My name has always been a magnet for people with ill intentions to damage my reputation…

My Point of View
By Rolando Larraz
Most of my life I have been a very reserved and private person. I remember in the old days the Sands hotel was my favorite restaurant, and while others liked to sit at the front table in the restaurant so everyone who walked in could see them, I liked to sit at the back table so no one noticed me.
For a very long time I was shy to pictures. My picture never appeared anywhere, not even in any of the publications that I published; if by any chance I showed up in any photograph, my friend Donald Snook, who, for the last forty years has been our production director, made sure that I didn’t show in the picture; he knew that I was allergic to photographs.
Unfortunately, nowadays — with all the new electronic gadgets like Youtube, social media and more — even my radio show shows my face, and I got adapted to the new style, but I still enjoy my privacy.
But even with my secluded physicality, my name seems to be a magnet for people to speak about me, whether with true or not so true stories.
In the seventies era I used to have two telephones in my car, but because of my urge and need for communication and to be in touch with everyone, I also had a telephone at my private table at Tejedor’s La Familia Restaurant and another telephone line at my table at Miguel and Mimi Diaz’s Latin Deli.
The Latin Deli was the place for everyone; Hispanics and non Hispanics would go there for lunch and almost everyone used to meet there to enjoy Mimi’s Cuban Sandwiches — until Miguel became rich and famous training boxers at local gyms.
This all came to mind the other night when two local ladies met each other and one of them mentioned that she had been in Las Vegas for many years and had owned a grocery store and a local restaurant.
The other lady immediately asked her new acquaintance if she knew Rolando Larraz, to which she immediately answered that she did.
I have no idea what the Spanish population is nowadays, but I assume it’s very high in numbers, and I wonder why — with all the Spanish names in our city — only my name came to that lady’s mind and mouth.
It reminds me of an incident that happened at the Latin Deli Restaurant; one day I walked in as normal and my table was occupied by others because the place was packed, so I sat at the counter until Icould sit at my table.
While sitting at the counter a middle-aged lady came in, and being the gentleman my mother always taught me to be — I immediately got up and offered the new arrival my stool.
The lady praised my gentlemanly gesture and mentioned that in these modern days there are not too many gentlemen around; at that time, someone that knew me waived at me and asked me, “How is the newspaper business?” and the lady asked me if I was a reporter. I said, “No, I just work at La Verdad Newspaper” (in those days the only Spanish Newspaper in Nevada, founded by me) and the lady almost cried out loud. “Oh my God. Listen!” she said to me. “You seem to be a very nice
young man; you need to get out of that place; that place is under mob control. It is a place of vice, prostitution, gambling, and many other unsavory affairs.”
When I told her that I have not met the owners yet, she said that one of the reasons was because they are “all too busy with their gangsters friends. I know Rolando Larraz very well, but he does not mess with me because he knows I know him very well.”
I heard enough and got up to leave without eating my Cuban sandwich and pulled out my business card while I was saying goodbye to the lady, adding, “It was a pleasure speaking with you. And while I look for another line of work, here is my card; if you need anything, give me a call.” Then I walked away.
By the time I got to the front door I heard a commotion behind me and later learned that the lady had fainted after she read my business card and realized that the person she “knew so well” and accused of being a gangster, a pimp and a criminal was the same person she found so nice, well mannered and well educated.
As I said, I like my privacy. I manage to stay in my own little cubby hole. I welcome everyone to my office, but normally I stay put in my own territory. I can count on the fingers of my hands the public events I have attended, but my name has always been a magnet for people with ill intentions to damage my reputation or create an aura of innuendos, lies and fantasy.
This time it was all different. The lady who had been in the community for so long a time had been a local business woman a few times over and really did know me; she did not say bad things about me; in fact, I was told that she mentioned that the first flowers she received when she opened her restaurant came from me. I am glad someone has something nice to say about me.
My name is Rolando Larraz, and as always, I approved this column.
* * * * *
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.

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