I would like to recount a story I OVERHEARD.....
During his life, this person's Dad and Mom were big travellers. They loved seeing new things and having new experiences. They were fortunate to take MANY trips all over the world, especially in retirement! One day the trips stopped - the unfortunate side effect of getting elderly and getting sick, was the inability to travel.
One of the parents' favourite trips was a bi-yearly drive to Las Vegas. Twice a year they would take several weeks and DRIVE to their "home away from home", The Riviera Hotel and Casino. The son was lucky enough to take one of these trips with them. He was AMAZED at how at home they were at The Riviera. (Picture Norm entering the Cheers Bar!) Every waitress, bartender and desk attendant knew them BY NAME. The parents' loved meeting new people and went out of their way to make friends with the staff -- and the fellow gamblers (aka retirees). They loved this trip so much that the Dad would often tell his kids that when he died, he wanted his ashes scattered on the Las Vegas Strip from a convertible! Sounds like he was a fun guy, right?
Anyways, as the story goes.....One day the Dad passed away. It was very sudden and very sad. The son and his sister were faced with honouring their Dad's last wish. What they did not expect, was that the hotel that their parents stayed at for decades, would be scheduled to close a few months after the Dad's untimely death! So they made a NEW plan.
The kids packed up their Dad for one last trip to Vegas. They called it his "Farewell Tour" - you know, like Cher does each time she tours. They stayed at the hotel that their parents loved so much, and took their Dad (who was stashed safely in a purse) to all the highlights of Vegas! They ate, drank and saw fantastic shows, always taking time to toast to their Dad. It was quite a trip, with a lot of bitter sweet laughs...which was EXACTLY what their Dad would have wanted.
Now, in Vegas, when an old hotel is closed down they make a big event of it! They get a crowd of cheering people and they implode the whole building! So it seemed THIS was the PERFECT end for the Dad! A wonderful and theatrical ending to a wonderful person's life.
So, on the last night of the 'Farewell Tour' they scattered some ashes on the strip, and the rest would be scattered in the elevator shaft of the Dad's "home away from home". Now, as you may know, it is illegal to spread the ashes of your loved ones on private property without express permission from the owner. So these kids had to be as "cloak and dagger" as they could.
What they did not realize, was that on that faithful night, The Riviera was having a farewell party of their own. All the previous and current employees came to say goodbye with a HUGE party in the grand ballroom on the 23rd floor. Yes, suddenly there were hundreds and HUNDREDS of people going up and down the very elevators the plan hinged on....and this was the last night to get the job done!
When the time came, they rode the elevator up and down until there was a break in the crowds on the main floor. With his sister playing lookout, the son took out the baggie that contained his Dad's ashes and pretended to tie his shoe right on the threshold of the elevator doors. With an "all clear" from his sister, he nervously poured the contents of the bag down the shaft. But, when he got to the bottom of the bag, ashes got stuck in the folds.....so he shook the bag to loosen it all. THIS IS WHERE THINGS TOOK A LEFT TURN. When he shook the bag, the remaining ashes fell ONTO the threshold of the elevator INSTEAD OF DOWN THE CRACK. In a panic, he stuffed the rest of the bag into the crack, and his panicked sister shut the elevator door.
Now.....I don't know if you know anything about physics, but these two clearly didn't. As the doors shut, the airstream forced the ashes that had fallen on the threshold to disperse into a huge cloud. Imagine if you will, a magic show "POOF" sound effect.
Shocked and horrified, the two siblings looked at each other, neither knowing what so say. They eventually got out of the elevator on an upper floor and let it go back down. In the hallway they composed themselves and they decided to have one last drink for their Dad. They pushed a button, got in a different elevator (relieved that the worst was over) and went back down to the first floor.
When the doors opened again they looked over at the elevator they had used. What they saw shocked them. There was a huge semi-circle of ashes on the SHINY BLACK MARBLE FLOOR around the doors of that elevator. What was worse, there was a set of footprints in the dust.
Thankfully, there was another lull in traffic, so the son ran over, fell to his hands and knees, and started sweeping the ashes with his sweaty hands into the elevator crack once again! After what seemed like HOURS (which were probably only seconds) most of the ashes were swept away. The son stood there bewildered, covered in ashes, in a state of shock, with tears beginning to form. He then turned to his sister. "Well. That was certainly one way to do it!" They met eyes, and immediately began to laugh, so hard that tears were streaming down their faces! With that they went for one last 'Farewell Tour' drink and had a final toast for their Dad, knowing he was watching and laughing at what a display these two knuckleheads had put on! A perfect way to send their Dad off! The Riviera closed a week later.
FAST FORWARD 1 year......just last night....the tower of The Riviera was imploded to great fanfare:
I am sure the kids watched the video of that giant implosion with awe. They listened to the hundreds of people cheering and drinking and celebrating. They knew in their hearts that their Dad would have LOVED the fireworks and spectacle of it all. I mean, what could be better than to go out in a giant purple cloud! It was a fitting celebration for a great man who was never without his smile, who loved his family and loved Las Vegas. Finally their Dad was a part of Vegas history!
The End....as I OVERHEARD it....
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Rob is a professional artist, lover of vintage stuff, part time smart @ss and compulsive pancake eater!