Archive for the ‘dust devils’ Category

Golden Oldies   2 comments

Today, August 1, I got a treat.  I went with my sister and mother out to Harrah’s Ak Chin casino in Maricopa, Arizona to listen to my brother-in-law’s old band: Time and Time Again.  They consider themselves to be a do-wop band (lots of ooh-ah, ooh-ah, and bop-she-bop-she-bop, etc.), but they really do a fine job of delivering the best classic rock and roll from the fifties and sixties.  I had a great time, and took some pix, and I’d like to share them with you.

Approaching the casino. The hotel wing has the best name sign.

Looking toward the casino entrance, you see a giant bald eagle landing on the world’s largest saguaro cactus!

How often does one get a chance to take a picture of a giant eagle? I’m not sure of the symbolism here. It’s a casino. Does this show your money flying away, perhaps?

It’s a fountain in the desert–very unnatural. Organized gambling is only legal in Arizona on Native American lands. Hence the landmark out front shows this bronze tribute to the Tohono O’odham tribe.

Flashing lights, neon signs, people putting money in machines. Yep! It’s a casino, alright. Actually, it’s pretty nice inside, although the place kind of intimidates me.

First stop inside was the bathrooms. Second stop was the cafeteria. Large screen televisions were everywhere. I’m not sure what the big green thing is overhead–maybe a giant guacamole rose, but it was colorful.

My lunch–doesn’t it look yummy? Breakfast quesadilla–scrambled eggs, ham, cheddar cheese, onions, salsa, inside a tortilla. It was delicious.

The band–called Time and Time Again–was rocking out up on stage while I ate lunch. The light makes everything look reddish, but actually the suits were dark black with white ties–the singers looked like a bunch of good fellas.

Another view. They were really rocking and bopping. I think this song was “Oh What a Night!” by the Dells. That was one of the songs they did.

Ken (Atroll) is having a good time.

After the set, the band came down and talked to the audience. Jim Marsella, my brother-in-law, used to drum for these guys. He’s the one in black shirt, white pants, back to the camera. He’s talking to the lead guitarist and organist. Sorry, I don’t know their names.

When the music was over, I found a spot where I could play some video poker. Don’t I look like the perfect gambling addict? If only I could pay attention like that in class or real life . . .

The epic struggle of Man vs. Machine. I’m happy to announce that I walked away a winner. I had a couple of chances to go for royal flushes–didn’t fill them, but I did make some full houses, and that was enough to win a whole dollar by the time I had to go.

On the ride back home we saw a lot of dust devils. Look carefully and you can see several columns of whirling dust in the far background up against the Estrella Mountains. Julie Marsella is in profile and driving the car.

A closer view of a dust devil. Dusties are miniature cyclones that spawn on the hot deserts of the southwest. I’ve always liked them. I’ve heard that the Arabians thought they were spinning djinnis (genies).

That concludes the day’s adventure.  It was a fine way to spend a Wednesday.

If you’ve ever listened to an oldies band in a casino, or danced with a dust devil, please leave a comment.