Vegas – A City of Re-Invention for Some
By Brenton Crozier
One of my favorite parts of State of the Re:Union’s radio episodes, is the Letters to the City. We encourage current and former residents alike to personify their city and pen a letter to it. It is really revealing and quite the door into a community. Letters range greatly in tone. Some adoring, others angry and sometimes a mix of the two. Unfortunately, we’re only able to incorporate two or three letters per episode, but all entries are posted on our website. You can find them on the respective Radio Episode pages in the right hand column under the heading “Letters to the City.”
Las Vegas – Bright Lights, Big City, Small Town is one of the new episodes in our 2011 Spring Season. The SOTRU team was able to tell some incredible stories from one of the most iconic cities in the world . . . stories that you would never have imagined coming out of “Sin City.” We received some fantastic letters to Vegas and there was one in particular that caught my attention mainly because it is really funny, but it’s also extremely colorful and honest. I feel like I got a real sense just from reading the short letter, what it may feel like to live in the city. I’ve posted it below so that you can read it too, but encourage you to visit our Las Vegas page to listen to the full radio episode, read the other letters and enjoy the other collateral we’ve collected from our travels there.
Dear Las Vegas, my city of re-invention:
I came here quite by accident. In a moment of weakness, or temporary insanity, I let my fifteen-year-old male child chose where we would live and my fate was sealed. I know, maybe I didn’t think it through, but it seemed okay at the time. Of course I’d never actually experienced your magic, seen your bright lights, ogled your… attractions. I arrived as a sheltered wayfarer from the real world.
Imagine my surprise when the cute blond in the tennis skirt at the supermarket turned out not to be female. And the guy with the big arms, goofy grin and wild red hair checking out the steaks really was Carrot Top. Elvis even bagged my groceries and helped me to my car. My son wanted to be Tiger Woods (aren’t we glad THAT didn’t happen) and I just wanted to fit in. Which was proving to be more of an adventure than I’d anticipated.
But in your wonderful embrace, where a mob lawyer can become a most beloved mayor, a dancer can grow up to be Lieutenant Governor, a hustler can work himself up to mogul status, I discovered magic. I don’t know what it is: maybe it’s the ever-present sunlight, the air that is dry and crisp like a fine wine, something in the water (what precious little we have), or a bit of that Western mind-your-own-damned-business attitude, but you, Las Vegas, breed reinvention. And acceptance.
When the personal trainer tells me he used to be a professional unicyclist, I nod my head and smile as if this is the most common thing. When the diamond-encrusted lady hosting the charity gala talks about her days as a showgirl and introduces the Chippendales as the entertainment for our luncheon, we all clap politely and smile. Of course, once those young men start disrobing, eating without choking is out of the question, but I digress.
If there is one lesson you’ve taught me, Las Vegas, it’s to be myself, and to trust the world will be okay with that—or not. And it really doesn’t matter. At an age where many think I ought to be put to pasture, I’ve reinvented myself. I play with imaginary friends…and people pay me to do it. Just another square peg you welcomed with open arms. And that has made all the difference.
With undying affection,