tiny little casino the clerks and suits helped quickly form a search and rescue party for the obviously missing hikers. After about an hour of feeling my Mom's nervous energy, Dad and Sis came strolling in as if nothing was wrong. I believe Dad got a talking to that night.

Realization: Mom is the toughest Suit in the neighborhood.

candace said...

i could read a whole book of your memories. you haven't written that one yet, have you?

wjmom said...

You traveled 12 hours, 800 miles, and however many gallons of gas so you could get your teeth fixed for free?


Anne said...

My parents used to throw me and my sister, in our pajamas, into the back of the CORVAIR and head for the hills! Lucky to be alive.