glimpses of a simple life in las vegas

Emails from Zion continued: In the previous posting, I have just made the acquaintance of Jim Peyton, a writer and retired professor in Kentucky, who authored a book I’d been hoping to acquire and, after contacting one of my former English professors at Ohio State–who in turn supplied me the title, I began my search for the book that ultimately led me directly to the author’s email box and to a several year online friendship, long before I knew about blogging, and at a time when I very much needed moral support for my writing efforts. Connecting to Mr. Peyton gave me the impetus to continue writing–even if only in the context of an email correspondence. He was a great writing coach.

August 22, 1999

The pleasure will, indeed, be mine (re the soon to be–I hope–posting)! I have a semi-tragic tale to relate regarding ZIONS CAUSE which I so proudly acquired just last Thursday through a rare books collection after about a 10 year search. I decided to take it with me to an appointment on Friday, which I expected to have a long wait for, and damned if I didn’t walk out without bringing it home! And to make matters worse, I didn’t have to wait at all, so I didn’t even get down to opening up the pages to read. So, if it doesn’t turn up at the shop next week, then I’ll go back to the same source and see if I can reorder it! (The most expensive copy they had, by the way, if you’re interested, was about $63!) On the positive side, this makes fodder for a short story, doesn’t it? Good luck on getting Gabriel’s Chronical on the net. Sounds really wonderful. In the meantime, I wish you good health and fruitful writing.


August 22, 1999

Hi Alice, sorry about your losing the book, but not to worry. I have a few copies that I picked up for next to nothing when the book went out of print. Please send me an address and I’ll drop one in the mail to you with my compliments. Sixty-three bucks seems like a helluva lot of money.

Later, -Jim

August 23, 1999

What a generous offer! Of course I would love having a copy from you–signed I hope? Good things really do happen to stupid, forgetful people, and then I’d have a wonderful story about its acquisition as well. But I hope you realize I wasn’t bucking for a free copy by relating my tale to you  . . . and I’ll be glad to reimburse you for whatever expenses you incur if you’ll just let me know.

And yes, people really do LIVE in Las Vegas. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the quality of life here myself, actually. Besides the glitter and glitz of the gambling strip downtown, we have the Red Rock Canyon, about 20 miles from me, and the Spring Mountain Ranch a couple miles further where I volunteer as a Docent, giving historic tours for visitors. The present ranch house was built by Chet Lauck, the Lum of the Lum & Abner series, and was once owned by Vera Krupp of Krupp diamond fame (the one Richard Burton bought Liz). There are six natural springs on the place, along with some of the biggest trees in the valley. There are cows as well as wild burros and mustangs and other wild critters like sidewinders & other creepy crawlers, and the best assortment of birds I’ve ever seen in one place. Early one morning as I was walking the hills with the dog, I came across a tree completely filled with Gambel Quails–what a sight!–like partridges in a pear tree.

The Potosi Mountains offer a distant backdrop–that’s where Carole Lombard’s plane crashed all those years ago. And of course there’s all kinds of folklore and gossip, and politics here have always been most colorful. Our previous mayor [Jan Jones] was a former showgirl/car salesman, albeit an educated one (Stanford), and the current mayor [Oscar Goodman] of course was lawyer for various mafia members over the course of his long career. Perhaps you read the recent interview in the New Yorker. Oscar was a little upset about that one.

Seems SOME reporters, especially easterners, just don’t understand Las Vegas style humor! She really believed some of his jocular comments, and the article reflects this! Living here’s a hoot! But, I’ve found you can find something to love about all kinds of places, if you’re a mind to. To paraphrase the old song, “If I can’t be near the place I love (the south), then I’ll love the place I’m in.”

Please forgive me for rattling on! I don’t mean to take up your time, I’m just a prolific writer. I’ll look forward to receiving (again) your book! ‘Hope Gabriel’s  feeding you his story as prolifically as my emails get.


August 23, 1999

HOLD THE BOAT! I won’t go into the whole pitiful story, but the fact is ZIONS CAUSE just showed up! So now you won’t have to bother mailing me a copy after all. But I do appreciate–so much–such a kind offer from the author who doesn’t know me from the proverbial housecat. People are good. Life is good.


August 23, 1999

But I DO know you from the proverbial housecat. you’re a friend of Bro Bob’s!


August 23, 1999

Touche´ !


2 thoughts on “glimpses of a simple life in las vegas

  1. How nice to get to meet this author. Starting a writing friendship, is even better. Best of all was having the book returned.

    so how are you. I’m skipping the swimming today…she says looking outside at the pouring rain.

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