HELLO AMERICA!—Recently, when I was invited to Las Vegas to meet and speak with numerous authors and writers, it caught me off guard because I would not be able to take a flight into Nevada. The only way I could make the appointment was to take a bus to Las Vegas because there were no trains to Vegas anymore. Well, I was shocked, but had to quickly make arrangements with Greyhound and that turned out to be a nightmare!
When we were about 150 miles away from Vegas, the driver was notified that there was a terrible accident ahead of us which evolved into a very dangers fire, making it impossible for highway passage through that area. As a result, we were stuck on the bus for nearly 4 hours, impossible to connect with anyone to inform them what happened, people were, after about 2 hours began to get upset and nervous, especially those who had small children with whom to be concerned.
Finally, I was able to get through to Hollywood and requested one of my staff to call my Las Vegas host and inform them what had happened, as well as indicate an approximate time of my arrival there. Fortunately, the message was received and on my arrival in Vegas, my ride was there waiting. It was quite a frustrating experience, especially, when there was a set schedule for every moment my time being there.
When finally arriving at the depot, those assigned to pick me up (I was acting as if nothing had happened at all), after all, this was Vegas and absolutely nothing is unusual. As a matter of fact, I was rushed off in a limo to a spacious home which took up, at least, a half block; there were people who instantly took my bag, showed me to my luxurious bedroom, housed with every bit of luxury possible, a bed that a prince would be placed on, in other words, it was heaven! As soon as I put things away and drifted into the dining area, there waiting for me was every conceivable type of food and other exotic hors d’oeuvres.
All the rooms were alive with beautiful music, guests from San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, Pittsburgh and so many other cities were there, chatting about film, books, latest Broadway offerings and, of course, politics. The next day, when entering the main entertainment room, there were tables and chairs set up for the invited guests. A very impressive breakfast, set up as if for royalty, was a magnet which let you know it was going to be quite a day ahead of us. The guests slowly began to arrive as if they were a unique part author, Shirley Sanders family. When MY HALEY (Alex Haley’s widow), I was quickly introduced to her and it was if we had known each other for years, we immediately meld, like old friends.
In mid-afternoon, most of the authors and writers arrived and seated around a huge table, suitable for recording my radio show. Shirley Sanders discussed her book “Sessy’s Journey” and her latest “The Kenards & The Lockwoods;” My Haley (The Treason of Mary Louvestre) and I set the talk-fest off which resulted in a magical afternoon of literary information, discussing the world of publishing, journalism and our most recent writing efforts. I was overjoyed this extremely critical, talented group of writers loved my book “Hollywood Through the Back Door.”