Home means Nevada to me…..although I was not born in Nevada, my family arrived in Las Vegas in 1960 and in Nevada we have stayed. Growing up in Las Vegas in the 60’s and 70’s was an incredible time for me. A product of Crestwood Elementary, Fremont Junior High, Las Vegas High and Valley High schools, my life was shaped by many incredible events and opportunities that were taken for granted each and every day. Walking to or from school and watching the Air Force Thunderbirds practice flying in formation was a routine occurrence. Growing up with the house shaking from early morning underground testing taking place at the Nevada Test Site or sonic booms from those Thunderbird flights still have people shaking their heads in disbelief when the stories of the good old days are told. Who can imagine an opportunity to see the Beatles, in Las Vegas, but there we were in the Rotunda at the Las Vegas Convention Center on August 20th, 1964. Saturday movies at the Huntridge Theatre, square pizza and Italian ices from the pizza store in the Charleston Plaza Mall and family cruises on a hot summer night were always things we looked forward to. To cruise up Fremont Street with anticipation to roll down the window and listen for “Vegas Vic” to welcome us with his call of “Howdy Partner” never got old, we loved to drive past the Holsum Bakery when the fresh bread was baking. Cruising was fun and we never tired of a trip down Las Vegas Boulevard to see the front of the Sahara Hotel and the camel statues, the Dunes and the Sultans ring, the Aku Aku statues at the Stardust, the big Silver Slipper and the Tiki statues at the Tropicana hotel. We watched as President Kennedy’s motorcade drove past on Paradise Road, stood in front of Caesars Palace as Evil Knievel tried to leap the fountains and never missed a basketball game as Nevada Southern University grew and grew. Trips to Paradise Park, Lorenzi Park and Fantasy Park were enjoyed long before Sunset Park came along and day trips to Lake Mead and Mount Charleston were special occasions. Drive in movies on a summer night were always welcomed. The Stardust Hotel had a big screen behind the hotel or way across town along the Tonopah highway was another favorite location. Dining out was a special treat and we always loved a trip to Uncle Johns Pancake House on Fremont Street, The Green Shack on the Boulder Highway, the Swanky Club Smorgasboard, the Blue Angel Drive Inn, Fong’s Garden, the Plush Horse, the Flame or the Alpine Village, all long gone but not forgotten. Each and every day was an adventure in such a special place and time. There is nothing like Las Vegas today, but looking back, there was nothing like it back then either! Home means Nevada to me…