In one Godfather movie scene, the owner of a funeral parlor came to Don Corleone for justice asking him to kill someone and wanted to know how much he needed to pay him.
Don Corleone asked Bonasera, the funeral parlor owner, “What have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully?” and I have never forgotten that scene.
Every time I get stabbed in the back I ask myself the same question trying to make some sense out of peoples’ actions.
A dear friend came to me some time ago and made me an “offer I could not refuse…” but I did.
My friend gave some investors who wanted to buy the Las Vegas Tribune newspaper from me an idea; they would give me a good chunk of money and $800 dollars a week forever, but I would have to stay away from the office and not get involved in the newspaper business even if my name would still be on the masthead.
My friend told me that he could not tell me the name of the investors because he had promised them that I would never know their names or who they were.
I smiled to my friend and told him that I would pass because I do not do business with anonymous people; my dear friend insisted that $800.00 a week for life is a good opportunity for me and I could relax and enjoy life in California, but I insisted that I would pass on such a good offer and keep enjoying my miserable life as a newspaper owner in Las Vegas.
I sat in my office after my dear friend left and I thought about the Godfather movie and Don Corleone’s question:
“What have I ever done to make my dear friend treat me so disrespectfully?”
When former County Recorder Fran Dean was ousted from her elected position by “Little Caesar,” former Clark County District Attorney David Roger, I gave her the opportunity to stay in the spotlight writing articles for the Las Vegas Tribune and selling advertisements and she was happy to join our little happy family.
Two weeks after Ms. Dean joined the Las Vegas Tribune she marched into my office and asked me if she could speak with me. I signaled her to come in and she sat down in front of me.
I asked her what was on her mind and she, as generous and polite as ever, said she was going to get straight to the point. “You are getting too old for this and I want to take over the operation of this newspaper. You can go home and I will handle everything for you.”
I smiled at her and said, “You might be right. Who better than you to run this newspaper that I have worked so hard for? Give me a few days to think about it and I will let you know…”
Hopefully, she and the group behind her are not still waiting for me to respond in the affirmative to the proposition she made me ten years ago.
Up to this day, I am still thinking, “What have I ever done to make her treat me so disrespectfully?” Not once, but twice, because when she got out of prison she came to me and I gave her two hours of airtime on our online radio show and she tried to pull a fast one on me again.
It would have been the second time Fran Dean would’ve stabbed me in the back if I did not have the Good Lord by my side, protecting me.
People that I do not even know (or at least I do not know who they are) walk into my humble place of business to insult, not me, but the newspaper that I have worked so hard to protect and to keep on a pedestal.
I always tell everyone who wants to hear me that I don’t care what people say about me, but the name and the reputation of this humble newspaper I will protect to the end.
Twenty-two years of sacrifice and pouring a bundle of my own hard-earned money and retirement savings into is not for some jackass to insult me by sending someone under an incognito name to place the Las Vegas Tribune as an insert, like a second-class flier, into someone else’s paper, making this newspaper another Las Vegas Sun.
I sat there wondering what I had done wrong in my life; I’ve always been faithful to my convictions and my beliefs; I’ve always been respectful to everyone and loyal to my friends; I never lie — even when I don’t tell the truth I do not lie and thought about the Godfather, Don Corleone, meeting with the funeral parlor owner and ask
myself the same question: “What have I ever done to make these people, even those I do not know, treat me so disrespectfully?”
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.