I have never been a betting person, but that doesn't mean that I have never had a bet. I have taken part in sweepstakes and even contributed my tuppence on very odd occasions when somebody has been going to the betting shop to place bets on a race such as the Derby or Grand National. Heck, I've even visited the tote at the greyhound stadium and, more frequently, given the ladies who come round the tables in the restaurant my betting slip and the one pound stake. Oh yes, when I get into the swing of these things I really go mad!
There has, in all my 70+ years, been just one occasion when I have entered a betting shop - and that was to pick up a charity collecting box they had on their counter! Casinos, however, are a different matter. For a while I even had a membership card for a casino here in Brighton. Which might sound a little odd as I said I am not a betting man. The only reason for me joining as a member was so that I could visit the restaurant when the Lions club held dinner meetings there. I never did frequent the tables or slot machines.
My first visit to a casino came about quite by accident. I was in Detroit for the Lions' international convention and took a trip on the people mover, as I seem to recall they name their overhead train. I had decided to get off at a particular station as it looked as though there were some shops nearby where I might buy gifts to take home with me. Unfortunately, I used the wrong exit from the station and found myself in a casino. It took me all of 20 minutes to fight my way through the throngs of weary, dispirited looking people who were doggedly feeding coins into one-arm bandits before I emerged on the street.
I was thrown out of the casino in Monte Carlo. No, that's something of an exaggeration. I was not exactly thrown out as I never did get in. The Old Bat and I had entered the vestibule and were about to go further into the depths of Hades when a security man told me I was not welcome. In fact, I later realised, it was not me that was unwelcome, it was the camera I was carrying. The OB was most upset, but I did try to make it up to her. That would have been her first time in a casino so when we were in Carson City for a night, I took her into one there. That was enough to put her off for life.
And what were we doing in Carson City, you ask? Well, we were on holiday in California and had been to Yosemite. We were due to be at a Lions meeting further north in the state so we cut across into Nevada as that seemed to be our shortest route. Carson City sounded a romantic, wild west type of place where I could imagine gun-slingers fighting it out in a dusty street. It wasn't quite like that, but it seemed a pleasant enough little place, even if it was over-endowed with casinos. At least I didn't get thrown out of any of them.
I didn't take any pictures of Carson City, but a few miles north and back across the state line is Bridgeport, CA. This looked to me like a slightly updated version of a wild west town.