I apologize for taking so long to report on the meet-up in Las Vegas. I've been busy and haven't had much time to write. Fortunately, my fellow OSers have done a good job of describing the affair. I'm sure they'll post more details later.
Because of a mix-up, the only person I got to meet was Sandra Stephens. I am grateful to Cartouche, Lonnie Lazar, and others for sending me pictures of the people and places I missed.
Las Vegas is VERY hot in the summer. I don't like hot weather, but I was happy to have the opportunity to meet my OS friends. This was my second trip to Vegas. I had forgotten how spectacular the city is, especially at night.
The "Strip," as seen from my balcony
I arrived in the morning and went directly to my suite at the Four Seasons. The accommodations were excellent, although the champagne was not chilled to my specifications.
My suite at the Four Seasons
After a day on the town, I tried calling my OS friends, all of whom had checked into Bellagio. The only one I could reach was Sandra, who updated me on the events of the day.
It turns out that Las Vegas was not the best choice for a getaway. When the trip was organized, no one knew that m.a.h. had a drinking problem or that Lonnie was a compulsive gambler.
Dorinda Fox, the Puritan of the group, was peeved from the moment she saw a bacchanale in the making. She criticized m.a.h. for drinking to excess, which made m.a.h. angry. When m.a.h. finally reached the boiling point, she almost punched Dorinda in the face. Fortunately, Sandra was there to intervene.
Sandra prevents m.a.h. from beating up Dorinda
Before anyone was injured, Cartouche arrived with news that Lonnie had lost $35 gambling and was kicking the slot machine. AZ David tried to stop him from breaking the machine, which led to a brawl. The fight gradually worked its way to the street. Within a half hour, a crowd had gathered to watch it. David Decker and Dynomite stood on the sidelines.
Lonnie and AZ David fighting it out
Finally, the cops were called and both guys were arrested.
Lonnie gets arrested
At this point, AZ regreted his efforts to protect Lonnie.
AZ David in the slammer
Of course, I was totally in the dark about this. If I had known what was going on, I would have left Bartolotta's (where the rack of lamb was prepared to perfection!) to help my friends.
Bartolotta's, where I had dinner
Lonnie contacted Cartouche from jail to inform her of the situation. Car-touche immediately worked on a plan to rescue the guys. She assembled the OS women and started collecting money to post bail. Unfortunately, the women had spent all their money gambling that afternoon. All they had left was their ingenuity (which is considerable). Within a few minutes, they had figured out how to raise the money.
Cartouche, the consummate artist, painted a self-portrait and sold it on the street for $20.
Self-portrait by Cartouche
Pretend Farmer and Verbal Remedy found "floor work" at the Hilton.
Buffy W "played the pole" for visitors at a local club.
And Emma Peel raised more than $100 in her own inimitable way.
All of this could have been avoided if I had known what was happening. I had enough money in my wallet to bail out Lonnie, but no one bothered to contact me, so I ended up spending the evening with some delightful people I'd met at the Venetian Hotel.
My non-OS friends at the Venetian
Ultimately, Lonnie and AZ were rescued, thanks to the resourcefulness of the OS women. Of course, they were broke now and could no longer stay at Bellagio, so they camped out in the parking lot of the Motel Regency, where they exchanged OS stories.
(The Regency was chosen because m.a.h. was already parked there).
Sadly, I never got to meet any of my OS friends in person except Sandra, who told me the story that evening.
Seeing Sandra made the trip worthwhile. She is a wonderful person and a fantastic writer. We spent the whole evening reminiscing about OS. I hope someone organizes another trip like this again.
Sandra and me