Growing up in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1953 was pretty much the same as growing up in any other town of that size. When people used to ask me where I lived, I’d say Las Vegas and their eyes would bug out. They thought that Vegas was a town full of casinos, slot machines, big shows like the Folies and nothing else. They had no idea that my home town was filled with houses, schools, churches, grocery stores and 7- Elevens.. I never explained this to them, but let them bask in the mystery of such a place. There are casinos and shows, but Vegas is more than that.
My family moved to Las Vegas when I was 2. My parents had a house in San Diego, by the beach, and they kept it when they moved to Las Vegas. My Father moved us to Vegas because he had arthritis and the drier climate helped his joints. We first moved into a trailer out in the middle of the desert. Somebody loaned us a lot to put the trailer on. There was also a building on the lot.
I don’t remember much about that time because I was so young, but one day, I went to the side of the building where there was a spigot and I put my mouth to the spigot to get a drink of water. Little did I know that there was a wasp up inside the spigot getting a drink of water too. The next thing I knew, the roof of my mouth was shooting pain. I started screaming because it hurt so badly. My Mother immediately came out and got me and brought me inside the trailer. Once inside, I remember her taking her nail and scratching the roof of my mouth. She was getting the stinger out. She managed to get the stinger out but there was nothing else that she could do. This is my first memory.
I’ve heard it said that your first memory sets the tone for your life. If it is a happy memory, you tend to be a happier person than someone who has awful first memories. I’m on the serious side, but I’m not morose. I’m not sure how my first memory affected the rest of my life, but I’m happy, I’ve been married for 40 years, I have two wonderful sons and a beautiful grandson. My life could not be sweeter.