When I tell people that to me Las Vegas is from Tropicana Avenue to Lake Mead Boulevard and from Boulder Highway to Jones Blvd., people laugh, thinking that I am just joking; but then they realize that I am serious… very serious.
When I say that I have never visited Mt. Charleston or Lake Mead, they can’t believe that after sixty years in Las Vegas I have never been in the two most popular places in our city; but it is true.
Now my favorite doctor, Michael Finkelstein, has moved to somewhere in the middle of nowhere, in the area of Tenaya and Cheyenne and I don’t know how to drive all the way there, so I am forced to find another doctor who could never replace my favorite Doctor Finklestein.
Why people are so infatuated with Summerlin or Green Valley is beyond my imagination, I guess that is one of the reasons I like my friend, former Mayor Oscar Goodman and his wife Carolyn, the current mayor, because they believe in Las Vegas; they like downtown and they are working hard on making Las Vegas a city again.
Even if the traffic and the light system is not what it used to be, I can be home in fifteen minutes when I leave my downtown office. Why would I want to fight traffic by driving one hour to get home to Summerlin or Green Valley?
I may not be in the best of health nowadays to do all the walking I used to do a few years back, but I used to love walking from my office to the courthouse or city hall instead of watching the city council meeting on my computers as I do now; walking to the county building is a little too much for me, but one of these days I am going to try to walk over there to see if I get there alive or half-dead.
I realize that I have always been a little different than most people are but I am happy to be in Las Vegas and when I say Las Vegas I don’t mean Summerlin or Green Valley.
I laugh when I ask someone if they live in Henderson and they look insulted, responding “Nooo! I live in Green Valley”; or when I ask if they live in Las Vegas, and their response always amazes me: “No, we live in Summerlin”; and I always enjoy seeing their faces when I ask who the mayor of their distinguished city is.
I know a man that one day asked me for a ride home because his car was in the shop, so I did give him a ride to The Lakes. He told me he was paying $800 for a room but he could not bring people inside because the roommate/landlady did not allow visitors.
When I asked him if he would not be better off in his own place for that amount of money, he shocked me when he told me “No, I am living in The Lakes…I have to keep up an image.” Really?
That is the same man that does not refer to his transportation as his car but “my Mercedes,” even if his Mercedes is older than mine. I guess that to me there’s no difference between having an old Mercedes or an old Maria; they are both old cars.
But going back to my dear doctor Finklestein, I know I am going to miss him. I don’t see him too often, but when I see him I enjoy the visit and for me to say that I enjoy a visit to a doctor’s office it must be the best doctor on earth, because those who know me know that not only don’t I like doctors, but I do not believe in them.
Hopefully, some day when people get tired of bragging about Summerlin and Green Valley, they will start coming back to what the late Forest Duke used to call The Best City of Them All, even if it may be too late for me to see and I will not be able to enjoy telling them I told you so.
For those Green Valley and Summerlin residents that most likely don’t know who Forest Duke was because they have not been in our city long enough, I’d like to explain that in the old days there were two main entertainment writers that everyone — in show biz or not — enjoyed
reading: Joe Delaney with the Las Vegas Sun, and Forrest Duke with the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
My name is Rolando Larraz, and as always, I approved this column.
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Rolando Larraz is Editor in Chief of the Las Vegas Tribune. His column appears weekly in this newspaper. To contact Rolando Larraz, email him at: Rlarraz@lasvegastribune.com or at 702-272-4634.