Why write this book? Contents of the book People who made this possible People who influenced the author Dedicated to: About Dan K. Phillips

LAS VEGAS

NEVADA WITH MARK TWAIN

E-mail Dan Kenneth Phillips

DAN'S DAILY WEB-BLOG


1. Preface (Four Corners )

Includes photographs of Four Corners and the background of why Dan wrote this book.

2. The Photographer - (Tucumcari, N.M.)

Dan goes to Tucumcari, New Mexico, to visit the photographer who took Ian Frazier's picture for the the book Great Plains

3. An Outlaw and a Politician - (Las Vegas, N.M.)

He travels to the Teddy Roosevelt Rough Rider Museum to visit the "smartest lady in the world."

4. The Blues Brothers - (Las Vegas, Nevada )

Who would have guessed that riding an airplane-dressed as Shumu the whale-, would take him to the mysterious rhealm of multi-millionaire Howard Hughes.

5. Mysterious Adventures With Mark Twain - (Reno. Nevada )

Read some weird stories of a bunch of "wild consultants" who spend a week in Nevada exploring!

6. The Poet - (San Francisco, CA. )

This story describes his first visit to San Francisco to celebrate a wedding anniversary. He discovers the "ghost" of Jack Kerouac and hits several other literary high spots while here.

7. The Distant Listener - (Cape Cod, MA. )

Visiting Cape Cod,he discovers Henry Beston and Gugliemo Marconi. This leads to a history lesson on the beginning of radio listening and a unique baker (Ollie Ross) known to have picked up every radio station in the world. Was Ollie Ross for real?

8. Hermit of the Essex Coast - ((Jekyll Island, Georgia )

Jekyll Island is a special place for Dan. Study the billionaires who inhabited this island every winter. Listen to their stories of richness and pettiness.

9. A Writer and A Preacher - (Savannah, Georgia )

Did you know that the sign indicating where Flannery O'Connor was born is really a lie? And did you know John Wesley once fell in love here and caused a major disturbance because of this love affair. If you have read The Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, you need to read The Writer and the Preacher to capture even more weird tales of Savannah.

10. Patti's - The Best Restaurant in the World (Grand Rivers, KY.)

This is Dan's favorite eating place in all the world. Read this story and discover how a pot-bellied pig named Calvin Swine became the symbol of great American cooking.

Gold Coast Hotel and Casino

The temperature was 107 degrees when I arrived at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. It had been a long and weary journey: pampering whales; counting penguins; eating a continuous chain of Southwest Airlines peanuts; and watching lengthy lines of fidgeting strangers working crossword puzzles.

I bought a hamburger and a soft drink, went to the Cortez Room and listened to Jim Fitzgerald's trombone lead the Sorta Dixie Jazz Band in many memorable melodies: "I Wish You Love;" "Angel Eyes;" "Day By Day;" and Neil Hefty's "Girl Talk."

Las Vegas

There are many things I enjoy when I am in the Las Vegas area: Lake Mead; Hoover Dam; Mount Charleston; cheap meals; an occasional show; and once -- a wild cab ride to Casear's Palace where Thomas "Hitman" Hearns was fighting 'Marvelous" Marvin Hagler. The man riding with me, the man in a hurry, tipped the driver a hundred dollars. In shock, I walked to the front of Caesar's Palace and spent the entire fight time talking to a gambler from Boston, flown in for the fight free because of the immense amount of money he spent gambling. "I don't care about fights," he said. "They fly me to all of these things, but I'm just a gambler. I don't go to the shows." I didn't know whether he was telling the truth or not.

This time I was to meet several people who were going with me on a consultative teaching expedition throughout Nevada. I was concerned that we would not jell as a compatible group. In the past, I have had rather unfortunate experiences with other team members. Once, the team member driving the car, became agitated at the traffic: he yelled at the cars in front of us; slammed on his brakes; and drove the car as if it were a bumper car at an amusement park. Another experience was with an unattached woman. When alone with a man on an elevator, she would suddenly burst into tears.

Any fears of incompatibility were soon dispelled. We soon had appropriate nicknames for each of us. The "team," as we called it, consisted of: Miss Kitty, a well-known educator from Tulsa, who taught us to say "yup" with a smile and with Oklahoma pride.

Hoss, a cowboy from Georgia, of such wicked intent that he would short sheet the bedspreads of older women he met.



Hop Sing, a jogger from Tennessee, given to eating pizza, waffles, and giant buffets at every stop, and with pride after each meal he pointed to his tummy, patted it with gentleness, and said "yup."

Parson Little Joe, renowned preacher from Reno, a man given to such indulgences as pointing out to us historical spots of wickedness -- like The Mustang Ranch.


And myself, Diamond Dan, explorer, notetaker, and appointed recorder for posterity of these otherwise lost occurrences.


On Sunday night, we shared out first meal at the Rio Suite and Casino. Each of us ordered the $8.95 seafood buffet. Only Miss Kitty abstained. "Full from the flight," she said. "Yup!" By 9:30 I was in bed.

Excalibur Hotel and Casino

For lunch on Monday, we ate at the Excalibur; the world's largest hotel with 4,032 rooms and built like an English Castle. It had been opened only three months. "There has been nothing like it since Camelot," read the signs peppering the horizon, "Knights, sorcerers, castles, battlements, drawbridges, moats, jugglers, mimes, jousting and sword fighting. A medieval colossus with a 1000 seat amphitheater, 7 marvelous restaurants, and a 100,000 square foot casino. All rooms $45 Sun-Thurs.-$55 weekends." An entrance sign read, " 2,630 brand new slot machines."

For those interested in marriage, The Canterbury Wedding Chapel was inside the hotel, and the Camelot III room was available for waiting brides and grooms.

A gift shop sold life-sized knight and armour gear for $4,750, For the financially strapped, a smaller version was available for only $3,100.

The major decision for us was where to eat. Choices included: The Sherwood Forest Cafe guarded by a ten foot purple dragon; Lancelotta Pizza; or the Round table Buffet. We chose the Round table and ate an excellent Bar-B-Q buffet for $4.76. While eating, I intently listened to a businessman sitting at a neighboring table. I noted him telling an associate, "I don't feel comfortable with our product if they don't understand it." I thought to myself, I wish more salesman thought like that.

The intensity of the English theme reminded me of a friend of mine; Robin P. Hood, a retired banker in Marion, North Carolina. Robin once old me that he was a 13th generation Hood, that his wife was named Friar before their marriage, and that they named their son Little John. In 1970 he was selected as one of five Robin Hood's brought to England to visit with the Sheriff of Nottingham. Twenty years later, he returned and was once again treated sumptuously, interviewed by numerous papers and radio stations -- including the BBC -- and just generally had the time of his life. I have a card in my study with Robin Hood's picture on it. He is arrayed in green, and in his hand is a large bow and arrow drawn for action. Robin would have felt at home in the Excaliber.

After lunch, we briefly watched a puppeteer minstrel show led by Merlin the Magician, stole "cups" - those big cups that hold quarters - from the casino, and went outside toward our van. The temperature across the street on the Marina Hotel and Casino read 111 degrees.

For those interested in what to do during a visit to Las Vegas, I would suggest a visit to the home of the Guinness World Record Museum. The museum was designed by London-based interior designer Denis Brennan and includes a bust of the longest-necked woman; the smallest ridable bicycle, the world's "champion slimmer," - William J. "Happy" Humphrey of Cobb, Georgia - who lost 570 pounds in 32 months, dropping from 802 to 232 pounds, and the "Most Tattooed Lady," - Krystyne Kolorful, a stripper, represented in scale in all her variety and detail; and the world's largest animal world data bank, including the world's largest spider. For a memorable afternoon of fun and frolic this is the place to go.

Caesar's Palace

On Monday night we worked until 9:30 pm, then went to the Mirage and Caesar's Palace: "A place where your every fantasy can be fulfilled," said a whispering hidden voice on the elevator. A sense of nostalgia swept across me. It was my 23rd wedding anniversary, and it was the first time in over two decades that I had not been with my wife on our anniversary.

Four years earlier, Janet and I celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary in this same place -- Caesar's Palace. It was one of the happiest nights of our life. Gerry Rosenblatt, an electronic salesman, took us out for the evening. He paid for our supper and the David Copperfield Show. We went with another couple: Barry Pasternak and his wife, and my boss Joe Denney. I had so much fun with the Pasternaks, that on a trip to Miami a few years later, I looked up Pasternak in the phone book to call and reacquaint myself with them. Sure enough, there it was in bold print in the phone book: Barry "Bail Bonds" Pasternak. For some reason, I didn't have the nerve to call. We had our picture taken that night at Copperfield's Show. It still sits on our mantle as a reminder of one of the happiest nights of our lives.

Going on any trip with Rosenblatt is an experience, but celebrating one's anniversary with him rates a magnitude of 10. On an earlier trip to Vegas, Rosenblatt was trying to sell Joe Denney and I a 10 meter satellite uplink. We met at the National Association of Broadcasters annual meeting, and he arranged for us to eat supper and go to a show together.

Englebert Humperdink

Noting that we were a rather religious group, he arranged for himself, three of us, and his friend Ed Pietras, to go to a "clean show" -- The Englebert Humperdink show at the MGM Grand. Relaying the excitement of that evening would only be a minuscule of what really happened. Suffice it to say, we had front row seats. "The best seat in the house for my friends," said Gerry. It didn't take us long to realize that we were the only five men on the front row. The rest of the patrons were women.

When Engelbert came on stage, I have never seen anything like it: women began screaming, some threw clothing on the stage, and other women wept. And when Englebert began dancing -- a wave of "gigantic lust" swept through the room. A frenzy of uncontrollable women leaped at Englebert. One lady tore at Englebert's pants, another kissed him, others fought to get closer. We were totally unprepared for the excitement. Then, Englebert stood in front of our table gyrating and oohing. We turned our heads another direction, tried to look anonymous, but there was no escape. To keep from being killed by a tidal wave of women, we each began to have the urge to go to the men's room. Without fanfare, we sneaked into the darkness, walked quickly to the top of the theater, and bounded into the lobby. To this day, hearing Englebert's name causes my heart to beat faster. "There's something about that man that needs to be locked up," I said to Jerry as he wiped the perspiration from his face.

On my 23rd wedding anniversary, I slept alone, but in periodic spurts I awoke from a fitful sleep and laughed. "God bless Gerry Rosenblatt, wherever he is. There will never be another like him."


RENO



On Wednesday we moved to Reno, the "Biggest Little City in the World." Reno was void of the glamour of Las Vegas. The strip was a quarter of a mile long; many downtown casino's were closed, and other gaming establishments were scattered miles away from the downtown clutter.

Where Vegas was filled with "successful yuppies" and lights, in Reno I felt like I was returning to the 1950s. Small homes dotted the dirty streets. Cigarette butts clumped together in the gutters. Blue-neon-tattoo parlors glared from small darkened street corner rooms.

The clientele was different. The trendy outfits and 20-35 year-old youngsters that walked arm in arm on Las Vegas streets were replaced by older men and women, many in their 60s, retired, walking in groups, intensely filtering their energies toward the slots. And there was a class distinction I noted in the casinos. In Las Vegas the casino girls wore tight-fitting shorts, flashy high heels, and smiled with lady-like precision. In Reno, the casino women were fatter, perhaps chunky best describes them. They were boisterous. Many were Oriental or Hispanic, and the flashy-red shorts bulged in the wrong spots. There was a seriousness about these women. Few smiles. A hurried look about their faces, as if they were looking over their shoulders.

At night, teenagers layered in black leather jackets clamored together across the street from Circus Circus. The streets were crowded, horns honked, drivers squealed their tires, and drunk teenagers leaned precariously from passing convertibles yelling obscenities at passing strangers. Motorcycles danced noisily in the center of the streets. A sense of violence hovered near. In the alleys between casinos, groups of rough necked blacks talked in hurried voices and exchanged money. Hovering in darkened alleyways were siloutted people, blurred by fragile light. Broken liquor bottles were everywhere.

We walked quickly through the streets, huddling close together, desiring not to be alone in this madness. It was a night we least wanted to remember. Parson Little Joe was not with us. He retired early; "I can't stand the excitement," he said, as he disappeared into the hotel where we were staying.

But the rest of us made our rounds. We hit The Comstock, the Eldorado, and several other hotels. We continued our souvenir collecting: Our goal was to collect a gambling cup from each casino as a reminder of the thrill of being in Reno. We were intent on adding to our collection. With quickness, agility, and the fine focus of a viscous animal, we quickly gathered a cup from each casino we entered, then left. By stacking the cups inside one another we didn't look so out of place. When we were properly weighted down with cups, we rushed back to our hotel. (When I returned home I used the cups for such things as holding screws, bolts, batteries, and an assortment of other useless items. The cups come in handy often.)

John Ascuaga's Nugget

The best meal we ate was at John Ascuaga's Nugget. It was the second largest casino in the area: 1,000 rooms, 36 suites, 8 restaurants, and 32,000 square feet of meeting space. Bally's, near the airport, is the largest casino with 2,001 guest rooms and 225,000 square feet of meeting space, but nothing compares with the Nugget's Friday Night Seafood Buffet. The Nugget is in Sparks, Nevada. Two blocks from the casino we noted a small sign at the corner of 14th and B streets which read, "Elephant Crossing." Not wanting to get broadsided by an elephant on the way to one of the world's great buffets, we slowed the car to a crawl, and precariously searched the horizon for large, trunked animals. With none in sight we ventured forth.


LAKE TAHOE



One afternoon we drove to Lake Tahoe. A general air of excitement was felt as we entered Incline Village. The Incline Village Fun and Food Faire was approaching. A special appearance by Mark Twain was being advertised: there would be a finger painting exhibit; an egg and balloon toss; and a hula hoop contest. "Don't miss it," read the advertisement.

Lake Tahoe is 22 miles long, 12 miles wide, and has a circumference of 72 miles. It receives 8.3 inches of rain a year. Lake Tahoe is 40 miles from Reno and includes magnificent mountain scenery. Mark Twain, when he was there in the 1860s wrote: "Three months of camp life at Lake Tahoe would restore an Egyptian mummy to his pristine vigor and give him an appetite like an alligator. The air is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious, the same as angels breathe." At a surface elevation of 6,229 feet, Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake on the North American continent.

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The highlight of our Lake Tahoe trip was a visit to the Cartwright Ranch where Bonanza was filmed. "Take the tour of the Cartwright Ranch house and learn how they filmed Bonanza. Then explore an entire Western town, which includes movie sets and props, a saloon, general store, country church and photo emporium. The kids'll love the Mystery Mine and Pettin' Zoo," advertised a sign.

NBC's first episode of Bonanza screened on September 12, 1959, followed by 431 additional one-hour shows during the next 13 years. The series was seen by 500 million viewers in 86 countries, with translations into 12 foreign languages. For an entrance fee of $6.50 we saw an 1896 Liberty Bank, the S. H. Brodie and Company, Silver Cup Saloon, the Washoe Hotel, and Walker and McClure Hardware.

I got dizzy going through Hoss's Mystery Mine, drank a sasparilla with Miss Kitty in the Silver Dollar Saloon, and had my picture taken with Hoss's large white-brimmed hat perched on my head. I noted that the map, used to introduce each Bonanza episode, has north pointing in the wrong direction. According to the map used on the television series, Virginia City was northeast of Reno. In reality, Virginia City is southeast of Reno.


At the graveyard, a quote from Gonzo journalism's Hunter S. Thompson, graces the entrance:

 

Now I'm dead and in my grave.

No more whiskey shall I crave

On my tombstone

it will be wrote

that many a jolts gone

down my throat.

Virginia City, Nevada

Another afternoon we drove to Virginia City. We arrived the week following the Virginia City International Camel Races. The lady at the desk of the Chamber of Commerce office -- located in an old railway car -- told us, "I sure am glad those camel races are over. More people come for them than anything else."

According to the Chamber of Commerce, the camel races originally started as a hoax. Bob Richards, editor of The Territorial Enterprise, wrote a fictitious article in 1959 about upcoming camel races. The next year, the San Francisco Chronicle challenged the Phoenix Gazette to enter the race. John Huston, the famous director, was the camel jockey. They were so successful that they have continued for 30 years. A sister city of Virginia City --- Alice Springs, Australia --- holds a similar event every other year, and United States competitors vie for the winning cup with the Australians.

The camels, according to an accredited source, "are not particularly fond of humans to begin with and have been known to try to disengage a rider in the middle of the race." For protection, riders wear baseball-knee pads, wrap their legs in ace bandages, and hide additional padding under colorful robes.

Most of the racing camels are from Kansas, but the camels are also a reminder of the rich heritage of big bonanza days on the Comstock, when camels were used to carry 700 pound bags of salt up the mountains to the mines of the Comstock. When their usefulness ended, they were allowed to run loose and roam the desert. No camels have been sighted in the area since 1935.

The highlights of the week included: a camel draw for racing order, a traditional 1880s costume ball, a camel parade, an official camel race raffle, and the Camel Hump Ball. An official camel race button, costing six dollars, allows admission to all of the above mentioned events.

Another event noted by many is the annual Joe Conforte Appreciation Day. Conforte, owner of the legendary Mustang Range in northern Storey County, will "bring several of the ladies from the ranch and provide photo opportunities," reads an article in The Territorial Guide. The photo session will be followed by a barbecue and dancing. "A day to show some appreciation from residents of the area, said Joe's friend Philip Oldani.

Virginia City was once the richest place on earth. Today, 30,000 people consider it home. Walking the streets gave me a vivid impression that I was once again living in the early 1860s.

A note over the door of the Silver Dollar Hotel told about Sadie's Place:

"For all cowboys, miners, and other gentlemen of refined taste and good manners. Sadie and her girls will show you a good time with song and dance, music and other activities of a good-time nature. Sadie's is well situated next door to a Bath house for our guests who wish to bathe first! So come payday, boys, come up to Sadie's.You'll be glad you did."

E-mail Dan Kenneth Phillips

Delta Saloon

At the Delta Saloon was a 1875 Suicide Table. It was called this because three previous owners are reported to have committed suicide because of heavy losses over this table. The story written over the door tells this brutal tale:

"Originally, it was a Faro Bank Table brought to Virginia City in the early 1860s. The owner, supposed to be one Black Jake, lost $70,000 in one evening and shot himself. The second owner, whose name is lost in history, ran the table for one nights play. He was unable to pay off his losses. One report has it that he committed suicide and another report has it that he was saved the trouble. The table was then stored for some years because no one would deal on it. It was finally converted into a 21 Table sometime in the late 90s. Its black reputation seemed to have been forgotten, until one stormy night a miner, who had been cleaned out in some other gambling house, stumbled in half drunk. As the story goes, he gambled a gold ring against a five dollar gold piece, and won. He played all night long and by morning had won over $86,000 in cash, a team of horses, and an interest in a gold mine, everything the owner of table had in the world. That caused the third suicide.

Many famous men have gambled for high stakes, leaning on the green cloth, watching the turn of a card. Fortunes have been won and lost on it. The Suicide Table is truly a relic that is replete with memories of the old town, and who knows, perhaps the ghosts of the old timers are still leaning on their elbows, watching for the turn of a card."

Another sign at the Delta Saloon and Cafe read, "Visit the original saloon and see where Faro was played by the Kings of the Comstock."

The head bartender at the Delta Saloon in 1863 was Professor Jerry Thomas, most Celebrated Barman in American History. Coming to Virginia City from the Occidental in San Francisco, he did much to Elevate the Tastes and Drinking Habits of the then Uncouth Comstock.

Professor Thomas later became head Bartender at the Planters House in St. Louis, where he invented the Cold Weather Drink that to this day bears his name: the Tom & Jerry. A closing note reads, "Gentleman and Perfectionist, Nevada Does Honor To His Memory."


MARK TWAIN



Several times during the last several years, I have found Mark Twain tucked in unexpected places I have visited. In 1973, on a trip to Canada, I spent the night in Elmira, New York, in the Huck Finn Motel. Discovering he was buried in the Elmira Cemetery, I visited his plot the next morning.

Several years later, in Hartford, Connecticut, I again found Twain. I didn't realize he had lived there for many years. I went to his homeplace, and I spent considerable time observing his desk in hope of finding some magical potion to rub between my fingers that would overnight transpose me into a travel writer of intense magnitude and purpose like Twain.

In the early 80s -- while traveling from Rugby, Tennessee -- I discovered a sign near Jamestown, Tennessee describing the land owned by Mark Twain's father before they moved to Missouri.

Now, in Virginia City, he popped up again. I had no idea he had been there, much less that it was in Virginia City where he used the name Mark Twain for the first time and became a newspaper writer.

At the Mark Twain Museum of Memoirs, a sign placed by the University of Nevada Press Club in 1934 speaks of Twain as one, "who greatly enriched the literature of the west."

According to Twain, he went to Nevada because his brother had been appointed Secretary of Nevada territory --- an "office of such majesty that it's duties included Treasurer, Secretary of State, and Acting Governor in the Governor's absence."

Virginia City at the time was the liveliest town in America. Twain began his career as a writer in 1862 by joining the editorial staff of the Territorial Enterprise. His own description of the town was that: "Virginia City was a busy city of streets and houses above ground. Under it was another busy city, down in the bowels of the earth, where a great population of men thronged in and out among an intricate maze of tunnels and drifts, flitting hither and thither under a winking sparkle of lights, and over their heads towered a vast web of interlocking timbers that held the walls of the gutted Comstock apart."

While in Virginia City: Twain was robbed at Gold Hill; was attacked by the Washoe Zephyr --- a wind of such proportions that the capital of Nevada Territory disappeared from view, and according to Twain, is the reason "there are so many bald people there;" survived a midnight rendezvous with a tarantula; was negligent in attending his coffee pot near Lake Tahoe and burned a significant portion of the forest; became smitten with the silver fever and spent a week as a miner collecting claims in the "richest mines on earth;" failed as a bookseller clerk because the customers bothered him so much he could not read; failed as a clerk in a drug store because the prescriptions he sold made people worse; and was dismissed as a printer because he composed too slowly.

When offered the job as city editor of the Daily Territorial Enterprise, he indicated he would have declined the offer had he not been broke, but concluded by saying, "I do not doubt that if, at that time, I had been offered a salary to translate the Talmud from the original Hebrew, I would have accepted --- albeit with a diffidence and some misgivings --- and thrown as much variety into it as I could for the money."

His duties included going all over the town and asking people all sorts of questions, making notes of the information gained, and writing them out for publication. When he ran out of stories, he was known to have exaggerated and made up some stories.

In describing the scene of one hay wagon entering town, Twain said, "I made affluent use of it. I multiplied it by sixteen, brought it into town from sixteen different directions, made sixteen separate items out of it, and got up such another sweat about hay as Virginia City had never seen in the world before."

During another dry spell, a desperado killed a man in a saloon, and "joy returned once more," said Twain. In make believe fashion, Twain supposedly went to the desperado and said, "Sir, you are a stranger to me, but you have done me a kindness this day which I can never forget. If whole years of gratitude can be to you any slight compensation, they shall be yours. I was in trouble, and you have relieved me nobly, and at a time when all seemed dark and drear. Count me your friend from this time forth, for I am not a man to forget a favor."

Twain met characters that strain the imagination. He interviewed drunks and wrote stories of nabobs --- careless, easy-going fellows, who were miraculously ignorant.

As a reporter, he was privy to information on newly discovered mines. The finders would pay him to print news of the discoveries. "If the rock was moderately promising, we followed the custom of the country, used strong adjectives and frothed at the mouth as if a very marvel in silver discoveries had transpired." This insider information was supposedly the source of easy money and caused him a further problem, "spending it fast enough," he said.

He was finally run out of town by the governor for challenging the rival Virginia City newspaper publisher to a duel.

I cannot say that the rest of the week was uneventful. I can say it was busy. We worked a hectic schedule. On Friday night, we finished working at 9:30; ate supper; got to bed at midnight; left at 5 am Saturday morning for Carlin; passed through Winnamuchi at breakfast time and read the only sign in town --- "One traffic jam every decade--" spent the day in Carlin with a small caucasian with the given Indian name of "Ewowoodoadeu;" drove back to Reno; hit the sack at midnight; got up Sunday at 5 am to return home.

Exhausted by the week, I asked advice from a passing stranger about any tips he might have for successfully sleeping through the night. His advice has stayed with me. "Eat plenty of salty peanuts before attempting to sleep," he said. "Works every time."

On Sunday morning, shortly after 6 am, I stepped on an airline headed eastward. I pulled my Howard Hughes hat over my eyes to block out the light, and for a minute found myself caught in a dream. I have been unable to interpret the dream, but I do remember portions of it. A whale, with its mouth open, was chewing on a gigantic bag of peanuts. The whale was being ridden by a man with a mustache that looked like Mark Twain, and following it in the water was a floating camel. Crowds stood nearby cheering. And I could hear a whisper, as if a man's voice had been captured from his lips, "What ever happened to Sadie?" I awoke suddenly. Looked across a field of clouds and thought to myself, "I wonder, what ever did happen to Sadie?"

When I returned home, I taped the "I flew Shamu! 2nd Anniversary" sticker over my office door. Everyone passing said, "You've been to Disney World!" "No, Nevada," I replied. They always scratched their head with puzzled wonderment as I turned, pulled my Howard Hughes fedora tightly over my head, and went to sleep.

 




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Dan K. Phillips, writer of this story, is the author of the internet travel book FOUR CORNERS - A LITERARY EXCURSION ACROSS AMERICA and is the editor of the monthly travel e-zine The Web Surfer Travel Journal. He also writes extensively on the works of the monk and poet, Thomas Merton. Please check all of these sites. THANKS! ToE-mail Dan Kenneth Phillips

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