Near the end of LANDMARK KILL, I finally come back to a familiar place. It’s seven years before the events in my book, JOEY’S PLACE, and the town faces total ruin. It just doesn’t know it.
“… Joey’s Place was unique for another reason. It was a private club with only one member, its co-owner, Joey Ross. “Cool Joey.” Everyone who walked through the front door was his personal guest. If you didn’t know Joey Ross, you didn’t get in. You didn’t get in to enjoy those private bungalows in back. You didn’t get in to relax by the spring-fed swimming pool surrounded by cool green lawns, palms and olive trees. You didn’t get in to gamble at its intimate, no-limit casino.
Movie stars, politicians, entertainers, millionaires, star athletes. Make a scene and you’d be shown the door and your card would be pulled, even if your name was Rockefeller, Garbo or Rainier. A slow night was when there was only an archduke or an Oscar winner in the house.
Ben walked past on the hot Strip sidewalk. Valet parking was full. And not because there was no self-parking. It was full because there was no off-season at Joey’s Place. The back entrance was his only option. Dressed like he was, without a car, he’d never get through the front door. He might not even get close to it.”
… that has nothing to do with Las Vegas (except perhaps in the case of Nevada’s long-time, lone Representative in the U.S. House, Dem. Walter Baring, who referred to himself as a “Jeffersonian States’ Rights Democrat”).
I have recently enjoyed receiving daily emails from Delanceyplace.com containing interesting excerpts from a variety of books. Today’s email had an excerpt from Joseph J. Ellis’s “American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson,” and described how our third president rarely spoke in public, preferring to use the written word.
Here is Jefferson requesting that James Madison carefully review the president’s first annual address to Congress: ‘Will you give this enclosed a revisal, not only as to matter, but diction. Where strictness of grammar does not weaken expression, it should be attended to in complaisance to the purists of New England. But where by small grammatical negligences the energy of an idea is condensed, or a word stands for a sentence, I hold grammatical rigor in contempt.’ …
JFK, Gov. Grant Sawyer, Sen. Howard Cannon, and Sen. Alan Bible – Sept 28, 1963
When can I read “Landmark Kill?” And my response was:
“I have learned to spare no labor upon the process of writing a page four or five times over if nothing less will bring the words which express all that I mean, and nothing more than I mean.” Thomas Henry Huxley, 1927
This comment on the JOEY’S PLACE Facebook fan page really resonated, reminding me of a major reason I wrote the book…
I turned 22 in 1970. I grew up in Las Vegas but at that time I was two years into my thirty year career as a broadcaster. I bought my first house on Scenic Way that was near Lorenzi Park. I also got married that year. I read “Joey’s Place” this past (Labor Day) weekend. It was fun to be 22 again. I was able to go back to a home that no longer exists. The Vegas I used to know. Even now, as I write this, I can still see myself turning off the Strip to Convention Center Drive. The rotunda in front of me… the Landmark to the left, Channel 8 Drive to the right. Yes, I enjoyed the book. It was fun to be 22 again. … Most of my reading is non fiction. In fact the last fiction I read was a re-read of “Moby Dick.” I also have every Sherlock Holmes story by Doyle. I was interested in “Joey’s Place” because of the city and time it took place in. I wanted my butt kicked down Memory Lane and by God I got my money’s worth. For sure I’m waiting for “Landmark Kill.” The Sky Bar on those rare foggy mornings also hold pleasant times for me as I left Channel 8 at 7:45 AM and nursed a cognac there till the fog burned off and Lake Mead could be seen. … You can be proud of “Joey’s Place.” It’s a fun read.
The desert thunderstorms rumbling through Southern Nevada these past few days remind me of the first paragraph in the chapter where we meet Det. Heber Parkins in Joey’s Place…
Fanning himself with his straw Stetson Panama, he looked down at the body in the shallow flood ravine. The summer monsoons were late or it would have been in Lake Mead by now. At least this time it wasn’t a woman.