The Ghosts Of Las Vegas Christmases Past
Christmas In Las Vegas ~ A Place Like No Other
My Submission To A Writing Contest
I had a lot of fun recently by taking a challenge that was put out to writers all over the Las Vegas area. It was a contest to write a creative writing short-story piece. There were a couple of catches though. First of all, you had to write your Yuletide or Christmas story with a Las Vegas twist. The second catch was that it had to be only 300 words or less. Then you had to include the following words someplace within your text:
I undertook the challenge in the spirit of fun and wrote a whimsical story (maybe a little on the macabre side with its reference to Bugsy Siegel)... but hey, he IS a part of the fascinating history of Las Vegas. In my opinion, he is one of the most unique characters who made Las Vegas the interesting place it is today.
For those who don't know, the other people listed in this story are Sammy, Dean, Joey and Frank, who were known back in the day as "The Rat Pack." Liberace was of course the very flamboyant entertainer with a unique piano playing style and entertainment style. He sure knew how to dress up, too, from what I remember.
Here is my story ~
The Las Vegas Ghosts Of Christmases Past
Strolling into town on a cool Christmas Eve, I ambled my way into the nearest watering hole. I was amazed by the humbug attitude I encountered. “This doesn’t even feel like Christmas” I said. I pulled up a seat next to a jolly looking fellow named Bugsy and ordered a cold one, Coca-Cola of course. I had to have a sword and a cherry in it for a dickens of a good laugh. “You’ll put your eye out with that” said Bugsy, and he oughtta know about eyes bein’ put out.
Know where I can find some Christmas cheer Bugsy? “Sure do, just follow me out to my crazy holiday pimped ride and we’ll fly all the way to the inn.” “What on earth is pulling this thing, Bugsy?” “Reindeer!” he replied. “Hop in! Go Frankie, dance Sammy, sing Dean and quit joking around, Joey! You too, Liberace, and quit tinkling on those keys!” Craziest bunch of reindeer you ever did see, but somehow they all fit in just right in this town.
The inn was a jolly place with dancers wearing partridge feathers on huge headdresses and skimpy outfits decorated with tinsel. Each long-legged beauty was wearing her very best Christmas stockings. Since the Inn was so stylishly decorated with a shiny silver bell and mistletoe, I had to stop and give a kiss to the prettiest showgirl.
Bugsy caught the eye of the star that night, Elvis, up there on that stage and asked him “Elvis, where can I find some wise men?” “Don’t you mean a wise guy there Bugsy? Follow me! “ As they both left to find Bugsy’s wise guy, I heard the announcer’s voice as they exited saying “Elvis has left the building.” But don’t worry, he’ll be back - they all come back.
Bugsy Is A Famous ~ Or Rather Infamous~ Character
For those not familiar with the story of Bugsy Siegel, he was one of the main people involved in bringing the famous Flamingo Hotel to Las Vegas. He was sent here to oversee the construction of the hotel. In the process, a lot of money "went missing" ~ money that was meant to cover costs of the construction.
There were tales of contractors hired to build the hotel who would drive onto the property, load up their trucks with construction materials and drive away... a pretty blatant example of stealing. Now since the hotel was being funded in part by the Mafia, they were incensed to find out that theft was going on. One of the worst offenders as far as theft was concerned was thought to be Bugsy Siegel himself.
It was reported that his girlfriend at the time, Hollywood actress Virginia Hill, was making large deposits into overseas bank accounts. This took place coincidentally at the time some of the theft was taking place. Bugsy was extremely paranoid, and it seems he had very good reason for that paranoia.
He was at his girlfriends apartment in June of 1947, she was not there... when suddenly a shot rang out in the night. Bullets came in through the window of the apartment and hit Bugsy Siegel several times in the head... one of those shots was reported to have "put his eye out." The press put out a pretty graphic description of the crime, but this was the way the Mafia handled situations when they thought someone was stealing from them.
And I Heard Him Exclaim As He Drove Out Of Sight ~
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL,
AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!