July, 1950

(The first part of this article was dedicated to the wedding of Jack Cortez and Etta Barton. This part will be included in Jack & Etta's Tribute Page. This is the rest of Pops' article).

Jack Walsh, with the loyal backing of Ben Goffstein and Abe Schiller of The Flamingo, staged a series of parties last Sunday and Monday, which moved steadily until the final flicker of "My Friend Irma Goes West" which was showing in its world premiere to at least a thousand people in the beautiful hotel park. That final flicker, however, did not end the festivities which, carried on by smaller groups, lasted until morning.

The Sunday morning party was really a series of gay little parties as the actors and producers and all those closely connected with the making of the picture dropped in by plane. Then in the afternoon the Flamingo honored Manager Jack Walsh with a reception and cocktail party to which the whole county was invited - and they all came - with perhaps a few exceptions of people who were ill or too far away to make the trip. Then Sunday evening Jack Walsh and the Flamingo gave a dinner to the many visiting newspaper and publicity man and, all of which was in honor of the second anniversary of the Flamingo under Jack's management; and Club Bingo gave its elaborate reception to newly-wed Mr. and Mrs. Jack Cortez.

Las Vegas was packed with pleasure seekers and the Flamingo was only one of the centers of gaiety, El Portal Theater, where the picture was first shown, and all the downtown casinos having their own centers of gaiety. Yes, Las Vegas was a very gay town. But the idea I am sneaking up on is that during two days of practically free cocktails, I did not see one person under the influence of liquor. I suppose there were some drunks in Las Vegas, but the thing I am trying to say is that most of the people of Las Vegas are temperate, well behaved and not at all the type of raucous drunks found in almost any of the bars and cocktail lounges in some other cities - Los Angeles for example.

"My Friend Irma Goes West" is a screwy, silly, entertaining picture such as most of us like to enjoy. It was rather unusual to sit in the Flamingo park near the swimming pool and see on the screen the same view we obtained by looking off to one side of the screen.

The picture has little, if any value as promotional showing of Las Vegas. On the contrary, the plot, so far as we are concerned, showed how a 'wired roulette wheel' can rob the players and how, when the wires are cut, every bet is won by the players and the house goes broke. That is a false assumption with no basis whatever. That little chap called "Percentage" who is always on the job every roll, is all the house needs to make money if there is a sufficient volume of play, however, there have been only a few attempts to operate crooked games in Las Vegas and those were quickly squelched by the casino operators who realize, better than anybody else, that the surest and quickest way to ruin Las Vegas is to permit the operation of "fixed" gambling.

I see I am rambling from the story of Las Vegas parties. We are becoming really famous for our gaiety. Not only the Flamingo had its interesting events. Every one of our great resorts, Wilbur Clark's Desert Inn, Hotel Last Frontier, The Thunderbird, El Rancho Vegas, Club Bingo, and the downtown casinos had their own special events and were packed with pleasure seekers over last weekend.

Those who made the Irma picture seemed to be a jolly lot and apparently had a good time. Our friend Irma, Marie Wilson, who has been admired probably by more men than any other luscious star of stage and screen, seemed to be a right pleasant person who mixed with the crowd in the gambling rooms, diffidently placed a little bet here and there and had a good time just like folks.

If any readers really get this far in Observations this week, I admit to them privately that the foregoing says less in a lot of words than anything I ever wrote before. Too many parties I fear!)