I pride myself on being a friend to my friends, or even a friend to those I think are worthy of my friendship; in fact, a few weeks ago I wrote in this very same column that “I may not be a party person; I don’t attend many parties, but if anyone in my small circle of friends is in the hospital, has a loss in the family or is incarcerated for any reason, I’ll be there for them and my history speaks loudly for me. I am very proud to be loyal to my close circle of friends.”
Last week my friend, former city councilman and hopefully the next Nevada State Treasurer, Bob Beers, suffered the pain of losing his father and I told him during a brief telephone conversation that I will be there by his side on Saturday to give him some moral support on such a painful day.
However, after long thinking on that I decided that I should not be there where maybe some of Bob’s close friends who do not care for me or like me would be there with him, and I should not give them the opportunity to make a scene on such a sad day for my friend.
Bad check-writer, Lisa Mayo DeRiso; former assemblywoman and Congresswoman Wannabe, Victoria De La Cruz (Seaman), and many others in the circle of friends of Bob Beers most likely (I hope) will be there and I don’t want to put my friend in the position of who he should spend more time with.
Once upon a time, a long time ago, two Mexican Deputy Sheriffs, Orduñes and Perez, arrested me because I refused to change the name of a small restaurant I just opened because they did not like the name I had chosen; later during the week the late former Undersheriff Lloyd Bell asked me why I did not call him right away. I told the Undersheriff that friends are supposed to help and protect each other, not hurt or embarrass each other, and he reminded me that I could call him at the office or at home any time (no cell phones back then) because he was my friend.
And the grandma of the city council (Lois Tarkanian) had the audacity to call me a racist? With four exceptions (Al Salinas, Miguel Barrientos, the late Eddy Escobedo, and the late Tony Badillo, all long-time legal residents and American citizens of the United States), I have nothing but bad memories of many Mexicans as well as many Cubans in the Las Vegas area (no discrimination here) in my long life history in the best city of them all.
But I may be a sadist because every time I help anyone and then get a knife in my back, I promise myself I’ll never do that again, and yet I do it again and again.
Take for example, this couple who were almost homeless — Chris Garcia, a black Cuban (or so he says) and his white girlfriend with so many aliases that I can’t even remember them all (Thea, Cann, C-Ann, Star and several others); they told people they were married (which they are not), but nonetheless, I gave them a roof over their heads, food, clothing, and even high quality hats from my late brother’s things.
Just last week this “nice couple” ripped me off; they took computers, laptops, printers, cell phones (3) and two tablets, plus money put aside for the rent and utilities.
They talked John Estrada into putting an extra telephone line in (for Chris to use) but never paid what they promised to pay, leaving behind a $500 unpaid bill.
What these people do not understand is that Las Vegas may look like a big city, but in reality, when one lives here for a long time, Las Vegas is not that big of a city and everyone gets to know everyone’s dirty laundry.
This Chris Garcia — if indeed that’s his real name — is a cold-blooded liar. I asked him if he paid Estrada’s $500 phone bill; he looked me straight in the eye and said, “Oh yes, trust me boss, I did pay his bill.” With tears in his eyes, he swore to me that he would never lie or double-cross me because I had been “soooo good” to them.
I always wonder when people “adore” me so much, and I am very skeptical when people “will protect and defend” me to death, as if I am a country that they owe their loyalty to.
One funny part in this travesty of justice happened when Chris Garcia’s daughter, Maybelline Crystal, was supposed to be picked up by her mother, and when someone asked that woman if she had seen Chris, her response was, “Who is Chris?” everyone in the front office at once looked at her and asked how it is that she did not know her daughter’s father.
Well, this daughter was not his daughter, his sister was not his sister, and now I wonder if his wife is really his wife — or is she his mother?
Now I realize why so many supposed “cold-hearted people” in this world refuse to help others as we are supposed to do.
It is a good thing that I believe in God and I still have the heart to ask the good Lord to give me the faith to forgive them, to let bygones be bygones, and to give them the light to see the error of their ways.
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.