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Another Tommy

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  • Another Tommy

    It's 1981 and another Tommy I know has been working the poker rooms in the Los Angeles, Ca. area for a couple of months... Tommy Vinas has made several thousand dollars and decides he's homesick for Texas..

    He decides to take highway 15 north out of LA, up through Victorville and enjoy the scenery instead of taking I 10 due East which is such a boring drive... His plan is to pick up I 40 and ride it east for awhile...

    So, off he goes... Now it's close to noon when Tommy leaves the LA area and all of a sudden he realizes he's hungry... Tommy sees a Micky D's and whips the car in for a Big Mac, some fries, and a coke.. He puts the fries along side his leg and goes to work on the Big Mac...

    Tommy is munching away on his burger and driving along at a leisurely pace when he spots a young kid hitching a ride East.. Tommy believes in good karma so he pulls over and and says, "Hop in."

    Tommy asked the kid where he's going and the kid says New York... Tommy informs the kid that he will take him East for awhile on I 40 but he's planning on dipping south and picking up I 10 somewhere out of Arizona... The kid said that's fine, and that he had been trying to get a ride for several hours and was just glad to sit down and relax...

    The kid looked at the French fries along side Tommy's leg and asked Tommy, "Are you going to eat those fries?" Tommy saw the look on the kids face and knew he was hungry... So he said, "No, you can have them." The kid wolfed them down, and thanked Tommy, telling him he hadn't eaten a thing in over 48 hours...

    The kid turns out to be down on his luck and out of options and money, he's headed back east to his parents house... He's a good kid, well mannered and very polite.. Tommy liked him immediately... Now they are moving along eastward chit chatting when Tommy sees a sign advertising Harrah's Casino in Laughlin, Nevada.. He gets the urge to gamble so he makes the kid an offer...

    Tommy says, "I'm gonna branch off here kid and go north into Laughlin for awhile, I don't know how long I'm gonna stay... Might be a few hours or a few days.. Here's $20.00 for your pocket, I can drop you off here and you can hitch a ride east, or you can come along, it's your choice...

    The kid mulls it over and decides to tag along...Tommy valet parks at Harrahs and they go inside to the first crap table they find... Tommy buys $2000.00 in chips and goes to gambling... The kid alongside... The cocktail waitress comes by and asks if they would like a drink, Tommy orders a Crown and Coke and urges the kid to have one also... The kid says OK...

    Over the next 3 hours the dice are running hot and cold, but the drinks are coming regular and both Tommy and the kid are feeling pretty good... Then the dice turned red hot and Tommy and the table held the dice for twenty minutes or so... When the smoke cleared, Tommy had made over $22000.00...

    Now the dice shut down and Tommy is hungry so he calls over to the pit boss and asks him if he would comp them a meal... Well, one of the pit bosses jobs is to keep track of and rate players, and Tommy was a player, so the pit boss says sure, whatever you want Mr. Vinas..

    Tommy takes the kid to the tower steak house and orders the steak and lobster dinner for himself and the kid... They get a nice bottle of wine and they are munching on the warm bread & butter and sipping a nice cabernet while Tommy counts his bankroll... After the dice cooled, Tommy had lost back about $4000.00, leaving him $18,000 up for the day... He takes out a $100.00 bill and says to the kid, "That twenty dollar bill in your pocket might be lonely, here, put this with it."

    They have the very best seats by a picture window in the tower steak house over looking the Colorada river and the mountains.. Steak and lobster is served...

    Absolutely full and feeling good, they have one more Crown and Coke and leave Harrahs and go back to I 40 and head east... Tommy had walked out of the casino with that drink in his hand, it was a tumbler glass with Harrahs embossed on it... These glasses were standard issue for times back then, the casino wanted you to steal them, it was very cheap advertising...

    They came to the crossroads where Tommy was taking a road south ( maybe highway 93 ) to join up with I 10 and the kid was getting out and hitching on east on I 40... Just hours before the kid was starving, wondering if he would ever get home, standing on a highway hitching a ride and dead broke...now he looks over at Tommy and says, "May I have that glass with Harrahs on it?" Tommy said, "Sure kid" and gave it to him...

    Now this took place about 35 years ago... I'm wondering about this kid now, and how many times he has told this story to his sons or daughters or his grandchildren or his friends and relatives...

    Here's a kid, he's dead broke, standing the road 3000 miles from home and starving... Along comes Tommy Vinas, who out of the blue, had decided to take the scenic route back to Texas...

    He gets to eat some fries immediately, gets a twenty for his pocket, gets to see a legendary gambler in action, gets to drink all the Crown Royal he wants, eats steak and lobster in the tower overlooking the Colorado River, gets another $100.00 for his pocket and has a souvenir glass to commemorate the occasion... All of which took place in a few hours... Were it not for the glass, I wonder if the kid would have believed it just a dream...
    Last edited by Jeff sparks; 01-17-2017, 07:48 AM.
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