(Previously published in The Southside Times).

            By the time you read this, I will have journeyed to and from Las Vegas, Nevada. I have never been to “Vegas.” I did pass through the airport twice but was not there long enough to form an opinion. I can state, though, that there are more of the so-called “one armed bandits” in that airport than I have seen anywhere else.

            In preparation for this business trip, I inquired as to the nature of the place so as to prepare myself for what may lie ahead. Being as how my daughter and elder son have been there, my inquiries started with them. My son, who happens to live a three hour car drive away in Utah, advised me in the strongest terms to acquire and use a set of horse blinders while there. I do not possess said horse blinders and do not know where to get any. When informed of this, my son stated in simple terms, “Dad, you are on your own.”

            Now, my daughter was stationed near Vegas while in the Air Force and she chuckled when I told her my plan. “Well, Dad,” she said. “Do not take any business cards from anybody hanging out on the corners.” Having heard that bit of sage advice, I am going to have to take one of those cards just to see what the fuss is all about.

            In order to get a different take on the subject of Las Vegas and its people, I asked some folks at work what they thought of the place. It has been recommended that I, at the very least, take a stroll through what is known as “the strip.” This is where (so I am told) all of the gambling casinos for which Las Vegas is known are located. I am uncertain as to how big this strip is or if there is anything other than casinos there but I will see if I can fit a stroll through the strip in. I am also told that it is near impossible to walk down the street on the strip without walking into a casino. That must be a marvel of engineering or somebody messed something up in the planning process. I’ll let you know what I find out.

            There are other things that I have been told about with respects to Las Vegas and its environs. Some of the cautions that have been forwarded to my attention are difficult to imagine. I will make careful notes while there and report back to you in next week’s column.

            I have a feeling Las Vegas is a little different from my beloved Southside. We shall see.