Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Stardust Demolished

In 1976, the summer before I started high school, my aunt and uncle took my sister and me on a “once in a lifetime” trip around the western United States. Our destination: Las Vegas, Nevada. My uncle was a big-time (although very responsible) gambler who visited Las Vegas often and, on this particular occasion, agreed to take us with him so we could see the Grand Canyon, the Rocky Mountains, Yellowstone National Park, and an auto museum in Norfolk, Nebraska (my uncle was also a big-time antique car aficionado). During our visit to the desert gambling Mecca, we visited the Stardust Hotel and Casino, a fixture on the Las Vegas strip since it opened in 1958. My aunt had visited this hotel numerous times and, during our stay, she recounted stories of her encounters with celebrities while eating dinner in the restaurants or going to the various shows. It was fascinating, as a young teenager, to see this site that provided my relatives with so many great memories but I really gave no thought to the fact that, someday, the Stardust would no longer exist. Well, I aged and so did the hotel, and in a city whose casinos are becoming large, multimedia entertainment destinations in their own right, the poor old Stardust was no longer attractive, let alone competitive. The time had come for it to move over and make room for a newer guy on the block --- Echelon Place. So, as of this morning, the Stardust was imploded in one of those amazing, precisely planned explosions where nothing but the targeted structure falls straight down without disturbing so much as a shrub next door. I guess time marches on for buildings as well as people.

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